The Civitas is a territory which constitutes the real socio-economic and political entity usually congruent with a modern city or large county. the meaning of the Civitas during the Merovingian period was nearest “the primary seat/settlement of the count, county”. In the north this was often called a gau or pagus. As the term was fluid throughout the empire, it is best described most accurately to simply an “administrative territory”. After the collapse of Roman power in Gaul, many of the Roman Civitas gave way to episcopal sees, being reformed into diocese. The one-time power centres of the counts becoming the seats of a new Catholic administration.
In TFA the word Civitas is the standardized concept which is a confluence of the historical “pagus”, “gau” and “civitas” or any other territory possessed by a Gravio. In TFA the Civitas is a sub-unit of the Rîki, comprising one or more households (TFA Hêm). In our context, it is important to note that the Civitas is the vastness of territory over which, through proper ritual “land-taking” the Hêlen, including the Kuning and the Gêstos are given rights to exert their holy power over that land, specifically but not exclusively, unto the Frankish population therein. The Gravio makes offerings to the holy powers of that region to the benefit of all those living within the territory (Frank and non-Frank or Walahleodi). Ex: the fertility of the fields benefit all, the breaking of drought and the shielding from storms as well. That said, only the Franks are answerable to their powers or may move them through cultus. It stands to reason that those who will benefit the most from the cultus is the Frank, the Walahleodi the benefactor through excesses in munificence (an overflow if you wish).
The Gravio is the agent who acts on behalf of the Kuning over a given territory which comprises other smaller units (households), including their own. If we think of the Civitas in terms relative to a corporate structure, it would be akin to the territory over which one district office may operate without overstepping the bounds of the next district office (both of the same corporation). The Gravio is the district manager, in such an example. In elder days the Gravio was an agent of the king (TFA Kuning) who was entrusted with spreading “Frankishness” (laws, beliefs, customs) throughout the lands the king entrusted to them.
Civitas is derived from Lat cīvitās meaning “a community, citizenry or city/-state”, conveying the Roman ideals of civics between all members of a territorial unit.
The First Civitas of the Regnum Francorum Novum is the Civitas Ottavaiorum
(Ottawa, On, Canada), which comprises the Greater Ottawa Region. It’s Gravio is
Erik Ingruoda, Siniskalk of TFA and author of the Declaration of Reversion.
The Hêm is the “home” where a free Frank lives, has their principle domicile and engages in familial life. It is the smallest indivisible territory within the society of TFA, a subdivision of the Civitas and contained within the greater Rîki. In the mundane sense, this is your residence. However, in a more elevated understanding, the Hêm is the “court of the household lord” known as the Hêmahêto. It is the duty of the Hêmahêto to:
Hêm is derived from OFrk *haim “house, village”. In turn “haim” is from the PGmc *haimaz of the same meaning. Kern sees in this word the meaning of Lat “partum, pascuum” or in ModE “meadow, grazing land” and further that the terminology implies an enclosed space.
Hêmahêto is derived from the above with an appended OFrk *hêt meaning “command(er)”. Kern understands the Hêmahêto as being the “commander of the pasture(/court)” as a sub-agent of the king. As each Hêm was found within the territory of a Civitas, the Hêmahêto is thus subject of the Kuning through the Gravio.
In TFA, as all are ultimately subject to the Kuning, the Hêl and Sâl of the household Hêlen flows into the realm of the Hêm through the efforts (religious and mundane) of the Hêmahêto.
It should be noted that in TFA the “household lord” need not be concerned with gender. The role may also, given our modern social division of labours in the home, appear to be shared between the primary adults of a household. The negotiation of the mantle of Hêmahêto is left up to the practicality and customs of that Hêm.