MNLD Word of the Week: stæghl

stæghl (OSw) n.
Literally ’stake, pole’ referring to an implement for capital punishment of disputed construction and usage. Presumably refers to a wheel placed on top of a pole used for breaking a criminal’s limbs or joints and/or for attaching and displaying the dead or dying body. Thought to have been a method of execution or a means of public degradation after death. Used for certain male murderers, whereas female offenders were to be stoned. It was not specified who was to act as executioner, but ÖgL Eb suggests that it could have been the plaintiff.

wheel OSw HL Mb; SdmL Mb

See also: hjul, stæghla

Literature: Ambrius 1996: 63; Kjus 2011: 100‑101; KLNM s.v. dødsstraf, straffredskap; Schlyter 1877 s.v. stæghla;


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