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''Comes'' ( ), plural ''comites'' ( ), is the Latin word for "companion", either individually or as a member of a collective denominated a "''
comitatus ''Comitatus'' was in ancient times the Latin term for an armed escort or retinue. The term is used especially in the context of Germanic people, Germanic warrior culture for a warband tied to a leader by an oath of fealty and describes the relations ...
''", especially the suite of a
magnate A magnate, from the late Latin ''magnas'', a great man, itself from Latin ''magnus'', "great", is a noble or a man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. In reference to the Middle Ages, the term is often used to distingui ...
, being in some instances sufficiently large and/or formal to justify specific denomination, e.g. a "''
cohors amicorum{{short description, Roman Latin term meaning "cohort of friends" ''Cohors amicorum'' is a Latin term, literally meaning "cohort of friends". The notion cohort Cohort or cohortes may refer to: * Cohort (educational group), a group of students worki ...
''". "''Comes''" derives from "''com-''" ("with") and "''ire''" ("go").


Ancient Roman religion

''Comes'' was a common
epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, ...
or
title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted between the firs ...

title
that was added to the name of a
hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular folk hero of Switzerland. A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through f ...
or god in order to denote relation with another god. The coinage of Roman Emperor Constantine I declared him "''comes''" to
Sol Invictus Sol Invictus (, "Unconquered Sun") was long considered to be the official sun god A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and ...
("Unconquered Sun") ''qua'' god.


Imperial Roman curial titles and offices styled ''Comites''

Historically more significant, "''comes''" became a secular title granted to trusted officials of the Imperial ''Curia'' ("Court"), present or former, and others as sign of Imperial confidence. It developed into a formal, dignitary title, derived from the " Companions" of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
and rather equivalent to the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, We ...

Hellenistic
title of "''
philos basilikos Aulic titulature is a term, derived from the Greek ''aulè'' and Latin wikt:aula#Latin, aula (in the meaning ''palace'') for hierarchic systems of titles specifically in use for court protocol. Aulic titulature is the name for a system of official r ...
''" or the
paladin The paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's royal court, court in the 8th century. They first appear in the mediaeval (12th century) ''chanson de geste'' cycle of the Matter of Fra ...

paladin
title of a
knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the pope) or representative for service to the monarch, the christian denomination, church or the country, especially in a military capacity. Knighthoo ...

knight
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
and a Papal Palatinus. Thus the title was retained when the titulary was appointed, often promoted, to an office away from court, frequently in the field or a provincial administration. Subsequently, it was thought logical to connect the title to specific offices that demanded an incumbent official of high dignity, and even to include it as part of the official title. As the Imperial Roman ''Curia'' increased in number and assimilated all political power, the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becom ...
s instituted a casual practice of appointing faithful servants to offices. This had been done elsewhere, e. g. regarding the
Prefect of the Praetorian Guard The praetorian prefect ( la, praefectus praetorio, el, ) was a high office in the Roman Empire. Originating as the commander of the Praetorian Guard, the office gradually acquired extensive legal and administrative functions, with its holders bec ...
and the ''
amici principis{{short description, Roman Latin term meaning "cohort of friends" ''Cohors amicorum'' is a Latin term, literally meaning "cohort of friends". The notion wiktionary:cohort, cohort is to be taken not in the strict, military sense (primarily the constit ...
''. As Imperial administration expanded, however, new offices became necessary and decentralization demanded modifications. The result was the institution of the rank of "''comes''". The "''comites''", often translated as "counts", though they were neither feudal nor hereditary, became principal officials of the later
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. They held offices of all kinds from the army to the civil service, while retaining their direct access to the Emperor.
Emperor Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor The Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial pe ...
finalized them as the governmental echelon of "''comites provinciarum''" ("Counts of the Provinces"); the ''comites'' of the new echelon were assigned alongside the ''vicarii'' in the
civil diocese In the Late Roman Empire The history of the Roman Empire covers the history of ancient Rome from the fall of the Roman Republic in 27 BC until the abdication of Romulus Augustulus in AD 476 in the West, and the Fall of Constantinople Th ...
s of the latter so that the ''comites'' became permanent fixtures of Imperial government. The ''comites'' were fully enumerated as early as the beginning of the AD 5th century in the ''
Notitia Dignitatum Palestine and the River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy.">Peronet_Lamy.html" ;"title="River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy">River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' ...
'', but as offices were later added, it is not historically exhaustive. The following sections describe examples of the kinds of ''comites''.


