These oath-takings are critical to Tolkien's mythologising of the past because they reproduce the feudal bonds that a vassal pays to his liege lord.
About 800 years ago it was also the site of the legendary vassal state, the Western Xia Kingdom, which was finally conquered by Genghis Khan.
The term feudal is often associated with William and the Normans, suggesting a system whereby a tenant or vassal held land from the King or his superiors.
The impractical nature of one sovereign having to perform homage as a vassal to another, with ties of fealty that theoretically prevented an independent foreign policy, were unworkable and was a major cause of the Hundred Years War.
Liege homage involved the vassal admitting his obligation to pay all services, including the provision of military assistance.
a much stronger nation can also turn a weaker one into a vassal state
A restored Stuart monarchy would have made Britain a vassal state of France.
The last king, who possessed only the land on the right bank of the Bosna, sought to strengthen his position by becoming a vassal of the pope.
a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire
In the feudal relationship, a vassal owed loyalty and service to a lord according to the terms of their personal agreement.