The poetic ocean in Mare Liberum

Jones, Stephanie (2011) The poetic ocean in Mare Liberum. In, Ben-Dor, Oren (eds.) Law and Art: Justice, Ethics and Aesthetics. Abingdon, GB, Routledge, 188-203.


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This essay traces the effect of literary quotation in Hugo Grotius’s Mare Liberum (The Free Sea) (1609). It places this reading in the context of broader legal, political and historical debates over the entailments of this famous text, and particularly considers the impact of these inter-textualities on Grotius’s arguable secularism and debated imperialism. The essay suggests that Grotius’s deployment of lines and scenes from Roman poetry and drama—by Lucretius, Vergil, Seneca and Ovid— articulate an elliptical, residually-moral vision of the ocean that troubles his legal thesis on the freedom of the seas.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9780415560214 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
K Law > K Law (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Law
Faculty of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 157445
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
27 June 2011Published
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2010 08:51
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:26
The Indian Ocean: narratives in literature and law
Funded by: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/E510442/1)
Led by: Stephanie Jones
1 July 2007 to 30 June 2010

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