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Waszink, J.H.

Waszink, J.H.

Jan Waszink, born in Geldrop, the Netherlands, in 1969. Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Research Fellow at the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Fellow (1 February 2005 – 30 June 2005)


One of the main aims of the Grotius Theme Group was to prepare a new, full and critical edition of the original manuscript of Hugo Grotius’ De iure praedae (further: DIP) as it is kept in the Leiden University library. DIP is seen as an important precursor of Grotius’ great De iure belli ac pacis. The Leiden manuscript seems to be a fair copy with later changes and additions and deletions by Grotius. The new edition of DIP must replace the existing edition by Hamaker of 1868 which no longer meets the demands of modern research, as it only gives the final stage of the text, and only a limited view of Grotius’ sources. The new edition will include all successive revision by Grotius as they can be found in the manuscript, restore the original spelling and punctuation (which more than once does make a difference to the interpretation), and give a much wider and more complete view of the texts, sources and circumstances ‘behind’ DIP.

During my stay in the NIAS I have occupied myself with completing the text of DIP on the basis of the manuscript in order to make it include all the above-mentioned variants. This detailed work has led to some interesting observations, especially in combination with the work done by the other members of the group, such as the research into the paper, watermarks, binding and changing page-numberings in the manuscript, which probably contain clues as to the precise dating of the work. Some changes in the text for example indicate that Grotius was still formulating his argument when he wrote the copy we possess (rather than just copying it out into a fair copy), which suggests that the composition of the argument and the preparation of the surviving copy are much closer together in time than we assumed, so that the data with respect to the dating of the various parts of the manuscript could indeed reveal something about when exactly Grotius wrote the work and in which order, which in turn might make it possible to establish more reliable links between DIP and historical events surrounding it.