Aside from the Augustinian ecclesial-theological tradition which counts among its members, historical luminaries such as Boethius, Gregory the Great, St.Anselm, and John Duns Scotus, there also emerged in the 20th century another school of Augustinianism, within the bounds of historical scholarship. One can find Augustinians of all stripes and a reading of the saint’s imposing corpus can seemingly yield many contradictory Augustines. It is further complicated by the vast array of treatises, epistles, and tomes left behind by the historical Augustine, born in Thagaste near Roman Carthage in 354. Systematic presentation is possible but laborious without context and a broad understanding of the changes and conversions that the man himself underwent. If we think of the application of Augustine’s teachings by the medievals for political purposes, as political theology, such as the need to justify political practice in light of the doctrine of original sin, we obviously ought to point to the work of Frenchman H.X Arquillière, who coined the term “Political Augustinianism”. In 1956, theologian Langdon Gilkey hailed Augustine as “the father of the historical consciousness”, further adding that he was the ‘only early Christian writer to have brought the whole of history within the scope of a "purposive unity”. Heinrich Scholz, mathematician, and master of Hegelian logic, also sought to uncover the nascent philosophy of history in Augustine’s definitive work, De Civitate Dei(The City of God). J.G.A Pocock reckoned the work contained "a philosophy of history, but not history itself". And perhaps in response to the entire new scholarly focus, the man who would be Pope, Josef Ratzinger would reply with his own resolute defence of the sacramental and ecclesial schema of Augustine’s work in 1954, following in the footsteps of Henri de Lubac in criticising Arquillière and French Augustinian scholarship’s thrust that Augustine’s vague distinction between natural and supernatural order characterised the absorption of the natural order into the supernatural ecclesial order which became the medieval conception of confessional Sacrum Imperium. Arquilière’s compatriot and successor, H.L Marrou argued in response to de Lubac that the intention of the studies was not to ascertain the true meaning of Augustine’s work but to investigate the real implications of Carolingian and Ottonian political theology towards the development of secularism as tertium quid, a third reality. J. Van Oort agreed with Arquiliere’s thesis in his 1991 work, Jerusalem and Babylon, stating that “medieval life was modelled to a great extent on The City of God, but only after a radical metamorphosis”. The strict differentiation between soteriological and cosmological truth produced enthusiasms within history for greater glory beyond history, Augustine’s unique vision also presented a problem about the social and historical dimension and the struggle to gain a definitive understanding of the world-immanent order as the Christian critique brought down the privilege of the Greco-Roman public realm. The Visigothic King Alaric’s sack of Rome, and the acrimony which followed, inspired the writing of St.Augustine’s classic work, De Civitate Dei and had seemingly ruptured the course of time itself, having seemingly proven the deceit of Virgil’s odes to Roma urbs aeterna and imperium sine fine. (Aen. 1.278f)
On the topic of philosophy of history as we understand it today, even the philosopher par exemplar within this branch, Giambattista Vico was above all concerned with the schematisation of the science which explains the workings of the civil society of the world. That is knowledge per causas could be attained as degnita, propositions of knowledge that one can become intuitively certain of. The Neapolitan shares the belief with Augustine in Providence, the primacy of sociability and the subordination of reason to general ends. But it is evident that the motif of pilgrimage is specifically characteristic of Augustine, concentrating on origination and finality, ante-being to being to non-being, while Vico’s tracing of the origin of laws of the early Latins is firmly rooted in the comparative method of scientific analysis and that is focused on manifestation and process, wherein verum and factum could be unearthed for study and reference in a constructivist manner. Vico explicitly did not seek to explain factum by speculative principles alone and what is consciously certain is determined so as philologically individuated, even if the transition from poetic to rational consciousness produces the philosopher capable of reflecting(riflezione) upon universal history prior to the reversion to primordial condition. I mention the Neapolitan because he found in the doctrines of Terentius