´istoria means « assessment »

Posted on Dec 10, 2022

´istoria as assessment -decisive ´quid pro quo' over ´dominium' 

for a zonal adjudication [special resort fo

-----------[litt., Ancient Greek ´istoria] an ´evaluation' in due time, then re-assessed at the time of writing history (before retrospective chronicles) : this explains why Vitoria, even though confuting Wyclif's ideas on ´dominium', endorsed part of respublica christiana principia. Some of which are favorable to individual rights, others subvene to the end of exalting faith [in the only Begotten Son & God overall, as putted in papal bull ´Aeternis regis'...].

Although taming down the scheme of David' throne, Vitoria mastery praised duly the power of such remote Eternal ruler (1481). To understand it, one shall consider the still current today irresponsibility clause |Act of God (= ´vis maior') withstands intermittent events when an eschatological accident  

(viz., under filiatio Dei scheme, the guilt of ´shame' afflicting Cham' progeny)

propitiates evaluation -such as XVth century prevalent ´istoria, upon which non-chistian kingdoms fall under the psalm prophecy of 'clay pots, that Thou {"mind of messiah" [Postel]} shall shatter'.

In this case, usual molderings from past narrowly political debates appear superseded, before the might of "unus deus" [Vitoria].


I______Context : limes governance - how ´dominium mundi' revival ended up in a new balance of godly & terrestrial ownership's

I.1. It would be anachronical to cast down late colonial tenet of Dominionism onto the eschewing of a hypothetically universal, empire|totius orbis (projected there with XVIth century, in France as well, in Henri II mimetic stance of Herculean might). For if a postulate of Creation::God's dominion echoes most dominicans [& their jesuistic counterparts around 1534] historical belief|rule of God, the complex intertwining of royalty & supra-national entity, of dominium (in its plain sense of individual arbiter over things, to be understood from the extended "royal prerogatives" standpoint up to the emperor coronation in 1520) & imperium in its hyperbolic-aimed acception.

So whilst Portugal sole pretension was appliance to the summoned overarching entity (the pope), dominium [of kings] reached its highest point. 

   ell-known overriding of Hercules' columns (Gibraltar, former border of the ancient world) in Charles V revolutionary motto -´{nec} Plus ultra'.


_______It is well before (1434) and prior to unprecedented circumstances that, stating on queries from Portuguese diplomacy as for foreign rule (in the sense of territorial, secured naval routes & ´feitorias' africanas) re-ignited the whim of ´dominium mundi'. It could do so by implicit -as ´dominium' availed onlyr freedom to circulate], and for dependencies of Iberian reigns. Yet the true referring point wasn't so ´dominium of God' in the 1st place ; it was underlying pattern of "propagating the faith" ; this, under the banner of a 'perpetual ruler' (papal bull|'Aeternis regis').


________________Overview of the 2 respects under which ´dominium' could lead Renaissance critic astray :

•1st|political science, bringing to decipher an obfuscated premise of spanish crown mandate -´dominum mundi', regarding "ancient world" ; 

•2nd|diplomatic perspective on the actual juridical ground for an extension of ´dominium' (once historical ´dominium mundi' abunded in scribes chronicles).

1st respect - what conventions masked

Vitoria' foreshadowing of XVIth century  ´ius Dei' map recast, alongside CharlesV authority "over which Sun never sets", was rendered from within scholastic' framework.

However, this masks its ´revelation'-bound premises & the pending preparatory stage, namely, conquistadores' voiding of Indian reigns from the humanist legacy of Salamanca' school. This could be transitioned thanks to a hypothetical humanity totius orbi whose basis is the [reasonable, trading] individual (not nation-based states).

With regard to this intromission in ius gentium, Vitoria's own liberal Weltanschauung collated for the gap. One can seize it with a precision made by  P. P. Rosales (UNMSM, 2019) -whom major result can be rephrased as follows :

  1. [Handling the fact Vitorian ius falls short from peoples self-determination : salmantine mentions of Indian reigns are conditioned to the result of ius ad bellum (& therefore have no right to exist a priori)].
  2. Salmantine treatment regarding dantesque intent of a respublica Humana can, prior to Nuevas leyes, be summed-up as a totative set of communities (ius inter gentem over nation-based ius gentium).
  3. from the foregoing, as appendage regarding the difficulties in having imperative norms implemented : universality of ius cogens would primarily rest on individual competence (in its juridical acception) ; or personal resilience, which unambiguously lead to make possible an individual right to exist (& in some stances an actual droit d'ester en justice).

Nonetheless, this would be contemplated ex post facto. Essentially, enforceable rights could be cancelled by legal authorities. Yet the individual as such cannot be negated on infra legem standpoints. 

2nd respect -the technical ground of hyperbola

Vitoria tends to reconduce ´dominium' to God himself (and, in the end, the ||condition |"possessions"|| of African slaves would revive roman acception of ´dominium' at the time of Valladolid debate, 1555). Yet a gap remains, that leaves untreated the period of Indian principates destruction... Vitoria wages discussion after his fundational admittance -that enslavement be a custom in law of nations for non-christian prisoners of war (see the article on the subject).

