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Editor / Translator:
Nahj al-Balāghah, the celebrated compendium of orations, letters, and sayings of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1015), is a masterpiece of Arabic literature and Islamic wisdom studied and memorized avidly and continually for over a thousand years. Showcasing ʿAlī’s life and travails in his own words, it also transcribes his profound reflections on piety and virtue, and on just and compassionate governance. Tahera Qutbuddin’s meticulously researched critical edition based on the earliest 5th/11th-century manuscripts, with a lucid, annotated facing-page translation, brings to the modern reader the power and beauty of this influential text, and confirms the aptness of Raḍī’s title, “The Way of Eloquence.”

Abstract

During the eighteenth century, the discovery of sexual reproduction in insect species prompted the demise of spontaneous generation and new developments in natural history, theology, and political economy. The sexual lives of insects prompted debates on whether insects were governed by desire, free will, and even marital tendency. Fuelled by the democratisation of microscopy, early modern entomology took a new turn and breadth: the study of insects and of their sexual lives provided unexpected new insights into human sexuality, reproduction, and Malthusian fears of overpopulation. This article surveys the intellectual culture of entomology and natural history during the crucial decades when entomologists worked to quantify the reproductive capacities of insect species. Assessing the influences these entomological works had within political economy and theology, we argue that the sexual lives of insects − once analysed and delineated − influenced familiar ideological features of the intellectual landscape of the late Enlightenment, particularly in the theological philosophies of northern Europe and in the political economy of population in Britain.

Open Access
In: Revue de Synthèse

Abstract

This article considers Hugo Grotius’s ideas on a specific topic of commercial law, analysing his position and potential contributions to early modern Dutch insolvency legislation. It might be questioned how ‘Hollandic’ Grotius’s interpretations of legal solutions for insolvency as presented in the Inleidinge tot de Hollandsche Rechts-Geleerdheid actually were. Grotius’s treatment of cessie van goede is relatively strict, whereas compositions are hardly mentioned. A rather different image rises from his later work. Here, Grotius displays a more radical view, in specific cases allowing the sovereign to interfere in private property rights and to restructure debts for the common good. It is an intriguing question if and to what extent these ideas can be related to contemporary Dutch insolvency practices.

Open Access
In: Grotiana

Abstract

Grotius’s ideas on proportionate and limited liability, as mentioned in the Inleidinge and De iure belli ac pacis, were novel in comparison to the civilian doctrine of his time. Grotius drew from sources of local law and statutes regarding maritime law but was nonetheless original in his interpretations. Grotius proposed to consider the liability of co-owners of ships (reders, exercitores), who acted as organizers of maritime expeditions, and of others that were participating in these expeditions, as broad. At the same time, their liability was limited to the maximum of the value of the ship and cargo. In this regard, Grotius’s conceptions hinged on a view of a ship’s voyage as engendering a community of risk among all stakeholders. However, in spite of the underlying connections, Grotius did not eradicate all inconsistencies which the originality of his combinations brought forward.

Open Access
In: Grotiana
In: Grotiana

Abstract

Over the centuries, Grotius’s writings on onderzetting (rights of hypothec) have been widely cited, particularly in the Netherlands and South Africa. This article investigates the originality and lasting impact of Grotius’s contributions to this field. The article follows the layout of the chapter on hypothecs of Grotius’s Inleiding tot de Hollandsche Rechts-geleertheyd. It examines Grotius’s translation of hypotheca as onderzetting, the structure of his Inleiding, the distinctions between various kinds of hypothec, and contemporary requirements for the creation of hypothecs. It then explores the right to follow encumbered assets into the hands of third parties and analyses the enforcement of hypothecs, priority issues in cases of competing hypothecs, and reflects on Grotius’s influence on Dutch security rights. In summary, although Grotius’s insights were largely derivative, often echoing interpretations of earlier scholars, they illustrate Grotius’s deep understanding of the influence of Germanic and Roman law on Roman-Dutch security rights. Grotius had a lasting impact on legal scholarship and practice because he was the first to provide a scholarly systematization of Roman-Dutch law within the framework of Justinian’s Institutes and firmly placed the rights of hypothec in the book on property rights of his Inleiding.

Open Access
In: Grotiana
Women, Politics, and Reform in Renaissance Italy
Saint Birgitta of Sweden (d. 1373), one of the most famous visionary women of the late Middle Ages, lived in Rome for the last 23 years of her life. Much of her extensive literary work was penned there. Her Celestial Revelations circulated widely from the late 14th century to the 17th century, copied in Italian scriptoria, translated into vernacular, and printed in several Latin and Italian editions. In the same centuries, an extraordinary number of women writers across the peninsula were publishing their work. What echoes might we find of the foreign widow’s prophetic voice in their texts? This volume offers innovative investigations, written by an interdisciplinary group of experts, of the profound impact of Birgitta of Sweden in Renaissance Italy.

Contributors include: Brian Richardson, Jane Tylus, Isabella Gagliardi, Clara Stella, Marco Faini, Jessica Goethals, Anna Wainwright, Eleonora Cappuccilli, Eleonora Carinci, Virginia Cox, Unn Falkeid, and Silvia Nocentini.
In: The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden
In: The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden
In: The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden