Saturday, June 28, 2014

Food in other Germanic codes

The Franks were not the only Germanic group to record their laws. One of the more striking facts about the different “barbarian” groups in Europe is how readily most embraced the Roman idea of written law. Foremost among the others were the Burgundians, the Lombards and the Visigoths.

Some readers will be surprised to know the Burgundians and the Lombards were Germanic; both gave their names to regions (in France and Italy) whose inhabitants were to become entirely Latin (the Lombards were originally Longabards, which may have meant “long beards”). But like the Goths they probably originally came from Scandinavia, albeit after many wanderings.

The Burgundians and the Visigoths both briefly ruled parts of France before being defeated by the Franks. The Burgundians were absorbed into the Franks; the Visigoths were mainly driven into Spain, though they long kept power in what was known as Septimania (now largely Languedoc-Roussillon). The Lombards held power in Italy until Charlemagne defeated those in the north in 774 and made himself “King of the Lombards”. All three of these groups then have some relation to French history.


Burgundian law

This law, which the French also call the Loi Gombette, might be the earliest of these three codes:
The text labelled as Liber constitutionum collects the constitutions of the Burgundian kings Gundobad (died 516) and Sigismund (died 524). Sigismund issued the codification in his main residence Lyon in 517. Later novellae were added by him as well as by his successor Godomar. The codification has been known as Lex Gundobada since the nineth century.
(Bibliotheca Legum)
Though the Burgundian Code is one of the more well-known of the Germanic codes, it includes relatively little about food or agriculture.


While the modern wine-producing region of Burgundy has little to do with the territory of the first Burgundians, it is interesting that the code shows the most concern with vineyards. It not only addresses theft in vineyards, but the cases in which someone might either plant vines on land which had not yet been divided between “Romans” (that is, Gallo-Romans) and Burgundians, or on land already owned by another. As in all these laws, destruction by animals was a concern; the law specifically references complaints by both Burgundians and Romans about this happening (a unique reference in itself to events provoking a clause in a law). Pigs seem to have been a particular problem, since the vine-owner was allowed to kill one of the offending herd and use it as he wished (presumably eating it or salting it for later use). The same is said to be true of other animals, but since cattle and horses are excepted, sheep and goats were the most likely other possibilities. Anyone who snuck into a vineyard at night, free or slave, to commit a theft could be killed. A free man who did so during the day had to pay three solidi to the vine's owner but also pay a fine of the same amount (presumably to the authorities). A slave who did so was to receive three hundred blows with a stick. Not only could one readily imagine that the latter could often have been fatal, but this is a rare example of corporal punishment. The slave's master could buy his way out of this, but even then was supposed to guarantee a punishment of one hundred and fifty blows, to discourage others from similar behavior.

If a freeman was found after the fact to have committed such a theft, he was to pay twelve solidi to the vine owner and six as a fine. A separate section adds other similar stipulations, including the fact that the vine owner could not be punished for killing someone they found in their vines at night. (Typically all these codes allow the killing of an intruder under varied circumstances; some local modern American law does the same.)


Beyond vineyards, other forms of damage by animals were addressed. A large animal could be killed if causing damage in a wheat field, but had to be returned to the owner (after “taking into account” the damage caused). Someone who made a hole in a hedge to let their horses or other animals into a wheat or ordinary field had to pay a solidus for each animal. A slave who did the same was to receive one hundred blows. Note that anyone who blocked a public or neighborhood road with their hedge could be fined, and others were free to knock it over and even trample whatever was grown on what was meant to be public land.

This law is unique in foreseeing the case where someone might pen in someone else's animal after it caused damage only for it to be harmed in a fire, for instance. If an animal killed a human being by accident however, no one was to be punished. If one animal killed another, the offending animal was to be given to the person who suffered the loss.

Most of the mentions of animals, in fact, are related to the damage they might cause, not their special skills, their age, etc as in some other laws. Were the Burgundians unusually wary of their livestock?

