Definitions for "Vassal"
Keywords:  fief, feudal, homage, lord, liege
The grantee of a fief, feud, or fee; one who holds land of a superior, and who vows fidelity and homage to him; a feudatory; a feudal tenant.
Originally the comitatus of German relations where a man would offer his services in return for the protection of a lord. By the 12th century, these contracts had become more formalized, and a vassal generally sought to closely define the terms of vassalage and to make the relationship hereditary as a way of providing for offspring. During the Middle Ages a vassal was a free man who voluntarily exchanged his service, sometimes military service, in exchange for protection. A vassal swore an oath of fealty to the liege lord, who swore a return oath to defend the vassal. This contract, enhanced by the personal bond of homage, tied feudal relationships together and insured a measure of continuity and predictability, stability that allowed society to grow and develop out of the feudal age.
Free man who held land (fief) from a lord to whom he paid homage and swore fealty. He owed various services and obligations. These were primarily military but he was also required to advise his lord and pay him the traditional feudal aids required on the knighting of the lord's eldest son, the marriage of the lord's eldest daughter and the ransoming of the lord should he be held captive.
Keywords:  slavish, servile, resembling
Resembling a vassal; slavish; servile.
A subject; a dependent; a servant; a bondman; a slave.
To treat as a vassal; to subject to control; to enslave.
Keywords:  vasselized, empire, another
an empire that has been vasselized by another empire