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Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas

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It is a common assumption that nation, state, and
nationalism are partly ancient but chiefly modern
phenomena both in fact and in thought. Whether they
arose to importance in the Middle Ages must therefore
be judged in comparison mainly with modern concepts.

Even now nation, state, and nationalism bear so
many connotations in relation to human society that
definitions vary almost as much as their historical
manifestations. It is really better to offer presumptions
than definitions. So in recent times it has been normally
presumed that a fully existent nation is a state, and
the state a nation. (At times, however, when such a
people as the Irish or the Jews did not have a territorial
state, each was viewed as a kind of nation aspiring
to national statehood.) The nation-state is sovereign,
for it is independent, legally subject to no superior
authority in all the world. It is the object of what is
called nationalism including patriotism, the ideal of
loyalty to nation or state as the common fatherland
which exists to assure the well-being of the people,
and the safety of which is approved by God.

The state in itself is the essential bearer of the ideas
of nation and nationalism. But what is the state? Essen-
tially it is an abstraction deduced in varying degree
from people, social organization, the constitutional
order or government, and sovereign independence.
Above members who govern and above members who
are governed, an end superior to that of any and all
individuals within its territory, the state is thus an
abstract entity. In other words, while not a corporation,
it is a supreme corporate body, by fiction acting as
a person, yet actually acting through its agents, the
ruler or rulers, with or without the consent of the
people. As such a body the state enjoys the attribute
also of territoriality, although at times boundaries have
been poorly defined.

Of greater importance is the attribute of public law.
The state itself is the highest object of public law; and
at the same time it is the only community which
possesses that true public law by which all lesser com-
munities and all the people within it are its subjects.
This is because by the public law the state is not only
independent but is also “sovereign above all,” sover-
eign even above the sovereign power that represents
and acts for it. For the public law is the supreme law
of the state, dealing with its public welfare and safety
and with all the means necessary for assuring its ends.
Therefore while the public law aims also at the com-
mon welfare of the people, lest the state itself be
endangered by confusion and anarchy, the public law
is superior to the private law just as the right of state


is superior to private rights and interests. In other
words, the public law, because it is the law of the state,
deals more with the constitutional order or government
by which the sovereignty of the state is maintained
than with individual members of the state. Yet it should
also assure the orderly working of the private law by
which the common welfare is assured for the sake of
the state itself.

Are these presumptions to be found in medieval legal
and political ideas? Since they are based on ancient
Roman as well as modern definitions and concepts, it
should not be surprising that, as the result of the great
revival of the Latin classics and of the Roman law in
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we find them
abundantly expressed by medieval jurists and political
writers. In fact, at the very time when kings were
overcoming the extreme individualism and private
rights of feudalism, and when a new economic life was
furnishing the financial means, legal ideas found in the
Roman law greatly aided them, as they aided Italian
communes, in the work of creating states. Feudal per-
sonal relations and proprietary rights began to yield
to ideas of public law and the state; localism and
provincialism also gradually felt the impact of a re-
newed concept of a central, public authority. More-
over, ideas that had pertained to the public law of the
universal state of the Roman Empire were attached
to rising kingdoms each of which was the more rapidly
looked upon as a common fatherland (patria com-
) or nation, and became the object of ideals of

The process began, however, in the early Middle
Ages. Barbarian invaders destroyed the unity and uni-
versalism of the Roman Empire. Yet the idea of Rome,
and some memory of Roman public law, survived in
England, Visigothic Spain, and Merovingian and
Carolingian France. With the dissolution of the
Carolingian Empire in the ninth century and the rise
of feudalism, and with the destruction of the Visigothic
kingdom by the Moors, only Anglo-Saxon England
existed in the tenth and eleventh centuries as a kind
of state. In Germany, despite the efforts of the Ottonian
and Salian kings, feudalism began to take hold and
frustrate efforts to create a German state. In France
feudal princes until the twelfth century triumphed over
the old idea of the public authority of the king in
the realm as a whole. Nevertheless, even in France
the idea of the state and its public law vaguely survived
in ideas of kingship and enjoyed a revival in the twelfth

