Behetría

Behetría

 

free peasant commune in medieval Spain. The behetría became widespread in Castile and León chiefly during the period of the Reconquista. The behetría had the right to choose (and also to change) seigniors, the right to self-government, and other liberties. The rights and privileges of the behetría were stipulated in the fueros, or charters of settlement. At the summons of the king or the seignior, the members of the behetría were obliged to perform military service in time of war; they owed relatively small payments and duties to their seignior. On the other hand, the seignior gave military protection to the behetría. When the Reconquista was completed, the behetría went into decline and gradually disappeared as the feudal lords generally encroached on the rights of the peasants.

REFERENCE

Luchitskii, I. V. “Begetrii.” Universitetskie izvestiia, Kiev, 1882, no. 10; 1883, no. 1.