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EMPIRE AND THE RIGHT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL IN THE SCHOOL OF SALAMANCA, 1535–1560

  • DANIEL S. ALLEMANN (a1)

Abstract

The sixteenth-century theologians of the School of Salamanca are well known for their sophisticated reflections on the Spanish conquest of the New World. But the nature of their responses seems far from clear and is subject to historiographical debate. Recent studies from the discipline of intellectual history suggest that the Salmantine theologians challenged the legitimacy of Spanish claims to the Americas. Scholars associated with the field of post-colonial studies, on the other hand, forcefully stress their entanglement in Spain's imperial venture overseas. This article, however, argues that these seemingly irreconcilable approaches are not in fact mutually exclusive. It shifts our attention to the sorely neglected ius praedicandi, the right to preach the gospel, which served to translate the Spanish theologians’ deeply rooted belief in the hegemonic truth of the Christian faith into a discourse of otherwise ‘secular’ natural rights. In adopting this novel lens, the article makes a case for assessing the language of the university theologians in its own terms while simultaneously exposing the support of Salamanca for Spain's imperial venture.

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Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, cb2 1tadsa29@cam.ac.uk

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I would like to extend special thanks to Annabel Brett, for her invaluable feedback and guidance throughout the various stages of this article. I am also indebted to the journal's anonymous referees and to the audience of the Jahrestagung der Basel Graduate School of History, where an earlier version of the argument was presented in German. The research for this article began during my master's in Cambridge and has extended into my doctoral studies at the same place, and I am grateful for the support of the Jubiläumsstiftung der Basellandschaftlichen Kantonalbank and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust, respectively. In the text that follows, all translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.

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1 The letter by Emperor Charles V is edited as Carta al prior de San Esteban, Madrid, 10 de noviembre 1539’, in El maestro fray Francisco de Vitoria: su vida, su doctrina e influencia, by Getino, Luis G. Alonso (Madrid, 1930), p. 150: ‘Venerable padre prior del monasterio de santisteban de la cibdat de salamanca yo he sydo ynformado que algunos maestros religiosos de esa casa han puesto en platica y tratado en sus sermones y en repeticiones del derecho que nos tenemos a las yndias yslas e tierra firme del mar océano.’

2 Belda Plans points out that Vitoria resided permanently in the Domincan convent of San Esteban during his time at Salamanca. See Plans, Juan Belda, La escuela de Salamanca y la renovación de la teología en el siglo XVI (Madrid, 2000), p. 326. Biographical information on the neo-scholastic theologians is, unless otherwise indicated, from Jacob Schmutz's excellent website Scholasticon, www.scholasticon.fr (accessed 5 Jan. 2018).

3 Francisco de Vitoria, De indis, in Pagden, Anthony and Lawrance, Jeremy, ed. and trans., Vitoria: political writings (Cambridge, 1991), p. 233.

4 For a recent intellectual history perspective, see e.g. Fitzmaurice, Andrew, Sovereignty, property and empire, 1500–2000 (Cambridge, 2014), ch. 2. The most well-known post-colonial reading is Anghie's, Antony Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law (Cambridge, 2004), ch. 1. We shall return to both these studies.

5 Scott, James Brown, The Spanish origins of international law: Francisco de Vitoria and his law of nations (Oxford, 1934). See also Pereña, Luciano Vicente, Misión de España en América: 1540–1560 (Madrid, 1956); Hanke, Lewis, Aristotle and the American Indians: a study in race prejudice in the modern world (Bloomington, IN, 1959); Hamilton, Bernice, Political thought in sixteenth-century Spain: a study of the political ideas of Vitoria, De Soto, Suárez, and Molina (Oxford, 1963); Prats, Jaime Brufau, La escuela de Salamanca ante el descubrimiento del nuevo mundo (Salamanca, 1989). Notable exceptions are Quentin Skinner, who has situated the thought of the School of Salamanca in the context of the intellectual battles the neo-scholastics fought with humanists and Lutherans in post-Reformation Europe, and Annabel Brett, in her first monograph, which focuses on the neo-scholastic theorization of individual rights. See Skinner, Quentin, The foundations of modern political thought (2 vols., Cambridge, 1978), ii, pp. 135–73; and Brett, Annabel S., Liberty, right and nature: individual rights in later scholastic thought (Cambridge, 1997), ch. 4.

