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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 De armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire

Alberico Gentili’s De armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire

(p.53) 4 Alberico Gentili’s De armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire
The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations

Diego Panizza

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses Alberico Gentili's engagement with the Roman empire in his dialogue De armis Romanis. It offers an overarching interpretation of this work, placing Gentili firmly in the ‘humanist’ category as framed by Richard Tuck, and situating De armis Romanis in a unity with Gentili's other works on the law of nations, particularly De iure belli and De legationibus. It argues that both De iure belli and De armis are expressions of the same ‘humanist’ understanding of warfare and international politics, with an emphasis on self-preservation and the justice of pre-emptive self-defence, adding a universalist element to Machiavelli's vision of republican imperialism.

Keywords:   Roman empire, humanist, Richard Tuck, law of nations, De iure belli, De legationibus, warfare, international politics

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