Peace Palace Library presented rare edition of De Iure Belli ac Pacis


Peace Palace Library presented its recent aqcuired rare edition of Grotius’

De Iure Belli ac Pacis.

This very rare edition of De Iure Belli ac Pacis was purchased only recently by the Peace Palace Library at an auction in Germany. The only other known copy of this print is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

This week the book was presented to the sponsors, connaisseurs of Grotius work and staffmembers of the Library. Henk Nellen (author of biography of Hugo de Groot) spoke about the book as a ‘historical sensation’ and stressed the importance of this book for international law and the significance of this particular first edition.

Please read speech of Henk Nellen (In Dutch) here

Article on West online here

For more information please vist the website of Peace Palace Library:


Grotius wrote this book in 1625 during his exile in Paris. In this work, based on natural law, he investigated and explained his theory of “just war” (when war is justified, what are the causes of war and what are the rules of war). It is widely regarded as the “Foundation of Modern International Law”. The book was finished in great haste to be in time for the Frankfurt Bookfair. As a result there had not been enough time to correct all pages and page numbering. This print also lacks indices and a table of content. For specialists it will be most interesting to compare this print with later corrected versions.

After 385 years Grotius’ masterpiece has come to The Hague, the “Legal Capital of the World”. The acquisition of this book by the Library will stimulate further Grotius-research and the study of modern international law.

The acquisition of this great work has been made possible with the support of:
Dorus Rijkers Fonds; Samenwerkende Maritieme Fondsen; Dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds; M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting; BRILL Publishers; Studiefonds Rechtsgeschiedenis Mr Joseph Winkel; Van der Mandele Stichting and the Carnegie-Foundation.

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