Chapter Five

I’ve not yet finished work on Chapter Four, but I have completed the redraft of Chapter Five.

Chapter Five begins with a reading of John of Salisbury, particularly his Policraticus, but also some discussion of his Metalogicon and other writings. John is interesting because of how he reinvigorates the idea of the body politic. There is a discussion of his use of a work he claims is by Plutarch, though probably this is a fiction, and his reading of Plato’s Timaeus, mediated through the commentary of Calcidius. It then moves to a discussion of the theory of the two swords, which by this time were taken to signify temporal and spiritual power. Various scriptural, papal (i.e. Gregory VII’s Dictatus Papae, Innocent III’s Per Venerabilem) and theological sources (i.e. Francis de Meyronnes, Bernard of Clairvaux) are analysed. In the work for this revision I found what may be the most explicit formulation in a 1159 constitution:

When in the passion Christ says he is content with two swords, this meant the Roman church and the Roman Empire for it is by these two heads and leaders that the whole world is ordered in divine and human things. For there is one God, one pope, and one emperor ought to be enough, for one Church of God.

The chapter then moves to a discussion of the rediscovery of Aristotle’s political texts, and their translation into Latin. Initially this was through Arabic translations, so I take a brief detour there into Arabic scholarship, before discussing the translations themselves, which were in time made direct from the Greek. The availability of these texts changed both the language and the substance of political thought.

I then move to an account of Aquinas. This is quite extensive and took a lot of work. I end the chapter with a reading of the text that is probably partly by Aquinas and completed by Ptolemy of Lucca – De Regimine Principum.

It took me relatively little work to get this into shape this time round. A few details to check and a couple of references that were incomplete. All but one resolved relatively easily. It did take me a while to locate a quote from Remigio Dei Girolami, where he says that “if you are not a citizen [civis] you are not a man, because man is naturally a civil animal [animal civile]”. I’d found this cited in two places without a reference, but eventually found the original place.

I did some early work on this chapter in Tasmania in 2006, and returned to it in Singapore in 2008, and then again while in London in 2009.

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One Response to Chapter Five

  1. Pingback: The Birth of Territory – Chapter Updates | Progressive Geographies

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