De Indis De Jure Belli/Part 1

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De Indis De Jure Belli by Francisco de Vitoria
Part 1


Primary Professor of Sacred Theology in the University of Salamanca.


Reader of Roman and International Law in the Inns of Court, London.


1. Bible. -- The references made in the original to the Vulgate are given
in the translation in terms of the English Authorized Version of the reign
of James I.

2. Canon law books. -- The references in the translation are given in the
following abbreviated manner: (a) Decretum, pt. i, by number of Canon and
number of Distinctio, e. g., can. 6, Dist. 96: (b) Decretum, pt. ii, by
number of Canon, number of Causa, number of Quaestio, e. g., can. 41, C. 7,
qu. 1: (c) Decretales, by X (for extra Decretum) then number of book, title
and chapter, thus X, 5, 6, 6: (d) Liber Sextus, by the number of book, title
and chapter, followed by "in VI," thus 5, 2, 19 in VI.

3. Civil law books. -- The references in the translation are to Mommsen's
edition of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

In addition to the above-named books the author cites or refers to the
writings of the following:

Adrian VI, Pope.
Almain, Jacques.
Altissiodorensis (i. e., of Auxerre), Gulielmus.
Ambrose, St.
Anconitanus (i. e., of Ancona), Agosrino Trionfi.
Andreæ, Joannes.
Angelus of Chiavasso.
Antoninus, St., Archbishop of Florence.
Aquinas, St. Thomas.
Archbishop, the, see Antoninus
Armachanus (i. e., of Armagh), see Fitzralph, Richard.
Augustine, St. Baptista de Salis.
Bernard, St.
Cajetan, Cardinal (Thomas de Vio).
Dionysius Areopagiticus.
Eymerici, Nicholas.
Fitzralph, Richard, Archbishop of Armagh.
Gandavensis (i. e., of Ghent), Henricus Gerson.
Hostiensis (Henry of Susa, Cardinal. Bishop of Ostia).
Hugo, see de Sancto Victore.
Lombard, Peter.
Luther, Martin.
Natalis, Herveus.
Paludanus, Petrus.
Panormitanus (i. e., of Palermo), Nicolo Tudeschi.
Parisiensis (i. e., of Paris), Gulielmus.
de Sancto Victore, Hugo.
Scotus, Duns.
Sylvester of Prierio Terence.
de Torquemada (Turrecremata), Juan.
Waldensis (i. e., of WaIden, Essex), Thomas Netter.

(The Title-Page of the Edition of 1696)


comprised in two volumes, in the order shown overleaf,

Formerly published at Ingolstadt, and now, because of the lack of copies
and the nobility of their contents, revised and furnished with a twofold
index by the toil of


Counsellor and Professor of Halle.

"A work of the utmost utility alike to jurisconsults and to
theologians." [Conring]


At the cost of AUGUST BOETIUS. 1696.

(Overleaf of the Edition of 1696)

I. On the Power of the Church, part 1.
II. On the Power of the Church, part 2.
III. On Civil Power.
IV. On the Power of the Pope and Council.
V. Part 1, or on the Indians lately discovered.
VI. Part 2, or on the Law of War.
VII. On Marriage.
VIII. On the Increase of Charity.
IX. On Temperance.
X. On Homicide.
XI. On Simony.
XII. On the Magic Art.
XIII. On the Obligations of a man attaining the use of reason.

[Of the above, only Relectiones V and VI are pertinent to the objects of
this work and the others are therefore not included.]


It having been decided to reprint here, at Ingolstadt, these thirteen
Relectiones of Franciscus de Victoria, who was by far the most learned
theologian of the highly flourishing University of Salamanca within the
memory of our fathers, I undertook the task of correcting them at the
instance of certain doctors, who, on account of the celebrity of his
reputation, were glowing with fervent admiration of so great a man. Now in
this business so entrusted to me, I see that there are a few items
concerning which it is worth while that you have an accurate account: these
are, the amount of labor and toil expended by me in correcting and preparing
the publication; the character and greatness of the man who composed these
Relectiones; and the amount of advantage and profit which the perusal of
them will bring even to Germans, who seem to be somewhat strange to the
gymnastic and scholastic form of discussion therein employed.

