Grotius, Hugo (1583–1645)

In the range of his interests, if not always the content of his thought, Hugo Grotius (Hugo de Groot) was an exemplary product of the Renaissance in northern Europe. He was an accomplished poet, historian, and theologian. Moreover, toward the end of his life, when the Dutch Republic exiled him, he served as a diplomat on behalf of the Swedish government, albeit with fewer obvious successes in that particular field.

His present fame rests largely upon his reputation as a jurist. His writings include a systematic study of the laws of war and peace,De Jure Belli ac Pacis, and his powerful defense of the freedom of the seas,Mare Liberum. The latter was an excerpt, and the only part published during Grotius's lifetime, from a longer work ...

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