Dóm-hringr

Old Norse Dictionary - dóm-hringr

Meaning of Old Norse word "dóm-hringr" in English.

As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:

dóm-hringr
m. ‘doom-ring,’ ‘judgment-ring;’ (cp. also vé-bönd, the sacred bounds or bar): the courts of heathen times were surrounded by the dómhringr, about a bow-shot from the centre where the benches were placed; no evil-doer might enter this hallowed ring, or commit an act of violence within it; if he did so, he was called a vargr í véum (lupus in sanctii); the Engl. law term ‘bar’ answers to this old word, cp. Gr. δρύφακτοι, Lat. cancelli; the Goth. staua, = court and judge, properly means a staff, bar; the bar was, according to Eg. l. c., a pole of hazel-wood, hesli-stengr: classical passages referring to this,—þar sér enn dómhring þann, er menn vóru dæmdir í til blóts, í þeim hring stendr Þórs steinn, etc., Eb. ch. 10; þar stendr enn Þórs steinn … ok þar ‘hjá’ (better) er sá domhringr er (in which) menn skyldi til blóts dæma, Landn. 98: another classical passage is Eg. ch. 57 beginning; cp. also FaS. iii. Gautr. S. ch. 7, Edda 10, though the ‘ring’ is not expressly mentioned in these last two passages: hann gengr í dómhringinn ok setzk niðr, Band. 6; en þeir eigu at rísa ór dóminum ok sitja í dómhring innan meðan um þá sök er dæmt, Grág. i. 78, cp. 17, 26: in early heathen times this sacred circle was formed by a ring of stones, cp. dóm-steinar: no doubt some of the so-called Celtic or Druidical stone circles are relics of these public courts, e. g. the Stones of Stennis in the Orkneys; cp. Scott’s last note to the Pirate, referring to this subject: even in later times, when the thing was obsolete, the name still remained.

Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛏᚢᛘ-ᚼᚱᛁᚾᚴᚱ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements

Abbreviations used:

ch.
chapter.
cp.
compare.
e. g.
exempli gratia.
Engl.
English.
etc.
et cetera.
gl.
glossary.
Goth.
Gothic.
Gr.
Greek.
l.
line.
Lat.
Latin.
l. c.
loco citato.
m.
masculine.
n.
neuter.
S.
Saga.

Works & Authors cited:

Band.
Banda-manna Saga. (D. II.)
Eb.
Eyrbyggja Saga. (D. II.)
Edda
Edda. (C. I.)
Eg.
Egils Saga. (D. II.)
Fas.
Fornaldar Sögur. (C. II.)
Gautr.
Gautreks Saga. (C. II.)
Grág.
Grágás. (B. I.)
Landn.
Landnáma. (D. I.)
➞ See all works cited in the dictionary

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