Roman Schröck
Studentnumber 251148
Fischauerstr. 17A, 2721 Bad Fischau, Austria





Aurelius Augustinus
Bellum Iustum


Early Christian Pacifism and
the Justification of Warfare













History of International Law


Prof. Dr. Laurens Winkel
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam - Faculty of Law



2nd Semester, 1998/99








         Introduction                                                                                                      page 5



     VITA AND HISTORICAL SETTING                          8






     AUGUSTINUS ON VIOLENCE AND SIN                      17





            AND IUS AD BELLUM                                   24



            Instead of an Afterword                                                                                      29


            Bibliograpy                                                                                                              30





for all the animals killed by men;
for M. A. M. who took the risk of making friends with me;
for M. S. who now is the silent, soft winds that blow; and
for J. R. S. K. who showed me la vita è bella











young I read
of an animal
park whose

amputated the wing
edge, not just feathers,

of their birds : the great
flamingo : drops

in the dirt a
half a wing, blooming    

red between
pink plumes

: I mourned then as
now for you


- GWYN McVAY, Blunt







A people, to quote St. Augustine, is a gathering of many rational individuals united by accord on loved things held in common [1] . What rational individuals usually love best is peace as 'the very soul of society' [2] . Peace, though, is a divine ideal, a pie in the sky, so to speak, as injurious experiences, grievances and subsequent disputes have always been prominent among humans.

Yet there does exist a universal desire among humankind for peace, and even the wicked seek to create some kind of peace and order of their own, unjust though it may be, because even those who wage war seek nothing but victory, that is, peace with glory. True peace, however, is the absence, not only of all overt conflict, but of all resistance, contradiction, and opposition. Therefore, it seems quite obvious, I guess, to claim that as long as we live in this world, true peace is completely unattainable - it simply does not exist.


"Whoever hopes for this so great good [i.e. peace] in this world, and in this earth, his wisdom is but folly." [3]


Wars, and some of us may certainly not be apt to agree thereto, have often been a must in order to bring about some kind of peace, that is to fight and conquer worse evil. Therefore, I assume, as war may be an evil in itself though sometimes also necessary due to its possible auxiliary character, it is deemed to be the gravest of human concerns. Thus, one tends to ask: Can there be morality in human warfare, and is war justifiable to some point? Or is all war unjust in itself?

Moreover, is some kind of humanized war conceivable? And, above all, and this is to be the very topic of this paper, can there be just wars in the first place?


These are only a few questions that have drawn considerable interest in human history. Thus, the long tradition of a bellum iustum is e.g. to be found in pre-Christian cultures such as Hellenic Greece (e.g. Plato and Aristotle) and late Republican Rome (e.g. Cicero) alike, although just war tradition - as we rightly assume - may be as old as warfare itself, as moral considerations of warfare have always occupied human thinking, whether we think about warriors, innocent civilians, rulers, philosophers or legal scholars.

The term just war is misleading, though, suggesting as it does that at some point in time there has been or may be a conflict in which one side is morally perfect - as if there is an ideal or precedent that may serve as a role model for future just warfare. Yet, historically the concept of holy war has made precisely this claim, and holy war apologists have rendered such conflicts by analogy with heavenly battles between the forces of light and darkness; and even e.g. the cold war concept of ideological war was often expressed in similar terms.


Historians, however, usually tend to limit the term bellum iustum to the tradition of thought that firmly emerged in the late classical period in initially clandestine Christian circles and that was to be continued throughout the Christian Middle Ages. As I will be using this term more often, just war tradition is expressed in notions of general ideas relating to either the justification for going to war, gathered under the ius ad bellum, and including ideas of just cause, right authority, last resort, right intention and the superior and final goal of achieving peace, or the other main component of just war tradition, the ius in bello, or law of war, that has to do with the restraint or limiting of war once begun, strongly appearing in terms of discrimination and proportionality, i.e. of the extent of harm, if any, that might be done to noncombatants and of the weapons used in war.


Its proper development can be found in Christian theologians and canonists who incorporated earlier classical thinking into their own positions. Just war for them denoted the concept Aurelius Augustinus had thoroughly developed based upon Cicero's ideas as expounded in De Officiis. Three persons were especially influential in giving fundamental shape to medieval Christian just war thought: late Antiquity's Aurelius Augustinus (also: St. Augustine) - the bishop of Hippo - and medieval thinkers most prominently represented by the Camaldolese monk Gratian around 1140 AD who completed a massive compilation of canon law known as the Concordia Discordantium Canonum, and the Dominican scholastic Thomas Aquinas around 1270 AD with the landmark treatment of war in his Summa Theologiae, especially in the Pars Secunda Secundae. [4]

This very work, however, is deemed to be largely centered on Aurelius Augustinus and his landmark conception of Christian just war elaborated in late Antiquity/the early Middle Ages. Augustinus, heir to the classical Roman tradition and great Christian philosopher, emerges from late Roman Antiquity and thus constitutes the transition to Christian Staatsdenken of the early Middle Ages. Rome as central idea of all political thinking is being abandoned by him, and a new world and state order of religious salvation emerges.


Before we take the risk, though, and throw ourselves into the lion's den of Augustine's divine kriegsspiel, it seems advisable to briefly snoop around in his very long medieval life to find out what monsters might be lurking around in there before we return for good and focus our attention on the bishop's very ideas on just war beginning in chapter two.




"He stared at the ceiling with wrinkled mouth and eyes, understanding nothing except that man has been created to feel pain and loneliness without help from heaven."


- E.M. FORSTER, Maurice



Chapter 1

A Brief History of Time -

Vita and Historical Setting


Aurelius Augustinus was born in Tagaste, a small third-rate city in the Roman province Numidia, in present-day Algeria (province Constantine), in the year 354 AD, to an old and influential Punian family of pagan faith. When he was an adolescent he was given extensive rhetorics lessons in Carthago paid for by his pagan patron Romanianus. During his studies in the Punian capital he read Cicero's Hortensius, a book that has gotten lost in the course of time but that is thought to have been a fervent call upon the youth to strive for truth, and - we have to emphasize this - it was truth that Augustinus had long been searching for and that would be one of the main topics in his further creative life. He then, at the age of some twenty years, joined the sectarian Manichaeans like so many others who sought to find an independent interpretation of nature and who hoped to explain the secrets of the human soul by reading the eternal struggle between light and darkness, thereby adhering to a daring eclecticism of astrology and Christianity.

Later, Augustinus became instructor in rhetorics and even wrote plays for theater but as he was a Manichaean and emperor Theodosius had ordered fierce and concerted action against them, Augustinus finally decided to leave North Africa and was soon bound for Milan, where the emperors then used to reside, and where he was offered a professorship in rhetorics. By moving to Milan in 384, Augustinus managed to slowly free himself from the Manichaean heretics. Milan then was more than just the inofficial capital of the Imperium Romanum. It harbored, moreover, as its spiritual head, the most famous man of the West: bishop Ambrosius.

