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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter enquires into the sources of international law in the scholastics. In fact the concept of sources of law obtained general currency in legal discourse, and how international law took shape as a legal discipline only after the heyday of scholasticism. But the two main pillars of what was to become classical international law in the eighteenth century—natural law and the law of nations—were both part of the theologians’ teachings of moral philosophy, especially with the Dominicans and later the Jesuits. Examining the two concepts handed down from Antiquity, Thomas Aquinas had assigned them distinct places in his system of legal norms, while fathoming their respective grounds of validity. His endeavours were continued by his sixteenth-century Spanish followers, who set out to explore the ‘internationalist’ dimensions of the Protean concept of ius gentium as well as the ‘fundamentalist’ properties of ius naturae.

Keywords: 1648–1815, Ancient Times to 1648, Choice of law

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