heþin (OSw) hethen (ODan) haiþin (OGu) heiðinn (ON) hedin (OSw) hæþin (OSw) adj.

In the early Middle Ages, when Christianity was relatively new in Norway, traces of heathen cult and practice were heavily punished. See, e.g., GuL ch. 28. In OSw and ODan laws the word heþin was often used of children in the sense ‘unbaptized’. Leaving a child unbaptized was not allowed. According to ODan law unbaptized children could not inherit, and OSw law punished priests who neglected to baptize. Killing unbaptized children was a criminal act. Emergency christening was allowed when a priest was not available. Gotlanders agreed to follow the Swedish king in crusades against heathen countries, but not against Christian ones (GS ch. 4).


heathen ODan VSjL 6
OGu GL A 4
OGu GS Ch. 1, 2, 3, 4
ONorw GuL Krb, Løb
OSw UL För, Kkb
OSw VmL Kkb

pagan OSw SdmL Kkb, Mb
OSw SmL

unbaptized OSw HL Kkb
OSw SmL
OSw UL Mb
OSw VmL Mb
OSw ÖgL Kkb

unchristian OSw HL Kkb
Expressions:

heiðinn dómr (ON)

heathendom ONorw GuL Krb

Refs:

KLNM s.v. trosskiftet

Citation
  • ‘heþin’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.
    http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/2134
    (01/19/2022)