At court or in the Imperial domains

Several of the major departments of the Imperial ''Curia'' ("Court") and household had a principal official who was styled "''comes''" and assisted by an "'' officium''" ("staff") very similar to that of a
Roman governor A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from t ...
. They included: *''
comes dispositonum ''Comes'' ( ), plural ''comites'' ( ), is the Latin word for "companion", either individually or as a member of a collective denominated a "''comitatus ''Comitatus'' was in ancient times the Latin term for an armed escort or retinue. The term is ...
'': A deputy to the very powerful ''
magister officiorum The ''magister officiorum'' (Latin language, Latin literally for "Master of Offices", in gr, μάγιστρος τῶν ὀφφικίων, magistros tōn offikiōn) was one of the most senior administrative officials in the Later Roman Empire and ...
'' (Master of Offices) responsible for organizing the Imperial calendar and preparing the correspondence for distribution to the proper offices for transcription. *''
comes domesticorum The origins of the word ''domesticus'' can be traced to the late 3rd century of the Late Roman army. They often held high ranks in various fields, whether it was the servants of a noble house on the civilian side, or a high ranking military posi ...
'': A ''
vir illustris 200px, ''Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum'', insignia from the '' Notitia Dignitatum''. The title ''vir illustris'' ("illustrious man") is used as a formal indication of standing in late antiquity to describe the highest ra ...
'' who was principal of the ''
domestici The origins of the word ''domesticus'' can be traced to the late 3rd century of the Late Roman army In modern scholarship, the "late" period of the Roman army The Roman army (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to ...
'', a corps of bodyguards of the Emperor who were stationed in the Imperial Palace. There were two of these comital commanders, the ''comes domesticorum equitum'' for the equestrian knights and the ''comes domesticorum peditum'' for the foot soldiers. *''
comes privatae largitionis ''Comes'' ( ), plural ''comites'' ( ), is the Latin word for "companion", either individually or as a member of a collective denominated a "''comitatus ''Comitatus'' was in ancient times the Latin term for an armed escort or retinue. The term is ...
'': The custodian of the privy purse, who answered and was subordinate to the ''comes rerum privatarum'' (see next title). *''
comes rerum privatarumIn the Roman Empire during late antiquity, the ''comes rerum privatarum'' ( gr, κόμης τῆς ἰδικῆς παρουσίας, ''kómēs tēs idikēs parousías''), literally "count of the private fortune", was the official charged with admin ...
'': A powerful Imperial official responsible for the private estates and holdings of the
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
and his family ("''
res privata Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
''"). He maintained the properties and collected the rents, of which most were deposited in the ''
AerariumAerarium (from Latin "aes", in its derived sense of "money") was the name (in full, "aerarium stabulum" - treasure-house) given in Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italia ...
'', i. e., the treasury of the public funds of the State, and some in the ''Fiscus'', i. e., the treasury of privy funds of the Emperor that the ''
comes privatae largitionis ''Comes'' ( ), plural ''comites'' ( ), is the Latin word for "companion", either individually or as a member of a collective denominated a "''comitatus ''Comitatus'' was in ancient times the Latin term for an armed escort or retinue. The term is ...
'' administered. *''
comes sacrarum largitionum The ''comes sacrarum largitionum'' ("Count of the Sacred Largesses"; in el, , ''kómes tōn theíon thesaurōn'') was one of the senior fiscal officials of the late Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also re ...
'': A ''
vir illustris 200px, ''Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum'', insignia from the '' Notitia Dignitatum''. The title ''vir illustris'' ("illustrious man") is used as a formal indication of standing in late antiquity to describe the highest ra ...
'' who was custodian of the ''sacrae largitiones'' ("Sacred Largesses") of the
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
and manager of the Imperial finances. He controlled all of the mints, each managed by a ''
procurator Procurator (with procuracy or procuratorate referring to the office itself) may refer to: * Procurator, one engaged in procuration, the action of taking care of, hence management, stewardship, agency * ''Procurator'' (Ancient Rome), the title of ...
''; was the principal of numerous officials, including more ''procuratores'', ''rationales'', and ''praepositi'', who collected senatorial taxes, custom duties, and some land taxes; was responsible for the yields of the mines; provided budgets for the civil service and armies; supplied all uniforms; and was competent for the minor offices of: **'' comes auri'': The official responsible for gold. **'' comes sacrae vestis'': The master of the wardrobe of the Emperor. **The 3 ''comites largitionum'': The regional financial administrators of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, and
Illyricum Illyricum may refer to: * Illyria In classical antiquity, Illyria ( grc, Ἰλλυρία, ''Illyría'' or , ''Illyrís''; la, Illyria, ''Illyricum'') was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of peopl ...
. **'' comes commerciorum'' for
Illyricum Illyricum may refer to: * Illyria In classical antiquity, Illyria ( grc, Ἰλλυρία, ''Illyría'' or , ''Illyrís''; la, Illyria, ''Illyricum'') was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of peopl ...
. **''comes metallorum per Illyricum'': The official responsible for that region's gold mines. Exceptionally, a gubernatorial position was styled "''comes''". For example, the ''
comes Orientis The Diocese of the East ( la, Dioecesis Orientis; el, ) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organizat ...
'', actually one of the ''
vicarii ''Vicarius'' is a Latin word, meaning ''substitute'' or ''deputy''. It is the root of the English word "vicar". History Originally, in ancient Rome, this office was equivalent to the later English "viceroy, vice-" (as in "wikt:deputy, deputy"), ...
'', was an official who controlled the large and strategically important Imperial
Diocese of the East The Diocese of the East ( la, Dioecesis Orientis; el, ) was a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organizat ...
by supervising the governors of this collection of provinces, but he was in turn supervised by the '' praefectus praetorio Orientis''. Further, the principal officials of some less important governmental departments who were under the authority of otherwise styled, high ranking, territorial officials could be titled "''comes''", e. g. under the ''
praefectus urbi The ''praefectus urbanus'', also called ''praefectus urbi'' or urban prefect in English, was prefect Prefect (from the Latin ''praefectus'', substantive adjectival form of ''praeficere'': "put in front", meaning in charge) is a Magistrate, m ...
'' of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, himself a ''
vir illustris 200px, ''Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum'', insignia from the '' Notitia Dignitatum''. The title ''vir illustris'' ("illustrious man") is used as a formal indication of standing in late antiquity to describe the highest ra ...
'', was a ''comes formarum'', ''comes riparum et alvei Tiberis et Cloacarum'' ("Count of the Coast of the Tiber and the Canalisation"), and ''comes Portus'' ("Count of the Port"). The title "'' comes consistorianus''" or "''comes consistorialis''" indicated specially appointed members to the ''
consistorium The ''sacrum consistorium'' or ''sacrum auditorium'' (from la, consistere, "discuss a topic"; gr, θεῖον συνέδριον, theion synedrion, "sacred assembly") was the highest political council of the Roman Empire from the time of Constanti ...
'', the council of the Roman emperor's closest advisors.


