Ideal Government and the Mixed Constitution in the Middle Ages

Review of Metaphysics 47 (3):603-605 (1994)
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This ambitious book, written by a former student of Brian Tierney, has two goals. The first is to show that the recovery of Aristotle's Politics by Latin authors of the thirteenth century, especially Thomas Aquinas, resulted in the view that a mixed constitution of some sort is the best political regime. The second is to show that the ideas of Thomas and his disciples decisively influenced the views of the later Middle Ages and also the early republicans of the Renaissance. Blythe thus wants to show that, in fact, medieval political theory was not characterized by a monolithic defense of absolute monarchy, but that it advocated a certain tempering or balancing of kingly rule through mixed constitutions; he also wants to show that those medieval views were much more influential in the early modern period than is usually thought.



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Douglas Kries
Gonzaga University

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