An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (375-814)

By Ephraim Emerton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV.
BEGINNINGS OF THE FEUDAL SYSTEM. 1

AUTHORITIES:--The Leges Barbarorum. Formulæ and Capitula
ries as in Chap. VIII.

MODERN WORKS:-- G. Waitz: Anfänge der Vassalität, Götingen.
Anfänge des Lehnswesens, Hist. Zeitsch. XIII. 1865. Deutsche
Verfassungsgeschichte
, esp. Vols. II. III. and IV.

Paul Roth: Geschichte des Beneficialwesens, 1850. Feudalität
und Unterthanenverband
, 1863.

H. Brunner: Die Landverleihungen der Merovinger und Karo-
linger
. Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie, 1885.

F. de Coulanges: Les Origines du Régime féodal. Rev. d.
deux mondes, 1872-74.

A neat short statement of the Feudal principles is given in Myers'
MediU+00Eval and Modern History, and an excellent summary of
the controversy as to origins in E. B. Andrews' Institutes of
General History, 1887.

IF we would understand ever so little of the life of the Middle Ages, we shall have to know something about an institution which for a thousand years was the most important element in the politics and in the social relations of the European peoples.

Value of landed property.

____________________
1
Hardly any point in the whole history of European institutions has been the subject of so violent controversy as this of the origin of Feu. dalism. It was formerly supposed that Feudalism was only a somewhat more developed form of the ancient Germanic "following" transplanted to Roman soil, but a more critical examination of the documents of the early period soon showed that there was more to it than this. It became evident that Feudalism was not so simple as had at first appeared, but

-236-

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