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Re: On Fealty

Poster: "Stephanie M. Thorson" <smt2@st-andrews.ac.uk>

Richard wrote in response to Corun:

> Fealty in the SCA is a slippery concept.
> In Atlantia, Fealty is very flexible.  Each individual can craft their
> oath (or promise if you don't like the word oath) to include whatever
> elements are desired.  If you talk to a dozen different peers and barons
> and baronesses you'll hear some common themes but won't hear any single
> thing mentioned by them all and will hear some unique thing from each
> person.  We should avoid making any rash generalizations about what
> fealty means when each individual is customizing their bond to the
> kingdom.

This is all very true for SCA purposes.  From an historical point of view,
however, Corun's distinctions between fealty and homage (quoted below) are
accurate.  See Littleton's Tenures for more information.

professional mediaeval historian.  The SCA is just what I do on weekends. 
Stephanie M. Thorson			|  SCA: Lady Alianora Munro
Dept. of Scottish History		|  Clan White Wing
University of St Andrews		|  Tarkhan, Khanate Red Lion

> Corun MacAnndra wrote:

> > There is a common misconception within the SCA between the concepts of
> > fealty and homage. Many people equate the one with the other when in
> > point of fact they are two different things.
> > 
> > In essence an oath of fealty is simply a contract to perform duties
> > during a period of time, i.e. a term of office. Many times one finds
> > that one is already performing those duties, and fealty simply formalizes
> > the act before an audience.
> > 
> > Homage on the other hand is something that is very personal and usually
> > done between two people specifically. Personally I have yet to find the
> > person, either in the SCA or in mundane life where it will be much more
> > significant, to whom I would swear homage.

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