Religion Past and Present

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Vitoria, Francisco de
(171 words)

[German Version]

(1483[?]–1546), jurist and a pioneer of modern international law. In his Relectio de Indis (1539), he refuted the arguments traditionally advanced to justify the conquest of America based on the secular authority of the pope, the universal sway of the ruler, or the barbarism of the indigenous population. In his opinion, the Indians were the rightful masters of their own affairs, both public and private. He believed that the Spanish presence in Spanish America (Latin America) could be justified for the dissemination of the Christian faith, to combat the…

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Bohn Martins, Maria Cristina, “Vitoria, Francisco de”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 08 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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