The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought c.350-c.1450

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This volume, first published in 1988, offers a comprehensive and authoritative account of the history of a complex and varied body of ideas over a period of more than a thousand years. A work of both synthesis and assessment, The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought presents the results of several decades of critical scholarship in the field, and reflects in its breadth of enquiry precisely that diversity of focus which characterised the medieval sense of the 'political', preoccupied with universality at some levels, and with almost minute particularity at others. Thus among the vital questions explored by the distinguished team of contributors are the nature of authority, of justice, of property; the problem of legitimacy, of allegiance, of resistance to the powers that be; the character and function of law, and the role of custom in sustaining a social structure. While the predominant emphasis of the volume is necessarily upon those ideas that developed within Latin Christendom, full weight is also given to the impact of Byzantine, Jewish, and Islamic thought, and the whole comprises a unique distillation of knowledge upon a multi-faceted screen.