By Myron J. Smith
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Extra resources for Free State Battlewagon - U.S.S. Maryland (BB-46)
A second basic social prin ciple o f the German w a y o f settlement seemed strange to Roman o b servers. T h e free German lived permanently and exclusively on the land that he had inherited. His home was never part o f a larger settle ment, least o f all o f a city. W h e n Tacitus brings out this fact in c. 16 he is well aware that he is pointing to a remarkably crude divergence in German customary ways o f living from those o f all civilized peoples, not merely o f the Romans. In the traditional literary view o f the 'social contract' the fundamental institutions o f a well-ordered life are the cities; domicilia coniuncta quas urbes dicimm, as Cicero once put it (Pro Sestio, 42, § 91).
They let the mines of Transylvania, its greatest treasure in Roman eyes, go to ruin. They were incapable of living in peace with the colonizing landlords and of learning from them. Some of the old population had held out in Dacia when the Roman armies had practically evacuated it; but when in Aurelian's reign complete abandonment became certain, they migrated to fresh homes given them by the emperor south of the Danube. Evidently only servile cultivators were left behind: they transmitted the vocabulary which forms the basis of Roumanian.
So the villa retained its importance; and a typical product of the age was the fortified villa. It was now often the centre of a public administrative area. For the owners of great scattered masses oflanded property managed to withdraw them from the financial and judicial organization of the civitates, and to administer them like the crown lands as saltus. They even undertook to be responsible for thendependants' dues to the state. Inside and outside these domains, agriculture served the state directly.