Feudalism and manorialism constitute one of the most important legal columns of the Middle Ages throughout Europe. Modern analyses often trace it back to a synthesis of Roman patronage and Germanic traditions, with the details remaining widely obscure. This new system became predominant by the central role played by the Frankish kingdom (where the system was probably born) and its off-springs (Burgundy, France, Germany, and - in a way - Italy). Now my question: What other state-building principles would have been an alternative to feudalism? Obviously, a survival and only gradual development of the Roman law is possible; this is illustrated by Byzantium, but that could as well (to some degree) happen in smaller parts of the Roman Empire gaining independence (like Odoacer's or Syagrius'). However, when Germanic tribes enter the game, which different synthesis of Roman and Germanic traditions could a) determine the distribution of state authority, b) control the utilization of agrarian land? Eager to hear your suggestions ...!