A form of serfdom under the feudal system, whereby peasants were free, but restricted in their movements and options by their lord, to whom they owed labour and services. In theory, the lord in return was meant to look after the wellbeing of the villein.
Fact of the Day
A cuckolded man in classical Athens could get his revenge by shoving a large radish or a spiked scorpion fish up his wife's lover's anus.
Quote of the Day
"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.Those who count the votes decide everything. "
~ Josef Stalin
On This Day
1016 Cnut defeated Edmund Ironside at the Battle of Assandun, forcing Edmund to make a peace with the invading Danes: he got to keep Wessex, but the rest of England came under Danish rule. A month later, he had died of 'natural causes' so Wessex, too, went to Cnut.
1216 King John died of dysentery. He was succeeded by his nine year old son, Henry III.
1867 The US officially took possession of Alaska. It wasn't a popular decision at the time.
1922 The BBC was founded.