Theft too was a concern. If someone tracked a missing animal to another's home and the latter refused to let them come in to check for it, they were considered to have committed a theft. The law explicitly, but briefly, mentions the theft of sheep, goats, and pigs, as well as beehives. Unusually, however, beasts of burden were explicitly allowed to wander far and wide without others being able to take possession of them.


Curiously the one list of comparative values comes in what was to be paid to a seer to find something stolen: five solidi for a slave, two for a mare, three for a horse, for a first class ox, two, for a cow, one, for a lamb, one, for a pig, one, for a goat, a third of a solidus (that is, a tremissis). (This is a rare mention of goats and perhaps a unique one of their lesser value.)

Like several other laws, this law limits the animals that can be taken as a guarantee for a debt. In this case, it is oxen whose value must be paid if taken by the creditor. More curiously, if a creditor went to seize goods and found other livestock, or slaves or horses but took an ox instead, they were to pay twelve solidi; if they took two, twenty-four solidi and a fine of twelve solidi, while still being obliged to return the animals. (The difference in the animals considered off-limits as collateral is one of the more striking features of these different laws.)

The theft of a plowshare required a free thief to not only provide all the parts of a plough but two oxen with their yoke to the owner; this is an unusual example of a payment in kind. A slave was simply to receive one hundred and fifty blows.


Other than vines, wheat is the crop most mentioned and the only other one whose theft is mentioned, including theft from a granary. (Note that there is no mention of stealing from a mill.) The accidental burning of a harvest, because of a wind spreading the fire, was not punished; but if there was no wind, the person who lit the fire had to pay for the lost harvest. Strangely, no other form of burning is mentioned.

The law does not mention specific fruit, but does punish cutting down another's fruit-bearing trees (as well as, curiously, pines). Other trees, however, could freely be cut down for firewood. Overall, outside enclosures, the law encourages a common use of lands.


It is rare that the law mentions hunting. Two exceptions – regarding a bow set as a trap for wolves and a trap set for wild animals in a deserted place – may be more about protection than game. Rules exist for hunting animals, however, and they are unique. Someone who stole a falcon had to accept its eating six ounces of flesh from his breast or pay six solidi to the owner and a fine of two. (Is the first concept even mentioned before "The Merchant of Venice"? Certainly, this is a rare mention of it.)

The penalty for stealing a hound is probably the most extraordinary in any of these laws. Three types of dogs are listed - veltravi, segutii, and petrunculi - possibly corresponding to a hound for hares or a tracking dog, a general hound and a dog for running. For any of these, the culprit was to "kiss the rear of this dog, in the presence of the assembly" – or pay five solidi to the dog's owner and a fine of two solidi (which must have been the option chosen by all but the most desperate).

These two brief entries suggest that hunters valued their animals greatly, even viscerally. Why so fewer clauses appear here regarding hunting than in other laws is a mystery.


Visigothic law

In 410, the Goths sacked Rome. This kind of thing will give a group a reputation and that of the Goths has been a bad one ever since. This is ironic, since both the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths were in fact very sophisticated groups who left a rich and complex history. Among other things, the Visigoths showed an early interest in Roman law, which informed their own legal codes.

