The First History of International Law Ward, Robert [1765-1846]. An Enquiry Into the Foundation and History of the Law of Nations in Europe, From the Time of the Greeks and Romans to the Age of Grotius. London: Printed by A. Strahan and W. Woodfall, for J. Butterworth, 1795. Two volumes. cviii, 395, ; [iv], 628 pp. Octavo (8" x 5"). Contemporary three-quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt title and fillets to spines, small paper shelf label to that of Volume I. Moderate rubbing and some scuffing to boards, moderate rubbing to spines and extremities. Light toning to interiors, somewhat heavier in places, light foxing to a few leaves. A handsome set. $950. * First edition. The first attempt to write a history of the law of nations, it also marked a new approach to the subject. Since the seventeenth century the law of nations was dominated by the theory of natural law, which posited the existence of legal principles shared by all ages, places and peoples. This theory shaped the work of such major jurists as Grotius, Pufendorf and Selden. It was enshrined during the eighteenth century by advocates of the Enlightenment. Ward rejected this theory. A Romantic, he had no use for universal systems. Instead, he appreciated the uniqueness of cultures and the differences between the past and the present. One of the first to apply Romantic ideas to the subject, he treated the law of nations as a malleable concept that changed considerably since antiquity. Lasaffer, "International Law and Its History: The Story of an Unrequited Love" in Time, History and International Law, Ed. Craven, Fitzmaurice and Vogiatzi 27. English Short-Title Catalogue T117016.
Book number 68745