Alberico Gentili (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Gentili, a precursor of Hugo Grotius, brought the study of international law into modern times by recognizing that all the states of Europe belonged to one community of law, by applying the principles of morality to international law and particularly to war, and by separating international law from its religious basis (though not from morality) and placing it instead upon a basis of practicality.
Known also by the Latin name of Albericus Gentilis, Alberico Gentili was born in the ancient town of Castello di San Ginesio in the march of Ancona in the Apennines facing the Adriatic Sea. One of seven children born to Matteo, a physician, and Lucretia, Alberico was educated in law at the University of Perugia, where one of the most celebrated teachers was Rinaldo Rodolfini. Shortly after being graduated on September 22, 1572, with a doctor’s degree in civil law, Alberico was elected a judge at Ascoli and then in 1575 elected to the office of advocate in San Ginesio.
In 1579, the family was broken up by Matteo’s and Alberico’s religious tendencies toward Protestantism and their flight in order to escape the Inquisition, with the youngest son, Scipio, to Laibach in Carniola, Austria, where Protestantism was still tolerated. Unwilling to leave, Lucretia stayed behind with the remainder of her children. Thereafter, an additional split in the family occurred when Matteo, remaining for...
(The entire section is 2023 words.)
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