Varro through Augustine’s description the key with which he could reconcile human institutions with historical evidence and the eternal natural law, while his three stages of history and those men who define them, obscurum, fabulosum and historicum parallel the threefold theological divisions of Varro. However Vico is completely a product of his time not only given the perspective with which he inaugurated the New Science, but also in the belief that man forms Power by establishing community. So even where Vico is more faithful to the older belief in the source of Power with God, as opposed to Hobbes and Spinoza, he is among those who compromised the theological with the anthropological and elucidated a negotiated pactis subjectionis. It is no surprise that the enlightened despots harkened more to the Jesuit Giovanni Botero’s term Reason of State while denouncing Machiavelli, as effective right had permeated the European discourse thoroughly by the time of Frederick the Great, enlightened despot par excellence, guided by Voltaire, wrote Anti-Machiavel. This points to whether “philosophy of history” as we know today can be applied to what Augustine aimed to do. I would argue that considering the refutation of pagan polemics occupies only the first five chapters of Augustine’s mighty work, the broader theme of redemption is more important for the catechetical work to convey. Vico and Hegel, both conceived their histories in an attempt to remove the fundamental problem of atheism in history, or the operation of the process of history in the world by accidental mechanics, something which Augustinian redemption and the hope of the beyond did not seek to address directly. In Augustine, there is a completion of the philosophical movement towards ethico-politicisation begun by Plato and Aristotle(do the Gods love the pious because it is pious or is it pious because the Gods love it?), that is when politics achieves practical form as law, it ought to be as an ethical enterprise, not as one that exalts the factor of power in nature as primary, contra Thrasymachus. It is rather evident that as did Plato, Augustine presented the “highest life” in political terms. Neither philosophy of history nor political philosophy can claim Augustine entirely, which is perhaps why political theology did, because Augustine’s system is fundamentally an ethico-political one. The implication of a distinct historia sacra in the Scriptures entailed an opposite historia profana[i], that is created, certainly “lesser” time affected by incarnational miracle in history, fit aliquid novi in tempore. Two-directional intentionality is an important aspect of the Augustinian view of time and important to understanding his eschatology. The quality of not-time defines Eternal Being not as it’s endlessness, which would subordinate time-units to a series, but it’s timelessness, unlimited duration in “ever present eternity”. Beings in creation and history notice the mutability of time, while distensio animi(distension), allows man to measure the past by memory and the future by expectation(think Husserl’s pretension-retention), the latter view particularly pertinent with regards to the question of truth value of future contingents. The idea of imago dei, also relates to a unique perspective of the human mind being tripartite and unitary, by which it can recognise the Trinity as trischematic esse, vivere, intellegire[ii]. Esse is to be, to be is to live, to live is to recognise the subsistence of three substances as one. Augustine also has a negative statement which elucidates a proto-cogito or cogitatio, “nulli est dubitum nec quemquam intellegire qui non vivat, nec quemquam vivere qui non sit[iii]”. Measurement, which is spatial, is a product of the perception of passing, but only the present has being. Augustinian distension is not the subject’s experience of time as a zone of simultaneity which ignores meaning and event. Rather memory, prophecy and revelation act as the solvent in the total experience in time.
It should be noted that with the tendency to look back to the germ of historical conception, we moderns with our highly developed historical consciousness can only distinguish anticipation of consciousness, a seminal reason perhaps. Any discussion within this sphere must be in light of the debate between theologian Erik Peterson and jurist-philosopher Carl Schmitt in the middle of the 20th century on political theology. Political theology is properly definable as the interpretation of the science of divinity to justify continuous political form by analogy of divine government and human government, distinct from the original manifestation of a sacro-political mixed regime. Spinoza of course uses the word in the title of his most famous political work which