Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-gctlb Total loading time: 1.27 Render date: 2022-07-02T09:54:18.694Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

7 - The Working Methods of Hugo Grotius: Which Sources Did He Use and How Did He Use Them in His Early Writings on Natural Law Theory?

from Part III - LEGAL HUMANISM: A PAN-EUROPEAN METHODOLOGY?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2016

Martine J van Ittersum
Affiliation:
Dundee
Get access

Summary

  1. A. INTRODUCTION

  2. B. METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH IDEENGESCHICHTE AND QUELLENFORSCHUNG?

  3. C. GROTIUS AND LIBRARIES

  4. D. GROTIUS’ WORKING METHODS

  5. E. GROTIUS’ REFERENCING OF AQUINAS IN MS BPL 917

  6. F. CONCLUSIONS

INTRODUCTION

This chapter examines the working methods of the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), particularly his use and referencing of “sources” in his early works on natural law and natural rights. I will first discuss the methodological issues at stake. I will then say something about Grotius and books in the first two decades of the seventeenth century. Which books did he own? To which libraries did he have access? And, most importantly, what purpose did books serve for Grotius? Which ones did he read from cover to cover and which ones did he use selectively? This, of course, brings us to the issue of Grotius’ working methods. How did he gather and process information? How did he construct treatises? What can we say about his use of “sources” in his early works on natural law and natural rights? In answering these questions, I will draw on the research which Peter Borschberg, Jan Waszink, and I have done on Grotius’ early works on natural law and natural rights theories, in particular Mss BPL 917, 918 and 922 in Leiden University Library. I will end with a detailed discussion of Grotius’ referencing of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae in Ms BPL 917, otherwise known to us as De Jure Praedae/ Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty, written by Grotius in 1604–08 at the behest of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Grotius’ own copy of the Summa Theologiae is still extant at Lund University Library. It contains lots of underlining. There is much that can be learnt about Grotius’ use of “sources” by comparing underlined passages in his copy of the Summa Theologiae with his referencing of Aquinas in Ms BPL 917. In my conclusion, I will address the question where we go from here. Will a better understanding of Grotius’ working methods afford us new insights into his life and work? Is it important? Why should the “new” intellectual history be preferable to Ideengeschichte and Quellenforschung old-style?

Type
Chapter
Information
Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Petere Fontes?
, pp. 154 - 193
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×