Hence it isn't far-fetched to remind ethnological thematisation of Sem/Japheth/Cham (cf, self-explanatory St Isidorus dibujo) in order to render how, in absentia Christi, peoples could -in the maximalist interpretation of Cortés- not be part of the "nations consensus", and once faced with dies irae exempted, as barbarians, from the consideration of their respective entities... Only the individual, as multiple element of established groups, could then pretend (reading Salamanca school after P. Morales rewinding of ius inter gentem) protection in form of ius cogens dispositions.

Now comes the juridical ground for this  



---------Thesis : obliviated premise of America conquistadores could have been summed-up in Tacite style, by allegating that Dominum statuisse indianum agglomerare. Postulate of "unicus Deus" [Vitoria] conflates with discrete self-rule of Aztecs, Maya's & Inca's denial. Thus, regarding gentiles such as Yezidi, ´dominum mundi' (neologism) defines a derogation before Law of nations, alongside an eschatological mandate -to bring about their submission ; Vitoria agrees.


Reliquate : Indians [would] have no stato .  Yet as God alone may annihilate [Suàrez], the locution ´dominium' availed for the colonisation (vide Vitoria's last dubitative conclusion -regarding slavery). So whereas imported workforce could be treated in the scope of Roman law ´dominium', this is not the letter of Vitoria science. One can however rest on the fact that in this restricted appliancy, ´dominium' made juridical sense.


2nd respect - diplomatic élément de langage inducing a revival

 I add to the distinguo {imperium mundi/dominum mundi}  the pragmatical result that ´dominium', in its personal extension, came rewinded by accident, in the course of considering spanish & portuguese resp., Regnum domain in maritime law. Prior to this swindle from 1434 & 1481 treaties (fostered by ius communicationis overlap), the extermination of Indian principates required a distinct regimen (because even in the course of imperium mundi,Indians or Yezidi's would still form a people in ethnological sense). To this end, given Vitoria allusions to ius Dei, God may have hampered Indians yet the destruction of their principates refers not to the Emperor nor Pope' iurisdictio. Hence consumption-geared principates alas meant eschatological perishability, which stands for a transformation after dominum mundi.

Thus 2 points will now be made, regarding surreptive use of ´dominium' [& the necessity of a decrement, with the analysis of complimentary ´dominum mundi'= insofar denial/slaughter/destruction of an entire creed
{for sake, in recent history, Yezidi'}

 is at stake :

´dominium mundi' could be re-invidicated by zealots, although Discovery of terrae incognitae /\ Réformation render it anachronical.

[A] Ref. : 

Contra_ P. Zapatero MIGUEL, "F. Vitoria & post-modern Grand critique of international law", in ´Studies in the history of law & justice', vol. 10, Ed. Springer.

Pro_ Peter FITZPATRICK, "Imperialism & de-composition of law" in ´Law, history & colonialism ', 2017, Cambridge.

[B] cataphasis :

Major_ in the age of Sixtus VI (see below, Minor proposition) the Pope could still pretend to the title of 'verus imperator'. See G. ALTHOF, ´Communicating papal primacy : impact of Gregory VIIth ideas', ch. XIV, ed. Brill, 2020.

Minor_ the 2 occurrences ´dominis ' & ´dominorum' in papal bull ´Aeternis regis...' (lawful basis of Portuguese query) mean, resp., "reigns & dependencies" and "lords". 

Consequent : only by methodological  dilutio [Cano] may Vatican' and Charles V' endeavors be ascribed to ´dominium mundi'. Aside the specific role of temporal power in maritime affairs (C), what was at stake when dealing with Indians ´libertas' can soundly be traced back to either 

...a new, deterrent, propaganda -ˋdominum mundi'- if one also takes into account the diluvian scheme exploited on hyperbole stance (insofar conversion be material conditional to [acknowledgment of] rights) ;

...'imperium mundi' (provided personal freedom comes restricted to reasonable individuals).


----------[C] customary corollaries :

•Emperor was said ´dominus' {of seas} for being Christian. Same would apply from within islamic world (califate ).

•Portugal titles were set to a ´de facto' "possession or quasi-possession" of lands, that is dominions as distinct yet bounded to their domestic reign.

•the same extensions were encompassed in a broader, watery domain of world's res publica, which papal bull founded on maritime law. 
In ´Aeterni regis', end of #4 reads :

"this new revision of the treaties of peace which will and ought to be observed in maritime affairs against those who land upon the shores, bays, or ports in order to plunder, commit depredations, or [similar deeds] in high seas".

One cannot render properly the ´dominium' question by letting aside its tenet : that the earth, or its seas, were held to form part of a ´res publica' "over reigns & kings", however it might pertain to an authority for the sake of common good -even though the course of events prove adverse to even an emperor's rule.

-----------Thesis : ´dominium mundi' was an internal, medieval quarrel over "investitures" -grounded in the problem of public & private property. When "exaltation of faith" circumvene to prevalent property rights, a distinct, transverse ´dominum mundi' is at stake.

