Marsilius of Padua

by: Ram Nandula and Prakyath Chadalawada (5th period)

Marsilius of Padua

Born Marsilio dei Mainardini, Marsilius was an Italian scholar who trained in medicine and was well versed in a variety of professions. His political writing, "Defensor Pacis," was revolutionary at the time and spoke of virtually unlimited monarchical power.


The theories of Marsilius were based on a secular view of the state. According to Marsilius, in order for a state to be united, the powers of the Church must be limited. The primary responsibility of the state is to maintain law, order, and peace. In addition, the source of all political power is the people, not the Church. Finally, the Church's authority in morals should instead be given to a council representative of people and clergy.
Big image


In his 1324 book, "Defensor Pacis," he attacked papal authority and supported lay sovereignty in the Church. His intent was to support the independent authority of his patron, the King of France, who constantly quarreled with the Pope.