Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XX.: Of the Law of Nations as practised by the Tartars. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XX.: Of the Law of Nations as practised by the Tartars. - 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 Law of Nations as practised by the Tartars.
THE Tartars appear to be mild and humane amongst themselves, and yet they are most cruel conquerors: when they take cities, they put the inhabitants to the sword, and imagine that they act humanely, if they only sell the people or distribute them amongst their soldiers. They have destroyed Asia, from India even to the Mediterranean; and all the country, which forms the East of Persia, they have rendered a desart.
This law of nations is owing, I think, to the following cause. These people having no towns, all their wars are carried on with eagerness and impetuosity: they fight whenever they hope to conquer; and, when they have no such hope, they join the stronger army. With such customs, it is contrary to the law of nations that a city, incapable of repelling their attack, should stop their progress. They regard not cities as an association of inhabitants, but as places made to bid defiance to their power. They besiege them without military skill, and expose themselves greatly in the attack; and therefore revenge themselves on all those who have spilt their blood.