Hobbes's theorization of contractual absolutism relies upon a juridico-military doctrine relating to the enslavement of war captives, a doctrine that for Grotius has the authority of the law of nations. Although Hobbes's appeal to this doctrine cannot be understood apart from contemporaneous rhetorical appeals to figurative "slavery," his representation of a dramatic encounter involving the military victor's power of life and death enables him to develop novel views of civil subjecthood and of the family, together with a defense of Atlantic slavery that is later appropriated by Locke.

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