sees the application of his ethics to political questions.But Carl Schmitt’s introduction of the term in current discourse, from his aptly titled work, Political Theology, was connected intimately with the modern concept of sovereignty. Therefore, his maxim, the sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception. Schmitt’s ouvre, continuing with the elaboration in his work Roman Catholicism and Political Form is concerned about detheologisation and the theological presuppositions of modern political concepts. After all, Schmitt argued that the contemporary contestation of sovereignty was rooted in the deistic denial of Providence and original sin(Carl Schmitt, Political Theology, Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, translated by George Schwab, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, 1985, pp. 36, 64-65). Thus, he incorporates into his juristic opinion and preference contra Kraabe and Kelsen for decisionism and the sharp distinction between normality and emergency. There is no better explanation of his life’s thesis in conjuction with political structure than the final Goethean epigram he chose to include in Political Theology II, eripuit caelum deo…Nemo contra hominem nisi homo ipsi[iv]. Part of his assertion in the second work mentioned is that the Church, apart from it’s supernatural form, has a natural postulate which represents a historical order with the possibility of influence upon political forms of varying economic conditions, that is visible form of unus corpus was a parallel presentation to the concept of the State itself. Schmitt’s notion of “historical formation” entailed that if a social institution persisted, with internal conflict, then the institution manifests a lasting attribute, that the conflicts between church and state produced secularism which would give way to sacred-secular analogy. It is worth bringing up the criticism of Hans Blumenberg, where defence of theopolitical analogy does not logically necessitate the positing of a secularisation thesis. To Schmitt, the eschaton and the resulting paralysis of history necessitated the role of the restrainer of the Antichrist, the sovereign. Erik Peterson, in response in his essay Der Monotheismus als Politisches Problem, declared the close of the possibility of Schmitt’s system, or better put it’s unmöglichkeit, theological impossibility. A previous article titled, “the Emperor Augustus in the judgement of Ancient Christianity” had also directly cited Schmitt. In his opinion, only in Judaism or Greco-Roman paganism could Schmitt’s political theology exist by virtue of the mystery of the Trinity existing within divinity itself as opposed to within creature. Peterson may have had Aristotle’s best government in mind, after all, the Stagirite believed in the clarity of decision and a singular ruling purpose. The Church, occupies the place of the earthly Kingdom of the Jews had, the divine unfolding occurred with the full realisation of the promise to the Jews. Peterson set Augustine against Eusebius of Caesarea, Constantine’s chronicler, the former liberating the Church from the earthly providentialism of Eusebius with regards to the Roman Empire. In context, more so than reason for the divine speciality of the Trinity, what impelled Peterson to such a strong refusal of political theology was the consideration that any analogical transfer to the political order of a divine reality came to contradict the essential eschatological perspective of Christianity, that is, the impossibility of considering the Kingdom of God consummated in human history in favour of the fine line in Christian eschatology of the expectation of deliverance, a proviso of patience intrinsically necessary before Parousia, true to Scripture(Galatians 4:4), and the ordained time(debiti fines) of Augustine[v]. It is clear that the Parthian arrow[vi] the parting shot by Peterson against Schmitt was personal, as the consummation of earthly happiness delivered by the State was not only a response to the state ideology of Stalin’s USSR, but equally in it’s dismissal of the monarchical analogy, a veiled criticism of Schmitt and his association in 1935 along with many other intellectuals with National Socialism and it’s Fuhrerprinzip, a clearer reference to the many abounding theories of Reichstheologie that had emerged in search for salvation with the fall of the Weimar Republic. This was not a novel critique, influential Weimar Catholic intellectual Konrad Beyerle had previously dismissed any possibility of defining a “political idea of Catholicism” when reviewing Political Form for the Allgemeine Rundschau in 1923. Romano Guardini’s essay The Rescue of the Political was also a critique of Schmitt’s work, wherein the notion that the Italian theologian