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The Roman Foundations of the Law of NationsAlberico Gentili and the Justice of Empire$
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Benedict Kingsbury and Benjamin Straumann

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599875.001.0001

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Alberico Gentili’s ius post bellum and Early Modern Peace Treaties

Alberico Gentili’s ius post bellum and Early Modern Peace Treaties

(p.210) 11 Alberico Gentili’s ius post bellum and Early Modern Peace Treaties
The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations

Randall Lesaffer

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the ius post bellum, the body of law aimed at restoring, managing, and maintaining peace. Gentili was the first to elevate the ius post bellum to a central role in the jurisprudence of war, making it the subject of the entire third book of the De iure belli libri tres. The chapter traces the origins of Gentili's notion of war as a contention with arms between equal hostes back to Roman law and to Bartolus — a notion leading Gentili to a ius post bellum strongly influenced by Roman notions of unconditional surrender on the part of the succumbed enemy and terms of just peace dictated by the victorious side. This doctrine is contrasted with the intra-European state practice, which was much more characterized by unclear outcomes of war and the termination of hostilities through agreements.

Keywords:   body of law, peace, jurisprudence, war, Roman law, Bartolus, unconditional surrender

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