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The Papal Condemnation of Marsilius of Padua’s Defensor Pacis: Its Preparation and Political Use

  • Frank Godthardt
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Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

IIn the fourteenth century, the last severe and fundamental conflict between empire and papacy took place. This conflict was initiated and carried out by the papal party soon using legal procedures. To this, the imperial party responded at first also by legal means but then notably through symbolic political acts of considerable significance and expressiveness and later on, in 1338, by the establishment of imperial laws and mandates.1 Pope John XXII attacked the Roman-German Empire in two respects. John XXII, residing in Avignon, claimed supreme rule over northern Italy for the papacy, which belonged—as “imperial Italy”—to the empire of the Roman-German king and emperor. Furthermore, the pope intended to play an institutional role in the constitutional order of the Roman-German Empire by claiming the right to finally approve or reject the German ruler who already had been elected king of the Romans by the prince-electors. This, the pope and papalist authors argued, was due to the church’s supreme authority over temporal rulers and in political matters, in general, and the pope’s role in elevating the Roman-German king to imperial office through his coronation in Rome, in particular.

Keywords

Preliminary List Roman Emperor Temporal Ruler German Ruler Papal Condemnation 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    For the following, see Hilary Seton Offler, “Empire and Papacy: The Last Struggle,” in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 6 (1956): 21–47;Google Scholar
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  5. 2.
    This is my thesis in Frank Godthardt, Marsilius von Padua und der Romzug Ludwigs des Bayern. Politische Theorie und politisches Handeln (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011).Google Scholar
  6. 3.
    Pope Clement VI said on April 10, 1343 in the consistory about Ludwig: “Fuit etiam condempnatus de fautoria hereticorum. Ipse enim Marsilium de Padua et Johannem de Janduno heresiarchas et de heresi condempnatos sustinuit et secum tenuit usque ad mortem eorum; et audemus dicere quod vix nunquam legimus peiorem hereticum illo Marsilio. Unde de mandato Benedicti predessoris nostri de quodam eius libello plus quam ducentos et quadraginta articulos hereticales extraximus” (Hilary Seton Offler, “A Political Collatio of Pope Clement VI, O.S.B.,” Revue Bénédictine 65 (1955): 126–44 at 136, 11. 174–80).Google Scholar
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  11. 11.
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  12. 15.
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  15. 23.
    Rinaldi, Annales ecclesiastici, vol. 24, ed. Theiner (1872), ad annum 1327, the beginnngs of § 29 (323a), § 30 (323b), § 31 (324b), 5 32 (326a), and § 33 (327b).Google Scholar
  16. 24.
    Defensor pacis, ed. Richard Scholz (Hanover: Hahn, 1932–3), 603–11, III, 2 [hereafter DP].Google Scholar
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  18. 30.
    Very clearly this was recently analyzed in George Garnett, Marsilius of Padua and the “Truth of History” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 31.
    These have come down to us and is well documented in the case of Salzburg, see the letters of the archbishop and the other bishops of the archdiocese to Pope John XXII confirming the publication, MGH Constitutiones vol. 6, 1 (1914–27), 282–4 no. 378–80 (all of beginning of 1328). See also Pope John’s mandate to the diocese of Sion (January 23, 1328), Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Reg. Vat., 288va-b, Ep. 1643,Google Scholar
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  21. in Jean XXII, Lettres communes analysée d’après les registres dits d’Avignon et du Vatican, ed. Guillaume Mollat, vol. 8 (Paris: Albert Fontemoing, 1920–4), 380 no. 46277–46280. To how many and which dioceses the Curia sent a copy of Licet iuxtra doctrinam is still a desideratum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Karen Bollermann, Thomas M. Izbicki, and Cary J. Nederman 2014

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  • Frank Godthardt

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