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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
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The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations: Alberico Gentili and the Justice of Empire

Edited by: Benedict Kingsbury, Benjamin Straumann

ISBN13: 9780199599875
Published: December 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £78.00

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This book makes the important but surprisingly under-explored argument that modern international law was built on the foundations of Roman law and Roman imperial practice. A pivotal figure in this enterprise was the Italian Protestant Alberico Gentili (1552-1608), the great Oxford Roman law scholar and advocate, whose books and legal opinions on law, war, empire, embassies and maritime issues framed the emerging structure of inter-state relations in terms of legal rights and remedies drawn from Roman law and built on Roman and scholastic theories of just war and imperial justice.

The distinguished group of contributors examine the theory and practice of justice and law in Roman imperial wars and administration; Gentili's use of Roman materials; the influence on Gentili of Vitoria and Bodin and his impact on Grotius and Hobbes; and the ideas and influence of Gentili and other major thinkers from the 16th to the 18th centuries on issues such as preventive self-defence, punishment, piracy, Europe's political and mercantile relations with the Ottoman Empire, commerce and trade, European and colonial wars and peace settlements, reason of state, justice, and the relations between natural law and observed practice in providing a normative and operational basis for international relations and what became international law.

This book explores ways in which both the theory and the practice of international politics was framed in ways that built on these Roman private law and public law foundations, including concepts of rights. This history of ideas has continuing importance as European ideas of international law and empire have become global, partly accepted and partly contested elsewhere in the world.

Public International Law, Legal History, Roman Law and Greek Law
1. Introduction

2. The Meaning of imperium in the Last Century BC and the First AD
3. Empire and the Laws of War: A Roman Archaeology
4. Alberico Gentili's De armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire
5. The De armis Romanis and the exemplum of Roman Imperialism
6. The Corpus iuris as a Source of Law Between Sovereigns in Alberico Gentili's Thought

7. Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans
8. Gentili, the Poets, and the Laws of War
9. Vitoria, Gentili, Bodin: Sovereignty and the Law of Nations
10. Alberico Gentili's Doctrine of Defensive War and Its Impact on Seventeenth-Century Normative Views
11. Alberico Gentili's ius post bellum and Early Modern Peace Treaties
12. Punishment and the ius post bellum

13. Legalities of the Sea in Gentili's Hispanica Advocatio
14. Ius gentium: A Defense of Gentili's Equation of the Law of Nations and the Law of Nature
15. International Law and raison d'etat: Rethinking the Prehistory of International Law
16. Gentili, Vitoria, and the Fabrication of a 'Natural Law of Nations'