serf, helot, villein
Meaning: (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
He was our serf and I was his little master, after all.
Land was granted to the tenant or serf in return for services.
The seignior imposed duties upon the serf; religion fixed their limits.
A man belonged to his Lobby, just as a serf had belonged to his feudal landlord.
The seignior had attached the serf to the soil; religion granted the serf rights over the soil.
The law favored this realization of the serf, in not allowing him to be sold out of the country."
'I would rather be a serf on the land of a poor and portionless man than rule over all the dead who have come to nought.'
And a voice came human but high up, Like a cottage climbed among The clouds; or a serf of hut and croft That sits by his hovel fire as oft, But hears on his old bare roof aloft A belfry burst in song.
The seignior could kill the serf with impunity, could deprive him of his wife, violate his daughter, pillage his house, and rob him of his savings; religion checked his invasions: it excommunicated the seignior.
The destruction of feudalism, the conversion of the serf into the commoner, the emancipation of the communes, and the admission of the Third Estate to political power, were deeds accomplished by Christianity exclusively.