In a feudal sense one of the two main obligations of a lord to his vassal. To maintain or support his vassal, the lord had different choices. A lord could feed his vassal at his own table or give him such provisions as clothes or military equipment. Often however, the lord would conditionally or unconditionally grant the vassal a fief that would produce income for the vassal to survive, fulfilling the feudal obligation of maintenance.
The other main obligation of a lord to his vassal was protection.
Related term(s): Protection; Feudal Obligation; Lord; Vassal; Fief; Feudalism
Source information: Herlihy, David, ed. The History of Feudalism. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1970. 74.