Natural law; Samuel von Pufendorf
A preeminent early modern humanist, Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) managed to combine a high-profile international career in politics with acclaimed scholarly achievements across numerous fields – including in ethics, law, theology, history, and philology. Today, Grotius is best known for his contributions to international law and the ethics of war.
Grotius’s Works and Significance
A leading statesman in the newly independent Dutch Republic, Grotius was imprisoned for treason when his Arminian faction lost out to the Calvinists in 1618. After a spectacular prison-break, he spent the remainder of his life in Paris working as a top-diplomat for the French and Swedish crown (Nellen 2014).
Grotius’s first contribution to international law is his juvenile Mare liberum(1609) – the ninth chapter of an otherwise unpublished treatise on the law of prize and booty. In that text, he pleaded for the freedom of trade...