/dayn"law'/, n.
1. the body of laws in force in the northeast of England where the Danes settled in the 9th century A.D.
2. the part of England under this law.
Also, Danelage /dayn"lah'geuh, dah'neuh lah"geuh/, Danelagh /dayn"law'/.
[bef. 1050; ME Dane-lawe, earlier Dene-lawe, OE Dena lagu. See DANE, LAW1]

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NE region of Anglo-Saxon England.

Colonized by invading Danish armies in the late 9th century AD, it was so named because the form of customary law practiced in the local courts was of Danish origin. Danish place-names still mark the region.

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also spelled  Danelagh  or  Danelaga  
 the northern, central, and eastern region of Anglo-Saxon England colonized by invading Danish armies in the late 9th century. In the 11th and 12th centuries, it was recognized that all of eastern England between the Rivers Tees and Thames formed a region in which a distinctive form of customary law prevailed in the local courts, differing from West Saxon law to the south and Mercian law to the west. The region derived its name from the Old English Dena lagu (“Danes' law”) under the assumption that its unique legal practices were of Danish origin, an assumption borne out by modern scholarship.

      The Danes did not settle the whole of this wide area intensively, but their powerful military aristocracy dominated for a sufficient period to leave its imprint on local custom. The area of the Danelaw is marked by the survival of Danish personal names and place-names; DNA evidence also has confirmed the link between Denmark and the modern inhabitants of Derbyshire. In local administration the hundred was generally called a wapentake, and the hide was generally replaced by the plowland. Its law was distinguished by procedural differences, severe fines for breach of peace, and the existence of an aristocratic jury of presentment to initiate the prosecution of criminal suspects. In the areas of intensive Danish settlement, there were an unusually high number of sokemen, a class of personally free peasants attached to a lord rather than to the land.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • danelaw — ● danelaw ou danelagh nom masculin Autonomie juridique accordée aux Danois établis en Angleterre aux IXe XIe s. Territoire habité par les envahisseurs danois et régi par leurs lois et coutumes …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Danelaw — England in 878: the Danelaw is shown in yellow The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle (also known as the Danelagh; Old English: Dena lagu; Danish: Danelagen), is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of… …   Wikipedia

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  • danelaw — n. hist. the part of N. & E. England occupied or administered by Danes in the 9th 11th c. Etymology: OE Dena lagu Danes law * * * Danelaw [Danelaw] the part of north eastern England that was ruled by the ↑Danes from 878 until the whole of England …   Useful english dictionary

  • Danelaw — Als Danelag (englisch Danelaw, lage oder lagh, Mittelenglisch Denelage, Altenglisch Dena lagu bzw. Dänisch Danelagen, „dänisches Recht“) wird ein Gebiet in England bezeichnet, das zwischen 865 und 878 vom Großen Heer, einer Wikingerarmee, erobert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Danelaw — noun Date: before 12th century 1. the law in force in the part of England held by the Danes before the Norman Conquest 2. the part of England under the Danelaw …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Danelaw — noun a) The part of Great Britain in which the laws of the Scandinavians dominated those of the Anglo Saxons. b) The set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the English and the Danish …   Wiktionary

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