Well, reader, you will scarcely believe how much labor we have expended on
this business, unless either you make a careful comparison of this edition
of ours with the Lyons and Salamanca editions or realize in some fashion by
our description the character of each of these editions. For I had at first
the use of the Lyons edition only, in clearing the blunders from a good part
of the first volume, and the printer had already finished striking off the
first five sheets of it, when, beyond my hope and belief (for I did not
think such a thing existed here), a copy of the much more correct Salamanca
edition came into my hands in the manner following: The Reverend Father
Gregorius Rosephius, a preacher of Augsburg,[2] when on a visit to us, had
perceived the extremely wearisome nature of the task, which I had undertaken
in correcting the Lyons copy (I seemed indeed to be cleansing the Augean
stable), and had noticed that some of the passages pointed out by me were
hopelessly corrupt, and by his courteous intervention with the well-born
gentleman, Marcus Fugger (on whom the desire of the public welfare had such
a hold), he procured me the loan, from the well-known library of the Fugger
family, of a copy of the Salamanca edition. How faulty and corrupt the Lyons
copy was, I would rather that you, my reader, should learn from the Letter
to the Reader, which Brother Alonso Muñoz placed at the beginning of the
Salamanca copy, than from me. A part of that Letter it has seemed advisable
to insert in this, because it, too, contains the praises of the author, and
because some of the disciples of that most erudite man are mentioned by name

"When, honest reader, I was busy at Salamanca, trying to help Brother
Domingo Soto with the correction of the proof of the fourth volume of the
Sententiae, then in the press, there appeared a little book with a most
imposing title, but containing countless horrible misprints, absurdities
which were disgraceful and insulting to the author as well as to the whole
theological school. It made one aghast to behold in the tiny body of so
small a book so unbelievable an off-scouring of close-packed blunders, and
ashamed and sorrowful that rascals should seem to have such license towards
the master-pieces of most distinguished men, and with impunity, too. This
was the title of the book: "The Relectiones of the Reverend Father, Brother
Franciscus de Victoria, of the Order of Preachers, formerly Primary
Professor of Sacred Theology in the University of Salamanca." You observe
how fair and full of promise the inscription is; and indeed for this, in
Pliny's words, its bail could be forfeited.

"When, then, at Salamanca I came across this very book, newly issued from
the press, I began to read it with the utmost avidity, and I had barely
cast my eyes upon the first page that presented itself, when, lo, there
lighted on my very eyes some impious error on the topic of Simony, which
stirred my spleen marvellously. I made no tarrying, however, the matter
being one which could easily be detected by anyone of even moderate
learning; I go on, and the farther I went, the more mistakes I kept finding,
and even some mutilations. Perceiving that the thing was by no means to be
borne, I laid it before the very Reverend Fathers, Brother Domingo Soto and
Brother Melchior Cano, who prompted me to take on myself my present charge,
namely, the correction of that book according to the most exact copies.
Master Franciscus Sanctius, Canon of the Cathedral of Salamanca and
Moderator of the chair of Moral Philosophy in the gymnasium likewise of
Salamanca and therefore administer of the Holy Inquisition in the business
of examining books for admission or rejection, learnt of this. He came to
Brother Domingo Soto to discuss the matter with him, and at the suggestion
of the same Franciscus I was summoned and received afresh from the twain the
injunction "to adorn this Sparta."

"Now, although I was aware how unpleasant a business it was, how hard and
wearisome the affair, how inglorious the labor of correcting and restoring
the monuments of others, especially those so ulcerous, so altogether
deranged, so piteously (I had almost said) and hostilely regarded, as these
were, yet, moved by the authority of my preceptors as well as induced by
love of a very fine work and of its author, Victoria, who was also my
dearest of teachers, I put my shoulders under a burden which I have loved."

