Homage (feudal)

In the obeisance (Latin Homagium ) is a ritualized promise of fidelity, which was particularly crucial with the medieval feudal system.


The Lehnsnehmer was obliged to assure his lord in an official act of allegiance and fidelity. The feudal lord assured the vassals in return also faithfulness and beyond protection and the preservation of its rights. The homage is counted among the promissory oaths.

For tribute came primarily in the re-allocation of fiefs or when, was used mostly by inheritance, either a new lord or Lehnsnehmer as a successor to his rights. In this case the Lehnsversprechen was renewed. According to regional legal traditions also frequent homage could be required, about once a year. In addition, political events served as an occasion for re- homages, such as large imperial assemblies, the end of an uprising against the ruler, the official appointment of a successor in his hereditary claims, the departure or return from the Crusades. The landlords could demand from their subjects the homage.

In this day and age homage still occur at Jump throne in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

The country's homage to the late medieval and early modern objects

When the Estates had emerged as a stable corporations politically legitimate inhabitants of the country in the late Middle Ages, received the homage of the country as a special form of homage special meaning. In many countries, the rule of a new prince was only legitimate if he had received the homage of the estates. This solid forms made ​​out for the end of the Huldigungsakts to which the sovereign and the Estates had met when the received the homage of mutual obligations should be legally binding.

In general, the tribute had to take place on the territory of the country concerned. ( Thus, the Habsburg rulers had in their rise to power in their many countries travel to there to receive the homage of the estates. ) The members of the estates were necessarily obliged to appear before the country's homage. Absence meant an act of disloyalty to the country gentlemen. The Prince was received at the border by a delegation of the nobility and led to Huldigungsort. Before the walls he was received by the representatives of the cities and of the clergy and out into the city and the castle.

Depending on national tradition, a common service took place before or after the actual act of homage, during which was held a special tribute sermon to an appropriate Bible passage.

The various items paid homage to the prince one by one. First, the prelates made ​​their oath of allegiance (usually in Latin ) from where they knelt before the rulers. The nobility did homage standing, was thus made ​​clear that he opposed to the spiritual stands not one of the wards of the prince, but it was for the nobles to free -fortified men. Last put the mayors and councils of the cities of the oath of allegiance on behalf of the citizens from. The yeomanry, if present, had to pay homage to the country gentlemen separately. In some countries, the population of the town had a tribute on behalf of all inhabitants of the country to carry out its own act of homage ( such as the Bautzen in Upper Lusatia country homage ).

For her vows, the stands were awaiting confirmation of their privileges, rights and freedoms in return. Frequently controversial was there between the prince and the estates if this was to happen before or after the tribute. Because if the estates had already sworn loyalty to the rulers and this not confirmed the privileges to the full extent, the items still sat by the medieval interpretation of the law in the wrong, then when they offered resistance to the prince. Therefore, often complicated negotiations between the court of the princes and the estates were held in front of homage, in which they tried to agree on the specific process.

After the homage of a parliament was often held, the amount authorized a special tax to the prince, and could recite on the estates of the landlords their complaints ( grievances ).

Synonymous to the phrase homage country was - and still finds in the Principality of Liechtenstein - the term Hereditary Homage use. Order to ensure continuity of the ruling dynasty was placed at the center. The Hereditary Homage was usually held shortly after the accession of the new prince, but not infrequently also as far back as the predecessor. In this way, designated prince and stalls the successor and secured the transfer of power to the heir to the throne.

Tributes in modern states

In the Kingdom of the Netherlands shall, in accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution of the new king as soon as possible after taking office in a solemn joint session of the two chambers of parliament ( Staten - General ) in Amsterdam to take an oath in which he fidelity to the Constitution and the conscientious performance of his Office swears. Subsequently, the Chairman of the meeting spoke on behalf of the peoples of the Kingdom of a statement, according to which they " received and [ it ] homage " the new king ( " Wij ontvangen en homage ... U as Koning " ) and guarantee him their loyalty ( " Uw onschendbaarheid en right van Uw Koningschap zullen handhaven "). This explanation is supported by every member of the Government and the Parliament by means of an oath ( " so truly help me God Almighty " ) or by means of a vow ( "We vow " ) confirmed. The ceremony described is called Dutch Inhuldiging.

According to Article 51 of the Principality of Liechtenstein is the Constitution in the event of a change of throne parliament convene within thirty days for an extraordinary meeting. At this he receives the written statement of the successor government that he as sovereign ", the Principality of Liechtenstein to govern in accordance with the Constitution and the other laws, maintain its integrity and princely rights inseparable and watch in the same way " will; then the state legislature does its part, the hereditary homage, in which he vowed to recognize the new Prince. That the new prince of the legality of insurance in the form of a written instrument and not personally deliver in Parliament, due to the fact that he at the time of the adoption of the Constitution - still resided in Vienna and in 1938 moved his permanent residence to Vaduz - 1921.