Princely Virtues in the Middle Ages: 1200-1500
The contributors to this book examine the diverse roles played by moral virtues in the political writing of the Later Middle Ages. Medieval political ... Show synopsis The contributors to this book examine the diverse roles played by moral virtues in the political writing of the Later Middle Ages. Medieval political thought has a long tradition of scholarship, and its ethical dimension has always received sustained attention. This volume specifically concentrates on the meaning and function of virtues in a political context, a theme which has thus far been neglected. The authors deal with Latin texts (occasionally in combination with vernacular ones) from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries that define, legitimize, or criticize secular rule by using catalogues of virtues, originating from ancient philosophy as well as Christian moral theology. The contributions discuss various aspects related to this theme, such as the relation between the virtues of rulers and general moral precepts; the tension between secular or philosophical perspectives on virtue and Christian moral thought; the use of moral virtues for political ends; the balance between praise of the prince's virtues and criticism of his vices; and so forth. The medieval texts under discussion are of French, German, English, Italian, and Spanish origin, and vary from educational treatises and historiography to moral theology and political philosophy.