Montesquieu
 

XXX.9 A just application of the laws of the Burgundians and that of the Visigoths on the division of lands

One has to consi­der that these divi­sions were not made by a tyran­ni­cal spi­rit, but with the thought of mee­ting the mutual needs of the two peo­ples who were to inha­bit the same coun­try.

The law of the Burgundians would have every Burgundian recei­ved as a guest by a Roman. That is in kee­ping with the ways of the Germans, who, as Tacitus reports it,1 were of all peo­ple on earth the one that liked most to prac­tice hos­pi­ta­lity.

The law would give the Burgundian two-thirds of the lands and one-third of the serfs. It fol­lo­wed the genius of the two peo­ples, and confor­med to the man­ner in which they pro­cu­red their sub­sis­tence. The Burgundian who ten­ded gra­zing flocks nee­ded a great deal of land and few serfs, and the great labor of culti­va­ting the land requi­red the Roman to have less glebe and more serfs. The woods were divi­ded in half, because the needs in that res­pect were the same.

We see in the code of the Burgundians that each bar­ba­rian was pla­ced at the home of each Roman.2 The sha­ring was the­re­fore not uni­ver­sal, but the num­ber of Romans who gave a share was equal to the num­ber of Burgundians recei­ving one. The Roman suf­fe­red as lit­tle pre­ju­dice as pos­si­ble ; the Burgundian war­rior, hun­ter, and she­pherd, did not dis­dain to take fal­low lands ; the Roman kept the best lands for culti­va­tion ; the Burgundian’s flocks fer­ti­li­zed the Roman’s field.

De moribus Germanorum [ch. xxi].

And in that of the Visigoths.