6 Pagden, Anthony, The fall of natural man: the American Indian and the origins of comparative ethnology (2nd rev. edn, Cambridge, 1986), chs. 2–4. As Brian Tierney has shown, however, the Salmantine theologians redefined rather than outrightly rejected the Aristotelian natural slavery theory. See Tierney, Brian, ‘Aristotle and the American Indians – again: two critical discussions’, Cristianesimo nella storia, 12 (1991), pp. 311–15; and Tierny, Brian, The idea of natural rights: studies on natural rights, natural law, and church law, 1150–1625 (Atlanta, GA, 1997), p. 270.

7 Emperor Charles V, ‘Carta al prior de San Esteban’, p. 151: ‘mandarles [i.e., the religious masters] eys de nuestra parte y vuestra que agora ni en tiempo alguno sin espresa licencia nuestra no traten ni prediquen ni disputen de lo suso dicho ni hagan ymprimir escriptura alguna tocante a ello’.

8 A discussion of the respective studies follows below in section I.

9 Vitoria's failing health, however, required him to remain in Salamanca. See Plans, La escuela de Salamanca, pp. 331–2.

10 The most sophisticated discussion of Vitoria's use of the Roman imperial tradition is available in David A. Lupher, Romans in a New World: classical models in sixteenth-century Spanish America (Ann Arbor, MI, 2003), pp. 68–82.

11 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 3, a. 7, p. 289.

12 Ibid.

13 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 3, a. 7, p. 289. See the discussion in Lupher, Romans in a New World, pp. 73–7. For insightful reflections on the contested contemporary conception of the pact's afterlife in the context of the Tlaxalan subjection to Spanish suzerainty, see Benton, Lauren and Clulow, Adam, ‘Empires and protection: making interpolity law in the early modern world’, Journal of Global History, 12 (2017), pp. 7492, at p. 87. On the nexus between treaty-making and empire, see also Belmessous, Saliha, ‘The paradox of an empire by treaty’, in Belmessous, Saliha, ed., Empire by treaty: negotiating European expansion, 1600–1900 (Oxford, 2015), pp. 118.

14 Pagden, Anthony, Lords of all the world: ideologies of empire in Spain, Britain and France, c. 1500 – c. 1800 (New Haven, CT, 1995), pp. 50–2; Tuck, Richard, The rights of war and peace: political thought and the international order from Grotius to Kant (Oxford, 1999), pp. 73–5; Lupher, Romans in a New World, pp. 61–8 and 93–8; Brett, Annabel S., ‘Scholastic political thought and the modern concept of the state’, in Brett, Annabel S. and Tully, James with Hamilton-Bleakley, Holly, eds., Rethinking the foundations of modern political thought (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 144–5; Benton, Lauren and Straumann, Benjamin, ‘Acquiring empire by law: from Roman doctrine to early modern European practice’, Law and History Review, 28 (2010), pp. 138, at pp. 23–5; Fitzmaurice, Sovereignty, property and empire, p. 46; and Pagden, Anthony, The burdens of empire: 1539 to the present (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 52–3.

15 Domingo de Soto, De dominio, Latin ed. with parallel Spanish trans. by Prats, Jaime Brufau, in: Domingo de Soto: relección ‘De Dominio’, ed. and trans. with an introduction by Prats, Jaime Brufau (Granada, 1964), p. 134: ‘Sequitur secundum dubium potissimum in hac nostra relectione: An videlicet Imperator sit dominus totius orbis.’

