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Medieval Sources of Sovereignty: The Idea of Supreme Authority in Quanto Personam and its Glosses

Pope Innocent III’s decretal Quanto personam, issued on 21 August 1198, makes a number of claims regarding the locus, source and character of supreme authority within the Church.

The Attitude Towards Democracy in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

By and large, medieval Jewish philosophers conceived the ideal government to be that of a perfect philosopher-king of the Platonic mold

The Medieval Roots of Democracy

By the late Middle Ages, institutions of self-government, including regional representative institutions, municipal assemblies, and numerous other autonomous units, had come to saturate West European society.

Augustine of Hippo and the Art of Ruling in the Carolingian Imperial Period

This thesis investigates how the political thought of Augustine of Hippo was understood and modified by Carolingian-era writers to serve their own distinctive purposes.

Machiavelli and Botticelli Movies to Hit the Screen in 2016

Machiavelli and Botticelli are set to hit screens in 2016. We sat down to chat with Italian director, Lorenzo Raveggi about his two ambitious projects.

Roman identity in Byzantium: a critical approach

The main lines of thinking in the research on medieval Eastern Roman identity could be roughly summarized as follows: The first, extensively influenced by the retrospective Modern Greek national discourse, approaches this identity as the medieval form of the perennial Greek national identity.

Vice, Tyranny, Violence, and the Usurpation of Flanders (1071) in Flemish Historiography from 1093 to 1294

The earliest sources of the history of medieval Flanders do not agree on the origins of the counts. The earliest source, the so-called “Genealogy of Arnold [I],” credibly traces the counts’ origin to Baldwin I “Iron Arm,”…

The Great Parliament of 1265: Medieval origins of modern democracy

On the eve of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta – the charter recognised as laying the foundations of England’s modern democracy – new research by a medieval historian from the University of Lincoln, reminds us that 2015 also marks 750 years since the earliest forerunner of a modern parliament was held.

Bringing the State Back in: Toward a New Constructivist Account of the Medieval World Order

The crux of my argument, here as elsewhere, is not that fully evolved sovereign states populated Latin Christendom from 1300 on, but that a constitutive script of corporate-­‐sovereign statehood had come to define the political imagination of the era, and that the enactment of this script was the defining dynamic of late medieval political life.

Queer times: Richard II in the poems and chronicles of late

The article focuses on the representation of deviant sexual behavior in 14th-century English poetry and other chronicles. The portrayal of King of England Richard II as a rebellious youth, which is interpreted as perverse and lacking manliness, and the propaganda needed to offset this perception are discussed. Historical information is given about the political culture and power of the church. The murder of Edward II after being accused of sodomy by the Bishop of Hereford is mentioned.

Emotions and Power in Orderic Vitalis

This essay explores some of the complexities and paradoxes encountered when one thinks about power, particularly as power was expressed by a single author, Orderic Vitalis.

Medieval Geopolitics: An interview with Andrew Latham

Was there such a thing as International Relations in the Middle Ages?

The Icelandic Althing: Dawn of Parliamentary Democracy

It is an old idea, and one that reaches as far back as the nineteenth century, that Viking Age Iceland was democratic and much like an early republic

Biblical nationalism and the sixteenth-century states

Biblical nationalism was new because pre-Reformation Europeans encountered the Hebrew Bible through paraphrases and abridgments. Full-text Bibles revealed a programmatic nationalism backed by unmatched authority as the word of God to readers primed by Reformation theology to seek models in the Bible for the reform of their own societies.

Investing In England: The Designation Of Heirs To The Crown Throughout English History

It was not until the late eighteenth century that rules for succession to the English throne were written.

Political Science in Late Medieval Europe: The Aristotelian Paradigm and How It Shaped the Study of Politics in the West

While scholars have provided many interesting insights into the role of Aristotle in shaping later political theory, I argue that they are inadequate to explain the rapid “Aristotelianization” of political thought in the later Middle Ages.

Commonwealth, Conversion and Consensus: An Examination of the Medieval Icelandic Free State and Political Liberalism

John Rawls’ Political Liberalism opens with a question: ‘how is it possible for there to exist over time a just and stable society of free and equal citizens, who remain profoundly divided by reasonable religious, philosophical, and moral doctrines?’

For the Glory of England: The Changing Nature of Kingship in Fourteenth Century England

Over the course of the fourteenth century, a new image of kingship emerged; a strong king was one who led his subjects on and off the battlefield, and balanced royal authority with guidance from Parliament.

How Machiavellian was Machiavelli?

Professor Quentin Skinner gave a public lecture at the University of York, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the composition of Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Writing Away the Caliph: Political and Religious Legitimacy in Late Medieval Islamic Political Thought

In 632, the death of the Prophet Muhammad was met with confusion, as he died without naming a successor; nor did he leave a blueprint detailing how political rule should take shape after his death

Rule by Natural Reason: Late Medieval and early Renaissance conceptions of political corruption

This paper argues that, from about the eleventh century CE, a new and distinctive model of corruption accompanied the rediscovery and increased availability of a number of classical texts and ideals, particularly those of Cicero and the Roman Jurists.

Samuel and Saul in Medieval Political Thought

This article traces the history of a medieval struggle for supremacy between spiritual and temporal authority, between pope or church and monarch, following the employment of the aforementioned Old Testament narrative

Gilbert Foliot and the two swords : law and political theory in twelfth-century England

Considering the importance of the Church as a driving force in twelfth- century political history, the complex relationship between piety and Church involvement in lay politics during this time period remains surprisingly under-explored.

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