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nomadic life the aggregation of clans makes ultimately the tribe, so in the more advanced agricultural life of our Aryan ancestors the aggregation of marks or village-communities makes ultimately the gau or shire. Properly speaking, the name shire is descriptive of division and not of aggregation; but this term came into use in England after the historic order of formation had been forgotten, and when the shire was looked upon as a piece of some larger whole, such as the kingdom of Mercia or Wessex.
Historically, however, the shire was not made, like the departments of modern France, by the division of the kingdom for administrative purposes, but the kingdom was made by the union of shires that were previously autonomous.
In the primitive process of aggregation, the shire or gau, governed by its witenagemote or meeting of wise men, and by its chief magistrate who was called ealdorman in time of peace and heretoga, army-leader, dux, or duke, in time of war,—the shire, I say, in this f