16 Ibid., p. 152: ‘Nam romani non potuerunt dare Imperatori nisi quod habebant; sed romani numquam habuerunt Imperium totius orbis, numquam enim memoriae traditum est pervenisse romanos ad antipodas vel ad has terras quae modo inveniuntur.’

17 Ibid., p. 158: ‘Ex his sequitur quod Imperator ad terras infidelium nullum ius habet nec dominium.’

18 For excellent discussions of this perspective, see Benton and Straumann, ‘Acquiring empire by law’, pp. 20–5; and Fitzmaurice, Sovereignty, property and empire, pp. 40–8.

19 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 2, a. 3, pp. 264–5; Soto, De dominio, p. 162.

20 Williams, Robert A. Jr, The American Indian in Western legal thought: the discourses of conquest (Oxford, 1990), ch. 2; Miéville, China, Between equal rights: a Marxist theory of international law (Chicago, IL, 2006), ch. 5; and above all, Anghie, Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law, ch. 1.

21 Anghie, Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law, p. 3. The movement of scholars engaged in the examination of this nexus is generally known as ‘Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL)’. See e.g. Chimni, Bhupinder S., ‘Third World approaches to international law: a manifesto’, International Community Law Review, 8 (2006), pp. 327.

22 Anghie, Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law, p. 3.

23 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 3, a. 1, p. 279.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid., p. 278.

26 Anghie, Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law, p. 21.

27 Ibid., p. 15, emphasis mine.

28 Ibid., p. 21.

29 Ibid., p. 4. The same argument has recently been reiterated by José-Manuel Barreto, who closely follows Anghie's line of argument. See Barreto, José-Manuel, ‘Imperialism and decolonization as scenarios of human rights history’, in Barreto, José-Manuel, ed., Human rights from a Third World perspective (Newcastle upon Tyne, 2013), p. 149.

30 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 3, a. 1, p. 282.

31 Brett, Annabel S., Changes of state: nature and the limits of the city in early modern natural law (Princeton, NJ, 2011), p. 15n19. Brett has also shown that the ius communicandi became equally relevant in a European context, granting mendicants the right to communicate freely between cities in the old world (ibid., pp. 34–5).

32 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 3, a. 1, p. 282, emphasis mine.

33 The ius gentium served to mediate the demands of natural law into the concrete state of human political affairs after the Fall and was thus intimately bound up with the teleology of nature and God's creation. See Brett, Annabel S., ‘Human rights and the Thomist tradition’, in Slotte, Pamela and Halme-Tuomisaari, Miia, eds., Revisiting the origins of human rights (Cambridge, 2015), p. 91. See also Brett, Changes of state, ch. 1.

34 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 1, conclusion, p. 250: ‘the barbarians undoubtedly possessed as true dominion, both public and private, as any Christians’.

35 See Skinner, The foundations, ii, pp. 67–9; Pagden, Fall of natural man, pp. 29–39; Anthony Pagden and Jeremy Lawrance, ‘Introduction’, in Pagden and Lawrence, eds., Vitoria: political writings, p. xvi; and Hafner, Felix, Loretan, Adrian, and Spenlé, Christoph, ‘Naturrecht und Menschenrecht: Der Beitrag der Spanischen Spätscholastik zur Entwicklung der Menschenrechte’, in Grunert, Frank and Seelmann, Kurt, eds., Die Ordnung der Praxis: Neue Studien zur Spanischen Spätscholastik (Tübingen, 2001), p. 141.

36 On this point, see also Hunter, Ian, ‘Global justice and regional metaphysics: on the critical history of the law of nature and nations’, in Dorsett, Shaunnagh and Hunter, Ian, eds., Law and politics in British colonial thought: transformations of empire (Basingstoke, 2010), pp. 1129. For a counter-perspective, see Orford, Anne, ‘The past as law or history? The relevance of imperialism for modern international law’, International Law and Justice Working Papers, 2 (2012), pp. 117.

