This list relates to the 2015-16 which ended on 31/07/2016
  1. Recommended texts 4 items
    1. Mediæval Political Thought: Course Reader: £14.30 (This is a compulsory purchase and contains the majority of our key primary texts.)

    2. Political thought in Europe, 1250-1450 - Antony Black 1992

      Book Suggested for student purchase

    3. The Cambridge history of medieval political thought c.350-c.1450 - J. H. Burns 1988

      Book Suggested for student purchase Available in the Library and as an e-book

    4. A history of medieval political thought, 300-1450 - Joseph Canning 1996

      Book Suggested for student purchase Available in the Library and as an e-book

  2. Collections of Primary Sources 9 items
    1. Political writings - Thomas Aquinas 2002 (electronic book)

      Book 

    2. Selected political writings - Thomas Aquinas 1948

      Book 

    3. There are also a number of texts available digitally on the Internet Medieval Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html

  3. Secondary Reading 19 items
    1. A history of mediaeval political theory in the west - R. W. Carlyle, A. J. Carlyle 1915-1922

      Book  6 vols.

    2. Humanism and tyranny: studies in the Italian Trecento [Texts, translated with introductions] - Ephraim Emerton, Coluccio Salutati, Gil Alvarez Carrillo de Albornoz, Bartolo 2011

      Book 

    3. Political theories of the Middle Age - Otto Friedrich Von Gierke 1900

      Book 

    4. The Cambridge history of later medieval philosophy: from the rediscovery of Aristotle to the disintegration of scholasticism 1100-1600 - Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny, Jan Pinborg, Eleonore Stump 1982

      Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

    5. A history of political theory - George H. Sabine 1951

      Book 

    6. Trends in medieval political thought - Beryl Smalley, P. R. L. Brown 1965

      Book 

  4. Seminar 1: Introduction: discussion of general themes and problems 2 items
    1. Seminar document 1 item
      1. Plato, The Republic, trans. A.D. Lindsay, Bk. II, 369-374 (pp. 44-50)

    2. Questions to Consider

       

      What do we mean by the terms 'society' and 'politics'? How have these terms changed over time?

       

      When did political thought begin?

       

      What is a political community?

       

      What are the key concepts in political thought, and why are they important?

  5. Seminar 2: Classical Political Thought 9 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Aristotle, The Politics, trans. T.A. Sinclair (1962; revd. Harmondsworth, 1992): Bk. I, chs. 1-2; Bk. IV, chs. 1-12 (on good and bad types of government)

         

        Marcus Tullius Cicero, On Duties, trans. Griffin and Atkins, Bk. I, pp. 3-4.

    2. Essential reading 2 items
    3. Further reading 5 items
      1. On the Commonwealth: and, On the Laws - Marcus Tullius Cicero, ed. James E. G. Zetzel 1999

        Book 

      2. The growth of political thought in the West: from the Greeks to the end of the Middle Ages - Charles Howard McIlwain 1932

        Book  Read: ch. 6 ‘The Later Middle Ages’

      3. Principles of government and politics in the Middle Ages - Walter Ullmann 2010

        Book  Also copies at JC101.U6

    4. Questions to consider

       

      What are the distinctive features of classical political thought?

       

      When, where, and why was it developed?

       

      How did classical society influence thought about ideal polities?

       

      What was the relationship between Greek and Roman thought?

       

      What was the role of Nature?

  6. Seminar 3: Christian Political Thought in the West up to the Twelfth Century 21 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Augustine, The City of God, Bk. XV, chs. 1-5; XIX, chs. 14-17

         

        Pope Gelasius I, 'On spiritual and temporal power' (494)

         

        John of Salisbury, Policraticus: of the frivolities of courtiers and the footprints of philosophers, ed. and trans. C.J. Nederman (Cambridge, 1990), Bk. IV, chs. 1-4; Bk. VI, chs. 20-4; Bk.VIII, chs. 17 & 20

    2. Essential reading 5 items
    3. Further Reading 14 items
      1. Medieval canon law - James A. Brundage 1995

        Book  Chs. 2 and 3

      2. Political theories of the Middle Age - Otto Friedrich Von Gierke 1900

        Book 

      3. Medieval philosophy - Anthony Kenny 2005

        Book  ch. 2 'The Schoolmen: from the twelfth century to the Renaissance'

      4. The growth of political thought in the West: from the Greeks to the end of the Middle Ages - Charles Howard McIlwain 1932

        Book  Ch. 5 'The Early Middle Ages'.

      5. Government, law and society - R. Van Caenegem

        Chapter 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      How did authorities from the early Church influence mediæval attitudes to politics?

       

      According to the Christian fathers, was political society inherently sinful? If so, why?

       

      What do we mean when we talk about an organic metaphor of the state? What is meant by the term 'the body-politic'?