And then at the dose of the same letter Muñoz adds this paragraph:

"Enjoy, then, in your good fortune the fruits of our vigils and toil,
whereby it has come to pass (without boasting) that instead of the muddy
work, not to say the mud, of yore, you have something clean and clear, and
gilded and resplendent all over, as you will easily discover by experiment,
if, wherever the book be opened, you will make a comparison and will
consider the difference between this book, which we are handing to you, and
the book which we have corrected, namely, the one which Jacques Boyer struck
off at Lyons in the year of our Lord 1557. Before it none was printed, and
after it no other printers have ventured to reprint it, fearing (howsoever
small it is) this our diligence, of which they are not unaware."

From this, my leader, you will perceive, without any words of ours, how
faulty and corrupt was the Lyons edition, and how much more correct is that
of Salamanca (of the year 1565, to wit). But I do not know by what
ill-chance it has happened that into this Salamanca edition, so clean, so
clear, so gilded, have crept blunders and faults neither few nor trivial.
It labors at times under the same faults as the Lyons edition; sometimes
under faults of its own, which needs must be corrected either by reference
to the Lyons edition or in some other way. What, then, my reader, was I to
do, there being so many faults even in the Salamanca copy, in which I had
placed my hopes of correcting the other copy? Was I to make a transcript of
the whole of the Salamanca copy (for the well-born man who had loaned it to
us had stipulated that it was not to be entrusted to any printer or have any
marks made on it) and send the transcript to the printer to be printed? But
I had no leisure for that, and if I had had, it would not have helped
towards a correct edition of the work because of the faults and blunders,
which, we have said, had crept into the edition in question. Was I to
correct the whole of the Lyons text, just as I had corrected it in part,
before I had that of Salamanca, and so corrected give it to the printer?
That, too, was impracticable, because the former was blemished by many more
and graver faults than the latter, and because, unless we corrected the
former by the Salamanca text, we should seem to have borrowed the last-named
to no purpose.

Accordingly I settled the matter as follows. From the place where the
printer had stopped printing (he happened to have stopped after the fifth
sheet, usually marked by the letter E) I and a wise colleague, whom I had
joined with me, made a very careful collation of the two texts, and to the
best of our ability, corrected that of Lyons, which was to be sent to the
printer, by that of Salamanca, wherever the latter had no obvious error. But
wherever a serious and manifest fault occurred in the Salamanca text (for I
thought that I could rely on my own judgment in the removal of the more
trifling blunders) I took counsel with the most skilful theologians and
philosophers, in order that the fault might be corrected by the common
judgment of many, after considering in the two copies all the words and
opinions of the author, which seemed to conduce to an understanding of his
mind. It happened sometimes that all of us together could hardly find a
principle or method for the restoration of some corrupt passage. Let any
incredulous person take the two editions and read just one passage in the
"Relectio on the Increase of Charity," about No. 10, and if he can extract
therefrom the sure meaning of the author while retaining the identical
words, then he may indeed charge us with falsehood or ignorance.

When, then, on this principle we had collated the two editions right to the
end, we carefully corrected by the Salamanca text the five sheets also,
which, we have said, had been struck off, in order that nothing might be
wanting for the absolute and complete expurgation of the entire work. As we
could not remove from these sheets themselves the errors which occurred in
them, we noted them at the end among the rest of the Errata.

This indeed was a big and tedious task, but bigger and more tedious was that
which we undertook, in regard of the whole work now emended according to the
Salamanca text, of simply correcting, repurging, and illustrating it with
scholia throughout. This was the more toilsome and difficult in proportion
as the two editions were more corrupt and as the author -- owing to the
strength of his very acute intelligence, which, according to the wont of
highly learned men, he directs upon the matters before him -- seems less
careful of his words, less mindful of order or of the things initially
propounded for discussion. Hence it happens that sometimes he might appear
to use an overconcise and scholastic mode of discourse; sometimes, to omit
answering arguments which have been propounded; sometimes, to give one
answer to many things at the same time; sometimes, when discussing a mooted
question or refuting an argument, to insert questions and doubts which he
meets upon his way; sometimes, to omit altogether some of the questions to
be discussed, which he has propounded at the beginning of the relectio (as
is evident in the "Relectio on Marriage" and the "Relectio on Temperance").