37 Koskenniemi, Martti, ‘Empire and international law: the real Spanish contribution’, University of Toronto Law Journal, 61 (2011), pp. 136, at p. 11.

38 Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 81.

39 I shall engage with the particular scholarly interpretations of these neo-scholastic theologians below.

40 Although Rudolf Walther, in his article on Imperialismus in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, stresses that the notion of empire always also encompassed various non-legal significations. See Walther, Rudolf, ‘Imperialismus’, in Brunner, Otto et al. , eds., Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland (8 vols., Stuttgart, 1972–97), iii, p. 171: ‘“Imperium” war primär stets ein rechtlich mehr oder weniger genau bestimmter Begriff, dem daneben auch verschiedene nichtrechtliche Bedeutungen zukamen.’

41 Mommsen, Theodor, Abriss des römischen Staatrechts (2nd edn, Leipzig, 1907), p. 91: ‘Das Imperium, das Recht Gehorsam zu fordern.’ For an excellent history of the concept of imperium, see also Richardson, J. S., ‘Imperium Romanum: empire and the language of power’, in Armitage, David, ed., Theories of empire, 1450–1800 (Aldershot, 1998), pp. 19. For a recent account on current historiographical debates about empire that comes with an extensive bibliography, see Reinert, Sophus A., ‘Wars and empires’, in Whatmore, Richard and Young, Brian, eds., A companion to intellectual history (Malden, MA, 2016), pp. 402–16.

42 For the remainder of this article, I will not distinguish natural rights from rights granted by the ius gentium, for the point will always be to draw a contrast between the language of natural law, on the one hand, and the language of grace and the faith, on the other.

43 Another alternative approach has recently been suggested by the legal scholar Martti Koskenniemi, who argues that the ‘real Spanish contribution’ was the neo-scholastics’ theorization of private rights that ultimately led to a form of inter-individual, commercial imperialism. A thorough engagement with Koskenniemi's argument is, however, beyond the scope of this article, whose focus remains on public rights and jurisdiction. See Koskenniemi, ‘Empire and international law’, passim.

44 Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, 2a2ae, q. 10, a. 8, p. 268. I am using the following translation: Dyson, Robert W., ed. and trans., Aquinas: political writings (Cambridge, 2002).

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid., a. 10, p. 271.

47 Note that the neo-scholastic critique of Roman imperium is equally based on this issue, for the New World lies outside the traditional realm of the Christian-Roman world.

48 Hafner, Loretan, and Spenlé, ‘Naturrecht und Menschenrecht’, pp. 130–1.

49 Francisco de Vitoria, Lectio reportata in ST II-II 10.8, ed. and trans. as ‘Lecture on the evangelization of unbelievers’, in Pagden and Lawrence, ed. and trans., Vitoria: political writings, p. 344.

50 Ibid., p. 346.

51 Vitoria, De indis, ed. and trans. Pagden and Lawrance, q. 2, a. 2, p. 262, original emphasis.

52 Ibid., p. 264.

53 Vitoria remained ambiguous as to whether there was a connection between papal power and the right to preach, whereas Domingo de Soto established an intimate connection between the two, as we shall see below.

54 Ibid., q. 3, a. 2, p. 284, original emphasis.

55 Ibid., p. 285, original emphasis.

56 See also Deckers, Daniel, Gerechtigkeit und Recht: Eine historisch-kritische Untersuchung der Gerechtigkeitslehre des Francisco de Vitoria (1483–1546) (Freiburg i. B., 1991), pp. 239–40.

57 Fitzmaurice, Sovereignty, property and empire, pp. 48–9.

58 Rubiés, Joan-Pau, ‘The discovery of new worlds in sixteenth-century philosophy’, in Lagerlund, Henrik and Hill, Benjamin, eds., The Routledge companion to sixteenth-century philosophy (New York, NY, 2017), p. 72. For a similar argument, see also Muldoon, James, Popes, lawyers, and infidels: the church and the non-Christian world, 1250–1550 (Philadelphia, PA, 1979), pp. 148–50.