After having carefully studied his sermons and the philosophical thoughts of Newplatonists who exerted considerable influence on contemporary Christian belief, Augustinus finally, in the year 387, at the age of 33 years, was christened together with his son Adeodatus ('gift of God') and his friend Alypius. [5]  

Augustinus was certain that nothing in his own life before his conversion constituted a claim upon God for salvation. For years he had been wandering in intellectual error, as he graphically tells the reader in his Confessiones. He was lost because he had turned away from God and was vainly seeking Him in material form when he was a Manichaean, or in purely intellectual terms during his Platonist period.

It was an act of divine providence that effected, in highly dramatic fashion, Augustinus' final conversion. As he lay in the garden, weeping over his inability to conquer his manifest irresolution, the hold of the pleasures of the flesh [6] , and his failure to give himself to God, he heard the repeated chanting of a child in the neighbor's house, "Tolle, lege; tolle, lege." ("Pick it up, read it; pick it up, read it.")

Rushing into his house [7] , he picked up the book that he had laid down a short time before - St. Paul's Epistles - and read the first words that caught his eyes, "Not in reveling and drunkeness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." [8] The message was meant for him. His conversion was accomplished without further delay or hesitation. [9]


In 391, finally, Augustinus came to Hippo regius, then a city inhabited by Christians, pagans, fanatic Donatists [10] , and Manichaeans, where he took his holy orders from bishop Valerius. In 395 he was made Valerius' co-bishop and shortly thereafter his very successor. [11] He would hold that office for 34 years until his death amid turmoil and desperation of an ever disintegrating ancient world.

In 429 the Arian Vandals under Genseric crossed over from Spain and overran the North African provinces, and when Augustinus died on August 28, 430, his own city of Hippo was under siege by the Vandals, who destroyed it not long after. [12]


However, at around the time of his assumption to office as the bishop of Hippo regius, the emperors Valentinian II (375-92) in the West and Theodosius (379-95) in the East ruled the vast Roman Empire that had more than once showed considerable signs of general decline. Their respective successors, the emperors Honorius and Arcadius, both sons of Theodosius, were soon engaged in open rivalry towards each other accompanied by the constant and intimidating Visigothic threat in both the West and the East.


Just like most of his contemporaries, Aurelius Augustinus was profoundly shocked by the three-day sacco di Roma by Alaric and his Visigothic fellows in 410, although he quickly recovered to write De Civitate Dei (413-26) to defend Christianity against pagan charges that the fall of the imperial capital was a directly predictable consequence of Rome's careless abandonment of its own gods and its rash adoption of the weak Christian God who, apparently, had not been powerful enough to protect the city of Rome, and who thus bore the guilt for the decline of the once almighty Roman Empire. Augustinus hence sought to counter these pagan accusations, and his De Civitate Dei thus served as a final reckoning with the Roman state, its polytheistic religion and its history. [13]

Another goal was to correct contemporary isolationist Christian Staatsdenken and its partial integration into the secular sphere. Augustinus' own experiences in this age of cruel wars, indiscriminate slaughtering and plundering, though, had left him with deeply felt hatred of war and aversion against those who still thought that warfare, conquest and military victories were glorious and most noble accomplishments. [14] Peace, to him, was a blessing for mankind, symbolizing prosperity, and an ideal condition for all people. [15]


Yet, at the same time he rejected the unconditional pacifism and antimilitarism of many of the Church Fathers, such as Tertullian, Origen and Lactantius [16] who held the view that Christians should always abstain from any use of force and killing by vigorously stressing that all war is injust in itself. They rejected worldly military service in favor of the militia Christi, a pacifist expression of their struggle against evil. [17] Moreover, Christian pacifists firmly held the (scriptural) view that the Church, as it was no nation, was not allowed to justify or wage war. Consequently it was confined to patiently endure any aggression.

Augustinus in opposition to this inter alia asserted that Christians may serve in an army and fight against enemies stating that there would never come a time when wars will cease and when men will beat their swords into ploughshares. [18] Wars, therefore, were simply inevitable, given the sinful state of fallen mankind. Wars are always an evil, though on some occasions they may be necessary to fight worse evil because apathetic compliance with evil, as practiced by pacifists, is always and equally unjust. For a false peace can be as evil as war, and - moreover - a wholesale rejection of all violence was not consistent with the biblical narration that did - under specific circumstances - allow special kinds of warfare.


"On the contrary, Augustinus says in a sermon on the son of the centurion [Ep. ad Marcel., cxxxviii]: 'If the Christian Religion forbade war altogether, those who sought salutary advice in the Gospel would rather have been counseled to cast aside their arms, and to give up soldiering altogether. On the contrary, they were told: 'Do violence to no man (...) and be content with your pay.' [Lk. 3:14]. If he commanded them to be content with their pay, he did not forbid soldiering.'" [19]


Concerned with the barbarian, i.e. Germanic invaders ready to sack Rome, by that time a Christian state for a considerate period of time, Augustinus needed to formulate a policy concerning Christian participation in common defense and war effort. The result of this thorough inquiry was found in De Civitate Dei. Theologically, Augustinus gave meaning to an existing fact that Christians were serving in Roman armies, particularly to turn back the Germanic invasions and thus to defend the Cross from desecration.


But, say they, the wise man will wage just wars. As if he would not all the rather lament the necessity of just wars, if he remembers that he is a man; for if they were not just he would not wage them, and would therefore be delivered from all wars. For it is the wrong-doing of the opposing party which compels the wise man to wage just wars; and this wrong-doing, even though it gave rise to no war, would still be matter of grief to man because it is man's wrong-doing. Let every one, then, who thinks with pain on all these great evils, so horrible, so ruthless [haec mala tam magna, tam horrenda, tam saeva], acknowledge that this is misery. And if any one either endures or thinks of them without mental pain, this is a more miserable plight still, for he thinks himself happy because he has lost human feeling. [20]


War is not God's doing, thus God is not to be held responsible for them; and just as God does not force men to sin - evils, e.g. wars, are consequences of their sins -, He does permit states and rulers, even if they are acting unjustly, to wage war insofar as their campaigns contribute to His ends - the punishment of the evil and the training of the good although this does not mean that victory always goes to those whose cause is more just. This means, God regulates the duration, issues and the final outcome of war in accordance with His inscrutable judgments.


Here, we assume, it deems advisable to briefly interrupt further argumentation and instead to try to convey a general view of classical Greek and Roman thought on the subject of just war before returning to and elaborating on our very paradigm, Aurelius Augustinus.




"But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time they had been born to enjoy."


