Medieval Political Theory

Every intellectual discipline constructs and reconstructs its own history, as writings not previously regarded as important get into reading lists and others fall out. Until recently students of political theory were urged to read Plato and Aristotle, and then Hobbes and Locke, but nothing, or very little, between the Greeks and the early moderns. Those who have ventured into this gap have found that, at least from the thirteenth century, there was a good deal of political theory, with clear links with the theories of the seventeenth century. The seventeenth-century writers are better understood if we are also familiar with the work of their predecessors, who are in any case as much worth reading as they are. An interesting task for historians of political theory, and for political theorists, is to integrate the study of medieval thought into the discipline.
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