59 It must be noted, however, that in Spanish scholarship Soto's De dominio was received and discussed already in the early 1960. See especially Prats’s, Jaime Brufau El pensamiento político de Domingo de Soto y su concepción del poder (Salamanca, 1960); and also his Domingo de Soto: relección ‘De Dominio’, in which the Latin text with parallel Spanish translation of Soto's lecture is edited.

60 Soto, De dominio, p. 162: ‘quod Imperator nulla via habet Imperium in toto orbe’. For references to Tuck and Lupher, see above at n. 14.

61 Soto, De dominio, p. 162: ‘In Evangelio habemus: Ite praedicate Evangelium omni creaturae, Mc. 16; ubi datum est nobis ius praedicandi ubique terrarum et, ex consequenti, datum est nobis ius defendendi nos a quibuscumque nos impedirent a praedicatione … Nec ista dixerim ad condemnandum omnia quae fiunt apud istos insulares; nam iudicia Dei abyssus multa, et Deus forsam vult tot gentes via nobis ignota ad se convertere.’

62 Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 62.

63 Soto, De dominio, p. 162: ‘Quo ergo iure retinemus Imperium quod modo reperitur ultramarinum? Re vera ego nescio.’

64 Lantigua, David, ‘The freedom of the gospel: Aquinas, subversive natural law, and the Spanish wars of religion’, Modern Theology, 31 (2015), pp. 312–37, at p. 330.

65 General biographical information on Carranza is from Schmutz's entry on Carranza on Scholasticon; and from Pereña's Misión de España en América, pp. 27–31. For Vitoria and Carranza, see Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 40; and Pereña, Misión de España en América, p. 31. For Soto and Carranza, see Plans, La escuela de Salamanca, p. 543.

66 Carranza's commentary on q. 10 of the 2a2ae is edited, with parallel Spanish translation, as Ratione fidei potest Caesar debellare et tenere Indos novi orbis?, in Pereña, Misión de España en América, pp. 38–57. As Pereña states in the first footnote to the edited text, this section is a part of a manuscript in the Vatican library that is entitled Annotationes in 2am 2ae D. Thomae. Carranza is also the author of Summa conciliorum et pontificum Petro usque ad Paulum tertium (Salamanca, 1551); and Comentarios sobre el catechismo Christiano (Antwerp, 1558). The only scholar who has recently included a brief discussion of Carranza's text, as edited by Pereña, is Lupher in Romans in a New World, pp. 82–5.

67 Carranza, Ratione fidei, p. 40. Carranza's rejection of the Roman title is also pointed out in Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 85.

68 Carranza, Ratione fidei, pp. 40–2: ‘princeps infidelis non potest compelli ad audiendam fidem … si tota respublica conveniret ut nollint audire aliam fidem, nec alias leges ab illis quas habent, isto non potest compelli, quia ipsi habent suas leges et nollunt alias’.

69 This is, even with regard to the ‘Indian question’ more broadly speaking, contra Pagden, Fall of natural man, p. 107: ‘his [i.e. Carranza's] conclusion was the same as Vitoria's’.

70 Carranza, Ratione fidei, p. 42, emphasis mine: ‘Contrarium autem divus Thomas intelligit … possunt principes infidelium ad hoc compelli ut admitant praedicatores.’

71 Ibid.: ‘si sunt infideles qui nunquam susceperunt fidem, de illis dicendum est quod si non habuerunt ius ad eos suscipiendos, nec habent ad detinendos illos’.

72 Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 85.

