History provides many insights to address the issue of sovereign debt defaults. This article first presents a detailed account
of defaults in historical perspective. It then discusses the solutions devised in the past to address sovereign debt crises
and puts these into perspective with today’s answers when crises occur. Finally, the paper stresses the role of history when
the events studied do not occur frequently and when archival data may shed new light on the process of the resolution of crises.
The impact of odious debts declarations, of state succession, and of international relations on sovereign defaults and on
their settlement is thus also addressed.