The Visigothic Law was created in two stages, beginning with the Codex Euricanus, on which the Lex Visigothorum was based.
Codex Euricianus
Codex Euricianus is an artificial term for a codification for use in the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse. Only the titles 274 to 336 have survived fragmentarily in a single codex, the palimpsest Paris Lat. 12161. Other parts of the text can be reconstructed via its reception in the Lex Baiuvariorum and the Lex Visigothorum. The attribution of the text to the Visigothic king Euric (466-484) is widely accepted. His successor Alaric II. (484-507) was suggested as originator by Hermann Nehlsen. Contentwise the Codex is a very concise and valuable redaction of Roman law, which was supposed to comprise all spheres of legal affairs.
Lex Visigothorum
Based on the Codex Euricianus the Visigothic king Leovigild (569-586) draw up a new codification for his recently consolidated kingdom. His successors extended the text, so that a revised version came into being in the mid 7th century. This redraft with the original title Liber iudiciorum forms the basis of the surviving manuscripts. It was divided into 12 books and presumably dates back to the time of King Reccesvinths (653-672). Further enhancements were made by the kings Ervig (680-687) and Egica (687-702). The codification continued to have an impact even after the end of the Visigothic kingdom in 711.
(Bibliotheca Legum)
In practice, this code would most apply in Spain, though it applied in the south of France for a time and then in the more limited region of Septimania (approximately today's Languedoc-Roussillon). The law is complex and far-ranging, yet has relatively little to say about agriculture.


One unusual aspect of the law is its reference to renting animals out. This comes in the stipulation that one was not responsible for the death of a loaned or hired animal, unless it could be shown that the animal was over-worked or burdened, or lacked exercise, in which case an animal of equal value was owed.

Note that there is no composition or fine here. These exist in the Visigothic law, but far more rarely. Conversely, it is common for lashes to be prescribed for an offense. Corporal punishment is rare in many of the other codes and when it exists typically takes other forms.

Once again the theft of bells from animals is punished, providing comparative values in the compositions: from a mare or an ox, one solidus; from a cow, two tremisses; from a ram or other livestock, one tremissis.

Theft of parts of a mill was also punished with a fine, but one vaguely based on those for other thefts, and with a hundred lashes as well, as well as the return of what was stolen. Anyone who damaged a mill had to repair and might receive lashes as well.

A rare mention of harm to animals comes in the punishment for killing a horse, ox or other animal in secret or at night, which was ninefold the value of the animal. An animal known to be vicious was to be destroyed. If an owner tried to avoid doing so and the animal hurt or killed someone, a long list of various compensations were to be paid, depending on the rank, age and gender of the victim. On the other hand, someone who taunted an animal into an attack was held responsible for the outcome.

The familiar problem of animals destroying crops is addressed however. Letting any kind of livestock into vineyard or field of grain was punished, first, by the cost of the destroyed goods. A curious note is that a person of high rank was to pay a solidus for every horse or ox and a tremissis for every smaller animal involved to the owner of the property. A person of lesser rank had to pay half the value in addition to the basic cost; a slave got sixty lashes and his master had to pay for the damages. Otherwise, a person whose animals destroyed a vineyard or a wheat field had to give either land with an equivalent yield or, if he had none, as much fruit or grain as the land in question yielded.

Similar stipulations applied for destroying grass grown for hay.

A complex paragraph concerns someone who found another's animals in his vineyard or fields. The damage was then assessed and all concerned had to wait until the fruit or grain actually appeared to assess the ultimate damage. Other related paragraphs follow.

In this connection, the law also enumerates mutilations of an animal – of its lips, tail, ears, etc – found on another's property. In this case, the latter kept the mutilated animal and gave another of equal value in its place. No other law addresses this case. At first glance, such mutilations seem purely vindictive, but it may be they were meant to mark the animal as having caused damage.

Animals were allowed to roam freely in unenclosed areas and penalties applied both for driving them away and enclosing them.

Owners of land with streams were not allowed to enclose them entirely, but they could block them up to half way; if two owners shared a stream, they had to place their half-fences at some distance from each other. Basically however, it had to be possible for the public to place nets in these streams.

Diverting streams, in areas where water was scarce, was fined a solidus per four hours for a large stream, a tremissis for a smaller one (enforcement of such clauses must have been a nightmare.)


Those who set traps (of a variety of sorts) were to let people know they were there. Still, if travelers unknowingly wandered into them, the penalty was a third of that for injuring or killing someone.


