Yet even such a man could thus write "Of the punishments deserved by witches": There are two means by which states are maintained in their weal and greatness--reward and penalty: the one for the good, the other for the bad. And, if the distribution of these two be faulty, nothing else is to be expected than the inevitable ruin of the state. But those greatly err who think that penalties are established only to punish crime. I hold that this is the least of the fruits which accrue therefrom to the state. For the greatest and the chief is the appeasing of the wrath of God, especially if the crime is directly against the majesty of God, as is this one.

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Life[ edit ] Bodin was successively a friar, academic, professional lawyer, and political adviser. An excursion as a politician having proved a failure, he lived out his life as a provincial magistrate. Early life[ edit ] Bodin was born near Angers , possibly the son of a master tailor,[ citation needed ] into a modestly prosperous middle-class background. He received a decent education, apparently in the Carmelite monastery of Angers, where he became a novice friar.

Some claims made about his early life remain obscure. The records of this episode, however, are murky and may refer to another person. Paris and Toulouse[ edit ] He obtained release from his vows in and went to Paris.

Later in the s he studied Roman law at the University of Toulouse , under Arnaud du Ferrier , and taught there. His special subject at that time seems to have been comparative jurisprudence. Subsequently he worked on a Latin translation of Oppian of Apamea , under the continuing patronage of Gabriel Bouvery , Bishop of Angers.

Bodin had a plan for a school on humanist principles in Toulouse, but failed to raise local support. He left in His religious convictions on the outbreak of the Wars of Religion in cannot be determined, but he affirmed formally his Catholic faith, taking an oath that year along with other members of the Parlement. He was the intelligent and ambitious youngest son of Henry II , and was in line for the throne in , with the death of his brother Charles IX.

He withdrew his claim, however, in favor of his older brother Henry III who had recently returned from his abortive effort to reign as the King of Poland. Bodin then retired from political life; he had married in February On this visit Bodin saw the English Parliament. Bodin initially gave support to the powerful League; he felt it inevitable that they would score a quick victory. He died, in Laon, during one of the many plague epidemics of the time.

Bodin wrote in turn books on history, economics, politics, demonology, and natural philosophy; [17] and also left a later notorious work in manuscript on religion see under "Religious tolerance". Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem[ edit ] In France, Bodin was noted as a historian for his Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem Method for the easy knowledge of history. He wrote, "Of history, that is, the true narration of things, there are three kinds: human, natural and divine".

This book was one of the most significant contributions to the ars historica of the period, and distinctively put an emphasis on the role of political knowledge in interpreting historical writings.

The Methodus was a successful and influential manual on the writing of technical history. Bodin aux paradoxes de M. The background to discussion in the s was that by an increase in the money supply in Western Europe had brought general benefits.

The debates of the time laid the foundation for the " quantity theory of money ". It contains many particular and even idiosyncratic personal views, for instance that eclipses are related to political events. Consideration of the orderly majesty of God leads to encyclopedism about the universe and an analogue of a memory system.

Machiavelli would have granted the sovereign the right to act for the benefit of his state without moral consideration, and Protestant theorists advocated a popular government, or at least an elective monarchy. The Six livres were an immediate success and were frequently reprinted. A revised and expanded Latin translation by the author appeared in With this work, Bodin became one of the founders of the pragmatic inter-confessional group known as the politiques , who ultimately succeeded in ending the Wars of Religion under King Henry IV , with the Edict of Nantes In its reasoning against all types of mixed constitution and resistance theory , it was an effective counter-attack against the monarchomach position invoking "popular sovereignty".

Book VI contains astrological and numerological reasoning. The Ottoman Empire is analysed as a "seigneurial monarchy". This power should be "sovereign", i. Above all, the monarch is "responsible only to God", that is, must stand above confessional factions. The work soon became widely known. Gaspar de Anastro made a Spanish translation in It appeared under the title The Six Bookes of a Common-weale. Views[ edit ] Law and politics[ edit ] Bodin became well known for his analysis of sovereignty, which he took to be indivisible, and to involve full legislative powers though with qualifications and caveats.

He was a politique in theory, which was the moderate position of the period in French politics; but drew the conclusion that only passive resistance to authority was justified. His doctrine was one of balance as harmony, with numerous qualifications; as such it could be used in different manners, and was. The key was that the central point of power should be above faction.

He advocated, however, distinguishing the form of state constitution from the form of government administration. In politics, he adhered to the ideas of his time in considering a political revolution in the nature of an astronomical cycle: a changement French or simply a change as translated in English; [84] from Polybius Bodin took the idea of anacyclosis, or cyclic change of constitution.

Wars, he considered, should be subject to statecraft, and matters of religion did not touch the state. It was attacked by Pedro de Rivadeneira and Juan de Mariana , from the conventional opposing position of a state obligation to root out religious dissent.

It is a conversation about the nature of truth between seven educated men, each with a distinct religious or philosophical orientation - a natural philosopher, a Calvinist, a Muslim, a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, a Jew, and a skeptic. The "Colloquium of the Seven regarding the hidden secrets of the sublime things" offers a peaceful discussion with seven representatives of various religions and worldviews, who in the end agree on the fundamental underlying similarity of their beliefs.

Gottfried Leibniz , who criticized the Colloquium to Jacob Thomasius and Hermann Conring , some years later did editorial work on the manuscript. Henry Oldenburg wanted to copy it, for transmission to John Milton and possibly John Dury , [] or for some other connection in The genre thus founded, drawing social conclusions, identified itself as "civil history", and was influenced particularly by Polybius.

Crombie as philosophical historians with contemporary concerns; Crombie also links Bodin with Francis Bacon , as rational and critical historians. He showed little interest, however, in the New World. This was within a scheme of Vaticinium Eliae or three periods of years for universal history, to which he had little commitment, though indicating its connection with the three climate regions and their predominance. He made an identification of peoples and geographical sectors with planetary influences, in Book V of the Six Livres.

It has been suggested that he took them from a follower of Cardano , Auger Ferrier. In a form simplified and adapted by others, such as the French jurists Charles Loyseau — and Cardin Le Bret — , it played an important role in the development of absolutism. The need to accommodate the existing structure of the Empire with Bodin as theorist of sovereignty led to a controversy running over nearly half a century; starting with Henning Arnisaeus , it continued unresolved to and the time of Christopher Besoldus.

He drew a line under it, by adopting the concept of composite polyarchy , which held sway subsequently. His ideas on inflation were familiar by But that meant they could cut both ways, being cited by parliamentarians as well as royalists. Henry Parker in asserted the sovereignty of Parliament by Bodinian reasoning. At the time of the Venetian Interdict , Venetians agreed with the legislative definition of sovereignty.

The Methodus went on the Index in ; [] Robert Bellarmine as censor found it of some merit in its learning, but the author to be a heretic or atheist, critical of the papacy and much too sympathetic to Charles Du Moulin in particular.

Albergati wrote against Bodin from , comparing his political theories unfavourably with those of Aristotle.


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Jean Bodin






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