Nor did our labor stop here, but in the third place we had to go over the
whole work after it was in type, both to make a complete alphabetical index
and to correct the misprints. While attempting to accomplish this latter
task, we bestowed equal diligence upon the former, so that we have left in
this edition of ours a text much more correct than had previously been
published, by the removal of a large number of faults and blunders, which
either had come in afterwards or had not previously presented themselves. Of
these, a few indeed, but the more important, however, we have noted down
among the Errata at the end of the book. From this, my reader, you will
understand that not all the errors noted at the end of the book are due to
either the carelessness or ignorance of the printer, but they may have crept
in (especially in the first five sheets, because we did not have the
Salamanca copy) either because of the corrupt state of both the editions
which we used or even because of our own inability to make an exhaustive
scrutiny and examination. We have, however, left untouched not a few
passages, which seemed susceptible of emendation, had we labored on them,
because they ran in that way in both editions or at any rate in the
Salamanca edition and in order that no one might charge us with excessive
freedom in the correction of another's work.

About the author of these Relectiones, I have ascertained this much: that
he lived in the reign of the Emperor Charles V, King of Spain; that he
belonged to the Order of St. Dominic; that he was a shining light and
ornament of that Order; that he flourished especially in the praise accorded
to a very acute intelligence, to judgment, and to sound doctrine, and in the
number and glory of his most learned disciples (some of whom are very
well-known because of their published books, such as Melchior Cano and
Domingo Soto); further, that his universal authority was so great and his
name so outstanding that he seemed to his hearers a second Pythagoras: that
he was reckoned by the most learned theologians and philosophers to be the
alpha and prince of the theologians and philosophers of his day, and that
(I) *the Catholic Sovereigns of Spain brought to him cases affecting their
conscience (such as (a) that of the conquered provinces of the New World,
and (b) that of the divorced wife of the King of England, both of which are
discussed in this book), desiring instruction on these matters from him
especially, with the result that he himself, relying on this very authority,
of which he was not unaware, gave the freest judgment, just as the
principles of his conscience demanded, in the causes of Sovereigns and even
(II) of the Supreme Pontiff. When I carefully consider this, I am wont to
doubt which of the two is the more praiseworthy: in this man, a certain
freedom of speech, buttressed by his authority and surpassing erudition, or,
in the Sovereigns of Spain and even in the Supreme Pontiff, a singular
moderation of mind and a desire to learn and uphold justice and truth. Hence
it comes about that with equanimity, aye, pleasure, they silently allow
themselves to be chided by this learned man and to be rebuked (when the
principle of the doctrines which he had to deliver so requires).* For those
extremely wise Sovereigns bear in mind what another Sovereign has left in
writing: "The righteous shall rebuke me in compassion and shall upbraid me;
but the oil of the sinner shall not fatten my head."[3]

Wherefore it is an injustice for the heretics of our day to ridicule the
monastic orders everywhere on the ground that they are rude and unlearned
and flatterers alike of Popes and princes. Surely, if these heretics be
compared with our Franciscus de Victoria, they will neither be worthy of
the name of theologian nor found to say or write aught in conformity with
truth, but in everything to fawn on princes. Now how great a debt the
University of Salamanca, and therefore Spain, owes to this man, the
aforenamed Alonso Muñoz, in a Letter to the Most Serene King Charles of
Spain. testifies in the following words:

"The whole of Spain owes much to this excellent man, for, while he has
deserved well of it on many grounds, he has especially done so in respect
of this. that whereas Theology among the Spaniards lay in confusion and
covered with dust, or rather with mud, tattered and torn, dumb and almost
tongueless, it was restored by his exertions alone to clarity, splendor,
and its native beauty, to purity and dignity, comeliness, grace, and
soundness, as if in virtue of a tardy postliminy. In witness of the truth of
this are not merely the centuriae,[4] but also the Iliads[5] of his
disciples, whom his school has poured out in all directions."