       

      Were secular and spiritual power understood to be distinct?

  7. Seminar 4: The Rediscovery of Aristotle 18 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Aquinas, 'Commentary on the Politics of Aristotle, Book One,' in Aquinas: Selected Political Writings, ed. A.P. D'Entreves, trans. J.G. Dawson (Oxford, 1959), pp. 98-100

         

        Roger Bacon, Compendium studii philosophiae: despair over thirteenth-century learning

    2. Essential reading 3 items
      1. Aristotelianism and the Origins of "Political Science" in the Twelfth Century - Cary J. Nederman 1991

        Article  Also in C.J. Nederman, Medieval Aristotelianism and its Limits: Classical Traditions in Moral and Political Philosophy, 12th-15th Centuries (Aldershot, 1997)

    3. Further Reading 13 items
      1. Political writings - Thomas Aquinas 2002 (electronic book)

        Book 

      2. Selected political writings - Thomas Aquinas 1948

        Book 

      3. Roger Bacon, Compendium Studii Philosophia, 'Lament about thirteenth-century learning' [on IMS website]

      4. Walter Burley's Commentary on the Politics of Aristotle - S. Harrison Thomson

        Chapter  Chapter 5: Aristotelian philosophy in the university

      5. Aristotle in the West: the origins of Latin Aristotelianism - Fernand van Steenberghen, Léonard Johnston 1970

        Book 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      To what extent was Aristotle already known in the West prior to the twelfth century?

       

      What did Aristotle mean when he said 'man is a political animal'?(Politics, I. 1253a1-4)

       

      How did Aristotle influence the way mediæval writers thought about the purpose of the political community?

       

      Why was there hostility to Aristotelian learning?

       

      How important was Aristotelian language to describe political ideas and institutions?

  8. Seminar 5: Concepts of Good and Bad Government 18 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Aquinas, On Kingship: To The King of Cyprus. Done into English by Gerald B. Phelan (Under the title 'On the Governance of Rulers'), revised I. TH. Eschmann, O. P (Toronto, 1949), Bk. 1, ch. 2-6, pp. 11-29

         

        **Ptolemy of Lucca, On the Government of Rulers: De Regimine Principum, trans J. Blythe (Philadelphia, PA, 1997), Bk. 3, ch. 11, pp. 177-82; Bk 4, ch. 1, pp. 215-19

         

        **Bartolus of Sassoferrato, 'Treatise on City Government'

         

        **William of Pagula, Mirror of King Edward III, §§ 1-10 in Political Thought in Early Fourteenth-Century England: Treatises by Walter of Milemete, William of Pagula, and William of Ockham, ed. and trans. C.J. Nederman (Tempe, Ariz., 2002), pp. 73-83

    2. Essential reading 5 items
      1. Principles of government and politics in the Middle Ages - Walter Ullmann 2010

        Book  Also copies at JC101.U6

    3. Further Reading 11 items
      1. On Kingship - Thomas Aquinas, trans. G. B. Phelan 1949

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

      2. Giles of Rome's De regimine principum: reading and writing politics at court and university, c. 1275-c.1525 - Charles F. Briggs 1999

        Book  Explores the audience of De Regimine, rather than content

      3. Humanism and tyranny: studies in the Italian Trecento - Ephraim Emerton, Coluccio Salutati, Gil Alvarez Carrillo de Albornoz, Bartolo 2011

        Book 

      4. Medieval political thought - Walter Ullmann 1975

        Book 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      Could there be multiple forms of good or bad government?

       

      What was considered 'good governance' during the Middle Ages?

  9. Seminar 6: Church and State 18 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Giles of Rome, On Ecclesiastical Power, ed. and trans. R.W. Dyson (New York, 2004): Pt. II, ch. 6, pp. 113-31 [also available in Lerner and Mahdi (eds.), Medieval Political Philosophy, pp. 391-401]

         

        John of Paris, On Royal and Papal Power, trans. J.A. Watt (Toronto, 1971), chs. 1-2, 10-11 [also edition by A.P. Monahan available as e-book]

         

        The Bull Unam Sanctam, Boniface VIII

         

        Licet Iuris, Frankfurt Diet, 1338 [IMS]

    2. Essential reading 4 items
      1. Political thought in Europe, 1250-1450 - Antony Black 1992

        Book  Read: ch. 2 ‘Church and State’

      2. Political thought in medieval times - John Brimyard Morrall 1971

        Book  Read: Ch. 6, ‘Designs for a World Monarchy’

    3. Further Reading 12 items
      1. A history of political theory - George H. Sabine 1951

        Book  Chs. 14-15

      2. Wyclif: political ideas and practice - Michael Wilks 2000

        Book  Ch. 7 'Royal Patronage and Anti-Papalism, Ockham to Wyclif'

    4. Questions to consider

       

      What was meant by the metaphor of the 'two swords'?