''comes rei militaris''

The ''comes rei militaris'' held martial appointments, and were commanders of .A.H.M Jones, ''The Later Roman Empire, 284–602'' II, p. 1090 They ranked superior to a ''
dux ''Dux'' (; plural: ''ducēs'') is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

dux
'' but inferior to the ''
magister peditum 300px, The original command structure of the Late Roman army, with a separate ''magister equitum'' and a ''magister peditum'' in place of the later overall ''magister militum'' in the command structure of the army of the Western Roman Empire. (L ...
'' and ''
magister equitum The , in English Master of the Horse or Master of the Cavalry, was a Roman magistrate appointed as lieutenant to a Roman dictator, dictator. His nominal function was to serve as commander of the Roman cavalry in time of war, but just as a dictato ...
''; they were the superiors of a series of military stations, each commanded by a ''praepositus limitis'' ("border commander") and/or unit commanders, e. g., tribunes of cohorts, '' alae'' (auxiliary equivalents), '' numeri'', and in the Eastern Empire even
legions
legions
. The ''
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'' of the early AD 5th century enumerates 6 such offices, being of the dignity of ''
vir spectabilisImage:Notitia dignitatum - insignia praefecti praetorio per illyricum.jpg, 200px, ''Insignia viri illustris praefecti praetorio per Illyricum'', insignia from the ''Notitia Dignitatum''. The title ''vir illustris'' ("illustrious man") is used as a fo ...
'', in the Western Empire: ''comes Italiae'', ''comes Africae'', ''comes Tingitaniae'', ''comes Tractus Argentoratensis'', and ''comes Britanniarum ad Litoris Saxonici per Britanniam''; and 2 in the Eastern Empire: ''comes (limitis) Aegypti'' and ''comes
Isauria Isauria ( or ; grc, Ἰσαυρία), in ancient geography, is a rugged isolated district in the interior of South Asia Minor, of very different extent at different periods, but generally covering what is now the district of Bozkır and its surr ...
e''. *''comes Africae'': Official responsible for the defense of
Roman Africa Roman Africa may refer to the following areas of Northern Africa which were part of the Imperium Romanum and/or the Western/Byzantine successor empires : ; in the unified Roman empire : * Africa (Roman province), with the great metropolis Cartha ...
. *'' comes tractus Argentoratensis'': Official responsible for the defense of part of
Gallia Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. Beginning with foreign exploration during the Age of Discovery, roughly fr ...

