The Pasargadian kings of Anshan were vassals of the Median empire.
A strong check was thus imposed upon the tendency of freemen to become the vassals of great lords.
The Leiden magistrates said in 1581:" If we accept everything determined upon in the synod, we shall end by being vassals of the synod.
It should also here be noticed that the changes introduced into the holding of the fiefs, whether by altering their boundaries or substituting Frankish for Lombard vassals, were chief among the causes why the feudal system took no permanent hold in Italy.
Thus the titular king of Italy found himself simultaneously at war with those great vassals who had chosen him from their own class, with the turbulent factions of the Roman aristocracy, with unruly bishops in the growing cities and with the multitude of minor counts and barons who occupied the open lands, and who changed sides according to the interests of the moment.