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Additional resources for A History of International Political Theory: Ontologies of the International
28 We find within Cicero’s legal thought seven determinations affecting the rights of war and warfare. The excursions, in which he speaks about legal restrictions on war, are spread over several of his writings. Mainly, however, we find relevant paragraphs in his De republica and De officiis. If we read those paragraphs together and produce a collection of his thoughts, we find that his concepts aim to restrict warfare in terms of excluding certain actions as principally illegitimate and/or practically counterproductive and also because they intend to impose prohibitions on war in general, or certain kinds of war, respectively.
Private possessions, indeed, are not so by nature, but by ancient occupancy, as in the case of settlers in a previously uninhabited region; or by conquest, as in the territory acquired in war ... If any one endeavours to obtain for himself, he will violate the law of human society. But since ... we are not born for ourselves alone; since our country claims a part in us, our parents a part, our friends a part; and since ... whatever the earth bears is created for the use of men, while men were brought into being for the sake of men, that they might do good to one another – is this matter we ought to ...
Hence, his ethics does not allow, as neo-realists do, one to ask for the politically opportune outcome of one’s behaviour. According to such a view, a polis could support a certain policy or engage in some alliance (as a ‘bandwagoner’, so to speak in neo-realist terms) as long as this alliance appears to serve its interest. 21–23) in which Thucydides narrates the Plataean’s attack against, and flight of, the city of Mytilene. What is interesting here is Thucydides’s favourable and meticulous treatment of, and sympathy with, the Plataeans.
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