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vassal

vassal was the term used to describe a person who had taken a formal oath of allegiance to a superior and was derived from a Celtic word meaning ‘youth’. In its simplest form it was no more than commending oneself to a lord for protection, but it became more complex when estates and benefices were granted in exchange for specified duties. It was upheld by the ceremony of homage. In Anglo-Saxon England vassalage remained largely personal. The Normans introduced the continental practice of endowing the vassal with a fief: this did not imply outright ownership of the land and the vassal could not alienate, though he could subcontract and create his own vassals by the process of subinfeudation. In exchange, the vassal performed carefully defined duties, such as knight service, and aids for particular occasions. The lord retained rights over marriage and wardship, since they might affect the integrity of the fief, and could demand a payment on inheritance. By the 13th cent. the arrangements were unravelling as lords increasingly paid scutage rather than perform knight service and vassals tried to commute their own obligations. Though at the outset the greatest lords were themselves vassals of the king, as tenants-in-chief, the term eventually acquired a pejorative meaning as slave, vagabond, or miscreant.

J. A. Cannon

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"vassal." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vassal." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vassal

"vassal." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vassal

vassal

vas·sal / ˈvasəl/ • n. hist. a holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance. ∎  a person or country in a subordinate position to another: [as adj.] a vassal state of the Chinese empire. DERIVATIVES: vas·sal·age / -əlij/ n.

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"vassal." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vassal." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal-1

"vassal." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal-1

vassal

vassal tenant in fee XIV; transf. and fig. XV. — (O)F.:- medL. vassallus man-servant, retainer, of Celt. orig.; the simplex vassus corr. to OGaul. -vassus in personal names, e.g. Dagovassus, W. gwas, Ir. foss servant.
So vassalage XIV. — OF. vassalage (mod. vasselage).

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"vassal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vassal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal-2

"vassal." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal-2

vassal

vassal a holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance; the word comes (in late Middle English, via Old French) from medieval Latin vassalius ‘retainer’, of Celtic origin.

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"vassal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vassal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal

"vassal." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal

vassal

vassal: see feudalism.

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"vassal." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vassal." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vassal

"vassal." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vassal

vassal

vassalhassle, Kassel, passel, tassel, vassal •axel, axle •cancel, hansel, Hänsel, Mansell •transaxle •castle, metatarsal, parcel, tarsal •chancel • sandcastle • Newcastle •Bessel, nestle, pestle, redressal, trestle, vessel, wrestle •Edsel • Texel •intercensal, pencil, stencil •pretzel • staysail • mainsail • Wiesel •abyssal, bristle, epistle, gristle, missal, scissel, thistle, whistle •pixel • plimsoll •tinsel, windsail •schnitzel, spritsail •Birtwistle •paradisal, sisal, trysail •apostle, colossal, dossal, fossil, glossal, jostle, throstle •consul, proconsul, tonsil •dorsal, morsel •council, counsel, groundsel •Mosul • fo'c's'le, forecastle •bustle, hustle, muscle, mussel, Russell, rustle, tussle •gunsel • corpuscle •disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, reversal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal, universal •Herzl

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"vassal." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"vassal." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved July 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vassal-0