The Law Code And Its Impact On The Western Roman Empire Essay

714 Words Dec 13th, 2016 3 Pages
In the early 500s the Germans, known as Burgundians, conquered the fallen Western Roman Empire. Before that time, they had been known to be illiterate with no forms of written history themselves, but were found in written Roman history referred to as barbarians. They were a community ruled by a chieftain and split into tribes also known as warrior brotherhoods. In order to gain honor and power, one had to be ruthless and a hero of war. In conquering the fallen empire, they conquered some of the Romans and also invited some into their community but each had different rights. The Burgundian Law Code exemplified a written attempt for chieftain Gundobad to exert his power, provide non-violent solutions to disagreements, and acknowledge his people separate from the Romans who mingled among them and who were considered only slightly less violent. Since the Burgundians conquered their land after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, they were heavily populated by Roman citizens. However, these Roman citizens were still expected to live by the Burgundian code. In order to separate the citizens, the laws often differed such as when fines needed to be paid. Additionally, another hope for the code was to define social statuses of men, women and slaves. Often, if a slave was killed, the murderer would simply pay a small fine whether the murder was provoked or not. Families of equal status left conviction up to the chieftain, or, if their oath was not believed, God. Incidentally,…

Related Documents