       

      What arguments were made to defend the idea of the supremacy of spiritual authority over temporal authority, and vice versa?

       

      Was universal government considered possible or desirable during the Middle Ages?

  10. Seminar 7: Sovereignty and Authority 28 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Brunetto Latini, Book of Treasure, Bk. III, ch. 73-75, in Medieval Political Theory, ed. Nederman and Forhan, pp. 72-5

         

        Magna Carta, 1215

         

        The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

         

        John Wyclif, On the Duty of the King [De Officio Regis], selections chs. 3 and 5 (plus Intro.), pp. 221-29

    2. Essential reading 6 items
      1. John Wyclif on war and peace - Rory Cox 2014

        Book  Ch. 5 ‘Wyclif on Politics’, pp. 112-34

    3. Further reading 20 items
      1. On the government of rulers: De regimine principum - Ptolemy of Lucca 1997

        Book  Bk. 3, ch.11, pp. 177-182

      2. John Wyclif on war and peace - Rory Cox 2014

        Book  Ch. 5 'Wyclif on Politics'

      3. John Wyclif - Stephen E. Lahey 2009

        Book  ch. 7

      4. Political thought in medieval times - John Brimyard Morrall 1971

        Book 

      5. Wyclif: political ideas and practice - Michael Wilks, Anne Hudson 2000

        Book  Ch. 2 ‘Predestination, Property and Power’

    4. Questions to consider

       

      What were considered sources for authority during the middle ages?

       

      What were legitimate methods for exercising authority?

       

      How can Ullmann's 'ascending' and 'descending' theories of government help us to understand mediæval political society and authority?

       

      In what ways was sovereignty limited?

  11. Seminar 8: Law and Justice 32 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. The Treatise of the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England commonly called Glanvill, ed. and trans. G.D.G. Hall (Oxford, 1993), read the 'Prologue' [also available in Medieval Political Theory, ed. Nederman and Forhan, pp. 61-3]

         

        Aquinas: Political Writings, ed. R.W. Dyson (Cambridge, 2002): pp. 76-99, 114-33, 137-48, 168-91

         

        Brunetto Latini, Book of Treasure, Bk. III, chs. 90-4, in Medieval Political Theory, ed. Nederman and Forhan, pp. 87-90

         

        Honoré Bouvet (Bonet), The Tree of Battles, trans. G.W. Coopland (Liverpool, 1949), Part IV, i: 'From What Law does War come?'

    2. Essential reading 6 items
      1. Medieval canon law - James A. Brundage 1995

        Book  Read: chs. 3, 5, 7, 8

    3. Further Reading 24 items
      1. Roman Law - D. Johnston

        Chapter 

      2. Aquinas and natural law - D. J. O'Connor 1967

        Book 

      3. Jus ad Bellum - G. M. Reichberg

        Chapter 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      Were law and justice considered to be the same thing?

       

      What was the source of law and justice?

       

      How many different types of law were there thought to be? What differentiated them? Was one type superior?

       

      Who studied law, and how was it applied?

       

      Why is the term 'ius' problematic for modern commentators?

       

      What was the relationship between justice, law and war?

  12. Seminar 9: The Mediæval ‘Polis’ and the Individual 27 items
    1. Seminar documents 2 items
      1. Ptolemy of Lucca, On the Government of Rulers: De Regimine Principum, trans J. Blythe (Philadelphia, PA, 1997): Bk. 2, ch. 8, pp. 120-3; Bk. 4, ch. 2-4, pp. 219-29; ch. 23, pp. 271-4

         

        Marsilius of Padua, The Defender of the Peace, ed. and trans. A. Brett (Cambridge, 2005), Discourse I, chs. 1-7, pp. 14-39

         

        Machiavelli, N., Discourses on Livy, trans. J.C. Bondanella and P. Bondanella (Oxford, 1997), Bk. I, chs. 1-2, pp. 19-28, and ch. 55, pp. 134-8 [on cities and republics] Bk. III, ch. 7, p. 277-8 [on liberty and servitude]: various editions available

      2. Dino Compagni's chronicle of Florence - ed. D. E. Bornstein 1986

        Book  Read: Bk. 1, pp. 4-30

    2. Essential reading 5 items
      1. The foundations of modern political thought - Quentin Skinner 1978

        Book  Read: vol. I, chs. 1-3

    3. Further reading 19 items
      1. Property and poverty - J. Coleman

        Chapter 

      2. Lagarde, G., 'Individualisme et corporatisme au moyen age', in L'Organisation corporative du moyen age a la fin de l'ancien regime (Louvain 1937), pp. 1-59

      3. The Italian city-republics - Daniel Philip Waley 1988

        Book 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      How were Classical ideas of the polis ('city-state') adapted by mediæval political thinkers?

