Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION IV: Political consequences of Slavery. - The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
SECTION IV: Political consequences of Slavery. - John Millar, The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks 
The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks; or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which give rise to Influence and Authority in the Different Members of Society, edited and with an Introduction by Aaron Garrett (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
About Liberty Fund:
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
Political consequences of Slavery.
In the history of mankind, there is no revolution of greater importance to the happiness of society than this which we have now had occasion to contemplate. The laws and customs of the modern European nations have carried the advantages of liberty to a height which was never known in any other age or country. In the ancient states, so celebrated upon account of their free government, the bulk of their mechanics and labouring people were denied the common privileges of men, and treated upon the footing of inferior animals. In proportion to the opulence and refinement of those nations, the number of their slaves was increased, and the grievances to which they were subjected became the more intolerable.
The citizens of Athens, according to an enumeration of Demetrius Phalerius, are said to have amounted to 21,000, the strangers residing in that city to 10,000, and the slaves possessed by the whole people, to no less than 400,000.* There is reason to believe, however, that, in this enumeration of the free men, none but the heads of families are<283> included, and in that of the slaves, every individual is comprehended; for an account of the former would probably be taken with a view to the taxes imposed upon each head of a family, and the latter, it is most likely, would be numbered, like cattle, in order to ascertain the wealth of each proprietor. Thus, allowing five persons to each family, the Athenian slaves exceeded the free men in the proportion of between two and three to one.†
In the most flourishing periods of Rome, when luxury was carried to so amazing a pitch, the proportion of the inhabitants reduced into servitude was in all probability still greater. The number of slaves possessed by particular Roman citizens was prodigious. T. Minucius, a Roman knight, is said to have had 400.* Pliny mentions one Caecilius, who bequeathed in his testament upwards of 4000 slaves.† And Athenaeus takes notice, that the Roman slaves, belonging to individuals, often<284> amounted to 10,000, or even to 20,000; and sometimes, to a greater number.‡
The negro-slaves in the West-Indies are commonly said to exceed the free people nearly as three to one; and it has been supposed that the disproportion between them is daily increasing.
It may in general be observed, that according as men have made greater progress in commerce and the arts, the establishment of domestic freedom is of greater importance; and that, in opulent and polished nations, its influence extends to the great body of the people, who form the principal part of a community, and whose comfortable situation ought never to be overlooked in the provisions that are made for national happiness and prosperity.
In whatever light we regard the institution of slavery, it appears equally inconvenient and pernicious. No conclusion seems more certain than this, that men will commonly exert more activity when they work for their own benefit, than when they are compelled to labour for the benefit merely of another. The introduction of personal liberty has therefore an infallible tendency to render the inhabitants of a country more industrious; and, by producing greater plenty of provisions, must necessarily increase the populousness, as well as the strength and security of a nation.
Some persons have imagined that slavery is conducive to population, on account of the frugality<285> with which the slaves are usually maintained, and on account of the attention which is given by the master to their multiplication.
With regard to the former circumstance, it ought to be considered, that the work of a labourer depends very much upon the subsistence which he receives. As by living in too great affluence he may occasion an useless consumption of provisions, so by obtaining too little he is rendered less fit for the exercise of those employments by which mankind are supported. To promote the populousness of a country, the mechanics and labouring people should be maintained in such a manner as will yield the highest profit from the work which they are capable of performing; and it is probable that they will more commonly procure the enjoyments of life according to this due medium, when they provide their own maintenance, than when it depends upon the arbitrary will of a master, who, from narrow and partial views, may imagine that he has an interest to diminish the expence of their living as much as possible. To those who have occasion to know the extreme parsimony with which the negro-slaves in our colonies are usually maintained, any illustration of this remark will appear superfluous.
With respect to the care of the master to encourage the multiplication of his slaves, it must be obvious that this is of little moment, unless it be accompanied with an increase of the means of their<286> subsistence. If slavery be always unfavourable to industry, and tend to hinder the improvement of a country, the number of inhabitants will be proportionably limited, in spite of all the regulations that can be made, and of all the encouragement that can be given to the propagation of the species. It is impossible even to multiply cattle beyond a certain extent, without having previously enriched the pastures upon which they are fed.
