The chapter aims to offer a new perspective on Emer de Vattel’s natural jurisprudence by placing it into the context of Enlightenment philosophical histories. It argues that Vattel’s normative system was anchored in an account of history that was informed not only by the diplomatic histories of Europe but also by a specific vision of progress that drew heavily on Voltaire’s historical writings. It was a vision of the advancement of humanity driven by enlightened monarchs who had a correct understanding of enlightened self-interest and true glory. Both for Voltaire and for Vattel, the self-civilizing drive was best exemplified by Tsar Peter the Great. To explain Peter the Great’s role in Vattel’s theory, the chapter turns to the distinction between men and monsters, which functioned in his theory as a tool for affirming the validity and enforceability of natural justice. The figure of Peter served to underline this distinction and to point to the essence of a minimum morality that was the basis for more advanced, polished and humane forms of morality in the course of human progress.