This may be the only law to address malicious destruction of another's vineyard, specifically by burning it, cutting it down or turning it up by the roots. The culprit here had to give the victim two vineyards of equal value (the latter kept the damaged vineyard.) Stealing the grapes was punished in a similar way. A slave could get ten lashes for every damaged vine.

Destroying someone else's garden (presumably on purpose) was punished only by payment for the damages. In other laws, this is the kind of thing that was punished with a fine as well, but often that is not the case in Visigothic law. Note too the suggestion (as in Salic law) of a certain amount of plain vandalism among farmers.

Knocking down or burning fences or cutting fence posts was punished with a fine if these enclosed orchards or meadows, but only with repairs if there were no fruit trees inside. On the other hand, if an enclosure was “unreasonable”, effectively forcing people to cross crops, etc. it could legally be ignored.


The fines for cutting down trees are marginally informative. Cutting down an olive tree was fined five solidi where for a fruit tree it was three; this shows plainly the value of olives, whose oil was so fundamental in the south (further north, animal fat was often used). For an oak (which, among other things, provided food for pigs), it could be one or two, depending on the size; for other large trees, two. The text points out that such trees could be useful, even without bearing fruit. If the trees were carried away, they either had to be replaced by the same trees or paid double the preceding amounts.

Little else appears here about trees, except as part of a paragraph on fires. Burning someone else's grove, or trees, including, specifically, pine or fig trees (a curious pair to single out), was punished with one hundred lashes and compensation. The law states, apparently exceptionally, that the latter was to be determined by competent appraisers.

The text's reference to camp fires is probably unique; it addresses the case where a traveler might build a fire to keep warm or cook food that then spreads. Among the items that might be damaged are named crops, threshing floors, vineyards or orchards. In theory, the culprit was to pay the full value of any of these, though modern examples show that such damage can go beyond many individuals' means and this may well have been the case at the time.


Like other laws, the Visigothic law punishes someone who cultivates another's land by having them forfeit the fruit of their labors. But another case is more complicated; that in which one has co-inherited land. Typically the result here was that the offender had to provide an equal parcel of land to the other heir, but some nuances appear. Only vineyards and olive-groves are mentioned specifically, along with orchards and gardens. Though grain is mentioned (see below), it is surprising how little a concern it is overall.

Robbing or inflicting “annoyance” on another while they were traveling or working on a farm was punished separately, an unusual reference to the conditions under which theft occurred. It also suggests both activities were considered important.


This law, like several Frankish laws, takes witchcraft seriously and prescribes two hundred lashes for those who, for instance, bring hail down on vineyards and grain. Further, they are to be... scalped (decalvati). This may however simply have meant having the head shaved, though perhaps forcibly (De Mayke). However harsh the action, it presumably was not fatal, since they were then to be drawn through ten neighboring areas as a warning to others. This law is also unusual in prescribing imprisonment: these “enchanters” were to be confined and given clothing and food in order to prevent their causing further harm. Even in later centuries, it would be rare to include clothing for a prisoner, so this otherwise draconian passage can be considered generous on that one point. Alternately, the king could be consulted.

Another paragraph simply says that anyone who used charms or witchcraft to harm people or animals, or crops, vineyards, or trees, should suffer the same damage they tried to inflict on others.


This code specifically mentions food in only two cases. One is as a punishment for a bishop who, for whatever, reason, does not judge a case severely enough. He is to be deprived of wine or food for thirty days, limited only to a piece of barley bread and a cup of water. For the more devout, this might have been standard fare, but for a high dignitary it was a very harsh punishment.