Francia was still essentially the limited region of the
Île-de-France. But French kings began to use feudal
principles in recalling that even the greatest fiefs held
by counts and dukes were within the realm and owed
services to the king as suzerain. The Duke of Normandy
himself, though now the king of England, should do
homage and fealty to the king of France. In England
the idea of a unified realm became more effective as
a result of the Norman conquest. From William the
Conqueror on, the Norman-Angevin kings increasingly
centralized the public authority and thus, especially
in the reign of Henry II, established England as a state.
In the mid-twelfth century John of Salisbury, the
learned classical humanist, thought of England as a
sovereign state under a sovereign king, a state of which
the king as head and his subjects were all members.
In the same period the Christian reconquest of most
of the Iberian peninsula was accompanied by the re-
vival of the tradition of the Visigothic kingdom and
the concept of the unity of Spain. From the twelfth
century on, poets and chroniclers and jurists glorified
the independent realm of Spain, regardless of the actual
development of the separate kingdoms of Portugal,
Castile, and Aragon.

This tendency to look upon the early medieval king-
dom as an inheritor of the Roman idea of the state
received considerable support from the Church, or
rather from the prelates in each realm—but also at
times from the papacy. Bishops favored a strong mon-
archy and the ideal of a unified royal authority over
the whole realm so long as the king could defend their
rights and privileges from local lords who were trying
to seize control of ecclesiastical lands and wealth.
There was a close cooperation of Anglo-Saxon prelates
and kings, the bishops serving in royal councils.
William the Conqueror and his successors continued
this close relationship; and in the twelfth century
Anglo-Norman bishops, with the exception of Thomas
Becket and a few others, continued to serve the king
in the interest of the general welfare of the community
of the realm. Bishops and lesser ecclesiastics were often
administrators and advisers in the royal govern-
ment—so Nigel, Bishop of Ely, Richard Fitzneale, and
Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, in the reign of Henry
II. Still in the thirteenth century ecclesiastics like
Bracton, the famous jurist, served as royal justices and
counsellors, until by the end of the century educated
laymen began to take their place. A similar cooperation
of the clergy with the secular royal governments of
France and Spain was common. One can speak neither
of Anglicanism nor of Gallicanism; yet ecclesiastics in
each kingdom aided the king in his efforts to make
the realm into a state. For example, the scholastic
theologian, Vincent of Beauvais, writing on the subject
of French kingship about 1260, associated the public
estate of the king and the royal court with “the admin-
istration of the republic and the government of the
whole realm” (Schneider, p. 218, n. 39). Long since,


popes themselves, while demanding that kings subor-
dinate themselves to their superior spiritual authority,
had been recognizing the regnum of France as a valua-
ble ally and support of the Church.

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, moreover,
a relatively new concept of the Church began to affect
the theory of the state. Defined already as the whole
body of the faithful, the Church was defined also as
a mystical body. This concept was soon applied to the
kingdom, the regnum. As a mystical body, the kingdom
was more than ever an entity that embraced king and
people and could not be completely identified either
with king and crown or with the people living within
it. More than ever the idea of the regnum was that
of a sovereign community which was sanctioned by
God and the law of nature as a supreme necessity for
the common welfare and safety of all its members, ruler
and subjects alike.

Important as the concept of the mystical body was,
beneath it lay a more practical, legal concept of the
corporation. The legal theory of the corporation was
chiefly a contribution of the revived Roman law in the
twelfth and following centuries, and was applied to
guilds of merchants and artisans, to the rising com-
munes and cities of Italy and France, to cathedral
chapters, and to the rising universities. Each corpora-
tion was a subject of private law, and by legal fiction
was a kind of person as well as a collectivity of indi-
vidual members. It could sue and be sued in the courts.
Its head, whether the mayor of a commune or the
rector of a university, and its members could choose
agents or representatives to act for it. Although it
existed for the protection of the individual members,
the corporation in legal thought was itself an entity
the general welfare of which was more important than
the welfare of head and members viewed as individuals.

