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Oath of Fealty:


Oath-Helper: [Compurgator]
One who supports the oath of another. A man who, in court, was required to prove his assertions by "waging his law" swore a solemn oath to the truth of his declarations, and had to be supported by oath-helpers who testified on oath to his truthfulness. Custom, or the court, specified the number of oath-helpers required.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 635)


Oblate:
A child who was offered to a monastery by his/her parents; the practice was already recognized in the sixth-century Rule of St Benedict, and was legislated out of existence in the late twelfth century by the popes; often contrasted to a conversus, one who entered monastic life as an adult.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)


Obligation:
A legal bond by which a person is bound to give or do something; failure to fulfill the obligation is sufficient ground for an action.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 257)


Occatorius: [occator, equus occarius]
A harrowing horse.
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 137)

Related terms: Hercator


Oculus:
A round window.
   (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 269)


Official:
Deputy of archdeacon or bishop, presiding over their courts.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)

Related terms: Official Principal


Official Principal:
The bishop's deputy who presides over the bishop's consistory court.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)

Related terms: Official


Ogee:
Double continuous curve, convex passing into concave.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Related terms: Arch, Ogee / Double-Ogee Moulding


Ogee Arch:
See: Arch, Ogee


Open Fields:
Arable land with common rights after harvest or while fallow. Usually without internal divisions by hedges, walls or fences but made up of selions arranged by furlongs.
   (Beresford, Maurice and Hurst, John. Wharram Percy: Deserted Medieval Village, 137)


Oppidum:
Used by Roman writers to describe fortified non-Roman settlements which to them seemed to lack the attributes of a civilized town (urbs).
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)

Language: Latin
Related terms: Urbs


Or:
Gold (heraldic).
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Ordeal:
1) A method of trial in which the accused is given a physical test (usually painful and/or dangerous) which can only be met successfully if he is innocent.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A form of proof in a court of law, by which a divine sign of guilt or innocence was invoked. The person who was required to undertake the ordeal (usually the accused but sometimes the accuser) performed some feat such as carrying hot iron or plunging a hand into boiling water, and innocence was demonstrated if the wounds healed cleanly. The ordeal of cold water was customarily reserved for the unfree, but was the required ordeal for all those prosecuted under the Assize of Clarendon (1166).
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 635)

Note: ordel (Old English) = judgement


Orders:
1) The grades or steps of the Christian ministry; the so-called minor orders were acolyte, lector, exorcist, and doorkeeper; the so-called major orders, which bound their holders to celibacy, were bishop, priest, deacon and subdeacon.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

2) Referring either to the grades of clerkship (holy or minor orders) or to the different associations of religious.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 365)

Note: Minor/Major
Related terms: Holy Orders / Minor Orders


Ordinary:
A bishop or other prelate who exercises the jurisdiction of a bishop over a diocese or an enclave in a diocese.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 365)


Ordination:
The ceremony by which clergy are promoted through the various grades, or orders, of clerkship. Also refers to the legal instrument by which a vicarage is endowed and permanently established.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 365)


Oriel:
1) Projecting room on an upper floor (in the medieval sense; later an upper-floor bay window).
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Originally a projection or built-out gallery, often a porch outside an upper entrance reached by an external staircase, later a projection usually containing a window. Now chiefly used for a window corbelled out from an upper storey.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Related terms: Bay Window


Orthodox:
Correct belief. A term used for mainstream Church in East and West until the Church split. Subsequently the term came to refer to the Eastern Churches in communion with Constantinople, while the term Catholic, also originally used to refer to the Church both in the East and West, came to refer solely to the Church of Rome.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)

Related terms: Orthodox Church


Orthodox Church:
The dominant form of Christianity in the Byzantine Empire and in the Slavic lands converted from that empire. Its leaders were the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch; after 1054 the Orthodox churches broke with the fifth patriarch, the bishop of Rome and refused to recognize his authority. Orthodoxos is a Greek word meaning "right belief".
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

Related terms: Orthodox


Ostman:
Man of Norse descent, in use in Ireland.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)


Ousia:
A Greek word meaning essence/substance. The divine ousia was frequently a matter of theological discussion and debate. In the fourteenth century Hesychasts defended their visions by insisting what they saw was a divine energy and not the divine ousia, which is invisible and unknowable.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Outer Curtain:


Outer Ward:


Outfangenethef:
The lord's right to pursue a thief outside his own jurisidiction, bring him back to his own court for trial, and keep his forfeited chattels on conviction.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)

Related terms: Infangenethef


Outshut: [Outshot]
Lean-to extension.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Oyer and Terminer:
Commissions issued to a panel of justices to "hear and determine" specific complaints raised by individuals.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)



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