Now, my reader, lest the word relectio be unfamiliar to you, you should
realize that at Salamanca it meant a kind of theological exercise not very
unlike those disputations which are known to have been in vogue in the days
of our ancestors in the most celebrated universities under the name of
quodlibeticae quaestiones. The seemingly more difficult of those
quaestiones, which had been discussed in the daily prelections of a whole
year, were also reconsidered in these relectiones in a public assembly of
the most learned, and by the same doctor, so that they might be much more
accurately decided than theretofore and receive as it were the finishing
touches. And since our author was, beyond controversy, the prince of
theologians of that time, especially among the Spaniards, you will perceive
that whatever conclusions have been arrived at after discussion in these
Relectiones have all been tested and weighed by the judgment of the most
learned theologian, as if in the scales of the most skilful goldsmith, and
that, therefore, they ought to adjudged much more solid and firm than the
things superficially discussed by the heretics of today, men, forsooth,
devoid of learning and judgment.

Now, although these Relectiones may seem suited to the bent of Spaniards
rather than of Germans, seeing that the former prefer to cultivate a
gymnastic and concise manner of theologizing and the latter a sedate and
rhetorical manner, yet if we look at both the manner of disputation and the
fruits of the learning handed on in these Relectiones, it seems that they
will bring much advantage and profit to Germans. For if we attentively
consider that from the time when the waves of false opinions and heresies
began here to buffet the ship of the Church, Theology has been denuded by
almost everyone (fearing, perhaps, the insults directed by heretics against
the philosophers and theologians of the School) of the protection and arms
of the philosophical and theological school and been called back into a
rhetorical, or rather, a grammatical mode of reasoning, and that for this
reason either those who have thus approached sacred literature with unwashed
hands have made no further advance in that pursuit than has been made by a
clever grammarian or rhetorician or that, because they are ignorant and
unaccustomed to the exercises of disputation and judgment, wrong opinions
have either been begotten or defended, we shall, above all, be led into
that opinion (into which Cicero testifies that he was led in a similar case)
and come to think that theological doctrine is not of much good to the
Christian Republic without eloquence, but that eloquence without doctrine
brings very often over much hurt, never any good. And so if anyone (to use
the words of that same Cicero with little alteration) omits those most
befitting and unerring studies of theology and divine doctrine and spends
all his energy upon the exercise of speech and writing, he is being bred to
be useless to himself, a dangerous citizen of his country and a parricide of
his Mother Church. He, however, who so arms himself with eloquence as to be
incapable of fighting against the good of his country and the doctrine of
the Church, but able to fight in their behalf, will in our view be a man of
the highest usefulness alike to his own and his country's interests, the
best-affected citizen, and the dearest son of his Mother Church.

I have mentioned these matters, my reader, not because I think that, in
their mode of transmitting theology, either this Franciscus de Victoria and
the other Spaniards are deficient in grace or in faculty of speech or the
Germans are devoid and destitute of solid doctrine (for I know both that
this Victoria in his Relectiones is eloquent to the limit of his theme and
that other Spaniards, especially when they are pleased to drop the
scholastic habit of speech, can both speak and write with polish, and also
that no small number of Germans have been perfectly trained in the doctrines
of philosophy and theology, but because I think that German theologians will
best consult their own country's interests, if they studiously conjoin the
solid and scholastic kind of theologizing, such as is that of this Victoria
and of the Spaniards in common, with that sedate and rhetorical kind, which
they themselves generally adopt.

Further, the fruits of these Relectiones are both abundant and manifold,
and both they who are teachers of others and all other persons will be able
to gather them. This indeed we can make plain by reference to the
Relectiones one by one.

In the first relectio it is shown that there are in the Church two distinct
powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, and that the former is stronger
than the latter; accordingly, the false doctrine of the Lutherans and of
those who equate the two powers or subordinate the ecclesiastical to the
civil is overthrown.

In the second relectio, which also bears the title "On the Power of the
Church," two dogmas of the heretics are refuted; the one, that the strictly
ecclesiastical and spiritual power is initially and of itself existent in
the whole of the Church universal in the same way as the civil power is in
the civil State; and the other, that all Christians are priests, and all
equal, and that there is no order and are no certain grades in
ecclesiastical power.

In the third the necessity, origin, and force of the civil power and its
authority are so established and confirmed that the pernicious dogma of
Luther, which has brought destruction to an almost innumerable number of
simple folk, falls to the ground of itself.

