De jure belli ac pacis libri tres [The law of war and peace] (3/1.)

Szerző: Grotius, Hugo
Szerkesztő: Scott, James Brown
Cím: De jure belli ac pacis libri tres [The law of war and peace] (3/1.)
Sorozatcím: The Classics of International Law, 2.
Fordító: Kelsey, Francis Willey
Megjelenési adatok: Clarendon Press - Humphrey Milford, Oxford - London, 1925.

coverimage Huig de Groot, whom we know and venerate under the latinized name of Hugo Grotius, is not a man with one book to his credit ; but lawyers of all parts of the world are celebrating the three hundredth anniversary of one work of his, De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres. It appeared, it would seem, some time in the month of March 1625. For many years it was looked upon as a tour deforce, as an extraordinary achievement for a politician in exile and a humanist to his finger-tips to have turned off within the space of a few months a treatise on a dry and admittedly technical subject, whose principles were ill-defined and, where known, were treated with scant respect. His preparation for the work was not obvious. It is true that a pamphlet on the freedom of the seas had been published anonymously some sixteen years before, and it was known to those who took an interest in the matter that Grotius was its author ; the connexion, however, between the Mare Liberum of 1609 and the masterpiece of 1625 was not evident. It was a far cry from a pamphlet maintaining a special interest, to a general treatise setting forth the rights and duties of nations in war and in peace. The knowing ones would have us believe that he began the composition of the great work in 1623, upon a sugges- tion of the famous Frenchman, Nicholas Peiresc, 'the Maecenas of his Century and the Ornament of Provence ’, and a letter from Grotius himself, dated January 11,1624, is invoked in support of Peiresc’s intervention. Writing to his patron from Paris, Grotius said : I am not idle, but am continuing the work on the Law of Nations (De Jure Gentium), and if it proves to be such as to deserve readers, posterity will have something which it will owe to you, who summoned me to this labour by your assistance and encouragement. It may well be, indeed, that Grotius was moved to compose the law of nations because of the encouragement which he received from Peiresc, but he would have been unable to please his patron by the production of a manuscript within two years on such a subject without elaborate preparation extending through a long period of years. The suggestion that Grotius should write something for publication may have come from Peiresc, but that it should be a treatise on the law of nations doubtless came from Grotius.