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This method of forming a standing national force by grants of lands to individuals is perfectly normal in history, witness the Turkish timar fiefs (Cambridge Modern History, I, iii, 99, 1902), the fief de soudée of the Eastern Latin kingdoms (Bréhier, "L'Eglise et l'Orient au moyen âge", Paris, 1907, iv, 94), and, to a certain extent, the Welsh uchelwyr (Rhys and Jones, "The Welsh People", London, 1900, vi, 205).
On the whole feudalism means government by amateurs paid in land rather than professionals paid in money.
It is an indefinable word for it represents the progressive development of European organization during seven centuries.
Its roots go back into the social conditions of primitive peoples, and its branches stretch out through military, political, and judicial evolution to our own day.
It is said by the penitent who is to be absolved from excommunication ( in foro externo ), and by the absolving priest in the case of a deceased excommunicate who had given some sign of contrition before death, the ceremony entitling to ecclesiastical burial.