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These are important texts which, until now, have not been available in complete English translations. The appearance of this addition to the Primary Sources series is a welcome development and a valuable resource for English-speaking students of late medieval political thought.’
—Professor Janet Coleman
At no time was empire more a subject for theoretical reflection and dispute than during the Late Middle Ages. After 1300, the volume of writings concentrating on imperial themes escalated rapidly and continued to represent a significant proportion of political treatises composed well into the Renaissance. Alongside the republican doctrines that have so often been highlighted by recent scholars, imperial thought remained a vital feature of the intellectual landscape of fourteenth and fifteenth-century Europe.
The present volume contains translations of three defences of the Roman Empire by some of the most important political authors of late medieval and Renaissance Europe: Engelbert of Admont, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini and Juan de Torquemada. None of these works has previously been translated into English in its entirety. Moreover, the volume contains a substantial introduction that places the tracts in their historical context as well as in their relation to the history of Western political thought.
The collection will be of interest to advanced undergraduates, research students and professional scholars in European history, political science, philosophy, medieval studies, religious studies and theology.
—first English translation of three works by important medieval churchmen, including the future Pope Pius II (Piccolomini)
—comprehensive introduction connecting contemporary internationalism with medieval theories of empire
—texts that illuminate the origins of modern nationalism and the nation state
—comprehensive editorial matter, including annotations, bibliography and index
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