The fourth relectio contains a very fine discussion "On the Power of the
Pope and Council," which, though it may seem of less use to those engaged in
strife with heretics or tainted with heretical practices, is nevertheless
useful and fruitful even for them. For, while the scope of the general power
alike of the Pope and of the Council is explained, at the same time the
sovereignty of the power and authority of each, but in its own measure, is
asserted. Now, if the authority of the Supreme Pontiff and Councils were
established and were in the ascendency among the Germans, it would obviously
result both that no sects would be propagated among them and that all
heresies would be dispelled, not otherwise than darkness before the rays of
the sun.

The fifth relectio is entitled "Of the Indians" (that is, of the barbarians
of the New World commonly called Indians). Now, although this appears to be
the answer given by the author to the Catholic Sovereigns of Spain, it
nevertheless contains many things useful and wholesome for everyone who is
in a case the same as or like to that in which those Sovereigns were. Among
these things are: how a person in doubt on any matter of conscience ought
to take the advice of those who are learned and wise in that kind of matter;
how he ought to follow what they have laid down, even if, as may happen,
they are in error; and how many unlawful, how many lawful, titles there may
be, by which those Sovereigns might claim to reduce foreign provinces and
populations into their power. After a careful discussion and settlement of
these points, the conscience of those concerned is openly taught what to
abstain from doing in this business and what to do.

In the sixth, "A Further Relectio on the Indians, or on the Law of War,"
much, and this useful, instruction is delivered, which ought to be observed
by kings and princes, in order that they may make or wage war in a lawful
manner, and by all other persons, in order that they may in lawful manner
serve as soldiers under their own or a foreign prince. Meanwhile a
refutation is given of that dogma of the heretics, that it is not lawful for
Christian princes to fight either with other Christians or with the Turks.

In the seventh, which seems to be the author's answer in the cause of the
Queen of England who had been divorced by the King, her husband, a strenuous
attack is made upon that false dogma of the Lutherans that all the degrees
forbidden in Leviticus 18 and 20 are still forbidden by divine law. The
heretics, further, get a shrewd knock, when it is convincingly shown in this
relectio that matrimonial causes are rightly and properly brought before
ecclesiastical judges.

The eighth, in which the topic is "The Increase and Decrease of Charity,"
contains a discussion pertaining indeed rather to the school of theologians
than to a public assembly or to other folk, yet one very helpful to these
same theologians, both in the sharpening of their wits and in its harvest of
very beautiful and genuinely theological matter. We may also add that here
there is a condemnation of that conjecture of the heretics that all
righteous persons are equals in charity and grace before God and that, as
Luther asserts, the ever Blessed Virgin, the Mother of Christ, in no respect
surpasses any woman from the midst of the people.

The ninth contains a varied and interesting disputation "On Temperance,"
which will probably be pleasing to most folk here because of the controversy
about the pleasures of the table. Those barbarians, the cannibals, are here
condemned, and those who sacrifice men to God. There is also a defense or
the Carthusians, who perpetually abstain from flesh, and of other religious,
who seem to shorten their days by other forms of abstinence. We should have
had in this relectio more numerous defenses against heretics, had not the
author absolutely passed over one or another of the quaestiones propounded
at the beginning.

The tenth, in which there is a discussion "On Homicide," is of use in many
ways; but more conclusions are arrived at in it than we can set out in
summary form.

The eleventh, containing a discussion "On Simony and the Punishment of
Simoniacs," may seem to be not only useful, but even necessary here, where
this stain is so inveterate and so wide-spread as scarcely to be reckoned a
vice. Nor are the heretics free from this vice, though cut off from the
body of the Church.

Not less useful and necessary is the twelfth, in which there is a
disputation "On Magic," seeing that we have often heard by sure report, nay,
we assuredly know, that, after the new Gospel had been introduced by Martin
Luther, it obtained such a hold especially in the regions of the North
that, in proportion as the doctrine of Christ was gradually failing and
dying away in the minds of men, so Magic was gradually gaining in strength,
with the result that, when the former was quite extinct, the latter seemed
to reign alone with her partner. Heresy. Nor are the Anabaptists and
Calvinists altogether destitute and devoid of this Magic and of the
Pythoness' breath, nay rather they breathe that breath in their words,
writings, manners, face and eyes.

