Title page from The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) vol. 3 (Book III)

Part of: The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) 3 vols The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) vol. 3 (Book III)

Grotius’s Rights of War and Peace is a classic of modern public international law which lays the foundation for a universal code of law and which strongly defends the rights of individual agents - states as well as private persons - to use their power to secure themselves and their property.

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This edition is based upon that of the eighteenth-century French editor Jean Barbeyrac and also includes the Prolegomena to the first edition of Rights of War and Peace (1625); this document has never before been translated into English and adds new dimensions to the great work.

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Key Quotes

War & Peace

III. We then first declare, if the Cause of the War be unjust, tho’ it be undertaken in a solemn Manner, yet all the Acts of Hostility done in it are unjust in themselves. So that they who knowingly do these Acts, or join in the acting of them, Are to be accounted in the Number of those, who…

War & Peace

Thus Alexander the Great, as Justin relates it, hindered his Soldiers from wasting Asia, declaring to them, that they should spare their own, and not destroy those Things, which they came to possess… They who do otherwise, may apply to themselves the Words of Jocasta to Polynices in Seneca’s…