Alberico Gentili’s De armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire
This chapter assesses Alberico Gentili's engagement with the Roman empire in his dialogue De armis Romanis. It offers an overarching interpretation of this work, placing Gentili firmly in the ‘humanist’ category as framed by Richard Tuck, and situating De armis Romanis in a unity with Gentili's other works on the law of nations, particularly De iure belli and De legationibus. It argues that both De iure belli and De armis are expressions of the same ‘humanist’ understanding of warfare and international politics, with an emphasis on self-preservation and the justice of pre-emptive self-defence, adding a universalist element to Machiavelli's vision of republican imperialism.
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