Frith

This article deals with the Germanic concept. For an entry on the druidic homonym, see Frith (druidry). For people called Frith, see Frith (surname).


Frith is an obsolete English word meaning "peace; freedom from molestation, protection; safety, security" (OED). Derived from Old English friðu, , it is cognate to Old Norse , Old High German , German , Dutch , West Frisian , Icelandic , Common Scandinavian (all with meanings similar to "peace" or "calm") and also root-cognate to . In Swedish, two different words with different meanings have developed from this word, the words fred (state of no war) and frid (state of no disturbance). The English word became obsolete in the Middle English period, but survived into the 17th century in the compound frith-silver "feudal payment".

In terms of Anglo-Saxon and post-Anglo-Saxon culture, however, the term has a considerably broader scope and meaning. Frith has a great deal to do not only with the state of peace but also with the nature of social relationships conducive to peace. Moreover, it has strong associations with stability and security. The word friþgeard meaning "asylum, sanctuary" was used for sacrosanct areas. A friþgeard would then be any enclosed area given over to the worship of the gods. Frith is also used in the context of fealty, as an expression of the relationship between a lord and his people.

Frith is inextricably related to the state of kinship, which is perhaps the strongest indicator of frith. In this respect, the word can be coterminous with another significant Anglo-Saxon root-word, sib (from which the word 'sibling' is derived) - indeed the two are frequently interchanged. In this context, frith goes further than expressing blood ties, and encompasses all the concomitant benefits and duties which kinship engenders.

Frith also has a legal significance: peace was effectively maintained in Anglo-Saxon times by the frith-guild, an early manifestation of summary justice.

External links

Frith is a druidic religious practice of divination. Historically, it was recorded in the Highlands of Scotland but also throughout Europe and in recent centuries throughout the European diaspora as far as Mt Warning.
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Frith is a surname, and may refer to
  • Clifford Brodie Frith, Australian ornithologist
  • Chris Frith, British psychologist
  • David Frith, British cricket writer
  • Dawn Whyatt Frith, Australian ornithologist
  • Doug Frith, Canadian politician

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The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language.
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Old English/Anglo-Saxon}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: ang
ISO 639-3: ang Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Englisc
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Old Norse}}} 
Writing system: Runic, later Latin alphabet.
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: non
ISO 639-3: non

Old Norse
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Old High German}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: goh
ISO 639-3: goh The term Old High German (OHG, German: Althochdeutsch, german abbr. Ahd.
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German language (Deutsch, ] ) is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages.
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Dutch}}} 
Writing system: Latin alphabet (Dutch variant) 
Official status
Official language of:  Aruba
 Belgium
 European Union
 European Union
 Netherlands Antilles
 Suriname
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West Frisian (Frysk) is a language spoken mostly in the province of Fryslân in the north of the Netherlands. West Frisian is the name by which this language is usually known outside of the Netherlands, to distinguish it from the closely related languages of East
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Icelandic}}} 
Writing system: Latin (Icelandic variant) 
Official status
Official language of:  Iceland
Regulated by: Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies
Language codes
ISO 639-1: is
ISO 639-2: ice (B) 
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North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages.
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Swedish}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  European Union
 European Union (in Noarootsi along with Estonian) [1]
 Finland
 Sweden (de facto)
Nordic Council
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Middle English}}}
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: enm
ISO 639-3: enm

Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066
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Anglo-Saxon is the collective term usually used to describe the ethnically and linguistically related peoples living in the south and east of the island of Great Britain (modern Great Britain/United Kingdom) from around the early 5th century AD to the Norman conquest of 1066.
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fealty, from the Latin fidelitas or faithfulness, is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another. Typically the oath is made upon a religious object such as a Bible or saint's relic thus binding the oath taker before God.
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