This new developing system links with the invasions of Barbarian Tribes who be-
gan infiltrating the former Roman Empire from over the Alps. The tribes brought their
own means of social and military organization with them. In Barbarian tribes, comitatus
were the similar comparison to the private armies of the elite from the Roman Empire.
These comitatus were the most experienced warriors and would be on perma-
nent retainer to the tribal chieftain and his personal guard. In return, they would get spe-
cial privileges over others in the tribe. These tribes eventually started to settle down and
ceased to be nomads.
Because there was no central authority, powerful individuals would exercise pow-
er over large groups of people. Lots of military connections. RESPONSE TO NECESSI-
TY! Systems like this are only efficient when everyone buys into them.
This system developed over many years and was finally built up by the end of the
8th century, early 9th century.
Around the time of this new system, there was a great technological development that
changed the social system of war. It was the stirrup on the saddle of the horse. This en-
abled people to fight while riding. Before, if you were holding yourself onto your horse
with your knees, you couldn’t do anything else.
- Invented in either Mongolia or china and brought west via barbarian tribes.
The right to fight on horseback was reserved for the most effective comitatus (for
tribes) or the most violent thugs (for Roman estates), since upkeep of horses and train-
ing of soldiers was very expensive. These men were the most trusted of the landlord or
chieftain, and quickly became the only privileged military class. Originally referred as
"chivalry" (from french for horse). This trust meant that the powerful leader could arm
and train his private armies without fear that they would turn against him.
British referred to them as knights. They had personal relationships with their
landlords. Knights were not the romanticized version from movies, but were medieval
"biker gangs." They had no sense of nobility but got what they wanted thorough violence
and brute force. Knights did not ride race horses but rather clydesdales because the ar-
mor was so heavy they needed massive and strong horses to support them. This combi-