There are two kinds of ser­vi­tude, real and per­so­nal. The real kind is that which atta­ches the slave to the land. Such were the sla­ves of the Germans, as Tacitus reports.1 They had no domes­tic func­tion ; they retur­ned to their mas­ter a cer­tain quan­tity of wheat, live­stock, or raw mate­rials : the object of their sla­very went no fur­ther. This sort of ser­vi­tude is still esta­bli­shed in Hungary, in Bohemia, and in seve­ral pla­ces in Lower Germany.

Personal ser­vi­tude has to do with domes­tic ser­vi­ces, and is clo­ser tied to the per­son of the mas­ter.

Extreme abuse of sla­very is when it is at the same time per­so­nal and real. Such was the ser­vi­tude of the Helots among the Lacedæmonians : they were sub­jec­ted to all the labors out­side the house, and to all sorts of mis­treat­ment inside : this helo­tism is against the nature of things. Simple peo­ples have real sla­very only,2 because their wives and chil­dren do the domes­tic tasks. Sensuous peo­ples have per­so­nal sla­very, because luxury requi­res the ser­vice of sla­ves in the house. But helo­tism com­bi­nes in the same per­sons the sla­very esta­bli­shed among sen­suous peo­ples and the kind esta­bli­shed among sim­ple peo­ples.

De moribus germanorum.

You could not (says Tacitus, on the ways of the Germans) distinguish the master from the slave by the delights of life.