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The article investigates Grotius’s use of the Roman law to articulate a concept of popular liberty. Using categories derived from the Roman law of persons, Grotius develops a concept of popular liberty that requires both the absence of dependence, as well as active rights of self-government. However, as Grotius explains, a free people may transfer some of those rights to an intermediary, such as a prince, without also compromising their liberty. One surprising result from this analysis is the view that, in special circumstances, a people may remain free even while under the government of a prince.