In the last relectio a topic is treated which is most worthy of a
Christian, namely, what are the obligations of everyone on first arriving at
the use of reason. For what more befitting can be taught or learnt by a man,
and especially by a Christian, than the condition or manner, in which he
should turn himself to God as his ultimate end and highest good, for the
enjoyment of which he has been created?

It is now your part, Christian reader, to receive with gratitude and
pleasure this work -- on the correction of which we have bestowed so much
toil and time, which has been lucubrated by such and so great a man, and
which contains doctrine so sure and solid, so useful and necessary -- and by
reading it and meditating on it rouse your zeal for the knowledge of the
highest things. It will be an abundant recompense to us, if by reading it
you become both wiser and better. Farewell.

At Ingolstadt, on the day of St. Lawrence, Martyr, in the year 1580.


What a number of things, O reader, this book, small as it is, contains --
laws, Popes, and sacred theologians.



What are the powers of Holy Mother Church and of the Popes this book
teaches; what is the power of the Fathers when duly assembled in their Great
Council; at the same time, too, the civil laws and the laws of war (for even
Mars is not lawless); and it treats of the lawful bed and marriage of men.
This, Franciscus de Victoria, is the first part of thy work, and that is so
far, too, the cost of our gratitude for thy deed.

What a delight of piety and how fair a virtue it is to have abstained from
good things and to impose a law on luxury, but how great an impiety to
pollute the hand with human blood, and to take away a life, which, once
lost, is irrecoverable either with gold or prayers or an abundant price!
Alas, he must carry a hard flint in his breast, who goes against his own
entrails with the dread sword. Nor does the pious Church sell for a price
its prebends, but gives them free to well-deserving persons, and she drives
off evil spirits, nor may any of her affairs prosper by magic arts, arts
summoned from the one[8] dungeon of the abyss. In the last threshold of the
book, too, Victoria, worthy of eternal life, teaches the conduct which
befits those who come to the true use of reason.

Nor are slight thanks thine for so great a work, who art so ready to bring
forth both from darkness and from rust the writings of so great a man,
because, if God is propitious to the daring, thou shalt live eternally, and
after paying the debt of death thou shalt live, and God will place thy soul,
when freed from the body, in the ethereal heaven, and thou shalt appear
among the gods. Only go on in thy well-deserving and spare not thy hard

1. This preface, which Simon prefixes to his edition, is a copy of the
preface to the edition which appeared at Ingolstadt in 1580, and is in the
form of a letter "To the Christian Reader" from the editor, who describes
himself as "one of the Doctors of Sacred Theology at Ingolstadt." The black
figures in the inside margin of pages 115-187 indicate the corresponding
pages of the Photographic Reproduction included in this edition. The pages
of the Photographic Reproduction corresponding to pages 105-114 are
unnumbered in the original.

2. Or some other "Augusta." -- TRANSL.

  • The part between these asterisks is marked as a quotation in the

original. -- TRANSL.

3. Ps. 140 (Vulgate).

4. Such as were compiled by people like the Magdeburg centuriators (whom the
writer would naturally dislike). -- TRANSL.

5. Reading Iliades for Yliades. 'Ilias has a way of being used in Greek as
equivalent to a vast string of things, e.g.; 'Ilias kakon. -- TRANSL.

6. This is a literal prose translation of a laudatory poem, which Simon
reproduces after the preface. It probably appeared in the Ingolstadt
edition (1580), which Simon professes to reproduce. It also appears in the
edition of Muñoz (1565) and it may be that Muñoz was its author.

7. This is a literal prose translation of a laudatory poem, which Simon
reproduces after the first laudatory poem. It probably appeared in the
Ingolstadt edition (1580), which Simon professes to reproduce.

8. Reading uno for uni; but the latter may be an extemporized genitive,
"the dungeon of the one abyss. -- TRANSL.