Such a corporation or body, however, was a lesser
community within the general universitas or commu-
nity of Empire, Church, or independent kingdom. It
was subject, in theory, to the private law of the state
as interpreted by the ruler. But the state itself, whether
kingdom or Church, was the subject of public law, and
therefore strictly speaking could not be a corporation.
Nor could a province or county within the state be
a corporation. Nevertheless, in the thirteenth century,
jurists and royal governments began to apply the legal
theory of the corporation not only to the English shire
but also to the kingdom itself. The regnum or realm,
an organism with head and members according to John
of Salisbury, was now a public corporation. If it was
a mystical body, it was now also, as it were, a super-
corporation which through its head, the king, could
act as an “artificial” person in international relations,
could send agent-ambassadors to other heads of corpo
rate realms, and could all the better assume to itself
a public welfare and safety that were sovereign and
independent. So in 1302 and 1303, in the name of the
realm of France, the king, Philip the Fair, could appeal
to a General Council of the Church against Pope
Boniface VIII. In legal theory it was the corporate,
mystical body of France that acted in defense of its
public welfare, which the pope, allegedly, was en-
dangering. If the king could speak of the realm as if
it belonged to him (“our kingdom”), nonetheless the
corporate body of the realm was more than king and
subjects. Its safety knew no law. As Philip the Fair
said in 1305, individually and collectively all the clergy
and laity, “as members of our realm truly living to-
gether in one body, are bound to the preservation,
defense, and care of the unity of this realm.” In this
case the king was the ex officio representative of the
corporate realm of the state; but he was not the state
itself, nor above the state; he acted for the state.

Such a kingdom, a mystical, corporate body ap-
proved by God, was becoming an empire in itself,
sovereignly independent of the Holy Roman Empire.
To be sure, Dante, in his De monarchia could still
dream of a restoration of the glory of the universal
Roman Empire, with Rome and Italy its vital center
as in the great classical age; and some canonists and
popes continued to look upon the Church as the true
universal, unifying institution of all Christendom, with
the pope acting as the true emperor. By the twelfth
century, however, what the Norman-Angevin kings had
built on the foundation of Anglo-Saxon England,
namely, a strong, fairly well centralized realm, re-
ceived the learned John of Salisbury's concept of the
realm as an independent state. Soon, as if to denigrate
the Holy Roman Empire under Frederick Barbarossa
and his Hohenstaufen successors, and as if to enhance
the authority of the pope and the Roman Church over
the Empire, canon lawyers added emphasis to the idea
of the sovereignty of England, France, and Spain. Some
canonists who were loyal to the German emperors
spoke only of the De facto independence of such king-
doms from the emperor and Empire. Others, however,
perhaps influenced by their “national” origins, talked
in terms of rightful, legal independence. So about 1200
Alan the Englishman declared that every king who was
subject to no one had the same jurisdiction in his own
realm as the emperor had in the Empire. Vincent of
Spain in the early thirteenth century emotionally
boasted of Spanish superiority over the French and the
Germans; and he stated that Spanish kings were De
as well as De facto sovereigns in their realms. Pope
Innocent III about 1200 strengthened this attitude: the
French king, he said, recognized no superior in tem-
poral affairs (but, of course, the great pope was sure


that by reason of sin such a king was subject to the
papal jurisdiction). The Latin formula, rex superiorem
non recognoscens,
led to a new formula, that the king
who recognized no superior was emperor in his own
realm (rex imperator in regno suo).

