Page:Historical characteristics of the Celtic race.djvu/22

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breeders and careful mothers, but the men are better warriors than husbandmen, οἱ δ' ἄνδρες μᾶλλον μαχηταὶ ἢ γεωργοί."."

Thus far Strabo, and now comes George Long's comment on the social state resulting, indebtedness and poverty:—

"Cæsar does not explain how the poorer sort got into debt, nor how the land was divided. The rich had doubtless large tracts. There is no evidence that the poor had any land in full ownership. They were probably in the condition of tenants who paid their rent in kind, or partly in money and partly in kind; and their debts might either arise from arrears of rent or from borrowing to supply their wants. There is no difficulty in seeing where they might borrow; the towns would contain the traders, and the markets would be in the towns. Arms, agricultural implements, and clothing must be bought with corn, cattle, and hogs. The poor cultivator, whether a kind of proprietor or a tenant, would soon find himself in bad plight between his lord, the shopkeeper, and the "mercator" who travelled the country with his cart loaded with the tempting liquor that he could not resist. (Diod., v. 26.) The enormous waste of life in the Gallic domestic quarrels, their foreign expeditions, and in their wars with the Romans, was easily supplied. A poor agricultural nation, with such robust women as the Galli had (Diod., v. 32) is exactly the people to produce soldiers. Among such a people more male children are born than the land requires: and those who are not wanted for the plough, the spade, or to watch the cattle, are only fit to handle the sword."

Again, as to the Allobroges, the following was the state of matters, revealing how they came into relation with the Catiline tragedy of 63 B.C.:—

"They were overwhelmed with debt, both the state and individuals; a common complaint of the provincial subjects of Rome. The Romans levied heavy contributions on the people who had made most resistance, and both communities and individuals felt it. Besides this, the Gallic cultivator seems to have been always in debt. He borrowed money from the Roman negotiatores at a high rate, and his profits would be hardly sufficient to pay the interest of the money. The profitable business of feeding sheep and cattle was in the hands of the Romans, who probably got the exclusive use of much of the pasture land. As the Allobroges