But slavery is not more hurtful to the industry than to the good morals of a people. To cast a man out from the privileges of society, and to mark his condition with infamy, is to deprive him of the most powerful incitements to virtue; and, very often, to render him worthy of that contempt with which he is treated. What effects, on the other hand, may we not expect that this debasement of the servants will produce on the temper and disposition of the master? In how many different ways is it possible to abuse that absolute power with which he is invested? And what vicious habits may be contracted by a train of such abuses, unrestrained by the laws, and palliated by the influence of example. It would seem that nothing could exceed the dishonesty and profligacy of the Roman slaves, unless we except the inhumanity and the extravagant vices which prevailed among the rest of the inhabitants.
Various statutes were made to restrain the manumission of slaves, and to prevent the dignity of<287> a Roman citizen from being communicated to such infamous persons. “Such is the confusion of our times,” says Dionysius of Halicarnassus, “so much has the Roman probity degenerated into shameful meanness, that some, having gathered money by robberies, prostitutions, and all kinds of wickedness, are enabled to procure their freedom, and to become Romans; others, associating with their masters, in poisonings, murders, and crimes committed both against the gods and the commonwealth, are rewarded in the same manner.”*
It has been alledged that, in one respect, the institution of slavery is beneficial to a nation, as it affords the most convenient provision for those who are become unable to maintain themselves. The maintenance of the poor, is doubtless, a very important object, and may be regarded as one of the most difficult branches in the police of a country. In the early periods of society, when family-attachments are widely extended, the rich are commonly willing to take care of their indigent relations; and from the dispositions of a people unacquainted with luxury, those persons who have no other resource may expect relief from the occasional charity of their neighbours. But in a commercial and populous nation, in which the bulk of the people must work hard for their livelihood, many individuals are, by a variety of accidents, reduced to indi-<288>gence; while at the same time, from their numbers, as well as from the prevailing spirit of the age, their misery is little regarded by their fellow-creatures. The cunning impostor, in such a case, may sometimes carry on a profitable trade of begging; but the real object of distress is apt to be overlooked, and without some interposition of the public, would often perish from want. Poors-rates therefore, in some shape or other, must be established; and from the nature of such an establishment, it is usually attended with much expence, and liable to many abuses. In a country where slavery is practised, no such inconvenience is felt. As the master may be obliged, in all cases, to maintain his slaves, no assessment is necessary, no charges are incurred in collecting and distributing money, for the benefit of the poor: not to mention, that the nuisance of common begging is thus effectually removed.
It must be owned that this is a frugal regulation; but that it will answer the purpose is far from being so evident. When the same person, who is subjected to a tax, is also entrusted with the application of the money, what security is there that he will ever apply it to the uses for which it is intended? When a master is ordered to support his slaves, after they have become unfit for labour, what measures can be taken to secure their obedience? As it is plainly his interest to get free of this burden, what reason have we to expect that<289> he will submit to it longer than he thinks fit? In a matter of domestic economy, how is it possible for the public to watch over his conduct, or to observe one of a thousand instances in which he may neglect his decayed servants, or withhold from them the common necessaries of life? Instead of maintaining the poor, therefore, this is only a method of starving them in the most expeditious, and perhaps in the most private manner. In perusing the Roman history, with relation to this subject, we meet with enormities which fill the mind with horror. Among that people it appears that, notwithstanding all the laws that were made by emperors, of the best intentions and possessed of absolute power, the master did not even think it necessary to conceal his barbarity, or to show more regard to his slaves, than is usually shown to cattle which, from age or diseases, are no longer of service to the owner.
Considering the many advantages which a country derives from the freedom of the labouring people, it is to be regretted that any species of slavery should still remain in the dominions of Great Britain, in which liberty is generally so well understood, and so highly valued.