Assessing motion : parallel to the (i) conflation of 

...´ius naturale' (exclusive of woman/progeny/slaves:: frankish´bagasch') ;

...and an ´ius naturae' elaborated in [christian-wrought, yet universal by design] 'ius naturalis',

(ii) vicissitudes of generalisation in daily life led to 
´agglomerare' [Theodulf] the notion of´dominium' [from an established maritime appliance] with "dominio" in salmantine acception of a  "power over things". This semantical shift fitted upcoming status of african -not indian- slaves (the former being equated with ´possessions'). Yet it was by extrapolation (& to hyperbolic a scale) that Pope Alexander VI ordinance ( ´Inter caetera ', 1493) was termed after ´dominium mundi'. Whilst it ended up as a preamble to Charles V pretensionrights, destruction was 1st at stake in Requerimiento ; conversion, to remainder flock. Indeed, ´imperium' didn't avail for an Emperor's ´dominium mundi', yet for the christian rule in general (making "[this] faith [superlatively] widespread", Inter caet., II). Thus, antique notion of ´supreme command' stood for re-instating Christ' glory over ´...omnes gentes '. I underline in "Heralds of Christ Faber mundi" that Maximilian the 1st wasn't contracting-party back then. 

(i) Conflation point : Portugal query stemmed from past conventions ascribed to seas & isles. History first approximation ended up to hold seaworthy ´dominium' integral to colonization. Logically if falsely, dock-dues let overshadow self-determination of 'a-mens' or demented peoples (next generation of officials stating it was under-implied by "natural law"|reason, trespassing on saint Thomas' lex humana).

(ii) ensuing rationale :

We all know that principles, especially in ´ius inter gentem', are subject to precellence of [recent] fact. Rules derived from the ideal state of affairs stemming out of "droit naturel" often comes overidden in the course of circumstances. Philosophy of law must, in a context of present re-assessment of colonisation (+ yesterday's "post-modern ´Grand critique'), is subserved by Ancient Greek acception of history, that of 'evaluation' or ´information cascadée' [Breton], in the shape of variable ´assessment{s}'.

Medieval quarrel on ´dominium mundi' couldn't be transposed without caution onto XVIth century, mostly since secular powers (unified kingdoms) had reached sufficient ´stato´ (self-containment) & therefore, in Europe, beginning of  a  proper ´dominium'. Hence one cannot merge the sole imperial pleas & ecclesiastical ´disputationes' in order to seize pre-modern establishment of public power over "territories [reputed to lack of] masters". Two european reigns convened of a domain distribution lacking before the "human law" thereof.

The major ´quid pro quo' avails in the general public, due to necessities of explanatory summaries : it is the interpretation clause of Tordesillas treaty (1494). Once C. Columbus sailed back to iberic shores, he let know first to the king of Portugal of his discoveries past the islands customarily bordering portuguese sovereignty. During preposterous negociations, king John the IInd 🇵🇹 enquired to the papacy, deeming necessary to compensate for such re-shuffling. The "fait générateur" had to re-assess that the theoretical limit of his country's ´dominium' (that is : "territories past Canarías") had been set on the basis of maritime law. In one word : those territories (distinct from any land prehended by Christian authorities) were 1stly thought as bulk instances of an isle pre-defined as "thing [deprived of any prior property]". Referred to its Roman law antecessor, this lawful regimen of course availed for ´terra incognitae' yet also, due to a predatory acception of "natural reason"  [Sepùlveda], to populated areas [forthwith deprived of acknowledgment with regard to their own ´stato'].

-----------conclusion : maritime law and conventional proceedings (like in auxiliary topic of populations control, for the same 1481 bull relied upon medieval encomienda as well) tended to obfuscate the novelty of colonisation outposts. Primitivation of consciousness appended not to the historic purport of ´dominium mundi'. Hence partial ´evaluation' led to a double assessment which humanist thereafter strived to re-assess or conjure :

•1stly, formaliter, magnifying 2 reign's´dominium' as a model for ´Gubernatio mundi'. 

Indeed, control over seas (remember mare nostrum was an imperial domain) derived an internal, organisational topic, onto the question of ´imperium [over administrative segments]'. Yet a peculiar form of public property precelled over a truly universal handling of the question (with help/urge of royal diplomats).

•2ndly, materialiter, due to emulative mindset of scribes, ´dominium' encompassed ´power' also in the sense of might (granted with pope's blessing). This raises the eschatology of ´unicus deus' [Vitoria], and as such deserves a re-assessment (in the shape of a top-down´dominum mundi' initially thought in filiatio Dei -as apparent in ´Inter cætera').

De Soto' magisterium appears as the turning point of salmantine synthesis.

Corolary : it is easy to draw a parallel in between ´dominium' in its antique acception (Africans enslaved for being "possessions") & the result of Valladolid controversy, that is : none ever questioned Indians chattel of a soul.

Finally, ´dominium' bottom-up distribution can be made clearer even with classical notion of condominium -conjoining control of several reigns on a given dependency. And such special property regimen proved to be disjunct from the requirement of conversion sub-tending colonization of Latin America.