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From the 1911 Encyclopedia:
FEE, an estate in land held of a superior lord on condition of the performance of homage or service (see FEUDALISM). In English law “fee “ signifies an estate of inheritance (i.e. an estate descendable to the heirs of the grantee so long as there are any in existence) as opposed to an estate for life. It is divisible into three species: (I) fee simple; (2) conditional fees (3) fee tail. (See ESTATE.) A fee farm rent is the rent reserved on granting a fee,farm, i.e. land in fee simple, to be held by the tenant and his heirs at a yearly rent. It is generally at least one-fourth of the value of the land at the time of its reservation.
The word” fee “has also the sense of remuneration for services, especially the honorarium paid to a doctor, lawyer or member of any other profession. It is also used of a fixed sum paid for the right to enter for an examination, or on admission to membership of a university or other society. This sense of the word is taken by the New English Dictionary to be due to a use of “ fee” in its feudal sense, and to represent a sum paid to the holder of an office “ in fee.”
The etymology of the Med. Lat. feudum, feodum or feum, of its French equivalentfief, and English “ fee,” in Scots law” feu” (q.v.), is extremely obscure. (See the New English Dictionary, s.v. “Fee.”) There is a common Teutonic word represented in Old English as fech or féo, in Old High German as fe/ju, meaning property in the shape of cattle (cf. modern Ger. Vieh, Dutch vee). The old Aryan peku gives Sanskrit pacu, Lat. pecus, cattle, whence pecunia, money. The 0. Eng. feoh, in the sense of money, possibly survives in “fee,” honorarium, though this is not the view of the ZVew English Dictionary. The common explanation of the Med. Lat. feudum or feodum, of which Ducange (Glossarium, s.v.) gives an example from a constitution of the emperor Charles the Fat of the year 884, is that it is formed from the Teutonic fe/lu, property, and ôd, wealth (cf. ALLOD1UM and UDAL). This would apparently restrict the original ‘meaning to movable property, while the early applications of feudum are to the enjoyment of something granted in return for service (benejicium). Another theory takes the origin to be fehu alone, in a particular sense of wages, payment for services. This leaves the d- of feudum unexplained. Some have taken the origin to be a verbal form feudare =feum dare. Another theory finds the source in the 0. High Ger. fehôn, to eat, feed upon, “ take for one’s enjoyment.”
FIEF, a feudal estate in land, land held from a superior (see FEUDALISM). The word is the French form, which is represented in Medieval Latin asfeudum orfeodum, and in English as “fee” or” feu “(see FEE). The A.Fr. feoffer, to invest with a fief or fee, hasgiven the English law terms” feoffee “and”feoffment”(q.v.).
Does anyone have dates on when this practice was first known, or when it became common in Europe? The Jade Knight 01:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
- Apparently Charles the Bald made a position/honor-related hedetary system in a declaration in 877 at Quierzy-sur-Oise, and Conrad II made a proclamation of agnatic succession to fiefs in 1037 while besieging Milan. (both of these taken from Medieval Households by David Herlihy). Neither of these, however, deal with the beginning of fiefdom, just the beginning of its dynastic characteristics. The Jade Knight 02:12, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
In World History: Patterns of Interation', it describes that the trend started when Charles the Simple granted the Viking king Rollo the land Normandy to end the raids as a fief. The book is actually a school textbook that I read once when visiting the Midwest. --Starstriker7(Say hior see my works) 00:25, 10 July 2008 (UTC)