The situation of the colliers and salters in Scotland may seem of little consequence, as the number of persons engaged in that employment is not very great, and their servitude is not very grievous. The detriment, however, which arises from thence to the proprietor of such works is manifest. No<290> man would choose to be a slave if he could earn nearly the same wages by living in a state of freedom. Each collier, therefore, must have an additional premium for his labour, upon account of the bondage into which he is reduced: otherwise he will endeavour to procure a livelihood by some other employment.* <291>
Many of the coal-masters begin to be sensible of this, and wish that their workmen were upon a different footing; although, with a timidity natural to those who have a great pecuniary interest at stake, they are averse from altering the former practice, until such alteration shall be rendered universal by an act of parliament. But whatever advantages might accrue to them from a general law abolishing the slavery of the colliers, it seems evident that these advantages would be reaped in a much higher degree by any single proprietor who should have the resolution to give liberty to his workmen, and renounce the privileges which the law bestows upon him, with respect to those who might afterwards engage in his service. If the slavery of the colliers tends to heighten their wages, surely any one master who should be freed from this inconvenience before the rest, would be in the same circumstances with a manufacturer who produces a commodity at less expence than his neighbours, and who is thereby enabled to undersell them in the market.*
The slavery established in our colonies is an object of greater importance, and is, perhaps, attended with difficulties which cannot be so easily<292> removed. It has been thought, that the management of our plantations requires a labour in which free men would not be willing to engage, and which the white people are, from their constitution, incapable of performing. How far this opinion is well founded, according to the present manner of labouring in that part of the world, seems difficult to determine, as it has never been properly examined by those who are in a condition to ascertain the facts in question. But there is ground to believe that the institution of slavery is the chief circumstance that has prevented those contrivances to shorten and facilitate the more laborious employments of the people, which take place in other countries where freedom has been introduced.
Notwithstanding the connection between our colonies and the mother-country, the instruments proper for some of the most common branches of labour are little known in many parts of the West Indies. In Jamaica the digging of a grave gives full employment to two men for a whole day; as from the want of proper tools it is necessary to make a large hole no way adapted to the human figure. I am informed, that, unless it has been procured very lately, there is hardly a spade in the whole island. In procuring firewood for boiling sugar, &c. a work that takes up about five or six weeks yearly, no use is made of the saw, but the trees are cut with an ax into logs of about 30 inches in length. Instead of a flail the negroes<293> make use of a single stick in threshing the Guinea-corn; so that in this and in winnowing, ten women are capable of doing no more work in a day, than, with our instruments and machinery, two men would perform in two hours. From the want of a scythe or sickle, they are obliged every night to cut with a knife, or pull with their hands, a quantity of grass sufficient to serve their horses, mules, and black cattle.†
With regard to the planting of sugar, experiments have been made, in some of the islands, from which it appears that, in this species of cultivation, cattle might be employed with advantage, and that the number of slaves might be greatly diminished.* But these experiments have been little regarded, in opposition to the former usage, and in opposition to a lucrative branch of trade which this innovation would in a great measure destroy.
At any rate, the interest of our colonies seems to demand that the negroes should be better treated, and even that they should be raised to a better condition. The author of a late elegant account of our American settlements has proposed, that small wages should be given them as an encouragement to industry.5 If this measure were once be-<294>gun, it is probable that it would gradually be pushed to a greater extent; as the master would soon find the advantage of proportioning the wages of the slaves to the work which they performed. It is astonishing that so little attention has hitherto been paid to any improvements of this nature, after the good effects of them have been so fully illustrated in the case of the villains in Europe. The owner of a sugar or tobacco plantation, one would think, might easily estimate the average value of the crop which it had formerly yielded, and could run no hazard, whatever profit he might reap, by allowing the people employed in the cultivation to draw a share of any additional produce obtained by their labour and frugality.
It affords a curious spectacle to observe, that the same people who talk in a high strain of political liberty, and who consider the privilege of imposing their own taxes as one of the unalienable rights of mankind, should make no scruple of reducing a great proportion of their fellow-creatures into circumstances by which they are not only deprived of property, but almost of every species of right. Fortune perhaps never produced a situation more calculated to ridicule a liberal hypothesis, or to show how little the conduct of men is at the bottom directed by any philosophical principles.