pushes is that “the sovereign” is a genus within the political, thus subject to moral law. The German jurist had after all, in a 1933 pamphlet titled State, Movement and People which stamped the end of the beleaguered Republic, modelled his concept of Fuhrertüm on the pastoral relationship of shepherd and flock. In his view, the economic fulfilment of utopian politics, which was inherently unpolitical would leave only the Church as the source of political thinking and form, the unified state’s essential form is the true principle of representation after the relinquishment of representative authority by the bourgeoisie. The support of a presidential dictatorship under Hindenburg or that of von Papen or Schleicher in no way suggest an anticipatory assumed trajectory considering the fulfilment of such assumption of power by the Zentrumpartei was designed to quell perceived fanaticisms of the Left and the Right. But equally important is that the response of Peterson was in the short time between the assumption of power by the National Socialists and Schmitt’s ultimate denunciation in December 1936 by rival and the regime’s much more preferred jurist Otto Koellreuter as an “opportunist Catholic rooted in a Hegelian conception of State” which saw him leaving the Party and losing his editorial job at the Deutsche Juristen Zeitung. Theologia civilis to Schmitt was a part of the contingent nomos and political theology referred to political analysed analogically to theology as the question of sovereignty, that of quis iudicabit?(Who makes the law?). Peterson saw the acclamation of the soleness of God as a theophanic acclamation, surely in the context of theologian Otto Rudolf’s post-war explication on the characteristic of the sacred being numinous and solus. From Gregory Nazianzen’s Orations, Peterson makes it clear that there is no correspondence to the Trinity in creation, and so the embrace of monarchy, polyarchy and anarchy in the Trinity betrays the orthodox Cappadocian belief in synoikesis and perichoresis, mutual indwelling which would suggest that unitary extraneous action, ad extra, is the cause of unity. Peterson understood that the unity ushered by Rome by bringing together the orbus where warring oikumene existed prior, that Orosius followed Eusebius that per consequent, Christ ought to have been Romanised. Jacob Taubes noted the brilliance of the use of De Civitate Dei, III, 30, by Peterson, which is an admonishment of Rome’s glory as pivotal to Peterson’s retort. In this particular passage, which references the friendship of Cicero and Octavian, Peterson deliberately included and emphasised caecus atque improvidus futororum, blind and unforeseen was Cicero to the ambitions of Fulvia and ultimately, Octavian. That the pax Augusta was itself no unitary state of providence in history, Peterson shot the final arrow with his inclusion of Augustine’s quote from De Vera Religione, that arrogance has a “certain appetite for unity and omnipotence, but only in the realm of nature, which passes like a shadow”. This is to say, no historical system can have or ought to have the Kingdom of God as a telos, as it stands outside historical order. The etymological study Schmitt provides in his final work, Political Theology II, which posits two, contradictory yet simultaneously true definitions(by use) of stasis, to him entailed that staziason was a reference to the internal conflict between the Trinity[vii]. This rash move by Schmitt, a justification for civil conflict/strife between the activity of arche and dunamis, or monarchic and economic within the Trinity sought to salvage the possibility of political theology.
The matter of contention continued postwar not only with Schmitt’s reply, but also the involvement of pre-war reactionary and historian Ernst Kantorowicz through the publishing of his masterpiece, the King’s Two Bodies[viii]. By presenting the historical evidence for use of political theology with no perceived contradiction to the dogma of the Trinity and it’s bidirectionality(in terms of confluence of ideas) between Church and State, Kantorowicz sought to properly widen the scope of discussion. A rather curious opening of the main body of the text focuses on the establishment of a doctrine of the two natures of Christ which ultimately became the medieval “Two Bodies theory”, which Kantorowicz agrees was a Syriac innovation among many which were in close connection to Antiochene dyophysitic understandings of Christ’s divine and human nature, different from Cappadocian mysticism and the Augustine-Boethius vestigialis trinitatis. Giorgio Agamben, who takes the title of his work , “Kingdom and Glory” from Ernst Troeltsche is also an invaluable commentator on the Peterson-Schmitt debate. The Italian philosopher, in a