73 Carranza, Ratione fidei, p. 47: ‘si christiani justo titulo expolientur ab infidelibus et capiantur ab infidelibus et permittunt habitare sine iniuria suae fidei etiam subditi cum ipsis infidelibus, in tali casu ecclesia non potest concedere legem quae illos eximat ab eorum potestate et dominio’.

74 Ibid., p. 42: ‘Alii sunt infideles qui susceperunt fidem, licet iniuste como muchos indios, de his dicendum est, quod Pontifex debet habere curam, imo debet committere principi christiano qui curet ne illi redeant ad vomitum.’

75 See the quote in the previous footnote.

76 The point is that both were speaking the very same language or discourse. On the relationship between author and discourse, see Skinner, Quentin, ‘Interpretation and the understanding of speech acts’, in Visions of politics (3 vols., Cambridge, 2002), i, pp. 117–18.

77 Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 85. Cano's opus magnum is his De locis theologicis (Salamanca, 1563), which went through thirty editions until the end of the nineteenth century (see Schmutz's entry on Cano on Scholasticon; and for the wider context of the De locis theologicis see Plans, La escuela de Salamanca, pp. 549–72).

78 Melchor Cano, De dominio indorum, Latin ed. with parallel Spanish trans. by Luciano Pereña, in Misión de España en América, a. 14, p. 142.

79 Ibid., emphasis mine: ‘quia verisimile est aliquos e populo velle audire et impediuntur a tyrannis, licet bello petere, non ratione evangelii, sed in defensionem innocentium’.

80 See above at n. 68.

81 The very same argument was later also deployed by Pedro de Sotomayor, Soto's successor as prime chair of theology at Salamanca, in his lecture course on Aquinas's Summa in 1556–7. See Pedro de Sotomayor, An sola causa augendi religionem et fidem liceat contra infideles bellare qui non possident terras nostras nec intulerunt nobis aliquid malum, in de la Peña, Juan, De bello contra insulanos: intervención de España en América: escuela española de la paz, segunda generación, 1560–1585, ed. Pereña, Luciano et al. (Madrid, 1982), p. 182.

82 Lupher, Romans in a New World, p. 85.

83 The Latin text is edited as An liceat civitates infidelium seu gentilium expugnare ob idolatriam, in Peña, De bello contra insulanos, ed. Pereña et al., pp. 586–92.

84 Soto, An liceat civitates, p. 587: monstratum est ob solam idolatriam non esse christianis fas infideles debellare, ea scilicet de causa quod talem potestatem non habemus … fides catholica nullam nobis tradidit potestatem eadem puniendi’.

85 Ibid., p. 592: Quare non video cur nobis facultatem faciat illos armis reprimendi.’ In this sense, it is not quite correct to simply say that Soto ‘remained’ sceptical, as Richard Tuck argues. See Tuck, Rights of war and peace, p. 75.

86 For reasons of availability, I am quoting from the edition that was printed in Salamanca in 1569: Domingo de Soto, In quartum sententiarum commentarii (2 vols., Salamanca, 1569).

87 The major exceptions are Jaime Brufau Prats, La escuela de Salamana, pp. 114–17; and Höffner, Joseph, Kolonialismus und Evangelium: Spanische Kolonialethik im Goldenen Zeitalter (2nd rev. edn, Tier, 1969), pp. 327–41.

88 Lidia Lanza and Marco Toste, ‘The Sentences in sixteenth-century Iberian scholasticism’, in Philipp W. Rosemann, ed., Medieval commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard (3 vols., Leiden, 2001–15), iii, p. 452. Although Soto had indeed written a more straightforward commentary on the Summa, he did not address q. 10 of the 2a2ae in his famous De iustitia et iure (Salamanca, 1553/6).

89 Soto, In quartum sententiarum, i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 265, col. 1.

90 Ibid., i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 266, col. 2: ‘Iure naturae unusquilibet libertatem habet et facultatem docendi alios, eisque persuadendi illa [i.e. the gospel].’ I am translating facultas as ‘right’ because, like ius, it was conceived by Soto as ‘licit ability’ or ‘licit subjective power’ (see Brett, Liberty, right and nature, p. 150).

