homage and fealty

      in European society, solemn acts of ritual by which a person became a vassal of a lord in feudal society. Homage was essentially the acknowledgment of the bond of tenure that existed between the two. It consisted of the vassal surrendering himself to the lord, symbolized by his kneeling and giving his joined hands to the lord, who clasped them in his own, thus accepting the surrender.

      Fealty was an oath of fidelity made by the vassal. In it he promised not to harm his lord or to do damage to his property. Although homage had to be rendered directly to the lord, fealty could be given to a bailiff or steward. The lord then performed a symbolic investiture of the new vassal, handing over to him some object representing his fief. The whole procedure was a recognition of both the assistance owed by the tenant to his lord and the protection owed by the lord to the tenant.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Homage (medieval) — For other related uses see commendation ceremony and homage (disambiguation) Homage in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic… …   Wikipedia

  • fealty — /fiy(a)ltiy/ In feudal law, fidelity; allegiance to the feudal lord of the manor; the feudal obligation resting upon the tenant or vassal by which he was bound to be faithful and true to his lord, and render him obedience and service. This fealty …   Black's law dictionary

  • Homage — 1) Formal acknowledgement of a *vassal s allegiance and *fealty to his lord. Thus the young King Edward III did homage in June 1329 to Philip, the new king of France. But Edward did this as duke of Aquitaine, not as king of England. *Bracton said …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Homage — Hom age, n. [OF. homage, homenage, F. hommage, LL. hominaticum, homenaticum, from L. homo a man, LL. also, a client, servant, vassal; akin to L. humus earth, Gr.? on the ground, and E. groom in bridegroom. Cf. {Bridegroom}, {Human}.] 1. (Feud.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fealty — fe al*ty (f[=e] al*t[y^]), n. [OE. feaute, OF. feaut[ e], fealt[ e], feelt[ e], feelteit, fr. L. fidelitas, fr. fidelis faithful. See {Feal}, and cf. Fidelity.] 1. Fidelity to one s lord; the feudal obligation by which the tenant or vassal was… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fealty — This article is about a pledge of allegiance. For the journalist, see Mick Fealty. For the novel by Niven and Pournelle, see Oath of Fealty (novel). English Feudalism …   Wikipedia

  • homage — /(h)amaj/ In feudal law, a service (or the ceremony of rendering it) which a tenant was bound to perform to his lord on receiving investiture of a fee, or succeeding to it as heir, in acknowledgment of the tenure. It is described as the most… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Homage — The ceremony by which a vassal pledges his fealty to his liege, and acknowledges all other feudal obligations, in return for a grant of land. The public pronouncement of a vassal to his lord where he swore to become ‘his man’, an oath that… …   Medieval glossary

  • Fealty — Oath of Fealty An oath of allegiance paid by a knight to his lord or by a lower person to his knight. Sometimes this fealty was in the form of money or possessions. Often it was in the form of an oath to serve, protect and defend. Obligation of… …   Medieval glossary

  • homage — /hom ij, om /, n. 1. respect or reverence paid or rendered: In his speech he paid homage to Washington and Jefferson. 2. the formal public acknowledgment by which a feudal tenant or vassal declared himself to be the man or vassal of his lord,… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.