strong demonstration of the fundamentality of the economic in Christian patristic throught, rightly traces the origin of civil administration to abuses stemming from medieval angelogy and the Scholastic innovation of aevum as a temporal plane to accommodate the angels within the previously rudimentary Augustinian tempus-aeternitas division of existence. But I am cautious of the idea that glorification which causes the sacral and the profane’s boundaries to dissolve should mean that Carolingian political theology resonated with Fascist Italy, even if Kantorowicz’s epilogue in his other work, Laudes Regiae contains a final example of the usage of the Christus acclamation in an Italian songbook from the Fascist era. Kantorowicz, in his introduction to his larger, later and more famous work, against the cynicism of Maitland, argues that Medieval political theology was a mystery which he sought to unravel and contextualise in light of theological understanding. Agamben’s equivocation of medieval coronal acclamations and the modern media’s buttressing of mass democracy ought to be consider on form alone. However, equally one may apply Thomas Bisson's provocative thesis on the personal, but violent patrimonialism of medieval civilisation to be "apolitical" but economical(pertaining to the household) to this framework. To draw closer parallels, particularly through the lens of a “monopoly of violence” would be a bridge too far. Kantorowicz’s masterful analysis of the Liuthar Gospel illustrations shows that theological justifications did not come from the divine monarchia alone, but rather more so from the oikonomic reign of Christ in the understanding of the Incarnation as double Word. The use by the Ottonian “Liturgical monarchy” of the Ambrosian(St.Ambrose of Milan) term for Christ as gigas geminae substantiae(dual-substantiated giant) reflects the position in the image of the crowned Otto III above Tellus, the personification of the Earth, ad praedicandum aeterni regis evangelium, crowned by the hand of the Father to preach the gospel of the eternal King. It is clear from the illustration that the mimesis was based on both iconographic traditions of Western Maiestas Domini and the Eastern Deësis. Also during the co-Emperorship in Constantinople of Constantine Pogonatos and his brothers Heraclius and Tiberios from 659-681 the justification of the tripartite governance on the model of the Trinity in heaven[ix], presenting an interesting exception to the continued Eusebian model used in the Eastern Roman Empire where the idea of God the Father and the Emperor as the twin roots of blessing continued to be in force. The reflection of political form from theological concepts was not limited to the three-ness of the Trinity alone, but also rooted in the munus triplex of Christ as prophet, priest and King. Even in the Mezzogiorno, which was a buffer region between the German and Byzantine imperial spheres, the reference of Kantorowicz to the mosaic in the church in La Martorana of Sicilo-Norman king Roger II in explicit Christomimesis further solidified his thesis[x]. The historian had brilliantly brought to the fore the complicated interpretation of Augustine in light of the reception of Paulus Orosius by medievals, which Peterson had termed “Augustus theology”. It is worth remembering that Orosius, a native of Braga, most likely escaping due to the settlement of the Suevi in Galicia, had ended up as Augustine’s student in relatively tranquil North Africa and found himself "a Roman among Romans, a Christian among Christians”, rightly one would think ‘Augustus had been Christianised and Christ Romanised’ he would argue in favour of the special relation of Rome and the Church[xi]. The Spaniard concedes that his universal history is a sequence of unremitting calamities, which are a constant fixture of salvific divine discipline, such as the Sack of 410. The medieval view of Orosius being a protégé of Augustine and his work reflecting Augustinian principles is best exemplified by John of Salisbury’s comments in his Politicratus[xii]. We also find in the Chronicle(titled Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus), of Otto of Friesing, who was related to the Imperial Salians and the Hohenstaufens, utilisation of Augustinian themes through an Orosian lens, even down to it’s scope and genre as a universal history. The prologue to Book III explicitly uses the term praeparatio evangelica in reference to the new German-Roman state, while the prologue of Book V states that the “two cities” clearly a reference to the Augustinian concept, have coalesced into one as the Empire. [xiii]We see a general trend in Caesaropapism of the Ottonian, Salian and Hohenstaufen ideologies in which the sacerdotal role of the Emperor is magnified as part