If the pope and canonists nonetheles granted no
sovereignty to kings and their realms with respect to
the universal claims of the spiritual authority of the
pope and the Church, in fact English kings were pre-
venting appeals from their clergy to the papal court;
and in France Louis IX, of saintly fame, tolerated no
interference of popes in properly French affairs. The
ideas of English and French jurists encouraged and
supported the royal policy. So in England Bracton, an
expert in the common law and acquainted with the
Roman and canon laws, and also a royal justice, held
that the king of England was “under no man, but under
God and the law.” In France, almost at the same time
(ca. 1250-60), Jean de Blanot, trained in the Roman
law at Bologna, literally stated that the king of France
was emperor (princeps) in his realm. Some years later,
Beaumanoir, who wrote a famous treatise on the cus-
tomary law of the region of Beauvais, said that the
French monarch was sovereign over all in the realm,
having the supreme jurisdiction over the people
whether dukes, counts, and barons, or ordinary men.
The result was that Philip the Fair could defy Pope
Boniface VIII, declaring that he had the right to tax
the French clergy, in case of the necessity of a just
war of defense of the realm, without getting the per-
mission of the pope, and to try a bishop accused of
treason when according to the law of the Church such
a case should be judged by the pope. Edward I of
England was assuming similar rights over the English

Not yet, however, would a sovereign king or state
declare independence of the Christian faith as inter-
preted by the Roman Church. Nonetheless, in the
thirteenth century legal ideas of the sovereignty of the
state were preparing the way for Henry VIII's declara-
tion of independence from Rome in 1533: Henry pro-
claimed that the realm of England was an Empire; that
the king had the “dignity and royal estate of the im-
perial crown”; and that, in effect, even in purely spir-
itual matters the pope and the Roman Church no
longer possessed any authority over the completely
sovereign imperial realm.

Meanwhile, in the late twelfth and thirteenth cen-
turies the greater north Italian communes such as
Florence, Milan, and Siena, were becoming city-states
(Venice had in fact achieved its independence much
earlier). While some acknowledgement of a kind of
social superiority of the German emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire endured, the commune was arrogating
to itself the independent, sovereign right to tax even
the clergy within its territory in times of great danger
or necessity; it claimed for itself all the powers neces-
sary for its public welfare. Popes enjoyed no real suc-
cess in declaring that without their consent no com-
mune could tax its clergy. (As we have noted, kings
also defied this principle of papal consent.) It was but
a logical consequence of these developments in theories
of the “right of state” as well as in political fact, that
in the 1320's Marsiglio of Padua, in his remarkable
treatise, Defensor pacis, should defend against the
papal authority the idea that every city-state, and
every kingdom, was sovereign, for it had no superior
(superiore carens). And Marsiglio anticipated, and per-
haps furnished, ideas of the government of Henry VIII
by denying that the pope had any authority over the
city-state. For even in purely spiritual and religious
matters the city acknowledged not the papal authority
but the authority of a General Council which repre-
sented not only the clergy but also the laity in their
separate states. (Thus Henry VIII was to go beyond
the Marsiglian theory of sovereignty, for he did not
acknowledge any superiority of a General Council of
the Church.) Bartolus of Sassoferrata, the greatest
Italian jurist of the fourteenth century, succinctly
stated the concept of the factual sovereignty of the
Italian commune when he called the city its own prince
(civitas sibi princeps).

Indispensable to any concept of the sovereign state
is the attribute of its own “constitutional” or public
law, of that law which regulates the powers of the
government and its relations with the people, and
which deals directly with the overriding public welfare
and safety of the state, and deals indirectly with the
common welfare of all members whether viewed as
individuals or as a collectivity. In the feudal age, to
repeat, ideas of the public law became so feeble in
France and in Western Europe as a whole that they
almost disappeared. But from the twelfth century on,
the revival of the Roman law and Roman legal theories
of the public law greatly aided kings and their coun-
sellors and justices in the process of overcoming the
private and proprietary rights of the feudal ordering
of society. The Roman law revealed anew the principle
that the public law was concerned with the state of
the realm as a whole, that it was the law of the public
welfare as it was the law of the government or magis-
tracy which was necessary for the maintenance of law
and justice and of the public order. The public law
was also that law by which religion, churches, and
priests were considered as indispensable to the public
and common welfare alike (for it was to the public
and common interest that religion and priests help men
save their souls for the life eternal), and could ulti-


