Marsilius of Padua at the Intersection of Ancient and Medieval Traditions of Political Thought

By Vasileios Syros

© 2012

This book focuses on the reception of classical political ideas in the political thought of the fourteenth-century Italian writer Marsilius of Padua. Vasileios Syros provides a novel cross-cultural perspective on Marsilius’s theory and breaks fresh ground by exploring linkages between his ideas and the medieval Muslim, Jewish, and Byzantine traditions.

Syros investigates Marsilius’s application of medical metaphors in his discussion of the causes of civil strife and the desirable political organization. He also demonstrates how Marsilius’s demarcation between ethics and politics and his use of examples from Greek mythology foreshadow early modern political debates (involving such prominent political authors as Niccolò Machiavelli and Paolo Sarpi) about the political dimension of religion, church-state relations, and the emergence and decline of the state.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP002867

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2012

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

    ISBN 9781442641440
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2012

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

Quick Overview

This study highlights linkages between Marsilius’ thought and the ideas of his medieval Muslim and Jewish predecessors and contemporaries.

Marsilius of Padua at the Intersection of Ancient and Medieval Traditions of Political Thought

By Vasileios Syros

© 2012

This book focuses on the reception of classical political ideas in the political thought of the fourteenth-century Italian writer Marsilius of Padua. Vasileios Syros provides a novel cross-cultural perspective on Marsilius’s theory and breaks fresh ground by exploring linkages between his ideas and the medieval Muslim, Jewish, and Byzantine traditions.

Syros investigates Marsilius’s application of medical metaphors in his discussion of the causes of civil strife and the desirable political organization. He also demonstrates how Marsilius’s demarcation between ethics and politics and his use of examples from Greek mythology foreshadow early modern political debates (involving such prominent political authors as Niccolò Machiavelli and Paolo Sarpi) about the political dimension of religion, church-state relations, and the emergence and decline of the state.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Author Information

    Vasileios Syros is a Senior Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland at the Finnish Centre of Political Thought & Conceptual Change.
  • Table of contents

    Bibliographical Note

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction

    Sources

    Outline of Chapters

    Chapter I. Marsilius’ Life and Works

    Chapter II. Major Intellectual Influences on Marsilius

    Albertino Mussato and Paduan Politics

    Peter of Abano and Late Medieval Natural Philosophy and Medicine

    Averroes Goes West: John of Jandun

    Muslim and Jewish Influences

    Chapter III. Marsilius’ Political Theory

    Marsilius and Aristotelian Teleology

    The Origins of Social Life

    Rhetoric and the Genesis of Civil Life

    The Purpose of the Political Community

    The Peace and Tranquility of the Political Community

    The Unity of the Political Community

    The Organization of the Political Community

    Marsilius’ Classification of Human Acts

    Marsilius and Aristotle

    Marsilius and Aquinas

    Marsilius and Maimonides

    Plato Transformed, Avicennian Echoes, and the Ideal Social Organization

    The ‘Circle of Justice’ and Functional Specialization

    The Idea of the Mean and the Parts of the Political Community

    The Emergence of Religion and the Civic Function of the Sacerdotal Part

    Marsilius’ Notion of Citizenship

    Chapter IV. Marsilius’ Legal Theory

    The Definition of the Law

    Giants on the Shoulders of Dwarfs: Legislation and a Well-ordered Political Community

    Cyclops with Many Eyes: Laws and Collective Prudence

    The legislator humanus

    The legislator primus

    The primus legislator and Sovereignty

    Medieval Echoes

    Beyond Aristotle

    Chapter V. Marsilius’ Theory of Government

    The Taxonomy of Constitutions

    The Five Modes of Establishing Monarchy

    The Appointment of the Government

    The Political Community as a Living Organism

    Conclusions

    Bibliography

    Index of Subjects

    Index of Places and Proper Names

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