As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:
arf-sal Old Norse word can mean:
- n. cession of right of inheritance, Grág. i. 205, 225, 227, (cp. branderfð, Dan. fledföre, mod. Icel. prófenta, and gefa prófentu sína); a law term, to hand over one’s own property to another man on condition of getting succour and support for life. In the time of the Commonwealth, arfsal had a political sense, and was a sort of ‘clientela;’ the chiefs caused rich persons, freedmen, and monied men of low birth to bequeath them all their wealth, and in return supported them in lawsuits during life. Such is the case in Vápn. 13, Hænsaþór. S. ch. 7, Eb. ch. 31; eptir þat handsalaði Ulfarr (a wealthy freedman) Arnkatli fé sitt allt, ok gerðist hann (viz. Arnkell) þá varnaðarmaðr (protector) Úlfars: v. also Þórð. S., hann bjó á landi Skeggja ok hafði görzt arfsalsmaðr hans (his client), 50: it was humiliating; engar mátti hann (the bishop) ölmusur gefa af líkamlegri eign, heldr var hann haldinn sem arfsalsmaðr, Sturl. ii. 119. To the chiefs in olden times it was a source of wealth and influence, often in an unfair way.
- COMPDS: arfsalsmaðr, arfsalsmáldagi.
Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛅᚱᚠ-ᛋᛅᛚ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements
- Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
Works & Authors cited:
- Eyrbyggja Saga. (D. II.)
- Grágás. (B. I.)
- Sturlunga Saga. (D. I.)
- Vápnfirðinga Saga. (D. II.)
- Þórðar Saga hreðu. (D. V.)
Also available in related dictionaries:
This headword also appears in dictionaries of other languages descending from Old Norse.