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‘Thing of all Swedes’ Mound

People tend to picture ancient Scandinavia as a lawless place full of violent Vikings and barbarians. But many aspects of the culture were quite civilized and in some ways more free than the rest of the world at that time. One of these was a process called “the thing.”

A “thing” was a governing assembly of sorts used by Germanic peoples from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages. The assembly was attended by the country’s free people and overseen by so-called “lawspeakers,” people who had memorized all the laws of the land. These meetings functioned both as parliaments and courts for all levels of society, and even held more power than the king.

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About the source: Atlas Obscura

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