Talk:Marsilius of Padua

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I was compressing the EB article at the same time Djnjwd was wikifying the article itself. I thought the EB version might be a bit more detailed than needed for Wikipedia. FWIW, here's what I had come up with. Bill 19:07 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Marsilius of Padova (1270 - 1342) was an Italian medieval scholar, born Padua. n collaboration with the philosopher John of Jandun, he authored Defensor pacis, a work which, on its face, affirmed the sovereignty of the people and civil law and sought to greatly limit the power of the Papacy, which he viewed as the "cause of the trouble which prevails among men" and which he characterized as a "fictitious" power. He proposed the elimination of tithes and the seizure of church property by civil authority. In his view, the Papacy would retain only an honorary pre-eminence without any authority to interpret the scriptures or define dogma.

Despite an apparent democratic bent, Marsilius' thought leaned more toward "imperial omnipotence", with religion subservient to the state.

Marsilius' work was censured by Pope Benedict XII and Pope Clement VI.


I agree with you that the EB article needs a bit of finessing - you have to wade through a fair way to get a succinct idea of what Marsilius is about. BTW, I split the original text into two, hiving the part dealing with Defensor pacis into a separate article. Would it work better if we incorporated your summary into the article as a lead-in?

I don't agree that the EB text, or any other incorporated open-source text, needs necessarily to be compressed, though they definitely need a lot more work. I'm posting them as a start, where I think there are gaps in Wiki's coverage. Dave

Perhaps it would work as a lead in for Defensor pacis. I'll put it there and we can see what you and others think. Although the 1911 EB is held in high repute, I certainly don't find this particular article to be very well put together. To me, it reads like a hodge podge. But, then I certainly do not claim to be an expert in the subject matter.  ;=) Bill 19:50 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've edited Defensor pacis to eliminate duplication in the later text and ease the flow. I'll have another look at this Marsilius text to see that it reads OK. Dave

John of Jandun[edit]

I believe that it is now generally conceded that John of Jandun did not write part of Defensor pacis. Cary J. Nederman, in an Afterword to a recent edition of Defensor pacis while discussing the 'dual perspective' of Discourse I and Discourse II of this text, said, "Indeed, the thematic and conceptual gulf between the two discourses once seemed so wide that scholars commonly supposed Marsilius's colleague John of Jandun to be the coauthor of the Defensor pacis until Gewirth himself proved in a classic article that the treatise was the work of a single hand." (Marsilius of Padua, Defensor pacis, New York: Columbia University Press, 2001, p 444.) Nederman provides, in this edition, the Afterword to Gewirth's 1956 translation. The 'classic article' referred to by Nederman is given (p. 444, note 1) as: "Alan Gewirth, John of Jandun and the Defensor Pacis, Speculum 23 (1948): 267-272." Pomonomo2003 15:07, 19 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Marsilius and the Holy Roman Empire[edit]

The article claims that Marsilius sought "the independence of the Holy Roman Empire from the Papacy." Cf. Skinner in The Foundations of Modern Political Thought Vol. 1 (Cambridge University Press, 1978):

"It was obvious that what they [the Northern Italian cities known as the Regnum Italicum] needed most of all was a form of political argument capable of vindicating their liberty against the Church without involving them in ceding it to anyone else [the Holy Roman Empire]." (18)

This comes after a discussion of Dante's political theory and his encomium toHenry of Luxembourg. Skinner sees Marsilius as writing for the independence of the Regnum italicum from both the papacy and the HRE. (18-19) Considering the seriousness and depth of Skinner's argument, I think this is worthy of an edit to this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timjim7 (talkcontribs) 03:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]


a trenchant critique of caesaropapism in Western Europe – it should be either an exposition of caesaropapism in Western Europe or a trenchant critique of papocaesarism in Western Europe. (talk) 22:06, 9 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]