- PLUTARCH, Moralia



Chapter 2

Just War Theory in Antiquity -

Hellenic Greece and Republican Rome


In Hellenic Greece warfare (polemiko V ) was considered a normal form of conflict between different people whereas hostilities between Greeks, i.e. Greek city-states (poli V ), were not properly considered as wars by such observers as Plato as he distinguishes between war and feud:


"Wie ´Krieg´ und ´Zwist´ zwei verschiedene Wörter sind, so beziehen sie sich auf zwei verschiedene Begriffe. Darunter verstehe ich das Verwandte und Befreundete einerseits, das Fremde und Ausländische andererseits. Feindschaft unter Verwandten heißt Zwist, unter Fremden Krieg."

"Das ist durchaus vernünftig!"

[c] "Überlege, ob auch das Folgende vernünftig ist. Ich behaupte, das Geschlecht der Griechen ist unter sich befreundet und eines Stammes, dem Barbarentum aber gegenüber fremd und andersstämmig."


"Wenn Griechen mit Barbaren und Barbaren mit Griechen kämpfen, so führen sie - so sagen wir - einen Krieg und sind natürliche Feinde; diese Feindschaft ist Krieg zu nennen; wenn aber Griechen mit Griechen kämpfen, die doch natürliche Freunde sein sollen, dann ist Griechenland im Augenblick krank und lebt im Zwist: [d] diese Feindschaft ist Zwist zu nennen." [21]


And it was Aristotle who first coined the term "just war" applying it to wars waged by Hellenes against non-Hellenes whom he considered barbarians. To him, war was a means of acquisition, and since some men by their virtue (areth) deserved to extend their rule over less worthy ones, wars by which they enslaved others were naturally just. Further, war was considered as a proper means of preventing enslavement, i.e. in self-defense, or to enslave those non-Hellenes deserving of slavery [22] .

In Aristotelian theory warfare was thus not an end in itself but a means to such higher goals as peace, glory and strength [23] .


"[35]...daß nämlich der Krieg um des Friedens willen (...) zu wählen ist." [24]


"Denn wir arbeiten, um dann Muße zu haben, und führen Krieg, um dann in Frieden zu leben. Alle praktische Trefflichkeit nun entfaltet ihre Aktivität entweder in den Aufgaben des öffentlichen Lebens oder den Aufgaben des Kriegs. Das Handeln in diesem Bereiche verträgt sich aber erfahrungsgemäß nicht mit der Muße, kriegerisches Tun schon gar nicht - niemand wählt ja den Krieg um des Krieges willen, und niemand rüstet deshalb zum Krieg." [25]


"Deshalb wird wohl auch die Kriegskunst von Natur aus eine Erwerbskunst sein - denn auch die Jagdkunst ist ein Teil von ihr -, die man im Hinblick auf die wilden Tiere zu verwenden hat und gegen diese Menschen, [25] die zwar von Natur dazu da sind, beherrscht zu werden, dazu aber nicht willens sind. Und doch ist dieser Krieg ein von Natur aus gerechter (italics added)." [26]


Yet when any city-state made war an end rather than a means as mentioned above it was defined to fall.


"Denn die meisten derartigen Staaten halten sich, solange sie Krieg führen, haben sie aber ihre Herrschaft etabliert, gehen sie zugrunde" [27]


Thus, Aristotle's just war centered on the moral ends of peace (eirhnh) and justice (dikaiosunh). However, Aristotle and the Greek philosophers seemed to be unable to provide a way of distinguishing a just war from a merely successful one. Considering this surely severe shortcoming of classical Greek political philosophy it deems advisable to consult Roman law and its landmark concept of iusta causa.



Rome's fundamental contribution to the just war theory was the introduction of the concept of iusta causa that was based primarily upon the legal analysis of contractual obligations. The term pax etymologically stems from pangere which means "to make a pact/contract wherein rights and duties of both parties are specified". Breach of contract, subsequently, in private law justified a civil suit by the injured party to recover damna and iniuria (damage and injuries). Likewise, in relations between states the injured city-state enjoyed rights to seek compensation and redress with the injured party acting both as a judge and as party. Prior guilt of the offending party hence served as a just cause for every just war.

A city-state that had been provided with juridical autonomy was responsible for redeeming injuries done to foreigners by its citizens, and when it defaulted on this responsibility, the other city-state(s) had the right to punish it by war. Denial of justice thus became the primary cause of a just war. However, war was still considered as an extraordinary legal process. Warfare was made more civilized through mitigating and regularizing effects of a positive law that echoed ius gentium, the Roman law dealing with private law relations with foreigners (cf. ius inter gentes, the law of nations) [28]


From this coign of vantage Cicero formulated more specific examples of just causes. To Cicero, no war was just unless it was declared and waged to recover lost goods (rebus repetitis) [29] , whether real property or incorporeal rights. Warfare was not a willful exercise of violence but a just and pious endeavor occasioned by a delict of injustice of the enemy, and thus a war waged without any cause was no real war but latrocinium or piracy - the causa belli was an essential precondition for a bellum iustum.


According to Aristotle, the good city-state first and foremost went to war for its honor and its safety. Cicero broadened this admittedly narrow scope by introducing punishment (ultio) for (war-)guilt, the defense of territory, its citizens and the city-state's very independence. [30]

For Cicero, wars should be won by virtue and courage rather than by base, infamous or treacherous means; and faith had to be maintained even with Rome's arch enemies; and, moreover, an oath sworn even under enemy compulsion had to be strictly observed on pain of committing sacrilege. [31]


Roman law thus asserted the civil action of repetitio rerum, a broad and formal demand to a foreign power for redress of injuries suffered by Roman citizens. True to their legal view of the just war the Romans not only required prior guilt of an enemy but a formal declaration of war, too.

And if satisfaction was not forthcoming within 33 days after having claimed repetitio rerum, the fetiales, that is the fetial priests, would issue the formal declaration of war upon the authorization by both the Senate and the Roman people. [32] Rome's adherence to the ius fetiale (the law of foreign relations) applied by priests made the Romans hope their gods would help them in battle because waged in accordance with explicit or indirect divine command, war was not only a bellum iustum but also a bellum pium, i.e. a dutiful war. In addition, both divine and positive law demanded that war could be waged only after auguries had promised divine support.

However, when the Roman Republic was finally transformed into an empire governed by the princeps senatus, i.e. the emperor, matters as to war and peace were more and more decided by the superior authority of the incumbent ruler. [33] Until the middle of the third century AD, the princeps had formally only been a representative of the populus romanus, invested with the tribunicia potestas and the inherent imperium. In course of time and due to dangerous social and political conditions, though, the emperor consolidated his powers and became an absolute monarch entitled e.g. for legislation. His powers were thought to be similar to those of God (numen divinum), and everything that derived from the emperor or that was deemed to serve him, was considered to be sacrum. His title was not hereditary, though. [34]


Cicero's rebus repetitis thus required clear violations of pre-existing rights of the injured, i.e. the (automatically) just party, and the resulting war was waged to securing redress of grievances and compensation for losses sustained by the crimes of the offending party to persons, property (res) or rights (iura). War's final goal was to return to the status quo ante bellum (cf. the pursuit of compensatory damages in private law). [35]




"Et il revint vers le renard:

- Adieu, dit-il ...

