Commendation


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Commendation

 

(1) In ancient Rome the right assumed by Julius Caesar and subsequently by Augustus and his successors to recommend to the Senate their own candidates for the remaining republican offices.

(2) In Western Europe in the early medieval period, an agreement sealing the act of giving oneself over to the protection of another, “stronger” person, who became patron of the former (the commended). The institution of commendation, which established relations of personal dependency of the commended with respect to the patron, formalized various underlying relationships. One type of commendation was the act of a vassal acknowledging his subordination to the power of the seignior, which was followed by an oath of fidelity and the granting of a benefice or fief to the vassal. A commendation of this type formalized the relationship of vassalage within the ruling class then taking shape.

A second form of commendation was that of impoverished free individuals to a large landowner. In this arrangement, a “weak” person gave himself over to the protection of a “stronger,” richer person and accepted not only personal dependence but frequently also material dependence: in many cases, the commended person was entrusted with land belonging to the patron. Such commendation was the legal formalization of a peasant’s dependence on a feudal landowner.

References in classic literature ?
There are a few passages in the ensuing chapters which may be thought to bear rather bard upon a reverend order of men, the account of whose proceedings in different quarters of the globe-- transmitted to us through their own hands--very generally, and often very deservedly, receives high commendation.
Norris too well to think of gratifying her by commendation of Fanny; to her, it was as the occasion offered--"Ah
Well, Owen," said he, "I am glad to hear such good accounts of you from all quarters, and especially from the town clock yonder, which speaks in your commendation every hour of the twenty-four.
SOME, in their discourse, desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise, to know what might be said, and not, what should be thought.
But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word.
And these are the particulars of the Lacedaemonian, the Cretan, and the Carthaginian governments which seem worthy of commendation.
Even in the best, most friendly and simplest relations of life, praise and commendation are essential, just as grease is necessary to wheels that they may run smoothly.
He got no commendation, however, for this equitable distribution of his patronage; people were disposed to regard it as an ineffectual attempt to conceal his possession of so much money.
He is especially entitled to commendation because he laboured under the disadvantage of having to furnish most of the questions as well as the answers.
But as the priceless treasure too frequently hides at the bottom of a well, it needs some courage to dive for it, especially as he that does so will be likely to incur more scorn and obloquy for the mud and water into which he has ventured to plunge, than thanks for the jewel he procures; as, in like manner, she who undertakes the cleansing of a careless bachelor's apartment will be liable to more abuse for the dust she raises than commendation for the clearance she effects.
An enemy may at any time obtain your commendation by only deserving it; and the utmost which the faults of your friends can hope for, is your silence; or, perhaps, if too severely accused, your gentle palliation.
For several years my husband received letters of expostulation or commendation from members of the Campbell and Stewart clans.