The Lords of Battle examines the image of the comitatus, or warband, as it is portrayed in literary and historical sources from Britain's early medieval period, attempting to determine the extent to which it reflects an historical reality. Through an extensive use of a variety of source material, literary, historical, and archaeological, the book investigates both the structure of the warband, and the practices and institutions which supported it. After a review of the historical background of Dark Age Britain, Stephen Evans explores the practical characteristics of the comitatus: its military organisation; its internal social structure and its place within society as a whole; and the lord-retainer relationship, its duties and obligations. He also examines the cultural, social, and economic institutions which produced and supported the warband. Overall, the study provides a number of insights into the ideals and practices of Britain's Celtic and Anglo-Saxon warrior-élites during a turbulent period. Dr STEPHEN EVANS gained his PhD from Temple University.