friþviter (OSw) friþ vetr (OGu) adj.

Literally, ‘known to be free’. It is used a number of times, in various law texts, but only in seemingly tautological parallelisms such as frælsir mæn ok friþvitir (pl.) 'free and freeborn men', where it is intended to strengthen the requirement for witnesses, etc., to be free men or, in the case of GL, to distinguish female victims who were free (frels ok friþvet) from those who were not. This had the possible implication that they were to be free born and not simply freed slaves, about whose free status there could be some dispute. Although the word frælse (q.v.) later came to refer collectively to those who were free from taxes in one way or another, that is not the implication here: it is merely a distinction between those in slavery and those not.

freeborn OGu GL A 23
OSw VmL Rb

known to be free OSw SdmL Rb Refs:

KLNM, s.v. frälse; Peel 2015, 150−51 note 23/32; Schlyter 1877, s.v. friþviter; SL GL, 273 note 10

  • ‘friþviter’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.