Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIX.: Of the Depopulation of the Globe. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XIX.: Of the Depopulation of the Globe. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Of the Depopulation of the Globe.
ALL these little republics were swallowed up in a large one, and the globe insensibly became depopulated. In order to be convinced of this, we need only consider the state of Italy and Greece, before and after the victories of the Romans.
“You will ask me,” says Livy* , “where the Volsci could find soldiers to support the war, after having been so often defeated. There must have been formerly an infinite number of people in those countries, which at present would be little better than a desart, were it not for a few soldiers and Roman slaves.”
“The oracles have ceased,” says Plutarch, “because the places where they spoke are destroyed. At present we can scarcely find in Greece three thousand men fit to bear arms.”
“I shall not describe,” says Strabo† , “Epirus and the adjacent places; because these countries are intirely deserted. This depopulation, which began long ago, still continues; so that the Roman soldiers encamp in the houses they have abandoned.” We find the cause of this in Polybius, who says, that Paulus Æmilius, after his victory, destroyed seventy cities of Epirus, and carried away a hundred and fifty thousand slaves.
[* ]Lib. vi.
[† ]Lib. vii. page 496.