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What is werguild?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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12y ago

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"Wer" means "human" or "man" (this is also the root for terms like "werewolf") and "guild" refers to coin. Quite literally this means "man payment." In some old cultures, a werguild was submitted to the family of a man who was slain, made by the person who killed him. If no payment was made, that family could seek revenge or declare a blood debt on the person who originally did the killing. However, if the payment was fairly given, then no retribution could be sought and no grudge held against the killer.

This practice continues in some ways in the modern world, although not under the same term or concept. Courts often award monetary damages to suing parties where a someone has been wronged (usually injured or sometimes killed).

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12y ago
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