The other case is particularly striking, and unique in these codes: it forbids keeping kosher:
The blessed apostle Paul said, "To the pure all things are pure," but nothing is pure to those who are defiled, because they are unbelievers; and, for this reason, the execrable life of the Jews and the vileness of their horrible belief, which is more foul than any other detestable error, must be destroyed and cast out. Therefore, no Jew shall make a distinction between food which is clean and unclean, as established by the customs and traditions of his ancient rites. No one shall perversely refuse to eat food of any kind, whose condition is proved to be good. No one shall reject one article of food, and accept another, unless the distinction be such as is considered salutary and proper by all Christians. Anyone detected in the violation of this law shall be subjected to the punishment instituted for the same.
This is only one of a litany of anti-Semitic provisions in Book XII: “Concerning the Prevention of Official Oppression, and the Thorough Extinction of Heretical Sects “. Taken together, these amount to a forcible conversion; it would be impossible to obey them and remain a practicing Jew. A later version of this stipulation is harsher in some regards; it defines similar punishments as for witchcraft:
Jews shall not make any Distinction in their Food, According to their Custom. The detestable Jewish custom, viler than any other superstition, dividing food into clean and unclean, accepts the former, while it rejects the latter. Whoever is convicted of the commission of the error of this practice, that is to say, who acts differently from the custom observed, under similar circumstances, by all true Christians, shall receive a hundred lashes and be scalped [or have their head shaven?], by order of the judge in whose district the offense was committed. The provisions of this law shall be observed in every respect concerning drink, as well as food; and the punishment herein before specified shall be inflicted upon all who abstain from the wines or other beverages of Christians.
Strangely however, it makes allowances for the fact that some people simply did not like pork:
In regard to the flesh of swine, we hereby decree that no distinction shall be made on account of religious prejudice; but if any Jew should avoid such food through natural abhorrence, and not from a regard to the usages to their perverse sect, especially if their behavior, in other respects, is similar to that of Christians, and if they have embraced Christianity, and observe its rules, and are known to be sincere believers, they shall not be liable to punishment under the aforesaid law, merely because they have rejected the flesh of swine; for the reason that it appears contrary to justice, that those whom the faith of Christ has openly ennobled, should be rendered liable to punishment on account of their rejection of a single article of food.
One of the most specific references to food in these Germanic laws, then, is, from a modern point of view, a very negative, even shameful, one; yet, perhaps for that very reason, worthy of note.



Lombard law

The Lombard law may be the most extensive and complex of the Germanic laws, even before the Edictus Rothari was augmented with the Grimoaldo additate, the Liutprandis, the Ratchis and the Aistulfi leges:
Under the term Leges Langobardorum various legal records of Lombard rulers in Italy are subsumed. The Edictus Rothari (also Edictum Rothari) forms the basis of all later law collections. It is a written fixation and an improvement of the old tribal legal customs of the Lombards, the cawarfide, and is divided into 388 chapters that mainly deal with the criminal law issues. Besides that, the Edictus also used biblical texts and other sources of law of Roman or Germanic origin. It was accepted in november 643 in Pavia by an assembly of the army.
The turn of the Lombards to the Catholic faith caused a variety of changes, which also required revisions in legislation. In the year 668 the leges a Grimoaldo additae were added to the Edictus Rothari. This formed the starting point for further such edicts like the Liutprandi leges, which consisted of 153 chapters. The Ratchis leges and Aistulfi leges are the last edicts issued by the Lombard kings. After the Frankish conquest of the Lombard kingdom under Charlemagne at the end of the 8th Century the Lombard law tradition survived especially in southern Italy in the duchies of Benevento and Spoleto to the 11th Century onwards. The Adelchis principis capitula and the Arichis II principis capitula continued legislation in Lombard tradition.
(Bibliotheca Legum)
The law has a great deal to say about animals causing damage (as well as a possessed man causing harm to animals). Some of the clauses echo those in Burgundian Law.

If an animal hurt another animal, the two owners were effectively to trade, the offended party getting a supposedly equivalent animal. Someone who borrowed or (once again) rented an animal was responsible for its damages. If someone caused dogs to attack a human or an animal, they, not the owner of the dogs, was responsible. (Note that this law, unlike several others, does not classify dogs by their specialties.)

