One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An estate held in absolute ownership, without acknowledgement to a superior.
- ‘The allodium was held as an unconditional gift rather than as a fief, although the beneficiary was expected to be at the king's disposal in future military campaigns.’
- ‘Bernhard lives in his castle Scharnstein (which is an allod), and holds the villages of Grünau and Viechtwang as fiefs from the abbey.’
- ‘Such castles owned as allods by important magnates were particularly common as well in the Spanish March.’
- ‘Even property holding allodium can be confiscated by the government, should they choose, with ‘fair’ compensation to the landowner.’
- ‘They did exactly what a rational actor in their position should do - they would give you an allodium in exchange for the expected future value of the property taxes on your land.’
Early 17th century: from medieval Latin al(l)odium, used frequently in the Domesday Book, from a Germanic cognate of all + ōd ‘estate’.
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