IL DOMINIUM in FRANCISCO de VITORIA
di Simona Langella
Università degli Studi di Genova
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The contribution analyses the concept of dominium in the published and unpublished texts of the whole work of Francisco de Vitoria, the founder of the Escuela de Salamanca. Specifically, the contribution examines Quaestio 62, De restitutione, of his commentary on the II-IIae of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae, dating back to the academic year 1535-1536, and his most famous relectio De Indis, dated 1539.
By analysing these texts in details, the Christian concept of the imago Dei appears to be the very basis of the concept of dominium for Vitoria. Moreover, it also shows that Victoria used this concept in his defence of Indios (1539) to contest all positions justifying the Conquista and its cruel methods. Finally, the contribution highlights that in his De Indis, the author – surely not by chance – states that the ius gentium belongs to natural law and that, based on this, he could establish a universal justice system guaranteeing the rights of the peoples overseas.