3 U. Tol. L. Rev. 305 (1971)
The Discovery of the New World and International Law

handle is hein.journals/utol3 and id is 315 raw text is: THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW
Antonio Truyol y Serra*
The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries mark a particularly
significant turning point in the history of international relations,
and, consequently, in the history of the legal norms which
regulate those relations, that is to say, international law, or
(according to the usage of that time which has persisted to the
present day and is now experiencing a renewed acceptance) the
law of nations.' These two centuries, in effect, witnessed the
beginning of a-far-reaching transformation of international
society that was without precedent, since it led from a plurality
of particular or regional international communities, which were
limited to certain parts of the inhabited world and, if not totally
isolated, at least separated from each other, to a truly world-wide
international community.
t The Law Review is indebted to Martin A. Rogoff, former Assistant Professor of
Law, Universiy of Toledo for the translation of Professor Truyol y Serra's article.
* Licenciado en Derecho, University of Madrid, 1936; Doctor en Derecho,
University of Madrid 1944; Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lisbon 1960; Professor
of Legal Philosophy, Laguna University, 1945; Professor of Legal Philosophy, Murcia
University, 1946-57; Professor of International Law and Relations, University of
This article reproduces the essence, brought up to date, of one of the two lectures
given by the author at the Centre Superieur d'Etudes de la Renaissance, in Tours (July
19, 1966), on the occasion of the Dixidme Stage International d'Etudes Humanistes, of
which the subject was The Discovery of America: Sketch of a Synthesis. Historical
Conditions and Cultural Consequences. Professor J.L. Kunz, having so remarkably
analyzed the crisis of classical international law and the circumstances of the coming
of a new international law in an international society subjected to a profound
transformation, it appeared appropriate for us to join in this homage with a study which
has precisely as its object the retracing of one aspect of the beginning of the historical
cycle in which the law of nations in question is a part.
I. We will use here the two expressions taking into consideration the later
appearance (at the end of the eighteenth century) of the term international law-droit
international-resorting to one rather than the other intending to express in each case the
nuance with respect to different periods or to the institutional context. On these concepts
§§ 2-3 (3ded. 1970).

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