Depicting feudalism in the vivid colours of an age at war with feudal institutions, breathing into antique histories the breath of actual life, embracing the romance of Italy and Spain, the mysteries of German legend, the fictions of poetic fancy and the facts of daily life, humours of the moment and abstractions of philosophical speculation, in one homogeneous amalgam instinct with intense vitality, this extraordinary birth of time, with Shakespeare for the master of all ages, left a monument of the Re- naissance unrivalled for pure creative power by any other product of that epoch.
The title of giudice was abolished and a feudal marquisate substituted.
The feudal estates were replaced by two chambers, largely elective, and the privy council by a responsible ministry of six departments.
In 1478 the marquisate of Oristano was suppressed, and henceforth the island was governed by Spanish viceroys with the feudal regime of the great nobles under them, the Cortes being convoked once every ten years.
In many districts, especially in Mecklenburg and some of the Prussian provinces, the old feudal jurisdiction of the manorial courts survived.
As feudal customs grew more stereotyped, the sword and sceptre, emblematic respectively of service and military command and of judicial prerogatives, became the usual emblems of investiture of laymen.
But the whole course of this expansion had been watched with suspicion by Japan, from the time of the Saghalien incident of 1875, when the island power, then barely emerging from the feudal age, had to cede her half of the island to Russia, to the Shimonoseki treaty of 1895, when the powers compelled her to forego the profits of her victory over China.
Thus at the close of the 14th century, despite the constant wars between the feudal sovereigns who held sway in the Netherlands, the vigorous municipal life had fostered industry and commerce, and had caused Flanders in particular to become the richest possession in the world.
In order to hold these possessions, she borrowed from the Franks the feudal system, and granted fiefs in the Greek islands to her more powerful families, on condition that they held the trade route open for her.
Much more memorable, however, was a library formed by Iyeyasus grandson the feudal chief of Mito (1662I 700), who not only collected a vast quantity of books hitherto scattered among Shinto and Buddhist monasteries and private houses, but also employed a number of scholars to compile a history unprecedented in magnitude, the Dai-Nihon-shi.