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Casus belli means "an act of war". It does not seem to be used in this sense by any classical Roman writer, but it is a well-established term in modern international law. "Casus" is not the same word as "causa" (cause). The confusion of "casus belli" (act of war) with "causa belli" (cause of war) is a common ...


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Livy uses this term, Livy, History of Rome, Volume XII: Books 40-42 (pg 444 LOEB classics version) edit: though from the comment that is better translated as 'casualties' of war rather than 'cause'. "viro forti dignum sit, patiatur quodcumque casus belli tulerit, aut victor liberet" Another example of Livy using roughly this term (but with the ...


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