In those provinces, however, of North America, where few slaves have ever been maintained, and where slavery does not seem to be recommended<295> by the nature of those employments in which the people are usually engaged, there may be some ground to expect that its pernicious effects upon industry will soon be felt, and that the practice will of course be abandoned. It is said that some of the provincial assemblies in that country have lately resolved to prevent or discourage the importation of negroes; but from what motives this resolution has proceeded, it is difficult to determine.*
The advancement of commerce and the arts, together with the diffusion of knowledge, in the present age, has of late contributed to the removal of many prejudices, and been productive of enlarged opinions, both upon this and upon a variety of other subjects. It has long been held, in Britain, that a negro-slave, imported into this country, obtained thereby many of the privileges of a free man. But by a late judgment in the court of king’s-bench, it was found that the master could not recover his power over the servant by sending him abroad at pleasure.†
By a still more recent decision of the chief court in Scotland, it was declared, “That the dominion assumed over this negro, under the law of Jamaica, being unjust, could not be supported in<296> this country to any extent: that therefore the defender had no right to the negro’s service for any space of time; nor to send him out of the country against his consent.”‡
This last decision, which was given in 1778, is the more worthy of attention, as it condemns the slavery of the negroes in explicit terms, and, being the first opinion of that nature delivered by any court in the island, may be accounted an authentic testimony of the liberal sentiments entertained in the latter part of the eighteenth century.
Note on the Editions
Millar’s Ranks went through notable transformations in three lifetime editions and in the fourth, posthumous edition reproduced here. It also was translated into German twice and into French once.
The first edition was divided into five chapters.1 The second edition added further section headings within the chapters and important new material in the footnotes. For example, the strikingly Humean discussion of liberty concluding the fifth chapter of the third edition was added as a lengthy footnote in the second edition. The third edition had a new title, a new chapter division, and extensive new material. Most notably, Millar thought his discussion of “The Changes Produced in the Government of a People, by their Progress in Arts, and in Polished Manners” to be sufficiently important to merit its own chapter and so separated the fourth chapter in the prior edition into two distinct chapters. He also moved many of the quotations that were in footnotes into the main body of the text and added many additional citations in the final chapter as a result of momentous changes in slavery laws between the publication of the first and the third edition. The fourth, posthumous edition is essentially the third edition with the addition of Craig’s “Life.” The printings of the three lifetime editions were as follows:
1. Observations Concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society
By John Millar, Esq.
Professor of Laws in the University of Glasgow.
Printed by W. and J. Richardson,
John Murray, No 32, Fleet-Street,
Opposite St. Dunstan’s Church.
xv, 242 pp.
1a. Observations Concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society
By John Millar, Esq.
Professor of Laws in the University of Glasgow.
Dublin: Printed by T. Ewing, in Capel-Street
xiv, 240 pp.
[The Dublin edition is almost identical to the London edition. The type used is the same; the line spacing is slightly different. Lehmann suggests it may be a pirated volume.]
2. Observations Concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society
By John Millar, Esq.
Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow
The Second Edition, Greatly Enlarged.
London: Printed for J. Murray, No 32, Fleet Street, Opposite St. Dunstan’s Church.
xxii, 312 pp.
3. The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks; or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which give rise to Influence and Authority in the Different Members of Society
By John Millar, Esq. Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow.
The Third Edition,
Corrected and Enlarged.
Printed for J. Murray, No. 32, Fleet Street, Facing St. Dunstan’s Church.
viii, 362 pp.
3a. The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks; or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which give rise to Influence and Authority in the Different Members of Society.
By John Millar, Esq. Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow.
Printed and sold by J. J. Tourneisen
iv, 284 pp.
[This is a reprint of the third edition.]
There were two German translations:
Johann Millar, Esquire, Bemerkungen über den Unterschied der Stände in der bürglichen Gesellschaft (Leipzig: Engelhart Benjamin Schwidert, 1772), iii, 237 pp. [a translation of the first edition].
John Millar, Aufklärungen über Ursprung und Fortschritte des Unterschieds der Stände und des Ranges, in Hinsicht auf Kultur und Sitten bei den vorzüglichsten Nationen (Leipzig: Weygand, 1798), viii, 392 pp. [a translation of the third edition].
And one French translation:
John Millar, Observations sur les commencemens de la société (Amsterdam: Arkstée et Merkus, 1773), xxiv, 423 pp. [a translation of the second edition, published in Paris under a false imprint; Millar’s French translator was the great Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Suard, who translated Hume, Robertson, and Macpherson as well].
Millar’s Preface to the First Edition
Millar drastically rewrote his introduction to the Ranks for the third edition. The introduction to the first edition is very much worth reading because it is one of the most compact and erudite descriptions ever written of the empiricist attitude in the human sciences. It is reproduced here with Millar’s original title of “Preface.”