- Adieu, dit le renard. Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.

- L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux, répéta le petit prince, afin de se souvenir.

- C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.

- C'est le temps que j'ai perdu pour ma rose... fit le petit prince, afin de se souvenir.

- Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité, dit le renard. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé. Tu es responsable de ta rose...

- Je suis responsable de ma rose... répéta le petit prince, afin de se souvenir."





Chapter 3

Early Christian Pacifism -

Augustinus on Violence and Sin


Just war theory has always had both a practical and a theoretical side; and moral and legal ideas have appeared in both practical and theoretical terms. Medieval theorists sought to think systematically about the interrelation between (Roman) law and morality, proceeding from divine law and issuing in positive law.

Natural law could - as the post-classical Greek and Roman Stoics had taught - be known through reason or, alternatively, it could be known through revelation, i.e. the divine law revealed to the Church. So, along with legal practices of the Roman State, especially as expressed in the writings of the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-80 AD), medieval scholars took the Old Testament as a key source of natural law which was deemed to show God's gift to man of a moral law consistent with human nature. [36] Understood in this way, an intimate and inseparable relation exists between law and morality - natural law is the source of both.


Aurelius Augustinus in his writings on bellum iustum combined Roman and Judaeo-Christian elements. The just war theory thereby served as a means of reconciling the evangelic precepts of patience and benevolence and the pacifist tendencies of the early Church on the one side with Roman legal notion on the other side.

Central to his attitude was the stolid conviction that war was both a consequence of a sin and a remedy for it. The real evil in war was not war itself but love of violence, cruelty, greed and libido dominandi (lust for rule). [37] War, therefore, provides a rough punishment for men's sins - and even for those sins unrelated to the war [38] - originating from his wounded will. Every war has peace as its goal. Thus, war was an instrument of peace or to secure peace of some sort.


"Hence Augustinus says [Ep. ad Bonif. clxxxix, 6]: 'We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace.'" [39]


However, Augustinus' doctrines of the just war and the punishment of heresy and sin through war were not so much coherent positions as mere clusters of ideas grouped around his central and lifetime theme of truth, sin and its punishment. His shift from the legal to the moral order would later endow the just war with the purpose of punishing sinners of any stripe - its execution, though, further limited to Roman officials only, thereby restraining the possibility of excessive punishment that could have lead to indiscriminate persecution. [40] Augustinus was very much concerned about chaos, and situations of chaos and warfare required him to look more at questions of legitimate authority and order in dealing with the morality of war, rather than looking at violence as some sort of organized activity.


Patience and benevolence did not necessarily conflict with the inflicting of physical punishment, thus Augustinus. Referring to Moses, he stated that the former had put sinners to death because of love, not of hatred. Therefore, as shown by Moses, hatred had to be overcome by love for one's enemies - this did not preclude a benevolent severity, though. For not soldiering but malice militates against benevolence, thus Augustinus. [41] By this means, he plausibly claimed to reconcile war and the New Testament. Any outwardly hostile act was justified provided it was accompanied and determined by an (inwardly) normative intention, i.e. caritas (charity).

Love for one's neighbor could legitimate his death, and not to resist evil, as originally demanded in Matt. 5: 39, became an attitude compatible with outward belligerence towards him [42] . One is apt to assert that as long as a Christian does not kill with rancor and without public authority he does not violate the law of charity but rather obeys it in wreaking retributive justice, itself an aspect of charity. [43] To transform Christian charity into a motivation for waging wars was, after all, an intellectual accomplishment, however one might esteem its moral or psychological validity.


Furthermore, Augustinus considered private violence the most degrading form of action. He hold the view that self-defense by private persons contradicted the evangelical precepts of patience and love for one's fellow man. He denied to the private individual the right to violent defense on the grounds that it caused considerate loss of love. [44] Only rulers and officials under their command, therefore, were allowed to kill without giving rise to hatred and other possible sinful passions. Private pacifism was thereby referred to in order to justify public warfare and to legitimate an appropriate authority necessary to wage just wars.


"Augustine says [Contra Faustem Manichaeum, xxii, 75]: 'The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.'" [45]


The problem of Christians and violence is first to be found in the New Testament where Jesus objected to Simon Peter after the latter had cut off an ear of one of the men who had come to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane. [46] There exist two interpretations as to this command. Jesus hereby preached charity, the rejection of either any violence and thus peacefulness for those who adhered to total Christian pacifism, or the rejection only of a specific kind of unjustified violence for those who adhered to a less pacifistic interpretation of Christian gospel.

Christian positions on war and pacifism, therefore, are to be found in various and highly differential groups: pacifism, the just war characterized by restrained violence, and the holy war/crusade.

As to early Christian pacifism - it was characterized by the strong theme of separation from the world, and attached to a distinct antiviolence tradition rooted in biblical precepts ratified by early Christian practice. [47] This very antiviolence tradition, therefore, stands as a constant reminder to Christians who have taken up the sword. [48] Deliberate seclusion from the world and worldly affairs appears to have been shaped both by an early alienation of the Christian Church from politics and its abhorrence of violence best described by the North African Church father Tertullian (200 AD) who - in his writing On Idolatry - expressed the Christian reticence to participation in worldly affairs. Tertullian considered not just military service but several other types of occupations asking whether they were permissible means of livelihood for Christians. He rejected inter alia woodworking, silver- and goldsmithing, the life of a teacher, of study, civil government service and, of course, military service for the same reason: they were all inherently idolatrous (but not necessarily evil or violent) [49]

Until the Constantinian reform which made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, this antiviolence tradition had coexisted and commingled with that theme expressed by Tertullian whose roots are to be found in the admonition of Jesus:


"Render to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's" [50]


This principle claiming double authority in daily political behavior, however, could not be complied with in case of any conflict between Church and Emperor which was expected to result in unconditional loyalty towards the Church and pacifistic hostility towards the secular ruler. Beginning with Constantine the clear distinction and opposition between Church and world, however, ceased - now the church and the world coexisted. At the Council of Arles in 314 AD, the Church saw that "to deny the state the right to go to war was to condemn it to extinction". [51] Christianity could no longer be pacifistic (in the same sense as before). Two important results, therefore, were, on the one hand, increased emphasis on the evil of violence itself and, on the other hand, an attempt to reconcile Christian beliefs with the necessity of governmental use of armed power: the just war doctrine finally emerged.