mately be subordinated to the state rather than to the
papacy and the universal Church. It sanctioned the
public right of kings, by right of their supreme public
office, not only to govern all the people in the state,
but also to encroach, as we have seen, on the rights
of clergy and churches, and even on the authority, in
matters of the faith, of the Roman Church. In a word,
as in the ancient Roman Empire, religion again became
a primary concern of the state—not, as in the early
Middle Ages, in the sense that the state should de-
fend the Church while remaining subordinate to it. So
in the thirteenth century the state, instead of being
within the Church, was beginning to absorb and na-
tionalize the Church. Again this is a part of the back-
ground of the ideas of Henry VIII and the English
Church. At the same time, the gradual “laicization” of
society was substituting laymen learned in the newer
legal science for ecclesiastics in the role of justices and
administrators, who aided kings in governing more
effectively in the name of the new state and its public

Feudalism and feudal society also began to yield to
the public law of the state. Increasingly the supreme
public authority of the king and the royal jurisdiction
prevailed over feudal immunities or liberties. In
England, Bracton, reflecting both the centralization
accomplished by the monarchy from the Conquest to
the mid-thirteenth century and the influence of the
Roman law, in his theories of kingship and the public
law held that great feudal immunities or liberties were
delegations of the royal jurisdiction, hence subject to
those rights of the crown which pertained to the wel-
fare and safety of the realm. Like Bracton, but still
more under the influence of the Roman law, French
jurists were asserting that no prescriptive rights could
prevail against the public authority; and they encour-
aged the royal government to claim that the king's
highest court (the Parlement of Paris) possessed the final
ressortum or the supreme jurisdiction in cases of ap-
peals from the feudal courts of the greatest counts and
dukes (after 1259, indeed, even from the ducal court
of the king of England in Gascony).

From the public law, too, came those ultimate public
rights of the sovereignty of the state which in general
can be called “reason of state.” Experts in the Roman
law taught that when the ruler used “right reason” his
will was not arbitrary, like that of a tyrant, but was
in accordance both with the public law and the public
welfare. John of Salisbury had spoken of the king's
reasoning for the public welfare. In the thirteenth
century the jurists maintained that all or any reasoning
was right which resulted in acts for the safety of the
state in times of emergency or great danger, as in cases
of just wars of defense. “Reason of state,” ratio status
or ratio publicae utilitatis, was already modern in its
implication. To be sure, the king's use of it should not
violate the moral commands of God. Yet, since the
realm or state was a mystical body approved by God,
and the necessity of its safety knew no law, already
the state as a higher moral entity amply justified in
the eyes of God the public right of the government
to indulge in “reason of state.” In claiming for them-
selves the public law belonging to each city, the Italian
communes were likewise practicing the ideas belonging
to what we call “reason of state.” The principle and
practice were not invented by Machiavelli. Now we
can understand why, according to the rules of public
law, the government, whether royal or communal, was,
as Beaumanoir said (ca. 1280) about the king, “sover-
eign above all” in the state.

