gutnalþing (OGu) noun

This is one of a number of words and phrases used to refer to the general assembly of the Gotlanders or more particularly its membership as a whole. Other, more common, ones are allir lyþir (see lyþir), allir menn (see maþer), landar allir and land alt (see land). The word itself occurs only in GS in the context of the Swedish king or his jarl (q.v.) sending a message to the Gotlanders to collect tax, and not in GL, which does not refer to the Swedish king or jarl. The form of the word is problematic and in both Schlyter’s glossary and in SL GL it is suggested that it should be ‘Guta alþing’. The linguistic aspects are discussed in Peel, 2015 and Myrberg, 2009. The site of the Gutnalþing was thought to be Roma, in the central third (þriþiungr) of the island. Roma was the site of the Cistercian monastery of Beata Maria de Gutnalia, established on 9 September 1164. It is not certain, however, that there was a general assembly held at Roma before the founding of the monastery, since the place-name is only mentioned in the German translation of GS. Myrberg offers a different interpretation of the history of the general assembly on Gotland and proposes a different site for the earlier general assembly, although conceding that the later medieval assembly might have been held near the monastery.

Gotlanders’ general assembly OGu GS Ch. 2 Refs:

KLNM s.v. ting på Gotland; Myrberg 2009; Peel 2015, 295 note 2/22; Schlyter 1877, s.v. gutnal þing; SL GL, 306 note 23; Steffen 1945, 246

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