"I happened to be working near a so called painting atelier. From the outside a big comfortable looking spot. A large maison in the country with colorful signs 'peinture atelier'. Well i finish with the rouge climb out of the canvas decide to go have a talk with what other monsters might be lurking around inside. No one around. Big windows. Theres things on the wall, big things, sculptures in wood also. Then a man appears at the window ... paint on face, wild country safari hair, dirt on knees. I panic. Realize its me. My reflection. Have a start, got to get home roadrunner beep beep quick, take an accounting job."


- J. R. S. K., Letters



Chapter 4

Augustinean Justification of Warfare


Most wars that are waged between states are in no way just - they are quarrels within the earthly city which, according to Augustinus, is based upon narcissism rather than piety and is doomed to eternal punishment. The members of the earthly City, i.e. the kingdom of the devil, as described in De Civitate Dei, are the fallen angels and the men from Cain who place their affections and interests in this world and in temporal goods and honors - sinners keen on material goods and endless enjoyments only.


"Demnach wurden die zwei Staaten durch zweierlei Liebe gegründet, der Irdische durch Selbstliebe, die sich bis zur Gottesverachtung steigert, der himmlische durch Gottesliebe, die sich bis zur Selbstverachtung erhebt. Jener rühmt sich seiner selbst, dieser ´rühmt sich des Herrn´. Denn jener sucht Ruhm von Menschen, dieser findet seinen höchsten Ruhm in Gott, dem Zeugen des Gewissens. Jener hebt in Selbstruhm sein Haupt, dieser spricht zu seinem Gott: ´Du bist mein Ruhm und hebst mein Haupt empor´.  In jenem werden Fürsten und unterworfene Völker durch Herrschsucht beherrscht, in diesem leisten Vorgesetzte und Untergebene in Fürsorge und Gehorsam liebevollen Dienst...

In diesem Staate (...) gibt es nur eine Weisheit des Menschen, die Frömmigkeit, die den wahren Gott recht verehrt und in der Gemeinschaft der Heiligen, nicht nur der Menschen, sondern auch der Engel, als Lohn erwartet, ´daß Gott sei alles in allen´" [52]


No one can be member of both cities, i.e. the city of God and the earthly city; either God is loved with all the heart and all the soul and all the mind or the world is loved. [53]

If a war has been waged, each side seeks to impose its will upon the other, and peace is the end sought for by war. But the peace that is imposed by those who claim victory is no more than a temporary truce in which the victors satisfy their greed, avarice, lust and ambition at the expense of the vanquished - such peace is either self-destructing or short-lived. If the ruler happens to be a just man, though, he will refrain from waging wars of aggression, conquest and looting; he will only wage just wars, punishing evil-doers without being cruel or vengeful thereby keeping in mind the legitimate interests of both the vanquished and the victors. [54]


"Think, then, of this first of all, when you are aiming for the battle, that even your bodily strength is a gift of God; for, considering this, you will not employ the gift of God against God.... Peace should be the object of your desire; war should be waged only as a necessity, and waged only that God may by it deliver men from the necessity and preserve them in peace. For peace is not thought in order to the kindling of war, but war is waged in order that peace may be obtained. Therefore, even in waging war, cherish the spirit of a peace-maker, that, by conquering those whom you attack, you may lead them back to the advantages of peace.... As violence is used towards him who rebels and resists, so mercy is due to the vanquished or the captive, especially in the case in which future troubling of the peace is not to be feared." [55]


The ruler or official who makes peace or prevents the outbreak of a war through e.g. negotiation and agreement deserves greater honor and glory than the just warrior.


"But it is a higher glory still to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword, and to procure peace by peace, not by war. For those who fight, if they are good men, doubtless seek for peace; nevertheless it is through blood. Your mission, however, is to prevent the shedding of blood. Yours, therefore, is the privilege of averting that calamity which others are under the necessity of producing." [56]


Recognizing that the legitimacy of warfare had to be grounded in evangelic precepts, Augustinus sought support in one of the touchstones of his thought, the notion of charity (caritas). Punishment of evil-doers, therefore, without doing further wrong by indulging in revenge or taking pleasure in suffering of others, was an act of love. Hatred had to be overcome by love for one's neighbor and enemy.

It is important to note that by asserting that the ethics of his recta intentio (right intention) rather than the violent act was normative, Augustine finally successfully claimed to reconcile war and the New Testament by strongly distinguishing between the inward disposition of the heart and the outward act of war.

To treat evangelical precepts in this very way, however, Augustinus smartly managed to revalue them politically such that warfare now became necessary rather than inherently sinful [57] - scriptural commands in brackets, so to speak... Love for one's neighbor could now simply legitimize his death.


Inspired by Roman just war, Augustinus required that the just war be waged on auctoritas recta (legitimate authority), i.e. either on God's or on a ruler's superior command. Soldiers alone were the proper officials for waging war thereby prohibiting the killing not only by clerics but also by any private Christian. Obedience, even to an unjust ruler, was a must unless it could be proved that the ruler had clearly contravened divine precepts by waging a war. Thus, the Christian soldier had to obey his superior, if not he was guilty of treason for, in accordance with Augustinus' views, to allow disobedience to an unjust command would give vent to individual passions he so strongly condemned. Rather than incur this risk, Augustinus absolved the individual soldier of moral responsibility for his official actions. [58]





"Most impressive!"


- DARTH VADER, Star Wars



Chapter 5

Augustinean Definition of Bellum Iustum

 and Ius Ad Bellum


Having provided a Christian justification of warfare, Augustine turned to define the bellum iustum itself. In commenting on scriptural Joshua, who had reduced the city of Ai to rubble and had killed reported twelve thousand men and women while commanded by God [59] , he formulated the first  new definition of just war since the landmark rebus repetitis by Cicero: "iusta bella ulciscuntur iniurias" (just wars avenge/punish injuries) [60] . War was justified when a people or a city neglected either to punish wrong-doing by its members or to restore what it had unjustly destroyed or seized. [61] On the surface any interpretation of this dictum that seems to be almost entirely derived from Cicero deems merely to echo the ancient Roman's thoughts.

However, Augustinus' far-reaching ulciscuntur iniurias covers a much wider view than Cicero's did. Augustinus' just war could therefore be seen as a penal sanction analogous to punitive damages in private law in contrast to Cicero's limited just war that may be compared to the pursuit of compensatory damages in private law.


Accordingly, the Augustinean just war was thus total and unlimited in its licit use of violence because it not only avenged existing legal rights that had been violated but also punished the moral order injured by the sins of the offending party regardless of injuries done to the just party claiming itself defender of some moral order. Sins and crimes, subsequently, whether they were illegal, immoral or sacrilegious were now punishable, and transgressions were both a crime against the law and a sin against righteousness, at which righteousness was considered a precondition for true justice (vera iustitia) that could only be fulfilled if God was rendered His due.


