The Requerimiento was one of the most striking legal documents of the entire age of European overseas expansion. A long line of publicists and scholars from Bartholomew de Las Casas to Lewis Hanke have discussed, praised and condemned it. The Requerimiento appears to illustrate more clearly than any other single document the combination of high-sounding motives, legal chicanery and brute force that made the Spanish conquest of the Americas possible. In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis upon examining the conquest in terms of the brute force involved and a decreasing emphasis upon the motives and the legalisms which the Spanish employed. As one scholar has said, the Requerimiento was but a “useless legalism,” and, presumably, no longer worthy of serious attention. In addition, scholars have generally agreed that the Requerimiento is thoroughly understood. Following Las Casas, they have asserted that it contained the legal opinion of the thirteenth century canon lawyer known as Hostiensis that infidels had no right to property or political jurisdiction. In medieval terms, that infidels, such as the inhabitants of the Americas, did not possess dominium. In recent years, scholars have asserted that those who defended the Indians against the conquerors, such as Las Casas himself and Francisco Vitoria, drew upon the opinion of Hostiensis' teacher, the canonist-Pope Innocent IV. In this way, the Requerimiento and the related debate about the rights of the Indians has been placed within its proper position within the late medieval canonistic tradition.