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In 1604-1605 Hugo Grotius wrote De iure praedae, a commentary on the law of booty and prize and a first step towards the Law of War and Peace of twenty years later. Not published in his own times, rediscovered in 1864, and subsequently published, it has been over-interpreted and under-studied. The sixteen essays in this volume discuss De iure praedae, its intellectual sources, personal and political circumstances and over-all consequences, exploring how Grotius as a humanist, theologian, jurist and politician proceeded in this his first exercise in the theory of natural law and rights. The essays are written by an international and interdisciplinary team of specialists, based on papers delivered at a conference at NIAS in Wassenaar in 2005.