Behetría

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The term used repeatedly to describe the organization of those groups located on the southern frontier of Tawantinsuyu was behetria [meaning a free settlement whose occupants had the right to elect their own leader].
Banares, which is located in La Rioja, was remarkable for the fact that one of its freely elected lords ("senores de la behetria") was also a hero at Navas de Tolosa, the 1212 battle typically seen as the turning point of the Reconquista.
Perez-Alfaro, Christina Jular and Estepa Diez, Carlos, eds, Land, Power, and Society in Medieval Castile: A Study of Behetria Lordship (The Medieval Countryside, 3), Turnhout, Brepols, 2010; hardback; pp.
Land, power, and society in medieval Castile; a study of Behetria lordship.