Definitions for housecarlˈhaʊsˌkɑrl
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word housecarl
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a member of the household troops or bodyguard of a Danish or early English king or noble.
Category: Western History
Origin of housecarl:
bef. 1050; ME; late OE hūscarl < early Dan hūskarl. See house , carl
A member of the Scandinavian royal household troops.
Origin: Old Norse huskarl
a household servant; also, one of the bodyguard of King Canute
In medieval Scandinavia, housecarls were either non-servile manservants, or household troops in personal service of someone, equivalent to a bodyguard to Scandinavian lords and kings. This institution also existed in Anglo-Saxon England after its conquest by the kingdom of Denmark in the 11th century. In England, the royal housecarls had a number of roles, both military and administrative; they are well known for having fought under Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings. The original Old Norse term, húskarl, literally means "house man"; see also the Anglo-Saxon term churl or ceorl, whose root is the same as the Old Norse karl, and which also means "a man, a non-servile peasant".
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