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Grotius is the father of modern international law. The indivisibility of sovereignty was the sine qua non of early-modern conceptual innovation in law. Both statements are axiomatic in the mainstream literature of the last two centuries. Both are profoundly and interestingly wrong. This paper shows that Grotius' systematisation of public and international law involved defining corporations as potentially (and the VOC actually) integral to reason of state, and able to bear and exercise marks ofdoi:10.1163/15718050-12340170 fatcat:w7swg2icj5dhtkitjn6zx2awoi