Vassal - Wikipedia
A vassal is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch, in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support (knight) in exchange for certain privileges, usually including land held as a tenant or fief In the time of Charlemagne (ruled – ), the connection slowly. The king granted fiefs (portions of land) to nobles (lords or barons) in return for loyalty, protection and service. The king could also grant fiefs to vassals (knights) . Feudal relationship defined between Land had become hereditary; mutual obligations had to be clear. Lords, Vassals, Fiefs, Peasants: Medieval.
Vassals had to okay any change in relationship.
- Lords, Vassals, Fiefs, Peasants: Medieval Society
Vassal owed aids and dues. On knighting of eldest son. Anything else extraordinary and had to be approved by vassals again Parliament. If one was both lord and vassal, vassal to someone else but with his own vassals as well, which was the better position? Escheat if vassal left no heirs.
Forfeiture if vassal broke relationship. Feudal system depended on aristocratic domination of society. Birth justified aristocratic domination. Only well-born could be depended on to maintain personal bond. Distinctions between aristocrats and peasants. What are modern survivals of chivalry? Is aristocracy still alive in society today? Are people still defined by class?
Why do you think so?
Feudalism - Further Readings
Chivalry originally meant horsemanship. Then code of values. People defined by class. How did men and women of feudal class live? Young male sent to live with another household.
Learned basics of fighting, weapons, horsemanship.
How Knights Work
The ceremony of knighting. Thereafter spent lives in war, tournaments, hunting.
Their code of behavior towards each other; towards others not of their class. Feudal chivalry and its values: Later values to make warfare more pleasant.
Desire for glory; generosity. These values come to life in chansons de geste: In Merovingian times 5th century tomonarchs would reward only the greatest and most trusted vassals with lands. Even at the most extreme devolution of any remnants of central power, in 10th-century France, the majority of vassals still had no fixed estates. An "upper" group comprised great territorial magnates, who were strong enough to ensure the inheritance of their benefice to the heirs of their family.
A "lower" group consisted of landless knights attached to a count or duke. This social settling process also received impetus in fundamental changes in the conduct of warfare.
Lords, Vassals, Fiefs, Peasants: Medieval Society
As co-ordinated cavalry superseded disorganized infantryarmies became more expensive to maintain. A vassal needed economic resources to equip the cavalry he was bound to contribute to his lord to fight his frequent wars.
Such resources, in the absence of a money economy, came only from land and its associated assets, which included peasants as well as wood and water.
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