Liberty Fund’s edition of The Free Sea is the only translation of Grotius’s masterpiece undertaken in his own lifetime, left in manuscript by the English historian, Richard Hakluyt (1552–1616). It also contains William Welwod’s critique of Grotius (reprinted for the first time since the seventeenth century) and Grotius’s reply to Welwod. These documents provide an indispensable introduction to modern ideas of sovereignty and property as they emerged from the early-modern tradition of natural law.
Grotius’s The Truth of the Christian Religion was first published in Leiden in 1627 in Latin. Written in plain and direct language for his countrymen, this short work aimed to show those who would encounter pagans, Muslims, and Jews that the Christian religion was the true revealed religion. In addition to “fortifying” the beliefs of his fellow Christians, the treatise intended to convince non-Christians of “the reasonableness of believing and embracing the Christian Religion above any other.”
This Liberty Fund edition of Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty is based on the one prepared by Gwladys L. Williams and Walter H. Zeydel for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It combines the original text and new material.