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The Causes of War

Volume 1: 3000 BCE to 1000 CE

By: Alexander Gillespie
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Published: 16-10-2013
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 284
ISBN: 9781849465007
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £65.00
Online price : £58.50
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About The Causes of War

This is the first volume of a projected four-volume series charting the causes of war from 3000 BCE to the present day, written by a leading international lawyer, and using as its principal materials the documentary history of international law largely in the form of treaties and the negotiations which led up to them. These volumes seek to show why millions of people, over thousands of years, slayed each other. In departing from the various theories put forward by historians, anthropologists and psychologists, Gillespie offers a different taxonomy of the causes of war, focusing on the broader settings of politics, religion, migrations and empire-building. These four contexts were dominant and often overlapping justifications for the first four thousand years of human civilisation, for which written records exist.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
1. The Conversation on Sunday Afternoon
2. Utopia
3. Facts
4. Casus Belli in Practice
II. Empires
1. Introduction
2. The Formation of Empires
3. The Middle East
4. Greece
5. Rome
6. The Formation of Modern Europe
7. Conclusion
III. Migratory Peoples
Further Migratory Peoples in the West to 1000
Northern Europe
IV. Politics
The Near East, Egypt, China and India
The Greeks and the Wars for Freedom
Rome and the Political Question
The Contribution of Christianity
The Christian Emperors of the Roman Empire
The Return to Monarchy in the West
Islam and the Political Question
V. Religion
Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Israel and Persia
China and India
Greece and Rome
Orthodoxy, Heresy and Intolerance
The Rise of the Papacy and the East–West Tension
The Religious Question between Rome and Persia
Islam and Christianity in the East
Islam and Christianity in the West
VI. Conclusion


“Review of A History of the Laws of War and The Causes of War, Volume 1
…unique and of unquestionable relevance… both works are appreciable for the impressive quantity of the historical and legally pertinent materials gathered by the author. This is useful from the perspective of understanding the background of today's rules on the recourse to armed force and international humanitarian law.
” –  Carlo Focarelli, Italian Yearbook of International Law, Volume 23, 2013

“The marshalling of 4000 years of human history into a single analytical whole is quite remarkable. It is satisfying to complete reading the book and absorb this sense of perspective. The analysis is also effective. The four themes identified – empires, migratory peoples, politics and religion – all underlain by a desire for wealth, is persuasive…The Causes of War raises many more issues and questions than can be dealt with here. It has made a deep impression on the writer of this review. It raises profound questions about whether humanity is now more able to avoid the calamity of war and why or why not. The remaining three volumes are awaited with anticipation.” –  Cameron Moore, New Zealand Yearbook of International Law

“The scourge of war never ends. If we are ever to be rid of it we need to understand the warlike history of homo sapiens. Professor Gillespie in his unique work tells us what we need to know. Will we heed it?” –  Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former, Prime Minister of New Zealand, President of the New Zealand Law Commission, and chair of the UN Inquiry Panel into the Gaza Bound Flotilla of 2010,

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