Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIII.: Of armed Slaves. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XIII.: Of armed Slaves. - 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 armed Slaves.
THE danger of arming slaves is not so great in monarchies as in republics. In the former, a warlike people and a body of nobility are a sufficient check upon these armed slaves; whereas, the pacific members of a republic would have a hard task to quell a set of men, who, having offensive weapons in their hands, would find themselves a match for the citizens.
The Goths, who conquered Spain, spread themselves over the country, and soon became very weak. They made three important regulations: they abolished an ancient custom which prohibited intermarriages with the† Romans; they enacted that all the freedmen‡ , belonging to the fiscus, should serve in war, under penalty of being reduced to slavery; and they ordained that each Goth should arm, and bring into the field, the tenth part∥ of his slaves. This was but a small proportion: besides, these slaves, thus carried to the field, did not form a separate body; they were in the army, and might be said to continue in the family.
[† ]Law of the Visigoths, lib. 3. tit. 1. §. 1.
[‡ ]Ibid. lib. 5. tit. 17. §. 20.
[∥ ]Ibid. lib. 9. tit. 2. §. 9.