91 Soto, In quartum sententiarum, i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 267, col. 1: ‘Si quis eandem praedicationem nobis impediret et cohiberet, iure possemus eius violentiam, etiam armis, propulsare … Illos autem, qui nos audire nolent, compellere ut nos audirent, non possemus.’

92 See above at n. 61.

93 Soto, In quartum sententiarum, i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 272, col. 1: ‘Quintum argumentum in contrarium afferri potest, quod Alexander sextus suo diplomate catholicis regibus nostris Ferdinando et Elisabeth [sic!] expeditionem in Insulas Occidentales infidelium concessit. Ad hoc autem respondetur in primis pontificem neque concessisse, imo vero neque … concedere potuisse dominium eorum.’

94 The same had already been argued by Vitoria, as noted above in section II.

95 Soto, In quartum sententiarum, i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 272, col. 1: ‘Enimvero cum summus pontifex hac in universum orbem potestas fungatur, quae est fidem promulgare, illi competit regiones plagasque ad hoc munus distribuere. Et ideo concessit Hispaniarum regibus, ut illuc mitterent viros doctos et probos, qui eandem docerent fidem.’

96 Ibid., fo. 270, col. 1.

97 Ibid., fo. 272, col. 1: ‘si dum sua se sponte in Christianismum manciparent eosdem sibi reges eligerent … Deinde si in fide, quam susceperant non persisterent, possent tunc subiugari.’

98 On the biographical and intellectual context of Vera Cruz, see Schmutz's entry on Scholasticon; and Burrus, Ernest J., ‘Introduction’, in Burrus, Ernest J., ed., The writings of Alonso de la Vera Cruz (5 vols., Rome, 1967–76), ii, pp. 714. On Vera Cruz's engagement with the Roman imperial title, see Lupher, Romans in a New World, pp. 161–7.

99 Alonso de la Vera Cruz, Reddite Caesaris Caesari et quae Dei sunt Deo, trans. Ernest J. Burrus as Defense of the Indians: their rights, in Burrus, Ernest J., ed., The writings of Alonso de la Vera Cruz (5 vols., Rome, 1967–76), ii, p. 313.

100 Ibid.

101 Ibid., p. 315.

102 Soto, In quartum sententiarum, i, dist. 5, q. unica, a. 10, fo. 272, col. 1.

103 I thank the anonymous reviewer for pointing me to Botero.

104 Giovanni Botero, Relationi universali (Venice, 1622), part 4, bk 2, p. 12, trans. in Headley, John M., ‘Geography and empire in the late Renaissance: Botero's assignment, western universalism, and the civilizing process’, Renaissance Quarterly, 53 (2000), pp. 1119–55, at p. 1137.

105 Headley, ‘Geography and empire’, p. 1137.

106 Brett, ‘Scholastic political thought’, p. 145. See also Brett, Changes of state, ch. 1.

107 I do not therefore agree with Anthony Pagden that in Vitoria's logic, ‘this would mean that Indian missionaries – should such persons have existed – or far more contentiously Muslim ones, should have been allowed a similar access to Spain’ (Burdens of empire, p. 65). In the scholastic understanding, the ius praedicandi was not about preaching any religion, but uniquely about spreading the Christian faith.

I would like to extend special thanks to Annabel Brett, for her invaluable feedback and guidance throughout the various stages of this article. I am also indebted to the journal's anonymous referees and to the audience of the Jahrestagung der Basel Graduate School of History, where an earlier version of the argument was presented in German. The research for this article began during my master's in Cambridge and has extended into my doctoral studies at the same place, and I am grateful for the support of the Jubiläumsstiftung der Basellandschaftlichen Kantonalbank and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust, respectively. In the text that follows, all translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.

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