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 WHAT IS FEUDALISM ?

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Merzhin
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Merzhin

Posts : 262
Join date : 2008-12-19
Age : 37
Location : State College PA (USA)

PostSubject: WHAT IS FEUDALISM ?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:21 pm

Feudalism (19th C.) is a modernized term for the notion Feudality (5th C.). It comes from the Latin feudum, meaning ‘fief’ or ‘fee.’ But the very first traces of this type of system date back to the first Celtic tribes. It was also later exploited by Rome before it became the system of reference of the Dark Ages (10th C.) and the Middle ages. In its origins, such an organization was working like some sort of a confederation of Lords, all having supreme power in their own domains, but unequal in influence, subordinated between them, and having reciprocal rights and duties.

Feudalism, today, can be characterized by the gathering of all the contractual customs and institutions among suzerains and vassals. It is a hierarchical society. The suzerain owes his vassal maintenance, generally under the form of the concession of a fief (earth, rights, or pension). In return, the vassal has to provide his suzerain with help and advice: faith and respects.

Indeed, because of the territorial propriety (named profit or fief) he was given, the vassal found himself dependant of the guarantor of this propriety, to whom he owed trust and respect, in exchange of his suzerain’s assistance in certain cases (especially troubles between nobles, rebellion, or war) The suzerain, in conceding his fief, also had the right to call for his vassal’s help and support. However, the very same Lord could be suzerain (for the fiefs ha had conceded) and vassal (for others he was given)

The King was often referred to as the suzerain of all suzerains. As for the vassals of all vassals, they were the serfs, people who were attached to their Lord’s fief, and literally speaking, they also were their Lord's proprety.
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