XII

THE FIEF

1 ‘BENEFIT’ AND FIEF: STIPENDIARY TENEMENT

IN the Frankish period, the majority of those who commended themselves sought from their new master something more than protection. Since this powerful man was at the same time a wealthy man, they also expected him to contribute to their support. From St. Augustine, who in the closing decades of the Western Empire describes the poor in search of a patron who would provide them with ‘the wherewithal to eat’, to the Merovingian formula which we have more than once cited, we hear the same importunate cry—that of the empty stomach. The lord, for his part, was not influenced solely by the ambition to exercise authority over men; through their agency he often sought to lay hold of property. From the outset, in short, protective relationships had their economic aspect—vassalage as well as the others. The liberality of the chief towards his war-companions seemed so essential a part of the bond between them that frequently, in the Carolingian age, the bestowal of a few gifts—a horse, arms, jewels—was an almost invariable complement to the gesture of personal submission. One of the capitularies forbids the breaking of the tie by the vassal if he has already received from his lord the value of a golden solidus. The only true master was he who had given presents to his dependants.

Now the chief of a group of vassals, like every employer, was more or less restricted by the general economic conditions of the time. He had to choose between two methods of rewarding services. Either he could keep the vassal in his own house and feed, clothe and equip him at his own expense, or he could endow him with an estate or a regular income derived from land and leave him to provide for his own maintenance. In French-speaking districts the latter method was called ‘housing’ (chaser) the vassal, meaning literally to give him a house of his own (casa). By what means was this concession put into effect?

In early times the simple gift, free from any restrictions on its heritability, was widely resorted to. This is the form employed in a formula of the seventh century, whereby a chief grants a small estate to his ‘companion’. Later, we find it used on many occasions by the sons of Louis the Pious, when they wished to display their generosity towards their vassals, with the express object of holding them to their duty; and in some cases it was

-163-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Feudal Society - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 280

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.