Nevertheless the public right of the kings of England
and France to make use of the public law in terms
of eminent domain, the public welfare clause, and
reason of state, did not constitute the modern idea of
absolutism. The whole medieval tradition, enhanced
by feudalism, insisted that the ruler in all important
actions (whether in legislating, in judging, or in waging
war or establishing peace) should consult with the great
men of the realm. If it was a question either of a just
war or of extraordinary taxation to raise money for
waging the war, it was the legal duty of the king to
hold an assembly in order to consult with all those who
were bound by feudal custom to furnish military serv-
ice or whose rights were touched by the proposed
subsidy. True, the “right of state” and the right of its
public welfare and safety were in the newer theories
superior to all private rights. Nonetheless, private
rights were fundamental, and the possessors must at
least be consulted in times of emergency. We can now
understand, then, that in assemblies summoned by the
king those who had rights affected by the king's claim
that the state was in danger, might well argue before
the king and his court, in his council and assembly or
parliament, that there was no real necessity or emer-
gency, that the “public welfare clause” or “right of
state” was not involved, and that the king was unjusti-
fied in demanding their consent. If the king, according
to theories of the public law, had the final right to
make the decision after hearing all arguments or pleas,
nevertheless it was a political necessity, based on feudal
custom and on the weight of private rights, that he
heed complaints. After all, the greater men of the realm
could and did at times argue that the king was wrong,
that he accepted poor advice, and that they knew
better than the king when the war was just or unjust,
and when the public welfare was at stake. They could


therefore limit the king's appeal to the public welfare
and “reason of state.” They could appeal from the king
poorly informed to the king better informed.

In such circumstances, what could the king and his
government do in order to overcome overt resistance,
in order to convince the assembly of great men and,
by 1300, representatives of communities of lesser men,
that the royal reasoning was right, and that all members
of the kingdom should aid the king in its defense? The
answer is that the government could resort to propa-
ganda, to appeals for general support based on an
adjunct principle of public law, namely, the principle
that when the state was in danger all men in its terri-
tory should either fight for the common fatherland or
pay extraordinary subsidies to meet the costs of war.
In other words, kings and their legally trained counsel-
lors began to make full use of the ideas and ideals of
nationalism and patriotism.

To be sure, the word natio still designated a more
local area than the state; normally it meant either the
locality in which one was born, or an organization of
students in the University who came from the same
general region. It was exceptional indeed when the
barons, in 1259, complaining to the king about his
favoring the French, spoke of the natio regni Angliae.
The usual designation for what we call the state, was,
as has been indicated, res publica, regnum, or civitas
(“republic or commonwealth, kingdom, or city”).
What then was the medieval equivalent of nation as
state? It was, given the connotation of patriotic loyalty
and nationalism, the communis patria, the common
fatherland. Patria by itself had usually meant, almost
like natio, a locality, or a country or province. The
revival of the Roman law, however, introduced the
ancient Roman jurists' designation of Rome and the
Empire as the patria communis—every lesser city or
province in the Empire was simply a local patria. The
idea that each kingdom had a capital city, such as
London or Paris, as the Caput regni, appeared by the
late twelfth century. By the later thirteenth century
French jurists were beginning to say that Paris as the
capital of the French realm was another Rome. At the
same time they seized upon the Roman idea of the
common fatherland and transferred it to the kingdom
as a whole—again a part of the concept of the regnum
as an empire in itself, independent of the traditional
Holy Roman Empire. Logically, it followed that, in-
spired by the Latin classics (Cicero above all) and by
the Roman law, the lawyers and political writers
stressed patriotism, or patriotic devotion to the king
and the realm, in ancient-modern terms of nationalism.
Scholastic philosophers, for example, Thomas Aquinas
and Henry of Ghent, justified patriotism. Legists, quot
ing the classical jurists, declared that it was glorious,
if need be, to die for the fatherland. But dying for the
fatherland naturally presupposes fighting in its defense.
So the lawyers repeated over and over again the
Roman maxim attributed to Cato the Censor, “Fight
for the Fatherland!” A son, they said, who in battle
unavoidably killed his father among the enemy, was
guilty of no crime. The pious duty of loving the father-
land was superior to that of the love (in Christian
charity) of the poor, superior indeed to the love of
one's children. This legalistic reasoning was accepted
by William of Ockham in the fourteenth century (Post,
Studies..., pp. 451f.) when he argued that for the
defense of England Edward III need pay no attention
to the plea of the clergy, that their money should be
used for feeding the poor rather than for the payment
of subsidies. (The “Great Society” must yield to “reason
of state.”)

