The most elementary of these groups is the maegth, the association of agnatic and cognatic relations.
Thus transition was made possible from an agnatic society based on blood ties to one based on contiguity.
It is clear that agnatic succession prevailed among the princely families of the Cherusci, and the general account given in the Germania seems to imply that this type of organization was normal.
On the whole it seems not unlikely that at the beginning of the Christian era the Teutonic peoples of the continent were in a state of transition from cognatic to agnatic organization.
And as the legal manumission dissolved a son's previous agnatic relationships, so, too, the person baptized gave up father and mother, &c., and became one of a society of brethren the bond between whom was not physical but spiritual.