Marsilius of Padua: THE DEFENDER OF THE PEACE by Marsilius of Padua, Annabel Brett

By Marsilius of Padua, Annabel Brett

Annabel Brett's authoritative rendition of the Defensor Pacis is the 1st new translation in English for 50 years of this vintage of western political inspiration, and incorporates a chronology, notes for additional examining, and updated annotation aimed toward the coed reader encountering this significant textual content for the 1st time.
Cover; Half-title; Series-title; name; Copyright; Contents; Acknowledgements; creation; feedback for extra examining; central occasions in Marsilius's existence; Notes at the translation; Notes at the references; The Defender of the Peace: Contents; Discourse I; Discourse Ii; Discourse Iii; Index.

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Sallust ( 86–35/ 4 BCE) was a Roman historian writing in and of the last years of the Roman republic and the crises that beset it. His works and the analyses they contained of corruption and decline were key supports of the pre-humanist Italian republican tradition, which emphasised the paramount need for civic concord if the city is to achieve greatness. The passage Marsilius quotes is ubiquitous in this literature. 10 Here I have followed Scholz in removing the capital letters and italics in Previte´-Orton’s text which imply that Marsilius is referring to the title of Aristotle’s political work.

17 But this was the testimony of the truth, and it was to bear witness to this that Christ said he had come into the world, John 18: ‘To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth,’18 sc. the truth that leads the human race to eternal salvation. After his example, therefore, any man whom the Giver of graces has more fully endowed with an understanding of these matters is to that extent more obliged to devote himself to the teaching of this truth, by which the abovementioned plague of civil regimes might be abolished from the human race and especially Christians: the truth, I say, which leads to the salvation of civil life and conduces not a little to eternal salvation as well.

7. Ibid. 8. According to the convention of the time, ‘the Apostle’ is always the Apostle to the Gentiles, St Paul. 18 John 18. 37. 19 James 4. 17. 17 7 Marsilius of Padua: The Defender of the Peace princes safely proceed finally to drive the dishonourable sponsors and obstinate defenders of this evil from the field. 6 And so, attentive and obedient to the advice of Christ, the saints and the philosophers given above, I, a son of Antenor,20 acting from any understanding of these matters that may have been granted me by grace, and from a spirit too of confidence furnished me from above (as James attests in the first chapter of his Epistle General: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift, cometh down from above from the Father of lights’);21 of reverence for the Giver, ardour to make known the truth, fervent love for brothers and country, pity and compassion for the oppressed; to recall the oppressors from the byway of error, and to spur on those who allow these things to happen when they should and can prevent them; and with an especial regard for you, most noble Ludwig,22 emperor of the Romans, as the minister of God23 who will give this work the ending it hopes for from outside:24 in whom as if by some special and ancient right of blood, and not less by your singularly heroic temperament and shining virtue, the desire to extirpate heresies, to support and safeguard the catholic truth and every other discipline of study, to excise vice and further the study of the virtues, to put an end to quarrels and to spread and nourish peace and tranquillity everywhere, is ingrained and confirmed; I have, after a period of painstaking and intense examination, committed to writing the sum of the thoughts that follow, judging that they may give some help to your watchful majesty in its care to provide against the said errors and other contingencies, and for every other public utility.

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