CHAPTER 11
THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SITUATION AFTER THE INVASIONS AND THE MEDITERRANEAN NAVIGATION

1. Personal Property and the Soil

As regards the government of persons and territories, " Romania" was not greatly altered by the invasions. There was, of course, a certain amount of pillage and violence. The Carmen de providentia divina, which was written in Southern Gaul on the advent of Ataulf's Visigoths, compares their ravages with those of an ocean flood.1 But calm returned after the tempest. Paulinus of Pella, who was ruined by the invasion, and who fled before it, relates that he was saved by a Goth, who bought a small estate which he owned in the neighbourhood of Marseilles.2 One could hardly wish for a better illustration of the way in which pillage was followed by social equilibrium. Here was a deserted estate, yet the invaders did not seize it. As soon as the Germans were established in the country in accordance with the rules of hospitalitas, society became once more stabilized. But how was the process of settlement conducted? We may suppose that the Germans took advantage of their position, but their settlement did not involve any absolute upheaval. There was no redistribution of the soil, and no introduction of novel methods of agriculture. The Roman colonists remained tied to the soil to which the impost had attached them. Instead of paying a Roman, they paid a German master. The slaves were divided among the conquerors. As for the peasants, they cannot have noticed any very great change. There does not appear to have been, in any part of "Romania," such a substitution of one system of agriculture for another as occurred in England.

____________________
1
MIGNE, Patr. Lat., vol. 51, circa617.
2
Eucharisticos, ed. BRANDES, Corp. Script. Eccles. Latin., vol. XVI, 1888, p. 311.

-75-

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