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iūs gentium


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Or law of nations, has two main senses. (1) In a ‘practical’ sense it denotes that part of Roman private law which was open to citizens and non‐citizens alike. The institutions of the old ius civile were accessible only to Romans, but the growth of international trade made it necessary to recognize some institutions which could be applied by Roman courts to relations between foreigners and between foreigners and citizens.(2) In a more ‘theoretical’ sense ius gentium is equated with the philosophical law of nature.

(1) In a ‘practical’ sense it denotes that part of Roman private law which was open to citizens and non‐citizens alike. The institutions of the old ius civile were accessible only to Romans, but the growth of international trade made it necessary to recognize some institutions which could be applied by Roman courts to relations between foreigners and between foreigners and citizens.

(2) In a more ‘theoretical’ sense ius gentium is equated with the philosophical law of nature.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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