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Early International & Humanitarian Law

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Giovanni da Legnano. (d. 1383)

Below: Tractatus de Bello, de Represaliis et de Duello. [Oxford]: printed for the Carnegie Institution of Washington at the Oxford University Press, 1917.

 

Giovanni da Legnano. (d. 1383)

 

Tractatus de Bello, de Represaliis et de Duello. [Oxford]: printed for the Carnegie Institution of Washington at the Oxford University Press, 1917.

In what is often considered the first important work on the international law of war, Legnano discusses "the lawful causes of War, the authority by which it may be declared, the distinction between war and reprisals, the distribution of booty, the employment of stratagems, the treatment of prisoners, of non-combatants, of enemy troops who have surrendered and, in particular, of enemy commanders." i Sections of the book are on subjects peripheral to law, but the work is nonetheless extraordinary for its time. The Law Library's copy of this book is an edition published in 1917 as part of the series The Classics of International Law, edited by James Brown Scott. The volume contains reproductions of two early editions of the work, as well as a translation of the text.

Earliest known manuscript: 1390 (reproduced in the edition owned by the Law Library)




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