Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs that flourished in medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships that were derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although it is derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum, used during the Medieval period, the term feudalism and the system which it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people who lived during the Middle Ages; the classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof, describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations which existed among the warrior nobility and revolved around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but the obligations of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, the peasantry, all of whom were bound by a system of manorialism.

Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society. There is no accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars; the adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, the noun feudalism used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the French féodalité, itself an 18th-century creation. According to a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations which existed among the warrior nobility and revolved around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment was only related to the "narrow, legal sense of the word". A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but the obligations of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, those who lived off their labor, most directly the peasantry, bound by a system of manorialism.

Outside its European context, the concept of feudalism is used by analogy, most in discussions of feudal Japan under the shōguns, sometimes in discussions of the Zagwe dynasty in medieval Ethiopia, which had some feudal characteristics. Some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism in places as diverse as China during the Spring and Autumn period, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South. Wu Ta-k'un argued that China's fengjian, being kinship-based and tied to land, controlled by a king, was distinct from feudalism; this despite the fact that in translation fengjian is paired in both directions with feudal. The term feudalism has been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes which are similar to those which existed in medieval Europe are perceived to prevail; some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society.

The term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as "feodal government". In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book Wealth of Nations. In the 19th century the adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism"; the term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, in German in the second half of the 19th century. The term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum; the etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin and others suggesting an Arabic origin. In medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium; the term feudum, or feodum, began to replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to one-hundred years earlier.

The origin of the feudum and why it replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are multiple theories, described below. The most held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William Stubbs and Marc Bloch. Kern derived the word from a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and -ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value". Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable objects of equivalent value, such as arms, horses or food; this was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of paying for something in lieu of money. This meaning was applied to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a vassal, thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property. Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis.

Lewis said the origin of'fief' is not feudum, but rather foderum, the earliest attested u


The twenty-first season of the International Race of Champions started on February 17, 1997. The series used identically prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Am race cars, contested races at Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Michigan International Speedway. Mark Martin won his second straight and third in four seasons; the roster of drivers and final points standings were as follows: Al Unser, Jr. Mark Martin Dale Earnhardt Randy LaJoie Tommy Kendall Terry Labonte Dale Jarrett Robby Gordon Jeff Gordon Alex Zanardi Darrell Waltrip Jimmy Vasser Mark Martin Robby Gordon Jeff Gordon Jimmy Vasser Al Unser, Jr. Terry Labonte Randy LaJoie Dale Earnhardt Tommy Kendall Dale Jarrett Darrell Waltrip Alex Zanardi Mark Martin Bobby Labonte 1 Terry Labonte Randy LaJoie Jeff Gordon Al Unser, Jr. Tommy Kendall Dale Jarrett Dale Earnhardt Jimmy Vasser Darrell Waltrip Alex Zanardi Randy LaJoie Robby Gordon Dale Jarrett Al Unser, Jr. Tommy Kendall Terry Labonte Dale Earnhardt Mark Martin Jeff Gordon Jimmy Vasser Darrell Waltrip Alex Zanardi Bobby Labonte drove for Robby Gordon in Race 3

Laboratory Cabin Module

The Laboratory Cabin Modules s are a major element of the Chinese space station, based on Tiangong-2, as the final stage of Project 921 Tiangong, part of the Chinese space program. While China's small unmanned spacecraft can provide platforms for zero gravity and exposure to space for scientific research, the LCMs offer a long term environment combined with ready access by human researchers over periods that far exceed the capabilities of Shenzhou spacecraft. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in the People's Republic of China; the first laboratory module will provide additional navigation avionics and orientation control as backup functions for the Core Cabin Module. Both LCMs provide a pressurized environment for researchers to conduct science experiments in freefall or zero gravity which could not be conducted on Earth for more than a few minutes. Experiments can be placed on the outside of the modules, for exposure to the space environment, cosmic rays and solar winds.

The axial port of the LCMs will be fitted with rendezvous equipment and will first dock to the axial port of the CCM. A mechanical arm similar to the Russian Lyappa arm used on the Mir space station will move the module to a radial port of the CCM. Electrical power is provided by two steerable solar power arrays, which use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Energy is stored to power the station. Resupply ships will replenish fuel for LCM 1 for station-keeping, to counter the effects of atmospheric drag; the length of each module is 14.4m. They are cylindrical with a maximum diameter of 4.2m and an on orbit mass between 20 and 22 thousand kilograms apiece. Both modules are due for launch after 2020, on Long March 5 from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, into low Earth orbit 340 to 450 kilometers above the Earth at an orbital inclination of 42 to 43 degrees, in the centre of the Earth's thermosphere. Chinese Space Agency website