Seen in this light, any violation of God's laws and, by logical extension, of Christian doctrine, could be considered as an injustice warranting unlimited violent punishment. Thus, an intimate connection between the juridical and the moral order had come into existence that could give rise to punishment, such that a delict or crime would simply be considered a sin. Moreover, the subjective culpa of the enemy population allowed the indiscriminate punishment of both soldiers and civilians - objective determination of personal guilt was not only unnecessary but irrelevant. Augustinus thus paved the way for future justification of holy wars and crusades that punished all sorts of wickedness and vice. [62]


"Now when victory remains with the party which had a juster cause, who hesitates to congratulate the victor, and style it a desirable peace?" [63]


Such peace, of course, is far inferior to the peace to be found in the heavenly city only. [64] Anyway, what criteria did Augustinus offer for determining whether or not a war was just?


Any war waged on divine command was a just war - it was just sine dubitatione if it had been occasioned by an offense against God, and thus His executors acted without sinful libido and were therefore absolved of any responsibility for the war. Wars to defend righteousness, consequently, could be waged by rulers even without a direct divine command by simply deriving their ruling authority from God Himself. This very concept of bellum Deo auctore also paved the way further to the development of holy wars and crusades within the theory of bellum iustum. Christian Pacifism was thereby clearly defeated because early Christian approaches to war had usually been largely pacifistic in nature, due to a focus in the early Church to the notion that Christians were simply distinct from the rest of the society.


Defense of patria, citizens and property was a just cause for war. It was irrelevant, though, to distinguish between defensive and offensive war, and whereas a war of conquest was unjust, the broad concept of ulcisci iniurias rather than defense was the relevant point of vantage for every ius ad bellum. Augustinus did come close to recognizing that both belligerents may have some measure of justice in their respective causes. Thus the problem turned around the question which party had a juster cause.


"Quando autem vincunt qui causa iustiore pugnabant, quis dubitet gratulandum esse, et provenisse optabilem pacem?" [65]


It was worse, though, when the injurious party prevailed over the just(er) party. Moreover, it seems legally inoperable to concede just causes to both belligerents because both of them have possibly harmed their enemy out of proportion to their share of justice according to Augustinus' principle of ulciscuntur iniurias and a legal determination would have to be found for one or the other.

Thus, one may ask now: is it possible to consider some kind of bellum iustum ex utraque parte - a just war on both sides - as Francisco de Vittoria much later would first consider? However, Augustinus does not further elaborate on this crucial subject:


"Aurelius Augustinus (...) hat der in ihren objektiven Voraussetzungen aus der heidnischen Antike übernommenen Lehre vom gerechten Krieg nicht nur das Erfordernis einer intentio recta hinzugefügt, sondern auch insofern eine höchst originelle, überraschende Wendung gegeben, als er gelehrt hat: der Ausgang des Krieges beweise nicht mit Notwendigkeit, daß der siegreich Gebliebene die gerechte Sache vertreten habe; Gott, der mit den von ihm zugelassenen Kriegen grundsätzlich den Zweck der Strafe und Läuterung verbinde, könne durchaus auch dem Ungerechten den Sieg verleihen. Das war ein radikaler Bruch mit einer unvordenklich alten Überlieferung (...) hier hat Augustinus gewiß nur einen allgemeinen Grundsatz aus Gedanken entwickelt, die ihm aus dem Alten Testament, und zwar aus der klassischen Prophetie der zweiten Hälfte des 8. Jahrhunderts, vertraut waren. Wenn nach dieser ´die ganze altorientalische Weltgeschichte von Gott aufgeboten´ worden ist, um ein ´vernichtendes Gericht an dem gegenwärtigen Bestand Israels zu vollziehen´, und das unbeschadet der Überzeugung, ´daß Israel auch noch in Zukunft Gott zur Verwirklichung seiner universalen Absicht dienen solle´, so war damit eine Vorstellung, daß der siegreiche Ausgang ein untrügliches Indiz für die Gerechtigkeit einer Sache sei, jedenfalls für die geistig führende Schicht bereits aufgegeben." [66]


Augustinus never doubted that there could be a necessity to wage a war if the injust party makes one do so. [67]

Restraint and limitation, however, are the inevitable consequences of lack of absolute certainty such as God alone can give. Where there is no clear command by God - and there are, as Augustinus states, only a few historical samples in the Old Testament of wars undoubtedly commanded by God - Christians are only relatively permitted to engage in war; and this permission is confined by restraining conditions. Without clear divine and unequivocal command, thus, Christians have to be careful in taking up the sword against each other, bearing in mind the Decalogue's command "Thou shalt not kill", Jesus' command "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and, indeed, the entire antiviolence tradition rooted in biblical precepts.


As mentioned above, war was permissible, and the power of waging a war was part of the natural power of a monarch, obtained to officially uphold and further peace. Moreover, war, far from being something Christians should avoid, was part of the normal life of a nation, ordained by natural law, a law which according to the New Testament had been given by God.


This concept, however, was no carte blanche for bloodshed. On the contrary, for Augustinus, for a war to be just, it had to be fought based upon the enemy's prior guilt due to ulciscuntur iniurias and according to a right intention (intentio recta) that becomes manifest in the ruler's refrain from hatred and vengeance with a constant view at necessary future reconciliation with the enemy. Thomas Aquinas, citing Augustinus, finally interpreted the right intention as "the advancement of good or the avoidance of evil." [68] Subsequent just war had to be waged under lawful authority (iusta auctoritas) that could - to a certain extent - perhaps be compared with the modern concept of sovereignty. A private war, i.e. a war waged without legitmate authority, therefore, was eo ipso injust. [69] Augustinus thus determines the circumstances under which war is legitimized:


"The natural order, which is suited to the peace of moral things, requires that the authority and deliberation for undertaking war be under the control of a leader." [70]


Thus it is the ruler who - due to his divine imperium - may wage a just war according to his lawful authority and a right intention attached to it - carefully considering, though, the enemy's necessary prior guilt based upon injured rights. However, even with proper authority, a just war must always fulfill the requirement that it is to be waged to right a legal wrong or injury. [71]

Augustinus' just war theory thus defends the whole moral order of Christianity. His criteria of cause, intention, authority and obedience are all modeled on the Old Testament.


For him, the Old Testament, was a double image, serving both as a record of man's relationship to God and as a body of precedents to guide future happenings of Christian man.

The comprehensive Christian doctrines love, purity, peacefulness and charity that had been so beautifully elaborated in the New Testament, and that sought to ever accompany human motives and conduct, were - through Augustinus - accommodated to the savagery and bluntness of the Old, thereby defeating the pacifist substance of Christianity for good.


For Christianity and the just war theory to survive the foreseeable collapse of the Roman Imperial authority they had finally to be made independent of the connection with Rome, a task to which Augustinus at great length and successfully addressed himself. They did survive and called forth considerate consequences in human history after Aurelius Augustinus' death in the fifth century.


However, Augustinus' views on warfare and just war and his justification of Christian participation in wars may be apt today to produce considerable puzzlement in a person who holds idealistic views on universal justice and in Christians who believe in peacefulness. Notions of war may be slightly different nowadays, I guess.