Such ideas of patriotic loyalty to the state, however,
scarcely touched the people as a whole. Privileged
nobles and towns and provinces often resisted, either
openly or by legal subterfuges, the appeal of the royal
government to patriotism. Modern, mass-patriotism
was to come with the French Revolution. Yet the
medieval expression of the ideal of nationalistic devo-
tion to the state was important. Skillfully used by able
kings, appeals to patriotism strengthened their author-
ity, and hastened the development of the early modern
nation-state. The modern state, shall we say, has the
great advantage of being able to command patriotism
more generally and effectively than was possible in the
Middle Ages.

In the Middle Ages, in sum, the most important
concepts that define the state and the nation as state
appeared. The practical attributes of the nation-state
(efficient, well centralized government, with an ade-
quate police power and a civil service, and universal
military conscription) were poorly developed. But the
ideas of the state and its public law, and the ideas of
nationalism and patriotism, were all expressed. These
ideas survived and became simply more effective in
the modern age.

The Italian renaissance added little to the ideas
and ideals of state and nation. The reason is that
Italian humanists and political thinkers devoted their
patriotic sentiments not to Italy as a kingdom or state,
but to particular city-states. Machiavelli's ragione di
belonged more to Florence than to Italy. It was
in the medieval kingdoms' becoming modern in the
sixteenth century and later that ideas of the national
state were more fully developed. We merely glorify
the word “nation” as state more than was done in the
Middle Ages. The ideas and ideals are the same. (And


today we find that many people in the state are as
little converted to patriotic devotion as ordinary peo-
ple were in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
What is a just war of defense? What justifies fighting
and dying for the common fatherland?)


For modern theories of the state, public law, and the
nation the following books are good: Hans Kelsen, General
Theory of Law and State
(Cambridge, Mass., 1945); R. M.
MacIver, The Modern State (London, 1926); F. H. Hinsley,
Sovereignty (London, 1966); Hans Kohn, The Idea of
(New York, 1946); and Boyd S. Shafer, Nation-
alism: Myth and Reality
(New York, 1946).

Medieval ideas on the same subjects are treated by Ernst
Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies (Princeton, 1957), esp.
Ch. V; and by G. Post, Studies in Medieval Legal Thought
(Princeton, 1964), Introduction and Chs. V, X, XI for a
detailed account of ideas of public law, “reason of state,”
and nationalism. For the development of these ideas in
France, see Joseph R. Strayer, “Defense of the Realm and
Royal Power in France,” Studi in onore di Gino Luzzato
(Milan, 1949), pp. 289-96. Fritz Kern, Kingship and Law
in the Middle Ages,
trans. S. B. Chrimes (Oxford, 1948),
while valuable, has nothing on the rise of ideas of public
law and the state. For similar ideas in the Renaissance see
Friedrich Meinecke, Machiavellism: The Doctrine of Raison
d'État and Its Place in Modern History,
trans. Douglas Scott
(London, 1957; New York, 1965); Hans Baron, The Crisis
of the Early Italian Renaissance
(Princeton, 1966); and
Vincent Ilardi, “'Italianità' among Some Italian Intellec-
tuals in the Early Sixteenth Century,” Traditio, 12 (1956),
339-67. Finally, for a quotation given above, see Robert
J. Schneider, “A 'Mirror for Princes' by Vincent de
Beauvais,” in Studium Generale. Studies Offered to Astrik
L. Gabriel
(Notre Dame, Ind., 1968), pp. 207-23.


[See also Church; Constitutionalism; Law, Ancient Roman,
Natural; Machiavellism; Nationalism; Renaissance Human-
ism; State; War and Militarism.]