of the confusion by which the Emperor was assumed to be a member and head of the communio sanctorum of the Church. It is notable that the Ottonian claim to Imperial supremacy in the Church was not a weak one, even if flawed from the start. The imperial right to appoint bishops(lost with the Concordat of Worms in 1122), as Otto made his brother Bruno the Great in Cologne and the deposition of Benedict V by German soldiers is evidence for the necessity of the mediation of the Emperor in the settling of ecclesial feuds, particularly in the obscurum of corruption and vice which marred the papal office. This was not lost on the savvy William of Ockham, who noted the oath of Otto to the pontiff to not be one of deference to the temporal superiority of the Roman bishop[xiv]. And Otto, himself harkened back to Justinian, who himself claimed primacy in the hierarchy in the Fide Catholica during the events of the Second Council in Constantinople, firmly above that of the bishops of the old and new Rome as Vicarius Christi. But for all the claims, it should be sufficient to remind the reader that Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by Leo III in 800AD and not by himself, as Napoleon did. This is why the Investiture Controversy was such a seminal event in that the fundamental contradiction of Christendom was laid bare. The deposition of Gregory VI at the request of Henry III gave the Salians the same assurance of the sacral power of their office. The short-lived harmony between the young Otto III and Frenchman Pope Sylvester II, who wrote to the Emperor the famous words, “Nostrum, nostrum est imperium Romanum!”, was the worldly ideal which fuelled the dreams of Dante. Dante in De Monarchiadistinguished what he thought as eternal virtues in the class of humanitas, mainly reintroduced Roman values which morally guided the secular realm and the separate Christianitas. He also elevated the supra-individuality of both Pope and Emperor, giving them celestial/angelic status. In Schmitt’s consideration and evaluation of the Counter-Revolutionary thinkers in light of his described process of detheologisation, the requirement of the dictator as replacement for the monarchy was a favourable option, which he took from the Spanish arch-conservative Juan Donoso Cortes[xv]. The sovereign who lies between anarchy and constitutional order, could save the norm, and by Kelsen turning towards legitimacy for the state of normality, Schmitt feared the inability of human action analogical to God’s miracles to establish natural order. But the natural fallacy of Schmitt, for all his insight, in consideration of his appeal to theology as has been addressed was the transfer of the saving power which only Christ can offer to the dictator or emergency sovereign. On the other hand, Walter Benjamin would argue that exception destroys the governance of the sovereign. Peterson noted that both the Orosian and Eusebian schemes were ambiguous and assumed that a converted Empire could live up to the ethical standards of the Gospel through rejuvenation of its structural foundations, whereas Augustine preferred to set his goal to what was purely transcendental and beyond the debate of improvement in the political sphere, where the involvement of the faith with the fate of an iniquitous Empire for its evangelical message would diminish the message of the faith itself. It is worth noting that even the two panegyric chapters from Book V about Theodosius and Constantine which formed by themselves a Christian speculum for princes later, was abound with praise of personal as opposed to political virtues, more akin to the Roman literary tradition’s use of moral exempla than any direct political affiliation.
Rome and Jerusalem:
Augustine objected to the philosophical concepts posited by the systems which influenced him. Platonic and Stoic justice were subsumed into an impersonal cosmic reason. Without Divine personality, subject to pan-cosmic recta ratio, the guarantee of moral law’s authority would fall short, unable to bind conscience in submission to moral law, Roman legalism would collapse into neccesitarianism. This is particularly elaborated by Augustine in Book VII, in which he raises a criticism against Cicero and Varro’s conception of God as impersonal world-soul in relation to the argument from Divine Foreknowledge, which determines the immanent and divine relationship to creation to be personal. This is because Augustinian natural law was reinterpreted from Cicero on Pauline lines and redefined the Roman proposition, “natura id est, Deus”, drawing a sharp boundary between natural law and nature and embedding divinity in nature as opposed to nature as divinity. St.Augustine did hold to the Ciceronian vision of true justice in a “state”, only to assert