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19 Grotiana (n.s.) 3 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/grotia16 and id is 1 raw text is: A Topos in Hugo Grotius: Etiamsi daremus
non esse Deum
PAOLA NEGRO
Hugo Grotius's prolific production - 122 extant first editions, representing fifty
years' work' - has over the last three centuries been remembered mainly on
account of one treatise, the De iure belli ac pacis, probably written between
1622 and 1624, during the early years of the Dutch philosopher's exile in Paris,
where it was published in 1625.2 It is principally cited as the founding text for
the modern concept of natural law, chiefly on the basis of the statement in the
Prolegonena (11) to the three books:
Et haec quidem quae Jam diximus (that natural law conforms to the determining
premise of human nature, based on self-evident principles), locum <aliquem>
haberent etiamsi daremus, quod sine summo scelere dari nequit, non esse Deum,
aut non curari ab eo negotia humana.3
I Grotius (1583-1645) was 62 when he died. His first works were published in 1595,
when he was 12: the epithalainiumn Georgio Melisso et Mariae Almondianae versus epi-
thalamii. Lugduni Batavorum, Apud Franciscum Raphelengiurn. MDXCV; the ode Hi-
geiani Grotii ode ad illustriss. contitem Henricum-Fredericum Nassavium Guilielmi f
Lugduni Batavorum, Apud Franciscum Raphelengium. MDXCV, and the poem Silva
ad doctissinuon virum D. lohlannein Cuchlinumn. Lugduni Batavorum. Ex officina Tho-
mae Basson. MDXCV. His last work is considered to be Rivetiani Apologetici, pro
schismate contra Votum pacis Jacti, discussio. Irenopoli, Apud Hesychium Candidum.
MDCXLV.
2 All references are to the editio maior of De iure belli ac pacis, edited by B. J. A. de
Kanter-Van Hettinga Tromp, Leiden 1939 (based on the 1631 Amsterdam edition), re-
published in an anastatic copy in 1993 by Scientia Verlag, Aalen, with additional notes
by R. Feenstra e C. E. Persenaire, rather than the first edition which Grotius modified
considerably in successive editions.
A considerable amount of research has been done on the sources of this passage, in-
cluding: R. Fruin, 'Een onuitgegeven werk van Hugo de Groot' (1868), translated as
'An unpublished work of Hugo Grotius,' in Bibliotheca Visseriana, Dissertationian ius
internationale illustrantium, tomus quintus, Lugduni Batavorum 1925, pp. 1-74; C. van
Vollenhoven, 'On the genesis of De iure belli ac pacis (Grotius 1625)' (1924), in Mr. C.
van Vollenhoven's Verspreide Geschriften 1, 's-Gravenhage/Haarlem 1934; W.J.M. van
Eysinga, Sparsa collecta. Een Aantal der Verspreide Geschriften, Leiden 1958; J. Bas-

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