"All's fair in love and war." - Augustinus, it seems, all too thoroughly elaborated on this proverb....







Instead of an Afterword




"Da ist unser Bekannter, da ist Hans Castorp! Schon ganz von weitem haben wir ihn erkannt an seinem Bärtchen, das er sich am schlechten Russentisch hat stehen lassen. Er glüht durchgenäßt, wie alle. Er läuft mit ackerschweren Füßen, das Spießgewehr in hängender Faust. Seht, er tritt einem ausgefallenem Kameraden auf die Hand, - tritt diese Hand mit sein-em Nagelstiefel tief in den schlammigen, mit Splitterzweigen bedeckten Grund hinein. Er ist es trotzdem. Was denn, er singt! Wie man in stierer, gedankenloser Erregung vor sich hin singt, ohne es zu wissen, so nutzt er seinen abgerissenen Atem, um halblaut für sich zu singen:


"Ich schnitt in seine Rinde

So manches liebe Wort -"


Er stürzt. Nein, er hat sich platt hingeworfen, da ein Höllenhund anheult, ein großes Brisanzgeschoß, ein ekelhafter Zuckerhut des Abgrunds. Er liegt, das Gesicht im kühlen Kot, die Beine gespreizt, die Füße gedreht, die Absätze erdwärts. Das Produkt einer verwilderten Wissenschaft, geladen mit dem Schlimmsten, fährt dreißig Schritte vor ihm wie ein Teufel selbst tief in den Grund, zerplatzt dort unten mit gräßlicher Übergewalt und reißt einen haushohen Springbrunnen von Erdreich, Feuer, Eisen, Blei und zerstückeltem Menschentum in die Lüfte empor. Denn dort lagen zwei, - es waren Freunde, sie hatten sich zusammengelegt in der Not: nun sind sie vermengt und verschwunden.

O Scham unserer Schattensicherheit! Hinweg! Wir erzählen das nicht! Ist unser Bekannter getroffen? Er meinte einen Augenblick, es zu sein. Ein großer Erdklumpen fuhr ihm gegen das Schienbein, das tat wohl weh, ist aber lächerlich. Er macht sich auf, er taumelt hinkend weiter mit erdschweren Füßen, bewußtlos singend:


"Und sei-ne Zweige rau-schten,

Als rie-fen sie mir zu -"


Und so, im Getümmel, in dem Regen, der Dämmerung, kommt er uns aus den Augen.

Lebewohl, Hans Castorp, des Lebens treuherziges Sorgenkind! Deine Geschichte ist aus."



- THOMAS MANN, Der Zauberberg







Aristoteles. Nicomachean Ethik (Stuttgart, 1983).

Aristoteles. Politics (Stuttgart, 1989).

Bederman, David J. Reception of the Classical Tradition in International Law: Grotius' De Iure Belli ac Pacis (Essay s.l., s.a.).

Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine (New York, 19662).

Deforrest, Mark E. Just War Theory and the Recent U.S. Air Strikes against Iraq (Essay s.l., 1997).

Ellul, Jacques. Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective (London, 1970).

Johnson, James T. Just War Tradition and the Restraint of War (Princeton, 1981).

Karrer, Otto. Augustinus. Ein Lebensbild zu seinem Jubiläum. 430-1930 (Munich, 1930)

Kreisky, Eva. Einführung in die Geschichte des Politischen Denkens (Vienna, 1995).

Platon. Politeia (Stuttgart, 1982).

Preiser, Wolfgang. Die Völkerrechtsgeschichte. Ihre Aufgaben und ihre Methode (Wiesbaden, 1964).

Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1975).

Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus (Freiburg i. B., 1910).

Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae (Benziger Bros. edition, 1947).

Time Magazine (Europe). Volume 113, No. 17 (April 23, 1979).

Windass, G.S. Christianity versus Violence: A Social and Historical Study of War and Christianity (London, 1964).




© RO-mAn sChRöCk, 1999


[1] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xix, 24. In: Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus (Freiburg i. Br., 1910). p. 27.: "Populus est coetus multitudinis rationalis rerum, quas diligit, concordi communione sociatus."

[2] Wills, Garry. Confessions of a Conservative (Doubleday, 1979). In: Time Magazine Europe, Vol. 113 No. 7 (April 23, 1979). p. 69.

[3] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xvii, 13. In: Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St Augustine (New York 19662). p. 101.


[4] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1975). p. 55 & 259.

[5] Karrer, Otto. Augustinus. Ein Lebensbild zu seinem Jubiläum. 430-1930 (Munich 1930). p.3-19.

[6] If some twentieth-century writers place so high a value upon satisfying sexual relationships that they sometimes seem to view sexual fulfillment as the end of human life, many of the early Christians, as well as the Neo-Platonists, Gnostics and Manichaeans, saw sexual impulse as something to be repressed and excised if happiness or salvation was to be achieved. Augustinus' attitude towards sex is undoubtedly negative, and at times he seems morbidly preoccupied with the subject.

[7] according to Karrer, Otto. Augustinus. Ein Lebensbild zu seinem Jubiläum. p. 13., Augustinus did not have to rush back into the house to pick it up but had that little book with him all the time.

[8] Rom 33:13.

[9] Dean, Herbert A. Political and Social Ideas of St Augustine. p. 22.

[10] according to Dean, Herbert A. Political and Social Ideas of St Augustine. p. 34-5, the Donatists, against whom Augustinus would fight a long struggle in Africa, conveyed inter alia the idea that it was desirable to establish on earth a church of the pure, made up only of men who, having received salvation through God's grace, were living blameless lives. They not only maintained that their sect was such a church of the pure, but they also insisted that the validity of the sacraments depended on the moral righteousness of the priests who performed them. Augustinus who saw great dangers to the universal church in this puritan and fanatic sectarianism, launched a vigorous attack on the Donatist doctrine arguing e.g. against attempts to separate the good and the bad in the church before the end of the world and the Last Judgment, when Christ Himself, from whom nothing is hidden, will make that crucial separation.

[11] Karrer, Otto. Augustinus. Ein Lebensbild zu seinem Jubiläum. p. 16.

[12] Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St Augustine. p. 76.

[13] Of course, there is no neat break between classical and Christian civilization, since many elements of Graeco-Roman culture passed over into the civilization of Western Europe. Even if one is apt to ignore the survival of the Roman Empire and of many crucial elements of Greek and Roman civilization in the Byzantine Empire for more than a thousand years after the end of the Western Empire, one should nevertheless concede that the Roman Empire in fact did not fall in 410 when the city was sacked or when the line of Western Emperors expired with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476. The barbarians who migrated into Western Europe and who founded various kingdoms on once Roman soil had been thoroughly exposed to Roman culture long before they finally moved into the heart of the Empire, and they became even more romanized after they had settled down in Italy, Gaul or Spain - Roman culture, ideas and institutions, therefore, survived in union with the Germanic elements brought by the so-called barbarians.  

