Francisco de Vitoria


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Spanish Dominican. From 1526 he held the Prime Chair in Theology at the University of Salamanca. By substituting the Summa Theologiae of St Thomas Aquinas for Peter Lombard's ‘Sentences’ as the theological textbook, he inaugurated a new school at Salamanca, which became the chief university in Europe for the study of Scholasticism in the 16th cent. He is now often seen as the ‘Father of International Law’. He discussed the morality of the conquest of the Indies and was critical of the Spanish methods of colonization in America. He also laid down the conditions of a just war and held that no war would be permissible if it brought serious evil to Christendom and the world at large.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) — Christianity.

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