fræls (OSw) fræls (ODan) frels (OGu) frjáls (ON) frelse (OSw) adj.

Etymologically a compound of words meaning ‘free’ and ‘neck’, supposedly referring to the absence of the neck ring of slaves, or potentially to the neck, metonymically for ‘life’, and its inviolability (Neckel 1916). Used of many aspects of freedom, from the lack of physical restraints to the exemption from taxes, many of which are legally significant, albeit perhaps none more so than that applied to people, non-slaves, enjoying some independence as manifested in their legal status, including, but not exclusive to, those born free.


available OIce Sg 3
exempt OSw HL Kgb
OSw KrL Bb
OSw MEL Bb
OSw SdmL Gb, Bb

exempt from tax OSw KrL Kgb
free OSw ÄVgL Kkb, Rlb
OSw BjR
ONorw BorgL 14.4
OSw DL Kkb
ONorw EidsL 3.2 12.4
ODan ESjL 2, 3
ONorw FrL KrbA 1, 28 Mhb 5, 7 Var 15 LlbB 10
OGu GL A 2, 6, 19, 23
OIce Grg Þsþ 20 Vís 111 Feþ 155, 156 Misc 237, 248
ONorw GuL Løb, Tjb, Kpb, Llb, Tfb, Leb
OSw HL Kkb
OIce Mah 5 Llb 29 Kab 10, 25
OIce Js Mah 14, 23 Lbb 15, 25 Kab 8, 19
ODan JyL 1, 3
OIce KRA 9, 10
OSw KrL DbI
OSw MEL Rb DbI
OSw MESt Rb
OSw ÖgL Db, Vm Gb Äb
OSw SdmL Äb, Bb, Kmb, Mb, Tjdb, Rb
ODan SkL 76, 105, 118, 122−25, 128, 130, 132
OSw UL Äb, Mb, Kmb, Rb
OSw VmL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Kmb, Rb
ODan VSjL 28, 42, 43, 50, 56, 59, 61, 80, 86
OSw YVgL Drb, Gb, Rlb, Tb, Add

freeborn ONorw FrL KrbA 2
nobleman OSw MEL SmbII
tax free OSw SdmL Kkb
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb
OSw VmL Kkb

unfettered ODan VSjL 52
unhindered OGu GS Ch. 2 Expressions:

frjáls ok fulltíða (ON)

free and of age OIce JKs Kab 8

fræls fød (ODan)

born free ODan ESjL 3

Refs:

CV s.v. frjáls; Fritzner s.v. frjáls; Hellquist s.v. frälsa; Neckel 1916, 405

Citation
  • ‘fræls’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/1504
    (01/31/2023)