Mos piraticus: On the haunting and infesting of the seas

Peter Goodrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The island and the pirate raise the question of jurisdiction. The pirate haunts the seas, meaning that the pirate reminds the commonwealth of its past and of its others, the common ownership and shared possession of all things that Erasmus and then John Selden translate into the common inheritance of a shared knowledge. The adages and exempla of the humanists mix and mingle with the maxims and regulae of an inherited law whose hieroglyph is not, as Sir Edward Coke argues, the Crown, but rather the double D of the Decretals and the Digest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-221
Number of pages29
JournalLaw and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • John Selden
  • insularity
  • jurisdiction
  • jurisdiction
  • piracy
  • sovereignty
  • things held in common

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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