Montesquieu

Theodoric, king of Italy, whose spi­rit and policy was always to dis­tin­guish him­self from the other bar­ba­rian kings, sen­ding his army into Gaul, wrote to the gene­ral : “I want the Roman laws to be fol­lo­wed, and for you to res­tore fugi­tive sla­ves to their mas­ters : the defen­der of liberty must not favor the aban­don­ment of ser­vi­tude. Let other kings indulge in pillage and the ruin of the cities they have taken : we want to conquer in such as way that our sub­jects will com­plain that they acqui­red sub­jec­tion too late.” It is clear that he wan­ted to make the kings of the Franks and Burgundians odious, and was allu­ding to their right of nations.

This right sub­sis­ted in the second dynasty. Pépin’s army, having ente­red Aquitaine, came back to France laden with an infi­nite num­ber of spoils and serfs, say the annals of Metz.