       

      What was meant by liberty in this period?

       

      Was there a sense of individual rights during the middle ages?

       

      How important was the idea of the 'common good', and what did it imply?

  13. Seminar 10: The Mechanics of Government 21 items
    1. Seminar documents 2 items
      1. Ptolemy of Lucca, On the Government of Rulers: De Regimine Principum, trans J. Blythe (Philadelphia, PA, 1997): Bk. 2, ch. 8, pp. 121-3; ch. 10, pp. 125-8;

         

        Brunetto Latini, Book of Treasure, Bk. III, chs. 88-100, pp. 86-94

      2. The Parliament rolls of medieval England, 1275-1504 - eds. Chris Given-Wilson et al. 2005

        Book  Read the proceedings from a parliament of your choice (those during the Wars of the Roses are particularly interesting, c. 1449-85)

    2. Essential reading 4 items
      1. Government and community: England 1450-1509 - J. R. Lander 1980

        Book  Ch. 2 ‘The Government of the Realm’, pp. 33-64.

      2. Late medieval France - Graeme Small 2009

        Book  Read: pp. 185-95 [on municipal government]

    3. Further Reading 14 items
      1. Political thought in Europe, 1250-1450 - Antony Black 1992

        Book  chs. 5 & 6

      2. A history of mediaeval political theory in the west - R. W. Carlyle, A. J. Carlyle 1915-1922

        Book  Vol. VI, Pt. 2, ch. 6 [on representative institutions]6 vols.

    4. Questions to consider

       

      How did government administrations develop throughout Europe from the eleventh century?

       

      In what ways did the wider community partake in politics during the middle ages?

       

      Who participated in government?

       

      How did the exercise of government differ between monarchies and city-states?

       

      Was the exercise of government always to the benefit of the ruler?

  14. Seminar 11: Community and Conciliarism 40 items
    1. Seminar documents 1 item
      1. Decree of Council of Pisa, 1409

         

        Sacrosancta (Haec Sancta), Council of Constance, 1415

         

        Decree Execrabilis, Pope Pius II, 1459

    2. Essential reading 5 items
    3. Further Reading 33 items
      1. Discourses on Livy - Niccolò Machiavelli 1996

        Book  Bk. III, ch. 27, pp. 319-22

      2. On the government of rulers: De regimine principum - Ptolemy of Lucca 1997

        Book  Bk. 2, ch. 15, pp. 138-41 (on providing for paupers, etc.)

      3. Unity, heresy and reform, 1378-1460: the conciliar response to the Great Schism 1977

        Book  provides a number of useful documents in translation

      4. Political thought in Europe, 1250-1450 - Antony Black 1992

        Book  chs. 1 and 6

      5. A history of mediaeval political theory in the west - R. W. Carlyle, A. J. Carlyle 1915-1922

        Book  Vol. VI, Pt. 1, ch. 6; Pt. 2, ch. 6 [on representative institutions]

      6. A companion to Jean Gerson - Brian Patrick McGuire 2006

        Book 

      7. Gerson and the Great Schism - John B. Morrall 1960

        Book 

      8. Political thought in medieval times - John Brimyard Morrall 1971

        Book  Ch. 8 'The age of ambiguity'

      9. The conciliarist tradition - Francis Oakley 2003

        Book 

      10. A history of political theory - George H. Sabine 1951

        Book  ch. 16

      11. Wilks, M., 'Corporation and representation in the Defensor Pacis', Studia Gratiana, 15 (1972) 

    4. Questions to consider

       

      Compare and contrast ideas about the 'individual' and the 'common good'.

       

      How were communities represented during the middle ages?

       

      What role did 'counsel' play in mediæval government?

       

      What gave rise to the conciliar movement?

       

      Was conciliarism perceived as a threat to secular monarchies?

       

      Why did the papacy triumph over the conciliar movement?

  15. Seminar 12: Better to be loved or feared? Overview 1 item
    1. Giles of Rome, On Civil Government, ch. 36 in Medieval Political Theory, ed. Nederman, pp. 151-2

       

      Brunetto Latini, Book of Treasure, Bk. III, ch. 96

       

      Machiavelli, N., The Prince, ed. Q. Skinner and R. Price (Cambridge, 1988), chs. 16, 17, 18, 19, 22

       

      You are also expected to review your notes for the course, and think about the general themes we have covered over the semester. We will have a class debate on the topic above.

       

      Areas you should be prepared to discuss may include:

      -          the influence of classical learning on mediæval political theory

      -          the relationship between religion and secular politics

      -          the nature of political obligation

      -          the role of the individual and the community

      -          the relationship between authority and law

      -          similarities and differences between mediæval political thought and modern political thought:

      • continuity or change?
      • what mediæval political concepts have survived into the modern age?

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