The Fourteenth Century Controversies

The Fourteenth Century Controversies

The Fourteenth Century Controversies. The controversy between ecclesiastical and secular authority at the opening of the fourteenth century centered around the dispute between Pope Boniface and Philip the Fair, king of France. Unmindful of the growth of national states and of the popular support of royal power, the pope tried unsuccessfully to extend the ideals … Read more

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italian Dominican theologian and Roman Catholic saint, the foremost medieval Scholastic. He was responsible for the classical systematization of Latin theology, and, as a poet, he wrote some of the most gravely beautiful Eucharistic hymns in the church’s liturgy. Saint Thomas Aquinas The thirteenth century was marked by the culmination of papal … Read more

St. Bernard and John of Salisbury

St. Bernard and John of Salisbury

St. Bernard and John of Salisbury. Two of the leading writers of the twelfth century who dealt with the relations of church and state were St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) 32 and John of Salisbury (1115-1180). St. Bernard was the most influential churchman of the period, although he declined all ecclesiastical honors and never became … Read more

Arguments for Secular Supremacy

Arguments for Secular Supremacy

Arguments for Secular Supremacy. The secular rulers opposed the theory of ecclesiastical supremacy on the grounds that political society was as divine in origin as the church, and that kings, as agents of divine purpose, were responsible to God alone. In spite of St. Augustine’s dissent, most medieval writers, both secular and ecclesiastical, believed that … Read more

Arguments for Ecclesiastical Supremacy

Arguments for Ecclesiastical Supremacy

During the period from the ninth to the fourteenth century, the leading exponents of the doctrine Arguments for ecclesiastical supremacy were Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims, Pope Nicholas I, Pope Gregory VII, Manegold of Lutterbach, St. Bernard, John of Salisbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory,and his school emphasized … Read more

The Nature of Medieval Political Thought

The Nature of Medieval Political Thought

The Nature of Medieval Political Thought. During the greater part of the medieval period, political life was influenced but little by conscious purpose or by deliberately formulated theory. Certain ideas, surviving from the Roman tradition, or resulting from the teachings of Christianity, or growing out of the relations of feudalism were generally held, but they … Read more

The Relation of Spiritual to Secular Authority

The Relation of Spiritual to Secular Authority

The Relation of Spiritual to Secular Authority. In the early days of Roman Christianity, the emperor had been recognized as head of both state and church. The right of the church to impose spiritual penalties for immoral acts was acknowledged, however, and was exercised even upon the emperors. As the church grew in power and … Read more

The Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire. Throughout the whole period of feudal anarchy, the ideal of an empire, and of an emperor whose authority must be confirmed by a papal coronation at Rome, survived. This idea was upheld by the popes who sought the support of a strong temporal ruler in their contests with the Italian princes. … Read more

Feudalism in Medieval Era

Feudalism in Medieval Era

Feudalism in Medieval Era. From the point of view of political institutions, the early medieval period was characterized, not only by the formation of a powerful ecclesiastical organization which exercised extensive political authority, but also by a contest between two forms of society, the patriarchal, clan type, as represented by the Teutonic barbarians and the … Read more

Political Ideas of the Teutons

Political Ideas of the Teutons

Political Ideas of the Teutons. The Teutonic invaders who overthrew the empire not only added young, vigorous, and healthy population to the decadent Roman people, but brought with them certain political ideas and institutions quite different from those prevalent in the Roman world. They placed a high value on personal independence and emphasized the importance … Read more