Gallia
. *'' comes Avernorum'': Official responsible for the defense of the other part of
Gallia Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. Beginning with foreign exploration during the Age of Discovery, roughly fr ...

Gallia
. *''
comes Britanniarum The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...
'': Official responsible for the defense of
Britannia Britannia () is the national personification upright=0.9, An early example of National personification in a gospel book dated 990: Germania.html"_;"title="Sclavinia,_Germania">Sclavinia,_Germania,_Sclavinia,_Germania,_Gallia">Germania.ht ...

Britannia
. This office presumably expired circa AD 410 when the last Roman troops left that province. *'' comes Litoris Saxonici per Britanniam'': Official responsible for the defense of the Saxon shore of
Britannia Britannia () is the national personification upright=0.9, An early example of National personification in a gospel book dated 990: Germania.html"_;"title="Sclavinia,_Germania">Sclavinia,_Germania,_Sclavinia,_Germania,_Gallia">Germania.ht ...

Britannia
. *'' comes Hispaniarum'': Official responsible for the defense of
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testame ...

Hispania
. As the number of ''comites'' increased, that dignity was devalued. This caused the introduction of classes of ''comites'', denominated and ranked the first, second, and third "''ordines''".


comites dominorum nostrorum

The ''comites dominorum nostrorum'' (plural of ''Comes D. N.'', (literally "Companions of Our Lords mperors) were a mounted Imperial bodyguard during the
tetrarchy The Tetrarchy was the system instituted by Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when ...
of
Emperor Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...
in circa AD 300.


Medieval adaptations of comital offices


Gothic ''Comites''

The
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between West ...
that ruled
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
followed the Roman tradition of granting the title of "''Comes''" to the various principals of the departments of their royal households, including but not limited to the: *''Comes Cubiculariorum'': Count in charge of the chamberlains (L. cubicularii). *''Comes Scanciorum'': The Count who commanded the cup bearers. *''Comes Stabulorum'': The Count who commanded the equerries and stables. *''Comes Notariorum'': The Count who commanded the
chancery Chancery may refer to: * Chancery (diplomacy), the building that houses a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy * Chancery (medieval office), a medieval writing office * Chancery (Scotland) (also called The office of Director of Chancery, or Chan ...
, i. e., the writing office. *''Comes Thesaurorum'': The Count who commanded the officials of the treasury.


Frankish ''Gaugraf''

The Frankish kings of the
Merovingian dynasty The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gauli ...

Merovingian dynasty
retained much of Roman administration, including the office and title of "''comes''", the original meaning of which they preserved, i. e., a companion of the king and a royal servant of high dignity. Under the early Frankish kings some ''comites'' did not have definite functions: they were merely attached to the person of the King and executed his orders. Others filled the highest offices, e. g. the ''Comes Palatii'' and ''Comes Stabuli'' (from which the contemporary title of "
constable A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal Police, law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. O ...

constable
" derives). Yet other ''comites'' served as regional officials. For administrative purposes, the Merovingian kingdoms were divided into still divided into small Roman districts denominated "'' pagi''" (hence the French "''pays''"), or similarly sized new creations "''Gaue''". These were smaller than the old Roman ''
civitates In the history of Rome, the Latin term ''civitas'' (; plural ''civitates''), according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law (concilium coetusque hominum jure sociati). It ...
'' ("cities", or polities) which became the basis of the new medieval bishoprics. In Carolingian times, the governor of a ''pagus'' was a ''Comes'', corresponding to the German ''
Graf (feminine: ) is a historical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some language ...

