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29 Grotiana (n.s.) 1 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/grotia21 and id is 1 raw text is: ......GROTIANA
BRILL                    Grotiana 29 (2008) 1-24                  G   .brill.nl/grot
On the Ancient Background of Grotius's Notion
of Natural Law*
Ren6 Brouwer
University of Utrecht
Email: R.R.Brouwer@uu.nl
Abstract
Grotius's notion of natural law is, as he himself makes clear, founded upon two demands of
nature, which are to be connected with what is now known as the Stoic doctrine of appropria-
tion. However, Grotius's understanding of the notion of natural law as a set of rules is not Stoic,
but rather goes back to an interpretation that can be ascribed to Antiochus of Ascalon. By mov-
ing away from the Stoics Grotius could not only easily accommodate the Aristotelian doctrine of
equity, otherwise rejected by the Stoics, but he could also formulate a minimalistic interpretation
of human dispositions or 'rights', in contrast to the Stoics' maximalistic understanding of these
dispositions as virtues.
Keywords
natural law, appropriation, Stoicism, Antiochus of Ascalon
Introduction
In the second chapter in the first book of De iure belli acpacis (IBP) Grotius
states that his 'first and most general' research question whether any war can
be just is foremost to be answered on the basis of 'natural law' (ius naturae). In
doing so Grotius uses book three of Cicero's Definibus (Fin.'), in which Cicero
or rather his dialogue character Cato offers an exposition of 'the complete
doctrine of Zeno and the Stoics'.2 The manner in which Grotius deals with the
Stoic notions which he refers to as prima naturae and consequentia is pivotal in
* For help at the different stages of the gestation of this paper, which was completed in
September 2007 and marginally updated since, I like to thank Guus van Nifterik, Kees Roelofsen,
Malcolm Schofield, David Sedley, Laurens Winkel, and the organizers and participants of the
Antiochus workshop held at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, 9-11 July 2007. I
am also grateful to Suzy Masson for checking my English.
' Abbreviations are henceforward explained at the end of the paper.
2 See 14: totam Zenonis Stoicorumque sententiam.

0 Koninlijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008

DOI 10. 1163/187607508X384661

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