Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: Different Ways of dividing the Land. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
CHAP. VII.: Different Ways of dividing the Land. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Different Ways of dividing the Land.
AFTER the Goths and Burgundians had under various pretences penetrated into the heart of the empire, the Romans, in order to put a stop to their devastations, were obliged to provide for their subsistence. At first they allowed them* corn; but afterwards chose to give them lands. The emperors, or the Roman† magistrates in their name, made particular conventions with them concerning the division of lands, as we find in the chronicles and in the codes of the Visigoths‡ and Burgundians.§
The Franks did not follow the same plan. In the Salic and Ripuarian laws we find not the least vestige of any such division of lands: they had conquered the country, and so took what they pleased, making no regulations but amongst themselves.
Let us therefore distinguish between the conduct of the Burgundians and Visigoths in Gaul, of those same Visigoths in Spain, of the∥ auxiliary troops under Augustulus and Odoacer in Italy, and that of the Franks in Gaul, as also of the Vandals** in Africa. The former entered into conventions with the antient inhabitants, and in consequence thereof made a division of lands between them; the latter did no such thing.
[* ]The Romans obliged themselves to this by treaties.
[† ]Burgundiones partem Galliæ occuparunt, terrasque cum Gallicis senatoribus diviserunt. Marius’s Chronicle in the year 456.
[‡ ]Book x. tit. 1. sect. 8, 9, and 16.
[§ ]Chap. 54, sect. 1 and 2. This division was still subsisting in the time of Lewis the Debonnaire, as appears by his capitulary of the year 829, which has been inserted in the law of the Burgundians, tit. 79. sect. 1.
[∥ ]See Procopius, war of the Goths.
[** ]See Procopius, war of the Vandals.