The feudal system was a system of allegiances and responsibilities. It is an idealised system that functioned incompletely during the middle ages.
It consisted of three elements.
- Lords: Owners of land
- Vassal: A worker of the land when loaned by a lord.
- Fief: The land owned by the lord.
The lord was responsible for maintaining the fief and defending both the fief and the vassal from harm.
The vassal was responsible for working the land and reaping the benefits of the land. He was also obligated to provide miltary service to the lord when needed which varied on the amount of land granted to him and also to pay taxes to the lord. At other times he may also be expected to provide counsel in important decisions if requested.
The term and the extent that this system existed and how it functioned is currently under debate.