Those who have examined the manners and customs of nations have had chiefly two objects in view. By observing the systems of law established in different parts of the world, and by remarking the consequences with which they are attended, men have endeavoured to reap advantage from the experience of others, and to make a selection of those institutions and modes of government which appear most worthy of being adopted.<ii>
To investigate the causes of different usages, hath also been esteemed an useful as well as an entertaining speculation. When we contemplate the amazing diversity in the manners of different countries, and even of the same country at different periods; when we survey the distinctions of national characters, and the singular customs that have prevailed; we are led to discover the various dispositions and sentiments with which man is endowed, the various powers and faculties which he is capable of exerting. When at the same time we consider how much the character of individuals is influenced by their education, their professions, and their peculiar circumstances, we are enabled, in some measure, to account for the behaviour of different nations. From the situation of a people in different ages and countries, they are presented with particular views of expediency; they form<iii> peculiar maxims, and are induced to cultivate and acquire a variety of talents and habits. Man is every where the same; and we must necessarily conclude, that the untutored Indian and the civilized European have acted upon the same principles.
Thus, by real experiments, not by abstracted metaphysical theories, human nature is unfolded; the general laws of our constitution are laid open; and history is rendered subservient to moral philosophy and jurisprudence. The manners and customs of people may be regarded as the most authentic record of their opinions, concerning what is right or wrong, what is praise-worthy or blamable, what is expedient or hurtful. In perusing such records, however, the utmost caution is necessary; and we must carefully attend to the circumstances in which they were<iv> framed, in order to ascertain the evidence which they afford, or to discern the conclusions that may be drawn from them. As the regulations of every country may have their peculiar advantages, so they are commonly tinctured with all the prejudices and erroneous judgments of the inhabitants. It is therefore by a comparison only of the ideas and the practice of different nations, that we can arrive at the knowledge of those rules of conduct, which, independent of all positive institutions, are consistent with propriety, and agreeable to the sense of justice.
When these enquiries are properly conducted, they have likewise a tendency to restrain that wanton spirit of innovation which men are apt to indulge in their political reasonings. To know the laws already established, to discern the causes from which they have arisen, and the<v> means by which they were introduced; this preliminary step is essentially requisite, in order to determine upon what occasions they ought to be altered or abolished. The institutions of a country, how imperfect soever and defective they may seem, are commonly suited to the state of the people by whom they have been embraced; and therefore in most cases, they are only susceptible of those general improvements, which proceed from a gradual reformation of the manners, and are accompanied with a correspondent change in the condition of society. In every system of law or government, the different parts have an intimate connection with each other. As it is dangerous to tamper with the machine, unless we are previously acquainted with the several wheels and springs of which it is composed, so there is reason to fear, that the violent alteration of any single part may<vi> destroy the regularity of its movements, and produce the utmost disorder and confusion.
The following observations are intended to illustrate the natural history of mankind in several important articles. This is attempted, by pointing out the more obvious and common improvements in the state of society, and by showing the influence of these upon the manners, the laws, and the government of a people.
In the first chapter the author has considered the ideas entertained in different ages, with respect to the rank and condition of the two sexes. From these, the chief regulations concerning marriage, and the rights of the husband and wife, are evidently derived.<vii>
He has endeavored, first of all, to show the effects of poverty and barbarism, with regard to the passions of sex, with regard to the general occupations of a people, and with regard to the degree of consideration which is paid to the women as members of society.
He has next proceeded to take notice of the refinements in the state of our passions, arising from the acquaintance of wealth; first in moveables, by the invention of pasturing cattle; and afterward in land, by the application of mankind to the cultivation of the earth.
In the third place, he has examined the alterations produced, in the condition of the fair sex, by the improvement of the more necessary arts and manufactures, and by the influence of civilization and regular government.<viii>
Lastly, he has attempted to delineate the changes, in this respect, introduced by the cultivation of the elegant arts, and by the progress of a people in opulence and luxury.
After the rights of the husband and wife, those that subsist between parents and their children come next to be examined. In the second chapter, some observations are made, concerning the authority which, in the rudest periods, a father is accustomed to exercise over his children. The limitations, upon the branch of jurisdiction, arising from the improvements of a later age, are afterwards considered.
