[INDOLOGY] Help sought: Laws of Yesterday's Wars - Volume 2 - Sanskritic Culture

McComas Taylor McComas.Taylor at anu.edu.au
Wed Feb 3 22:22:10 UTC 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I am passing on this request from my friend and neighbour Samuel White.

I hope that some kind scholar will be able to help him out.




Captain Samuel White of the Australian Army Legal Corps, has reached out in a hope that there might be a scholar of Sanskrit that would be interested in writing a chapter on warfare, and its restrictions, for a second volume of a book series, 'The Laws of Yesterday's Wars'. Volume 1 is being published by Brill this year, as part of their International Humanitarian Law series: https://brill.com/view/serial/IHUL.

Part of his role in the Australian Army Legal Corps allows him to observe States dismissing the Law of Armed Conflict, as found within the Geneva Conventions, on the basis that it is inherently European. The book series seeks to answer the question ‘how international is international humanitarian law’? To do so, he is seeking a breath of cultures and their cultural restrictions, in order to try assess whether there are any restrictions that are common to all cultures. This, in turn, can be used to try shape customary international law.

The chapters, whilst stand alone, all follow the same structural format, first exploring the culture in question and their system of governance, before addressing the first of two-key question: what was their specific goal of warfare? The second key question is how did they regulate themselves?

Each volume is intended to be 10 chapters. Volume 1 covered the following:

  *   Indigenous Australians
  *   Greeks
  *   Vikings
  *   Maori
  *   Medieval Europe
  *   Elizabethan Pirates and Privateers
  *   Aztecs
  *   Samurai
  *   Renaissance Mercenary Bands (Free Companies)
  *   American Civil War

As you can see, there is much growth for Volume 2, which currently has chapters being written on warfare in Carthage, Tanzania, Mongolia, Han China, Cheroke, and Papua New Guinea.

Although it is law focused, it is just legal history. The first drafts of the chapter would be due around December 2021; the final draft around March 2022, for publication in July 2022. This gives a fair bit of time to research more fully into the area. If you know of anyone who might be interested, I would be indebted it if you might send this email forward to them.

More than happy to have a chat about it over a coffe, or I can be reached on the following accounts to discuss the matter further:

samuel.white at adelaide.edu.au<mailto:samuel.white at adelaide.edu.au>
samuel.white at defence.gov.au<mailto:samuel.white at defence.gov.au>

Or via mobile on +61 428 888 473.

Samuel White

McComas Taylor
Associate Professor
Reader in Sanskrit
College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University
WSC Website<http://www.wsc2021.com.au>| McC Website<https://sites.google.com/site/mccomasanu/>
Zoom: https://tinyurl.com/p01tig8k

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