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Council and Hierarchy: The Political Thought of William by Constantin Fasolt

By Constantin Fasolt

In 1311, on the council of Vienne, William Durant the more youthful (c. 1266-1330), the French bishop and count number, demanded that common councils should meet each ten years so that it will position potent limits at the papal plenitude of strength simply because 'what touches all has to be licensed by means of all'. this can be the 1st systematic interpretation of William Durant's notable undertaking to move ideal legislative authority from the papacy to basic councils. It means that the conciliar concept has a extra ambivalent complexion than is typically famous. It confirms, at the one hand, that constitutional rules have been deeply embedded within the culture of the church, which enabled Durant to expect the council of Constance via greater than 100 years. nonetheless, Durant attributed an expert to historic legislation that overrode his republican rules, sapped their energy, and introduced him on a pursuit of the real which means of the legislations which can finish merely in his transformation into an historian and a reluctant champion of monarchy. William Durant the Younger's rules therefore support us to appreciate either the origins of the conciliar conception and the transition from past due medieval reform routine to early glossy humanism and princely sovereignty.

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521. Strayer has repeatedly used the case of the Gevaudan and this passage in particular to illustrate the claims of Philip IV; see the essays collected in his Medieval Statecraft, pp. 259 n. 9, 261 n. 16, 298, 301 n. 2, 345. 10 In the Gevaudan this occurred around the beginning of the twelfth century. 11 They can just as well be said to have maintained the last vestiges of Carolingian officialdom as to have abolished them by turning control of the region into a heritable property. In 1112 their line died out and the viscounty was inherited by the counts of Barcelona, and when they in turn died out in 1172, the viscounty passed into the hands of the kings of Aragon.

Chapters 5 and 6 serve two purposes: on the one hand, they contain a reasonably full description of the most telling elements in the vast programme of reform that Durant unfolded in the second part of the treatise; on the other hand, they offer an analysis of that programme on the assumption that it was informed by two competing models of political thought, one that was hierarchical and another that was republican. The seventh and final chapter in this second part attempts to clarify how these models were related to each other both in Durant's intention and in fact.

Lecler, Le Pape, p. ' Oakley, 'Conciliar Theory', p. 518: '[Durant] must have realized that he. was introducing something of a novelty when he went on to urge that general councils should be assembled regularly at ten-year intervals. W e would be ill-advised to take for granted this association of the demand for reform in head and members with the call to establish the general council as a regularly functioning constitutional mechanism within the structure of church government . . Still less should we take for granted the further combination of those two notions with the claims advanced on behalf of the council's authority by those who subscribed to the strict conciliar theory.

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