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A sovereign to overthrow: the development of theories on kingship, tyranny, and the king's two bodies in John of Salisbury's Policraticus

Baloga, Edward Dawson (2018) A sovereign to overthrow: the development of theories on kingship, tyranny, and the king's two bodies in John of Salisbury's Policraticus. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis examines the theories of kingship and tyranny proposed by the twelfth-century English cleric John of Salisbury in his work of political thought Policraticus, which appeared fully for the first time in 1159 CE. The tumultuous nature of twelfth-century England influenced John of Salisbury as he took up work under the Archbishop of Canterbury after studying in France. Salisbury began to consider the role of the king and the power the sovereign held during a civil war in England and the later rise of King Henry II to the throne. The theories in Policraticus create the image of a king who is both a divine authority in the kingdom and a servant of the people. The work further argues against tyranny and offers tyrannicide as a final solution to the problem should a dominating tyrant exist. This thesis also examines the early development of the theory of the king’s two bodies, a medieval principle of kingship, as it relates to Salisbury’s theorizing in Policraticus.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Baloga, Edward Dawsonedb38@pitt.eduedb38
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGreenberg, Janelle
Committee MemberArchibald, Elizabeth
Committee MemberHagerty, Bernard
Committee MemberParsons, Jotham
Date: 24 April 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2018
Approval Date: 24 April 2018
Submission Date: 17 April 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 44
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: John of Salisbury, Policraticus, tyrannicide, king's two bodies
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 16:23
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 16:37


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