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Estudos Históricos (Rio de Janeiro)

versão impressa ISSN 0103-2186


KRITSCH, Raquel. Historical and Theoretical Foundations of the Notion of Sovereignty: the Contribution of "jurist Popes" in the 13th century. Estud. hist. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.46, pp.261-279. ISSN 0103-2186.

The aim of this article is to discuss the contribution of the late ecclesiastical medieval thought for the construction of the concept of sovereignty. Like the modern state, this concept has a long genesis: it is part of a process of legal and political transformation, which provided a new mapping of power (relations) and loyalties in Europe. The building of this new system of power has the creation of a new legal order as its counter part. Such a new order redefines the bonds of command and obedience, constitutes political units as areas of exclusive jurisdicti on and esta blishes among the se units relations of equality: none of them understands it self as subordinate to another. All the se questions can be understood as disputes over jurisdiction: who judges and punishes civil crimes or violations of religious rules? The powers to legislate, to chan ge the law, to decide as the final instance and to control the use of the force constitute what the modern authors named sovereignty. The objective of this paper is to show the contribution of the so called lawyers popes of the thirteenth century to the development of some key elements of the notion of sovereignty.

Palavras-chave : Medieval political theory; sovereignty; imperium; papacy.

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