One enumeration cites the foot of a horse, the horn of an ox, and the teeth of a dog or a pig as potentially causing harm or death – an unusually specific list in such laws.

Where a horse or other domestic animal caused damage and its owner did not appear, the wounded party was to present the animal either to the local sworn judge or "in front of the church where the crowd gathers" and if no owner came forth could keep the animal. But if the animal died, he was to keep the skin in case the owner came forth. Where animals damaged a harvest or a field, the person responsible for the damage only paid for that if he could show it was not his fault; but if he was responsible for their going into the property involved, he had to pay a solidus per animal.

The owner of animals who had caused damage also had to pay a solidus per animal if he tried to prevent the wounded party from enclosing the animals. Things became far more complicated if the animals were already enclosed. The owner could recover them by paying at least 3 siliquae (a coin of minor value which is rarely mentioned in these laws). But the wounded party could be made to pay one solidus per head if he refused to hand them over, or keep them up to nine months, giving them only water, if the owner refused to pay a caution.

If pigs grazed on someone else's land, if there were less than ten, the land owner could keep one and charge three siliquae per head. For more than ten, he could kill one of the lesser ones (presumably keeping the animal for food). If one or several pigs were digging in someone else's land, the owner could kill one (only). Liutprand added stipulations regarding the killing of additional pigs and whether the owner or his swineherd was involved.

The theft of the dominant male of a herd of pigs (of at least thirty) was fined twelve solidi, less for a smaller herd. If someone killed such a pig while it was causing damage, the pig's master had to pay for the damage – but the other person had to also replace the pig.

Liutprand also added that anyone who found a loaded wagon drawn by oxen in his forest could take the wagon, its contents and the oxen home.

In general where animals were hurt or caught by hedges, ditches, etc. that were visible, no penalty was assessed. If an animal died or was hurt falling into a well, there was also no penalty because the well was considered to be of public use. And in fact one of Liutprand's additions addresses the very specific case of someone falling off a forked mechanism used to raise water out of a well. The owner in this case was not to be punished, lest he "forbid access to his well to poor people who not being able to dip into it would die of thirst". This is a very unusual observation of the sort and again confirms the importance of drinking water in medieval times. (The text, which seems to be based on a specific case, is also unusual in implying that anyone who ended up on such a device should have known better in the first place.)

This seems to be the only law which addresses a mare or a cow miscarrying after being beaten. The mare was counted for far more – a three solidus fine – than the cow – one tremissis. If the animal died, it was paid for "separately".

Again, bells on animals are mentioned but only for bulls (oxen), cows and horses. The theft was fined six solidi, the same price as for the theft of a yoke or the straps for one.


The familiar issue of taking collateral is addressed in unusual detail here, largely in regard to slaves (whom one could work as one's own while holding them). No animal seems to have been actually off-limits (as in other laws) but the penalty for taking a herd of pigs without royal permission and with the help of others was severe: death for the leader, or nine hundred solidi (a huge sum), divided equally between the king and the owner. Those who helped were to pay eighty solidi (already a great deal) each, unless they were serfs, who, the law acknowledged, had no choice.

Horses or oxen broken to the plough could only be seized where the creditor had nothing else and with the permission of an official called a sculdasius. Cows or smaller animals could be taken, however.

Liutprand added that someone who took cattle broken to the plough as a pledge (with the right permission) could work them for twelve days. If they died during that time, he owed nothing unless it could be shown he had worked them harder than his own (which he could refute by swearing on the Gospels). A complex passage follows examining which side of the Alps the debtor was on in the days the debt was to be paid. Such geographic precision is probably unique in these laws.

If large game caused damage or killed someone while being pursued, the hunter was responsible, but only during the pursuit itself. Like some Frankish laws, the Lombard law refers to a trained stag, valued more (twelve solidi) if he was in rut than not (six solidi). The law also addresses harm to falcons, cranes and swans. Theft of falcons was also addressed, with special note of those belonging to the king.

