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 ?
Such commendations had been bestowed upon his bravery, that he could not, for the life of him, help postponing the explanation for a few delicious minutes; during which he had flourished, in the very zenith of a brief reputation for undaunted courage.
and Bob withdrew to report the commendations of the guests to Miss Abbey in the bar.
Here, all the light clouds of the more solemn part of the proceedings passed away; every face shone forth joyously; and nothing was to be heard but congratulations and commendations.
The proposed expedition being one of paramount importance, Mrs Jarley adjusted Nell's bonnet with her own hands, and declaring that she certainly did look very pretty, and reflected credit on the establishment, dismissed her with many commendations, and certain needful directions as to the turnings on the right which she was to take, and the turnings on the left which she was to avoid.
Her family and friends administered comfort and commendation liberally.
If Missis was willin, I'd go with Sam tomorrow morning, if Missis would write my pass, and write me a commendation.
I am sure," replied Elinor, with a smile, "that his dearest friends could not be dissatisfied with such commendation as that.
The poor gentleman has no way of showing that he is a gentleman but by virtue, by being affable, well-bred, courteous, gentle-mannered, and kindly, not haughty, arrogant, or censorious, but above all by being charitable; for by two maravedis given with a cheerful heart to the poor, he will show himself as generous as he who distributes alms with bell-ringing, and no one that perceives him to be endowed with the virtues I have named, even though he know him not, will fail to recognise and set him down as one of good blood; and it would be strange were it not so; praise has ever been the reward of virtue, and those who are virtuous cannot fail to receive commendation.
If the justness of this observation be admitted, the mode of appointing the officers of the United States contained in the foregoing clauses, must, when examined, be allowed to be entitled to particular commendation.
Miss Bennet was therefore established as a sweet girl, and their brother felt authorized by such commendation to think of her as he chose.
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.
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.