Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The paper addresses the problem of the legal and social status of individuals through the investigation procedures, denominations and trials dealing with the status, bonds of dependency and mobility of peasants in the early medieval rural society. The main sources are land inventories, formularies, instructions from capitulars and a small number of court cases dealing with the legal status of dependent peasants. Beyond the legal distinction between free and non-free and the freedom granted by enfranchisement, which it inherited from Antiquity, Western society multiplied the denominations of personal status in the eighth and ninth centuries, before moving towards a certain lack of distinction regarding the general vocabulary of dependence, and the apparition of new markers of individual status