Also as in Frankish law, this one addresses animals killed or wounded by another hunter. Anyone who found one killed by another was to inform the latter, but got the right shoulder with seven ribs (a very unusual specification). Someone who killed an animal with an arrow had a right to it for twenty-four hours after ending his pursuit; after that it went to whomever found it.

Stealing other people's fishing equipment or from their fish preserves was also punished,


This law addresses the theft of hives, under a roof, or a swarm on a marked tree. A swarm found on an unmarked tree could be freely taken, but if the bee's owner came along, he had the right to take their honey. This may be the only specific reference to honey in these laws. Again, the king's bees are singled out.


If someone sold land which another worked and then its true owner appeared, the seller had to return the cost of the land and all the costs of working it. On the other hand, if (as in other laws), one worked someone else's land, all the work and yield was lost.

Anyone who built a mill on someone else's land also lost it.


Harm to sown fields is also addressed, as is theft of hay from another's field. Intentionally damaging another's field or tearing up his wheat was also punished. Even the case of a woman walking through a sown field is addressed, including her being bound and led off by the owner (which was punished) or urged by another to trample the land (also punished).

The law specifically addresses cutting down another's apple, pear, chestnut or olive trees, specifying three solidi fine for each. (It is not surprising that olives are added in a southern law; the mention of chestnuts is very unusual.)

Vines are addressed in an unusual way, in that vine stock in particular is cited. Theft of the stock, the tool used to cut it and a piece of it were punished, as was maliciously cutting into it. The law however seems to give a nod to human nature in saying that one could freely take up to three bunches of grapes without punishment. This is a rare reference to the grapes themselves rather than the vines.


Perhaps because it comes later, this law differs notably from the Salic law in one regard. Not only does it not punish a witch for eating human flesh, anyone who kills a woman based on that claim is punished “because... it is not all possible that a woman can eat a living human being from the inside.”


Overview


As different as these laws are, both from each other, and from the various Frankish laws, they agree in showing a world where animals could often do damage, yet were valued, where people sometimes worked the land of others or maliciously harmed its products, where hunting was important but not central, where the main cultivation was of grapes and wheat, where (for two of the laws) olives had a distinct importance, where limits were put on what could be taken for a debt (probably because an ox, for instance, was important to one's livelihood), where spells and curses remained real concerns, even where the law commanded otherwise. In later laws the context is more specifically Christian and the concept of renting animals begins to appear.

It should be noted too that all these "Barbarian" laws seek a balance between compensating loss and limiting excessive retaliation, between fixing blame and acknowledging the vagaries of chance; they are, in a word, fair-minded.




FOR FURTHER READING:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septimania



Bibliotheca Legum



Corpus iuris germanici antiqui: Legem Salicam, Ripuariorum,Alamannorum Baiuvariorum, Burgundionum, Frisionum, Angliorum etWerinorum, Saxonum, Edictum Theoderici, Leges Wisogothorum, et edictaregum Langobardorum continens ed Ferdinand Walter 1824

Peyré, J. F. A., Lex Burgundionum: Lois des Bourguignons,vulgairement nommées Loi Gombette, traduites pour la première sois.Par M. J. F. A. Peyré 1855

Davoud-Oghlou, Garabed Artin, Histoire de la législation desanciens germains, v2 1845


The Visigothic code (Forum judicum), tr. S. P. Scott, THE LIBRARY OF IBERIAN RESOURCES ONLINE

"Book VIII: Concerning Acts of Violence and Injuries /Title III: Concerning injuries to Trees, Gardens, or Growing Crops of any Description", The Visigothic Code: (Forum judicum) ed. S. P.Scott

De Jong, Mayke, "Adding Insult to Injury: Julian of Toledo and his Historia Wambae",The Visigoths from the Migration Period to the Seventh Century: An Ethnographic Perspective, ed Heather, Peter  1999



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