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The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought$
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M. S. Kempshall

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207160

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207160.001.0001

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The Life of Virtue: Giles of Rome’s

The Life of Virtue: Giles of Rome’s

De Regimine Principum

(p.130) 5 The Life of Virtue: Giles of Rome’s
The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Giles of Rome's work in De Regimine Principum, written in 1277–80, in response to a request from Philip III of France. It describes the work which belongs to the tradition of ‘mirror for princes’ literature. It notes that Giles' work raises two major issues: first, its particular distillation of the Politics and the Ethics is the result of Giles' familiarity with a third Aristotelian treatise, On Rhetoric. It reports that this Aristotelian treatise demonstrates to Giles how to combine rhetoric and political thought as a means of putting forward political counsel. The second issue concerns the implications of its handling of the Politics and Ethics for the relationship between the political authority of the temporal ruler and the spiritual authority of the church. It notes that Giles of Rome is influenced by much of Aquinas' work and is familiar with both the Summa Theologiae and the commentaries on the Politics and the Ethics.

Keywords:   Giles of Rome, De Regimine Principum, Philip III of France, princes, Politics, Ethics, On Rhetoric, political authority, spiritual authority, Summa Theologiae

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