270. Render unto Caesar: Marsilius of Padua

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In Defender of the Peace, Marsilius of Padua develops new theories of representative government, rights, and ownership.



Further Reading

• A. Brett (trans.), Marsilius of Padua: the Defender of the Peace (Cambridge: 2006).

• A. Gewirth (trans.), Marsilius of Padua: the Defender of the Peace (New York: 1956).


• A. Brett, Liberty, Right and Nature: Individual Rights in Later Scholastic Thought (Cambridge: 1997).

• G. Briguglia, Marsilio da Padova (Rome: 2013).

• A. Gewirth, Marsilius of Padua and Medieval Political Philosophy (New York: 1951).

• A. Lee, “Roman Law and Human Liberty: Marsilius of Padua on Property Rights,” Journal of the History of Ideas 70 (2009), 23-44.

• J. Miethke, De potestate papae: die päpstliche Amtskompetenz im Widerstreit der politischen Theorie von Thomas von Aquin bis Wilhelm von Ockham (Tübingen: 2000).

• G. Moreno-Riaño (ed.), The World of Marsilius of Padua (Turnhout: 2006).

• G. Moreno-Riaño and C.J. Nederman (eds), A Companion to Marsilius of Padua (Leiden: 2012).

• C.J. Nederman, Community and Consent: the Secular Political Theory of Marsiglio of Padua’s Defensor pacis (Lanham: 1995).

• C.J. Nederman, “Community and Self-Interest,” Marsiglio of Padua on Civil Life and Private Advantage,” Review of Politics 65 (2003), 395-416.

• B. Tierney, “Marsilius on Rights,” Journal of the History of Ideas 52 (1991), 3-17.


Beanie on 1 February 2017

Another fascinating episode,

Another fascinating episode, but I suspect William of Pagula was writing for Edward III, not William III (unless he was anticipating events 350 years later!)

In reply to by Beanie

Peter Adamson on 2 February 2017

Too many Williams

Oh dear, of course you're right! Just a slip because I was writing about William of Ockham and Pagula, I guess. (Or maybe it is because I went to Williams College.) I will fix that for the book version, thanks very much.

Michael Cule on 3 February 2017


Unless I misheard (and I'm getting old: I can't rule it out entirely) you referred to a MIRROR FOR PRINCES aimed at 'William III of England'. Not in the fourteenth century, surely? William III was William of Orange or William-and-Mary fame. 

In reply to by Michael Cule

Peter Adamson on 4 February 2017


Yes, someone else already caught that - see above! But thanks for the correction.

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