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

, par Stewart

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 practices 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.