bok (1) (OSw) bok (ODan) bók (ON) noun

Referring to law-books (OSw HL Kkb, Rb; SdmL Conf, För; ODan JyL Fort; OIce Js Kdb 3) and parts of such books (passim, cf. balker) as well as to liturgical books (OSw ÖgL Kkb; YVgL and ÄVgL Kkb; SdmL Kkb). Books also appear in certain oath procedures; commonly (including the prepositional phrase við bók, see below) in OIce concerning, for instance, defamation and the location of an accused (Js), as well as in ONorw concerning bestiality, drunken quarrels and liberation of slaves (GuL). Only rarely in OSw, concerning theft (DL), paternity (HL) and shepherd duties (ÄVgL), as well as in a new king’s oath of allegiance which should be sworn holding both a book and holy relic (SdmL). It seems generally assumed that the book on which an oath was sworn was the bible or a liturgical book, which might be supported by statements of a ‘holy book’ in OIce Js, for instance concerning the appointment of men for the alþingi ‘General Assembly’ and an ODan occurrence concerning the oaths of a nævning (see næmpning) (JyL 2:42). ODan SkL 113 explicitly states that a levelling oath (ODan javnetheeth, see jamnaþareþer) should be sworn on a book, not on holy relics (ODan helaghdom, see hælghidomber), while SkL 147 and 226 state that swearing should be done by joining hands, and not on a book (see handtak).

bible/lawbook/book OSw DL Tjdb
book ODan JyL Fort, 1, 2
ODan SkL 113, 147, 226
ONorw GuL Krb, Kpb, Løb, Tfb, Mhb
OSw ÄVgL Kkb, Rlb
OSw KrL Kgb
OSw MESt Kgb, Jb, Rb
OSw ÖgL Kkb, Äb, Rb
OSw SdmL Conf, För, Till
OSw YVgL Kkb, Äb

law-book OSw HL Kkb, Rb
National Law OFar Seyð 7, 8

landzens bok (OSw)

law-book of the land OSw HL Rb

við bók (ON)

by oath on a book OIce Grg Þsþ 63, Vís 109b (add. 132), Arþ 122, Ómb 128, Feþ 164, Lbþ 172, 178, Tíg 266 Js Lbb 6


KLNM s.v. edsformular

  • ‘bok (1)’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.