The eorl of the old system would doubtless commonly become a thegn under the new, as the Roman patrician took his place in the new nobilitas; but others could take their place there also.
Already in ZEthelberht's legislation we find characteristic fines inflicted for breach of the peace of householders of different ranks - the ceorl, the eorl, and the king himself appearing as the most exalted among them.
Kerl and with similar words in other Teutonic languages), one of the two main classes, eorl and ceorl, into which in early Anglo-Saxon society the freemen appear to have been divided.
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