Having reviewed the primitive government of a family, the author has proceeded, in the third chapter, to enquire into the state of a tribe or village, composed of several families; to point out the origin of a chief, who is raised to the head of their society;<ix> and the various branches of authority assumed by the early magistrate, according to the different species of property which the people have had an opportunity of acquiring.
By the union of several tribes, a larger society is formed, requiring a greater variety of regulations, for securing the rights of individuals, and for maintaining the publick tranquility. This makes the subject of the fourth chapter; which may be divided into two parts:
The first relates to the political constitution, derived from a simple confederacy among these independent communities. As in the different governments, produced by an association of this sort, we every where observe a great degree of uniformity; we may also discover certain peculiar circumstances, by which the constitution of some<x> states is particularly distinguished. One of the most remarkable of these is the establishment of the feudal law; which makes so great a figure in the history of Europe, and has been the subject of so much investigation and controversy. Concerning the origin of the feudal institutions, and concerning the time and manner in which they were introduced, the author has ventured to deliver an opinion, which has the appearance of reconciling the different facts, collected by antiquaries and lawyers in support of their various and opposite conjectures.
The second part of that chapter contains remarks upon the alterations in the police and government of a country, arising from the progress of its inhabitants, in manufactures and commerce, and in that refinement of manners which is the natural consequence of affluence and security.<xi>
The consideration of the distinctions of rank, among the free inhabitants of a country, is followed by an enquiry into the state of persons of inferior condition, who, in order to procure subsistence, are obliged to labour in the service of others, and who form the great body of the people. In prosecuting this enquiry, the author has first considered the state of servants, in the primitive ages of the world. He has next attempted to point out those variations in their condition, which have proceeded from the usual improvements of society, in law and government; and, lastly, to give an account of that singular revolution, by which the laws of Europe are, in this respect, so eminently distinguished.
Upon the whole it has been the author’s design to explain the causes of various manners and customs, rather than to enter<xii> into any formal discussion concerning the political advantages or disadvantages of which they have been productive; and it appeared unnecessary to give a separate detail of the laws of any one country, or to take notice of particular institutions, further than as they contributed to show the natural progress of human society.
[The final paragraph is identical with the final paragraph of the text of the fourth edition.]
Millar’s “Lectures on Government”
As mentioned in the Introduction to this volume, the Ranks grew out of Millar’s Lectures on Government. The university regularly published outlines of the courses. Below is the first section of the course in 1771, the year of publication of the Ranks. I have presented the first section of the 1771 course and the section headings of the succeeding topics in order that the reader might see the place of the Ranks in Millar’s system of teaching and its connection to the Historical View. I have followed the 1771 course with the corresponding sections of the course outline twenty years later to indicate how it had changed.
A Course of Lectures on Government; Given Annually in the University. Glasgow. M.DCC.LXXI
Of the Origin and Progress of Government in Society.
This subject illustrated from a view of particular Governments.
[Eighteen historical lectures on governments ranging from those of Athens, Sparta, and Rome to that of contemporary Scotland.]
Present state of Government in Great Britain.
[Thirteen lectures on British government.]
A Course of Lectures on Government; Given Annually in the University.
By John Millar,
Professor of Law.
Of the Origin and Progress of Government in Society.
The History of Government illustrated from a view of the Constitution in particular contries.
[Twenty-one historical lectures on government.]
Present state of Government in Great Britain.
[Fourteen lectures on British government.]
The following texts are the works that Millar drew on in the footnotes to Ranks. They are not necessarily the editions Millar consulted, although I have tried to use the editions he would likely have used whenever I could identify them. I have also included ancient works that Millar cites in a specific contemporary edition, for example, Gillies’ Lysias or Pope’s Odyssey and Iliad. The remaining ancient works are listed in a separate section.
I have given Roman titles in Latin and Greek titles in English because for the most part Millar did not cite Greek works by Greek titles. Millar cited ancient titles in abbreviated form, but his abbreviations should become evident when compared with this list.
Roman, German, and Medieval Legal Works and Other Sources
Besides the omnipresent Digest, Codex, and Institutes of Justinian, Millar made use of the Codex Theodosianus, Gaius’s Institutionem iuris civilis Commentarii, Ulpian’s Fragments, the Lex Salica and Lex Burgundionum, Marculfus’s Formulae, the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament.
