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Reassessing Legal Humanism and its ClaimsPetere Fontes?$
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Paul J. du Plessis and John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408851

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.001.0001

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Antiqui et Recentiores: Alberico Gentili – Beyond Mos Italicus and Legal Humanism

Antiqui et Recentiores: Alberico Gentili – Beyond Mos Italicus and Legal Humanism

(p.11) 1 Antiqui et Recentiores: Alberico Gentili – Beyond Mos Italicus and Legal Humanism
Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims

Alain Wijffels

Edinburgh University Press

Legal humanism was ancillary to the general humanistic agenda of creating a model of public governance based on classical ancient values and techniques. In order to maintain their position at the heart of the political decision-making process, lawyers had therefore to acquire, in addition to a command of traditional scholarship, the literary, historical and legal expertise associated with the new learning. Alberico Gentili’s teaching and works demonstrated the civil lawyers’ capacity to exercise those skills. In his De armis Romanis, which argues extensively pro and contra the establishment of ancient Rome’s just public governance in its relations with other powers, the advocates Gentili introduces on either side display the same scholarly registers, both traditional and modern. The work may therefore illustrate the point that by the end of the sixteenth century, the successful academic lawyer had to combine the traditional and modern layers of legal expertise.

Keywords:   Public governance, legal argumentation, just war, usus modernus, Roman empire

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