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The quadricentenary of Hugo Grotius’ Mare liberum (1609-2009) offered the opportunity to publish a reliable critical edition – combined with a revised English translation – of Grotius’ first publication in the field of international law.
Starting from a comparison with the autographic manuscript, Robert Feenstra undertook a verification of the text of the first and only authorised edition – in particular of the numerous marginal references – resulting in many corrections and further annotations.
In his ‘Editor’s Introduction’, he explains the history of the later editions of the Latin text and the translations of Mare liberum. Jeroen Vervliet’s ‘General Introduction’ aims at providing a better understanding of the circumstances in which Hugo Grotius wrote this work; it elucidates the legal argument used by Grotius, and the reaction of his contemporary opponents.