colonus

/keuh loh"neuhs/, n., pl. coloni /-nuy, -nee/.
a serf in the latter period of the Roman Empire or in the early feudal period.
[1885-90; < L colonus inhabitant of a colony, tenant-farmer, farmer, deriv. of colere to inhabit, till, cultivate; cf. CULT, CULTIVATE]

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▪ ancient tenant farmer
plural  Coloni,  

      tenant (tenant farming) farmer of the late Roman Empire and the European Middle Ages. The coloni were drawn from impoverished small free farmers, partially emancipated slaves, and barbarians sent to work as agricultural labourers among landed proprietors. For the lands that they rented, they paid in money, produce, or service. Some may have become coloni in order to gain protection from the proprietor against the state tax collector or against invaders and aggressive neighbours. Although technically freemen, the coloni were bound to the soil by debts that were heritable and by laws limiting their freedom of movement. By AD 332 landlords were permitted to chain coloni suspected of planning to leave. Coloni were forbidden to transfer their property without consent of the landlord and to sue the landlord except for increasing their rent. The colonus could not lose his land as long as he paid the rent, but he was forbidden to leave or change his occupation. If the land was sold, he went with it; his children held it after him on the same terms.

      The descendants of the coloni, along with other dependent peasants, became the serfs of the European Middle Ages.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Colōnus — (v. lat.), so v. w. Colonist …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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  • Colonus — Colōnus (lat.), Landbauer, Kolone (s. Kolonat) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Colonus — For a type of tenant farmer of the late Roman Empire, see Colonus (person). Colonus Κολωνός   Neighborhood   …   Wikipedia

  • Colonus, S. — S. Colonus, C. (1. Dee.). Vom Lat. = Landwirth, Bauer etc. – Dieser hl. Colonus war ein Bekenner des Glaubens im Gebiete von Agen (Aginnum) in Aquitanien. (El.) …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Colonus —    A hereditary tenant farmer whose status differed little from that of a slave. Though technically free and with some legal rights (e.g., they could not be ejected from their land), they were bound to the soil in perpetuity. Their freedom to… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • colonus — co•lo•nus [[t]kəˈloʊ nəs[/t]] n. pl. ni ( nī, nē). anh a serf or tenant farmer in the later Roman Empire or early feudal period • Etymology: 1885–90; < L colōnus inhabitant of a colony, tenant farmer, farmer, der. of colere to inhabit,… …   From formal English to slang

  • colonus — noun (plural coloni) Etymology: Latin, literally, farmer Date: 1857 a free born serf in the later Roman Empire who could sometimes own property but who was bound to the land and obliged to pay a rent usually in produce …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • COLONUS —    a demos of Attica, a mile NW. of Athens, the birthplace of Sophocles …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • colonus —   See colona …   Etymological dictionary of grasses

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