Nor was the feudal system established in any sense by the settlement of the comitatus group on the conquered land.
The comitatus developed and modified, it did not originate.
This change did not occur, however, without some modification of the Roman customs. The comitatus made contributions of its own to future feudalism, to some extent to its institutional side, largely to the ideas and spirit which ruled in it.
Among the possessions thus assigned to him is found comitatus omnis in Hollandt cum omnibus ad bannum regalem pertinentibus.
Probably this fact, together with the more general fact of the absorption in most things of the German in the Roman, accounts for the substitution of the patrocinium for the comitatus which took place under the Merovingians.
He enjoyed a triple wergeld, but had no definite salary, being remunerated by the receipt of certain revenues, a system which contained the germs of discord, on account of the confusion of his public and private 1 The changing language of this epoch speaks of civitates, subsequently of pagi, and later of comitatus (counties).
The 8th century the term comitatus begins to denote a geographical area, though there was little difference in its extent under the Merovingian kings and the early Carolings.
Membership of the comitatus or retinue of a prince, offered the only opening by which public life could be entered.