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Vambrace:
Plate defence for the forearm.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 251)

Related terms: Armor


Vasi:
The first small, cast brass cannon, c. 1325.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 251)


Vassal:
1) A freeman who holds land (fief) from a lord to whom he pays homage and swears fealty. He owes various services and obligations, primarily military. But he is also required to advise his lord and pay him the traditional feudal aids required on the knighting of the lords eldest son, the marriage of the lords eldest daughter and the ransoming of the lord should he be held captive.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A person granted the use of land in return for homage, fealty, and military service.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 231)

3) One who has placed himself under the protection of another as his lord and has vowed homage and fealty; a feudal tenant holding from a lord; one who is personally free, owing honorable services in return for a fief.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 258)


Vault, Barrel:
Continuous arched vault, semi-circular, segmental or segmental-pointed, plain or with transverse ribs.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vault, Fan:
1) Vault with numerous ribs sprining in equal curves, to give fan-like effect; 15th and 16th centuries.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)

2) A vault in which ribs of the same length and curvature spring from the same point, forming an inverted half-cone. It is a feature of English Perpendicular.
   (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 268)


Vault, Groined:
Cross vaulting, formed by intersection of simple vaulting surfaces.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vault, Literne:
Vault with short intermediate ribs not rising from the springing.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vault, Quadripartite:
Vault of four compartments divided by ribs.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vault, Ribbed:
Framework of arched ribs supporting vaulting cells covering the spaces between them.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vault, Sexpartite:
Ribbed vault of six compartments.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vaulting:
Arched ceiling or roof in stone or brick, or imitated in wood and plaster.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vaulting Rib:
Arch supporting vault, arch or raised moulding on groin.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)

Related terms: Vaulting


Vendange:
Grape harvest.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Vert:
Green (heraldic).
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vescia:
Pointed oval.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vicar:
1) In its basic meaning, a person who substitutes for another; in many medieval parishes the resident priest was not the legal holder of the parish; the legal holder was a non-resident person or was a monastery and the resident priest was the vicar for the legal holder, who carried out the latter's duties in return for a portion of the parochial income.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 366)

2) Substitute for a rector and holder of the vicarage.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 369)

Related terms: Vicarage


Vicar-General:
The chief administrative deputy for the bishop, usually when the latter was absent from his diocese.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 369)


Vicarage:
The portion of an appropriated rectory which was set aside to support the vicar.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 369)

Related terms: Vicar


Vicariat of Bosnia:
The territory of southeastern Europe in which the Franciscans carried out a mission to win the populace to Catholicism; the mission was headed by a vicar.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 627)


Vice:
Spiral staircase.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)

Note: from vis (French) = screw, vitis (Latin) = vine
Related terms: Newel


Vicomte:
Norman administrative official equal or junior in rank to a bailli.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 224)


Vicus:
A settlement; often an unfortified and rural settlement (village or hamlet); sometimes a street or quarter of a town; also apparently used around the North Sea and Channel in the early Middle Ages for a merchant settlement or trading place.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 200)

Language: Latin
Related terms: Wik


Vidame:
An official who held lands form a bishop, and acted as his representative and defender in temporal matters.
   (Shaw, M.R.B. Joinville & Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, 358)


View of Frankpledge:
1) Annual (or biannual) meeting at which tithingmen named all those guilty of infractions against the local peace.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 235)

2) Courts held, generally twice a year, either by the sheriff in each hundred or by lords with frankpledge jurisdiction in their manors, which dealt with minor criminal matters, e.g. breaches of the assizes of bread and ale, minor assaults, etc.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 198)

3) A court held periodically for the production of the members of a tithing, later of a hundred or manor.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 337)

Related terms: Frankpledge / Tithing


Vill:
1) Township, local district; small unit of lordship or fiscal assessment.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 145)

2) The smallest unit of government covering the village, or township, and the surrounding countryside. It was roughly equivalent to the parish, the smallest unit in ecclesiastical administration.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

3) A township; part of a territorial unit called a hundred, which is, in turn, a part of a county.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 258)


Villefranche:
Town with a charter of franchise.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Villeneuve


Villein:
1) The wealthiest class of peasant. they usually cultivate 20-40 acres of land, often in isolated strips.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A non-free man, owing heavy labor service to a lord, subject to his manorial court, bound to the land, and subject to certain feudal dues.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 231)

3) The highest class of dependent peasantry, often holding between 30 and 100 acres; above them were "freemen" and "sokemen".
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 214)

4) Peasant bound to lord or estate; in England regarded as unfree from about 1200.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 145)

5) English term for serf.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 246)

6) In England, the holder of a villein tenement for which he usually owes agricultural services to his lord. The villein's rights in his tenement are customary and not enforeceable against his lord by medieval common law. Personally free against all men but his lord, the villein nevertheless does not fully enjoy the rights of a free man. He is a tenant at the will of the lord; he cannont serve on a jury dealing with the rights of a free man; he cannot take ecclesiastical orders with emancipation; he cannot make a will; if he leaves his duties on the lord's manor, the lord can use all necessary force to bring him back to perform them.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 258)

7) A peasant who, by definitions established c. 1200, was unfree to the extent that, although not a chattel of his lord, he could not leave his holding and owed services for it which were limited only by custom and his lord's court, not by the royal courts.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 200)


Villeneuve:
New towns established by franchise.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Villefranche


Vintenar:
Man in charge of a group of twenty footsoldiers.
   (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 348)


Virgate:
1) One quarter of a "hide".
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) ) Standard tenant's holding on many manors, but of a size that varied from manor to manor (usually from 20 to 30 acres).
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 235)

3) A quarter of a hide; often 20 or 30 acres.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 214)

4) Land unit theoretically sufficient to support a peasant family, varying between 18 and 32 acres.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 246)


Vlachs:
A pastoral people, related to the Rumanians and presumably descended from the Dacians, found in large numbers in certain parts of the Balkans, particularly in Thessaly, Macedonia, Bulgaria (where they played an important role in creating the Second Bulgarian Empire), northeastern Serbia, and Hercegovina.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 627)


Vlast:
Stefan Lazarevic divided Serbia into military districts, each called a vlast (meaning an authority); each was under a governor who was also a military commander and bore the title vojvoda.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 627)

Related terms: Vojvoda


Vojvoda:
A military commander. Also used to denote a chief of a Montenegrin tribe. At times used for a subordinate territorial ruler (e.g., Stefan Vukcic, prior to assuming the title herceg, bore the title Vojvoda of Bosnia).
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 627)

Related terms: Vlast


Voussoirs:
Wedge-shaped stones forming an arch.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 415)


Vows:
Formal, voluntary promises to God. Any adult could make a vow, and it was a common practice in medieval religion. However, vows are usually associated with those who entered religious houses. By the high Middle Ages, the vows of monks, nuns, regular canons and friars usually involved promises of poverty, chastity and obedience.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 366)



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