MURDER, BLOOD VENGEANCE, AND DEATH PENALTY IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE SALIC LAW REGULATIONS
The paper analyzes the matters concerning the death penalty, blood vengeance, and wrongful death. The author considers these categories in the context of the Salic law regulations composed during the regency of Frankish king Clovis in the late V – early VI centuries. The relevance of the study is caused by the ambiguity of the role of death category in the jurisprudence and the reasonability of distinguishing the terms “death penalty” and “murder”. In this connection, it is interesting to study the relationship of these concepts in the frames of the abovementioned early-feudal monument of law. The paper presents the characteristics of the ideas of ancient Germans about the blood vengeance for murder. The author considers the totality of Salic law regulations about the wergild payment that is to say the composition including material compensation, harm expiation. The author pays special attention to the title of LVIII Salic law which is called “About soil handful” and to the points of view in respect of its regulations interpretation, as well as considers the list of crimes for the commitment of which the Salic law ordered to use the death penalty as a punishment. The author points at the rationale to compare corresponding Salic law regulations with other monuments of the law of that period containing the reference to a number of other wrongful acts punishable by death. In particular, the question is about an edict of Ostrogothian king Theodorich (V century). To summarize, the author concludes that in Salic law, the practice of blood vengeance for murder substitutes for the system of so-called wergilds different amounts of which show the manifestation of social inequality between various social groups.