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Marsilius of Padua and 'the Truth of History'$
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George Garnett

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291564.001.0001

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Canon Law and the Conflict Between Emperor and Pope

Canon Law and the Conflict Between Emperor and Pope

(p.172) 6 Canon Law and the Conflict Between Emperor and Pope
Marsilius of Padua and 'the Truth of History'


Oxford University Press

In his treatment of the current crisis, Marsilius shows himself to be very well-versed in the latest papal pronouncements — so well-versed that he is capable of forging a document in impeccable curial style that makes John XXII say what he wants him to have said. He concentrates overwhelmingly on the extreme statements of recent popes: Boniface VIII, Clement V, and the current pope, whom he can never bring himself to name. He avoids any discussion of Innocent III's key decretal Venerabilem. According to Marsilius, the current consummation of claims to plenitudo potestatis represented a threat not only to the Emperor, but to all Christian kings (as revealed by the recent experience of Philip the Fair, which Marsilius had observed from his vantage point at the Sorbonne). The pope was not only nullifying the rights of the Electors to the office of rex Romanorum, he was in effect claiming that all other Christian rulers derived their authority solely from him.

Keywords:   papal pronouncements, Innocent III, Venerabilem, Boniface VIII, Clement V, plenitudo potestatis, Philip the Fair

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