Graf
''. The King appointed the ''Comites'' to serve at his pleasure. The modern German-derived term sometimes for a count who governed a whole gau is "''Gaugraf''", and a gau containing several counties is sometimes called a "''Grossgau''". The essential competences of the ''Comes were comprehensive in his ''pagus'': martial, judicial, and executive; and in documents he is often described as the "''agens publicus''" ("public agent") of the King or "''judex publicus/fiscalis''" ("royal judge"). He was at once public prosecutor and judge, and was responsible for the execution of the sentences as well. As the delegate of the executive power, he had the right to exercise the "''bannis regis''" ("royal ban"), which gave him the right to command his military in the name of the King and to act as necessary to preserve the peace. As the King's representative, he exercised the royal right of protection ("''mundium regis''") of churches, widows, orphans, and the like. He enjoyed a triple "''
wergeld Weregild (also spelled wergild, wergeld (in archaic/historical usage of English), weregeld, etc.), also known as man price (Blood money (restitution), blood money), was established on a person's life, paid as a Composition (fine), fine or Damages, ...
''", but had no definite salary, being remunerated by receipt of specific revenues, which system contained the germs of discord, on account of the confusion of his public and private obligations. According to philologists, the
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression ...
word "''gerefa''", denoting "illustrious chief", however, is not connected to the German "''Graf''", which originally meant "servant"; compare the etymologies of the words "knight" and "valet". It is the more curious that the "''gerefa''" should end as a subservient ''reeve'' while the "''graf''" became a noble count.


Feudalism

In the feudal tradition,
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
was, especially in law, the official language, and therefore the rendering in Latin was equal in importance to the vernacular title. Thus, "''comes''" has been used as the Latin equivalent, or part of it, of all titles of comital office, whether containing "
count Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

count
" or some other word etymologically derived from "''comes''" or "''
graf (feminine: ) is a historical title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some language ...

graf
''". Similarly, it is part of the rendering, not always exclusive, of derived inferior titles containing such words, notably "'' vicecomes''" for "viscount" and "'' burgicomes''" and "''burgravio''" for "burgrave".


See also

* Abbacomes *
AerariumAerarium (from Latin "aes", in its derived sense of "money") was the name (in full, "aerarium stabulum" - treasure-house) given in Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italia ...
*
Agentes in rebus The ''agentes in rebus'' ( grc, ἀγγελιαφόροι, angeliaphóroi, messengers, or , ''magistrianoí'', 'Magister officiorum, magister's men'.) were the late Roman Empire, Roman imperial courier service and general agents of the central gove ...
*
Comitatenses The comitatenses and later the palatini were the units of the field armies of the late Roman Empire The Later Roman Empire spans the period from 284 AD to 641 in the history of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...
*
Comitatus (Kingdom of Hungary) ''Comitatus'' was in ancient times the Latin term for an armed escort or retinue. The term is used especially in the context of Germanic people, Germanic warrior culture for a warband tied to a leader by an oath of fealty and describes the relatio ...
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CongiariumOf Ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a ...
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Donativum ''Donativum'' (plural ''donativa'') was the name given to the gifts of money dispersed to the soldiers of the Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (Latin Latin (, ...
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Fiscus Fiscus, from which comes the English term ''fiscal,'' was the name of the personal chest of the emperors of Rome. The word is literally translated as "basket" or "purse" and was used to describe those forms of revenue collected from the provinces ...

Fiscus
* Mund (law) *''
Notitia Dignitatum Palestine and the River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy.">Peronet_Lamy.html" ;"title="River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' illuminated by Peronet Lamy">River Jordan, from the ''Notitia Dignitatum'' ...
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Rationalis __NOTOC__ A ''rationalis'' was a high-ranking fiscal officer in the Roman Empire. Until replaced by the '' comes sacrarum largitionum'' by Emperor Constantine Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also ...
* A rationibus *'' Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft'' *
Roman finance The practices of Ancient Roman finance, while originally rooted in Greek models, evolved in the second century BC with the expansion of Roman monetization Monetization ( also spelled monetisation) is, broadly speaking, the process of converti ...


References

{{Authority control Ancient Roman titles Court titles Military ranks of ancient Rome Roman Empire Economy of ancient Rome