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Political ThinkersFrom Socrates to the Present

Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present (3rd edn)

David Boucher and Paul Kelly
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date: 12 April 2024

p. 1539. Marsiglio of Padualocked

p. 1539. Marsiglio of Padualocked

  • Cary J. Nederman


This chapter examines Marsiglio of Padua's political theory, tracing it to his opposition to the pope's interference in secular political affairs, especially Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. Marsiglio formulates theoretical principles to explain the origins and nature of the political community that depend upon a strict distinction between the temporal and spiritual realms. For Marsiglio, government and law exist in order to support the civil peace. After providing a short biography of Marsiglio, the chapter analyses his views on peace, conciliarism, consent, and ecclesiology. It also considers Marsiglio's claim that all secular governments should oppose the ecclesiastical hierarchy, that political society arises from infirmities of human nature, and that citizenship derives from all vital functions in society.

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