In a fragment of his Iuris Epitome, the Roman jurist Hermogenian states that the origin of trade was due to the law of nations. It was one of the aspects of the transition from the state of nature to civil society, together with war, private property and the law of obligations. An excerpt from Isidore of Seville helps us to understand the sense of the expression 'ius gentium'. Hermogenian's reconstruction corresponds to the Aristotelean theory that there is an essential diversity between 'natural' exchange and trade.
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