Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVI.: Of the Conquests of the Mahometans. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XVI.: Of the Conquests of the Mahometans. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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Of the Conquests of the Mahometans.
IT was this excess of taxes* that occasioned the prodigious facility with which the Mahometans carried on their conquests. Instead of a continual series of extortions, devised by the subtle avarice of the Greek emperors, the people were subjected to a simple tribute, which was paid and collected with ease. Thus they were far happier in obeying a barbarous nation than a corrupt government, in which they suffered every inconvenience of lost liberty with all the horror of present slavery.
[* ]See in history the greatness, the oddity and even the folly, of those taxes. Anastasius invented a tax for breathing, ut quisque pro haustu [Editor: illegible?] aeris penderet.