Feudalism wis a combination o legal an militar customs in medieval Europe that flourished atween the 9t an 15t centuries. Braidly defined, it wis a wey o structurin society aroond relationships derived frae the hauldin o laund in exchynge for service or labour. Awtho derived frae the Latin wird feodum or feudum (fief),[1] then in uise, the term feudalism an the seestem it descrives war nae conceived o as a formal poleetical seestem bi the fowk leevin in the Middle Ages.[2] In its clessic defineetion, bi François-Louis Ganshof (1944),[3] feudalism descrives a set o reciprocal legal an militar obligations amang the warrior nobility revolvin aroond the three key concepts o lairds, vassals an fiefs.[3]

A braider definddtion o feudalism, as descrived bi Marc Bloch (1939), includes nae anerly the obligations o the warrior nobility but an aw thae o aw three estates o the realm: the nobility, the clergy, an the peisantry boond bi manorialism; this is sometimes referred tae as a "feudal society". Syne the publication o Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" (1974) an Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals (1994), thare has been ongaein inconclusive discussion amang medieval historians as tae whither feudalism is a uisefu construct for unnerstaundin medieval society.[4][5][6][7][8][9]


  1. feodum – see The Cyclopedic Dictionary of Law, bi Walter A. Shumaker, George Foster Longsdorf, pg. 365, 1901.
  2. Noble, Thomas (2002). (36) |chapter-format= requires |chapter-url= (help). The foundations of Western civilization. Chantilly, VA: Teaching Co. ISBN 978-1565856370.
  3. a b François Louis Ganshof (1944). Qu'est-ce que la féodalité. Translatit intae Inglis bi Philip Grierson as Feudalism, wi a forewird bi F. M. Stenton, 1st ed.: New York an Lunnon, 1952; 2nt ed: 1961; 3rd ed: 1976.
  4. "Feudalism", bi Elizabeth A. R. Brown. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  5. Brown, Elizabeth A. R. (October 1974). "The Tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and Historians of Medieval Europe". The American Historical Review. 79 (4): 1063–88. doi:10.2307/1869563. JSTOR 1869563.
  6. Reynolds, Susan, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994 ISBN 0-19-820648-8
  7. "Feudalism?", by Paul Halsall. Internet Medieval Sourcebook.
  8. "The Problem of Feudalism: An Historiographical Essay", bi Robert Harbison, 1996, Western Kentucky University.
  9. Charles West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, c. 800–c. 1100 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).