Librum legum terre Hælsingie: The Inspection and Approval of Versions of the Law-Book of the Hälsingar

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The northern part of Sweden is called Norrland, a name probably coined in the late Middle Ages. It was also called Hälsingland, hence the name of a province (landskap) came to be used for the whole of northern Swe-den. Sometimes the epithet Stor-Hälsingland [Large-Hälsingland] was used in order to differentiate it from the province. The confusion in names may stem from the fact that the laws of northern Sweden were called Hälsingelagen, that is, the Laws of the Hälsingar. The history of the Hälsingelagen is rather obscure. The only extant manuscript, kept at the University Library inUppsala, which was acquired by the Swedish national antiquarian, Johannes Bureus, during a journey to Norrland in 1600-1601. Philologists and antiquarians have shown that at least four manuscripts of the laws must have existed in the late fourteenth century; this has been assumed on account of three important letters from 1374 which refer to official meetings that took place on the coast of Norrland. In 1609, the Hälsinge-lagen was printed but the manuscript used for the edition is now lost, and it may have been one of the manuscripts used for a revision of the laws made in 1374.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Power of the Book. Medial Approaches to Medieval Nordic Legal Manuscripts
EditorsLena Rohrbach
PublisherHumboldt Universität, Berlin
ISBN (Print)9783932406348
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


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