örvarþing (ON) örvaþing (ON) noun

An assembly convened as soon as possible (i.e. on the same day or the following morning) after certain serious crimes, including killings, grave injuries, plundering (hervirki, see hærværk) and abuse of office. To convene the assembly the prosecutor, usually the slaying prosecutor (eftirmælandi, see æptirmælandi) or nearest kinsman (or widow?), sent summons betokened by an arrow (boð (see buþ), örvarskurðr) to neighbours, who were legally obligated to pass it on to further neighbours. In lieu of a regular prosecutor, an arrow-assembly could be initiated by the king’s representative (ármaðr).

The arrow-assembly seems to have been primarily used to establish evidence. It took place at the scene of the crime and required 27 assembly-men in attendance to be considered valid. The suit was subsequently prosecuted five days later at another assembly (ON fimmtarþing).

Arrow-assemblies appear almost exclusively in the Norwegian laws, through which the practice entered Icelandic laws (Js and Jb) somewhat later.

arrow assembly OIce Mah 10
OIce Js Mah 14, 17
ONorw FrL Mhb 7, 29 Var 7 Rgb 3

arrow thing ONorw GuL Mhb Refs:

KLNM s.v. frostatingsloven, rettergang, våpensyn, ǫrvarþing; NGL V s.v. örvarþing; Z s.v. ör, örvarþing

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

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/4068