Translations Used in Preparation of This Edition
This book is set in Adobe Garamond, a modern adaptation by Robert Slimbach of the typeface originally cut around 1540 by the French typographer and printer Claude Garamond. The Garamond face, with its small lowercase height and restrained contrast between thick and thin strokes, is a classic “old-style” face and has long been one of the most influential and widely used typefaces.
Printed on paper that is acid-free and meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, z39.48-1992. (archival)
Book design by Louise O Farrell
Typography by Apex Publishing, LLC
Printed and bound by Worzalla Publishing Company
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
[* ]Athenaeus lib. 6. cap. 20. Under the administration of Pericles the free citizens of Athens were not so numerous. See Plutarch, in Pericles. [[This remark does not appear to correspond to a particular passage in Plutarch’s Life of Pericles.]]
[† ]Mr. Hume supposes that, in the above enumeration, none but heads of families, either of the slaves or free men, are included; from which it would follow that, throwing aside the strangers, the slaves exceeded the citizens nearly as twenty to one; and as this disproportion is highly incredible, he is of opinion that the number of slaves should be reduced to 40,000. But the precise reduction to this number is entirely arbitrary; and upon the supposition which I have made, there will be no reason to suspect the account either of exaggeration or inaccuracy. [[Hume, “Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations,” Essays, 427 (II.xi.111).]]
[* ]Seneca de tranquillitate, cap. 8.
[† ]Lib. 33. cap. 10. [[Pliny Naturalis Historia XXXIII.47 .]]
[‡ ][[Athenaeus History Lib. 6. cap. 20.]]
[* ]Dion. Hal. Antiq. Rom. lib. 3. [[Actually IV.24 .]]
[* ]The following facts, with regard to the comparative price of the labour of colliers in Scotland and England, and of that of colliers in comparison with other labourers, in both countries, have been communicated to the author by a gentleman of great knowledge and observation. [[The “gentleman” is likely Adam Smith, since Smith discussed the colliers at LJ (A) iii.127–30 and LJ (B) 139 and provided documentary evidence of their wages. Millar presumably got this information from Smith’s lectures and personal discussion. See also Wealth of Nations, I.x.b.15.
[* ]By a late act of parliament such regulations have been made as, in a short time, will probably abolish the remains of that servitude to which this order of men have been so long subjected. [[See note p. 269.]]
[† ]These observations were made about the year 1765, and relate more immediately to the parishes of Vere, Hanover, and St. Thomas in the vale.
[* ]See American Husbandry, published in 1775. [[John Mitchell and Arthur Young, American Husbandry. Containing an Account of the Soil, Climate, Production, and Agriculture of the British Colonies in North-America and the West-Indies (London: J. Bew, 1775), II:138, 146.]]
[5. ]Benjamin Rush favorably quotes a letter from Granville Sharpe in An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements, on the Slavery of the Negroes in America, in which Sharpe suggests that slaves be paid wages one working day every week as a step in the abolition of slavery (Benjamin Rush, An Address, pp. 20–21n). Rush’s Vindication, cited by Millar in the next note, was published in a volume with An Address.
[* ]See [[Benjamin Rush a vindication of the address to the inhabitants of the British settlements on the slavery of the negroes in America, by a Pennsylvanian, printed at Philadelphia, 1773.]]
[† ]In the case of Somerset, the negro, decided in 1772. [[James Somerset was owned by Charles Stewart, a Bostonian. Stewart brought Somerset to England, where he escaped. After Somerset’s recapture, Stewart sent him on a ship to Jamaica. Granville Sharpe, the antislavery activist, convinced Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, to issue a writ of habeas corpus. The ship was stopped, Somerset returned to England, and the case proceeded. Eventually Mansfield ruled in Somerset’s favour and Somerset was freed.]]
[‡ ]Joseph Knight, a negro, against John Wedderburn, 15th January 1778. [[Sir John Wedderburn brought his slave Joseph Knight from Jamaica to Scotland where after a few years Knight petitioned the courts for his freedom. Wedderburn made a distinction between perpetual servitude—using the colliers as precedent—and slavery, and won an initial case in 1774. Knight appealed and eventually won the case in 1778.]]
[1. ]Chapter I. Of the rank and condition of women in different ages