From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Arvals, Arvels or Arthels (Old Norse Arfr, "inheritance", and öl, Old English "Ale", a banquet), primarily the funeral dinner, and later, especially in the north of England, a thin, light, sweet cake, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, served to the poor at such feasts. The funeral meal was called the Arvel-dinner. The custom seems to have been to hold on such occasions an informal inquest, when the corpse was publicly exposed, to exculpate the heir and those entitled to the property of the dead from all accusations of foul play.[1]


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 711.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Arvals" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 711.