Vassalage in the Middle Ages

By: Anavitarte, E. J.*

Vassalage is a reciprocal legal bond between two feudal lords of different nobility hierarchy, in which one, the lord, grants military and legal protection to the territorial jurisdiction of another, the vassal, who undertakes to recognize him as his sovereign.

This legal bond operates like a contract, so it requires the consent of both parties to be perfected, and can be both verbal or written, always with synallagmatic effects, which is, for both parties.

This institution is a form adapted in the Middle Ages from the Roman patronage usufruct contracts, but each of the parties abstractly represents their fiefdom.

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