[14] Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 154.

[15] Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus (Freiburg i. B., 1910). p. 86.

[16] Lactanius: "Man is so sacrosanct a creature that it is always wrong to kill him (...) no exception can be made to this commandment of God." In: Windass, G.S. Christianity versus Violence: A Social and Historical Study of War and Christianity (London, 1964). p. 9.

[17] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 11.

[18] Deane, Herbert A. Ideas of St Augustine. p. 155.

[19] Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. ii, Qu. 40 (Benziger Bros. edition, 1947).

[20] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xix, 7 (ii 384). In: Deane, Herbert A. Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 156-7.

[21] Plato. Politeia (Reclam Stuttgart, 1982). v, 16, 470b-d. p. 272.

[22] cf. Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 7., according to whom Rome's preferred means of acquiring territory, the occupatio bellica, transferred sovereignty over captured territory to Rome at the successful conclusion of a just war, and captured soldiers and civilians could be enslaved rather than killed. The etymology of servi, slaves, was considered to depend upon servare, to save the life of the prisoners.

[23] The philosopher Epictet, however, asserted that all war was simply based upon delusion (agnoia). In: Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus. p. 87.

[24] Aristotle. Politics (Reclam Stuttgart, 1989). vii, 14, 1333a, 35-6. p. 356.

[25] Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics (Reclam Stuttgart, 1983). x, 7, 1177b2. p. 289.

[26] Aristotle. Politics. i, 8, 1256b, 21-7. p. 91.

[27] ibid. vii, 14, 1334a, 6-7. p. 358.

[28] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1975). p. 4-5.

[29] Cicero. De Officiis. i, ii, 36: "Nullum bellum esse iustum nisi quod aut rebus repetitis geratur aut denunciatum ante sit et interdictum." In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 5, 5n.

[30] Cicero. De Republica. ii, 23, 35: "Noster autem populus sociis defendis terrarum iam omnium potitus est." In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 5, 5n.

[31] ibid. p. 6-7.

[32] Bederman, David J. Reception of the Classical Tradition in International Law: Grotius' De Iure Belli ac Pacis (essay s.l., s.a.): "The pater patratus [the leader of the delegation of the fetial College] appeared at the frontier of the offending party, and said: 'Hear, O Jupiter, hear, ye territories [names the country in question], let the law of heaven hear. I am the state envoy of the Roman people; I come as their ambassador, in all justice and piety, and let my words gain credence. [Whereupon the specific request for reparation was made] If I unjustly or impiously demand those persons or those things to be given up to me [in cases of extradition or cession of territory], as the messenger of the Roman people, then never permit me to enjoy my native country.' After a period of grace was granted, the pater patratus reappeared at the frontier, remonstrated with the defaulting nation, and called on Jupiter and Janus to bear witness to the injustice of the other State's refusal. The Roman formula for declaring war was an oath."

[33] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 6.

[34] Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus. p. 3.

[35] ibid. p. 18-9.

[36] Johnson, James T. Just War Tradition and the Restraint of War (Princeton, 1981). p. 70-1.

[37] Aurelius Augustinus. Contra Faustum Manichaeum. xxii, 74: "Nocendi cupiditas, ulciscendi crudelitas, impacatus atque inplacabilis animus, feritas rebellandi, libido dominandi et si qua similia, haec sunt, quae in bellis iure culpantur". In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p.16, 16n.

[38] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Die. xix, 15.  In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 92.

[39] Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. ii, Qu. 40. cf. also 32n.

[40] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 25.

[41] Aurelius Augustinus. De Sermone Domini. cccii, 15. In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 17, supra note 5.: "Non enim beneficere prohibet militia, sed malitia."

[42] Aurelius Augustinus. Epistula. clxxxix, 4.: "Do not think that it is impossible for any one to please God while he is engaged in active military service" In: Deane, Herbert A. Social Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 313. supra note 33.

[43] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 18., supra note 7.

[44] ibid. p. 96., supra note 23.

[45] Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. ii, Qu. 40.

[46] John 18: 10-11.

[47] Luke 6: 29.: "When struck on the one cheek, turn the other also." Matt. 5: 39-24.: "I say to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well (...) love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you."

[48] Matt. 26: 52.: "Put up thy sword into its sheat; for he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword".

[49] Johnson, James T. Just War Tradition. p.xxvii.

[50] Matt. 22: 21

[51] Ellul, Jacques. Violence: Reflections from a Christian Perspective (London, 1970). p. 5.

[52] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. 1978, p. 210. In: Kreisky, Eva. Einführung in die Geschichte politischen Denkens (Reader, Vienna - Institute for political science, WS 1995/96). p. 64.

[53] Deane, Herbert A. Social Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 28-30.

[54] cf. supra note 5.

[55] Aurelius Augustinus. Epistula. clxxxix, 6. In: Deane, Herbert A. Social Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 159. cf. also supra note 9.

[56] ibid. ccxxix, 2. In: Deane, Herbert A. Social Ideas of St. Augustine. loc.cit.

[57] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 17.

[58] ibid. p. 22.

[59] Joshua 8. In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 9.

[60] Aurelius Augustinus. Quaestiones in Heptateuchum. vi, 10.: "Iusta autem bella ea definiri solent quae ulciscuntur iniurias, si qua gens vel civitas quae bello petenda est, vel vindicare neglexerit quod a suis inprobe factum est, vel reddere quod per iniurias ablatum est." In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 18, supra note 8.

[61] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 18.

[62] ibid. p. 18-20.

[63] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xv, 4. In: Deane, Herbert A. Social Ideas of St. Augustine. p. 160.

[64] The platonic origin of this idea that earthly justice, order and peace are 'copies', 'images', 'reflections' or 'impressions' of God's true and immutable justice, order, and peace, and that the fomer exist only by virtue of their 'participation' in the real being of the latter, is obvious.

[65] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xv, 4. In: Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 21. supra note 17.

[66] Preiser, Wolfgang. Die Völkerrechtsgeschichte. Ihre Aufgaben und ihre Methode (Wiesbaden, 1964). p. 37-8.

[67] Aurelius Augustinus. De Civitate Dei. xix, 7 (II 384).: "iniquitas enim partis adversae iusta bella ingerit gerenda" In: Schilling, Otto. Die Staats- und Soziallehre des hl. Augustinus. p. 86.

[68] Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. ii, Qu. 40.

[69] Deforrest, Mark E. Just War Theory and the Recent US Air Strikes against Iraq (essay s.l., 1997).

[70] Aurelius Augustinus. Contra Faustum Manichaeum. xxii, 73-9. In: Deforrest, Mark E. Air Strikes against Iraq.

[71] Russel, Frederick H. The Just War in the Middle Ages. p. 64.