that by this criterion, Rome had never been a true State, nor had any other State[xvi], rather it was a civitas impiorum[xvii]. I will bring attention to the reader that Cicero did believe in a teleology of fallenness, as evidenced by the statement, quae fragilia essent et caduca. The first societas is of man and deus, agnatio, where natura is the single principle of imitation for ars ratio, equivalent to deus. The Church Father lay the framework for a new patria[xviii], the regnum caelorum above the world of men[xix]. On precisely this point, Augustine surpasses Lactantius and Eusebius. Lactantius, had, perhaps due to the insecurity of the faith after a time of great persecution, appealed to the pre-Jupiterean golden age of the Romans, and the fulfilment of Christ’s subsistence being like the golden age when Saturn lived among the people. Lactantius, an apologist who had dealt with the political implications of Christianity before it’s assumption of power, had equally taken from the eminent Roman orator’s concept of justice, prefiguring the Bishop of Hippo in stressing that philosophers could never fully understand justice. Cicero distrusted living memory and thought of glory as ephemeral and passing in his Tuscalan Disputations. However, the political community is still the final concern of the great lawyer[xx], even if the substance of Gloria Verita has been usurped by the cruder gloria of the military men of his time and the previous generation who sought unadulterated power. True glory specifically has the lustre of impermanence. It is unsurprising to find Cicero utilise musical terms, as Plato did in Book II of the Laws(Nomos meant laws and melody), precisely that consensus was dependent on concentus of harmony despite distinctis sonae from various groups in the city. Here, Cicero mentions the interiority of the statesman, se contemplare, which citizens can imbibe for better moral effect. The true distinction lies then in the selflessness of acquiring fame, by involving oneself in the public domain as opposed to the selfishness of acquiring glory for oneself. It is virtue-in-itself that is the path to glory, told by the immortalised Scipio Africanus, a man of egregia facinora(outstanding deeds, used often by Sallust) to his descendant Aemilianus from heaven(…from the circle that shines forth among the stars) in the Somnium Scipionis of De Republica. Indeed, where we do find humilitas used in the work of the great Roman jurist, it is a device in oratory, secondary to the gift of eloquentia[xxi] where it is the “modest presence” of the orator which properly disposes the judges in audience favourably towards the orator himself. It is strongly evident in the rebuttal of Laelius to Philus that the association of glory to service to the patria as benignitas is why Iustitia, itself becomes a precondition to said glory. To Cicero, real glory is a real substance, substantia evidentia, a term he coins that roots the glory grammatically to something that is perceptible and seen, by it’s etymological root in video, to see. How is it real and realised? “… “it is the agreed approval of good men, the unbiased verdict of judges deciding honestly the question of pre-eminent merit; it gives back to virtue the echo of her voice”, those deemed worthy of resolving disputes[xxii]. Sallust, working through Stoic intermediaries also, expounded the notion that the mind was the ruling principle of life, where the virtuos man attains Gloria by the exercise of ingenium, which would ensure gloriam quarere nec in vitae sed in memoria. Ingenium roots virtue in practice or conduct as bonae artes and which seperates virtus from pure ambitio. Both Roman writers appealed to maiorum imagines, ranked higher in aristocratic perception, immortalitas attained by ingenium industra than the achievement of triumph and laudatio sung in the mortal life of a man. The Ciceronian politeia, that envisioned by Stoic successors, the res populi, would put justice, Iustitia, above all, even if Cicero’s Scipio found it inconceivable that the ideal civil society would be without injustice[xxiii]. It was immutable and eternal and to be actualised in the ideal, abstracted Roman polis. And for Cicero, despite his opposition to the “law of the stronger” which the skeptic Carneades and Philus in De Republica subscribed to, Gloria was bound to fama and dignitas in pursuit of honos(high office)[xxiv]. Reintroduction of Roman jurisprudence at a later date would bring back Agrippa Menenius’s image of the body politic before the plebeian seccesionists into vogue, but that is another discussion. The Roman state never resolved it’s problem of legal framework, the Empire was essentially a collection of cives. And the imperial Roman polity had to contend with it’s ancient laws and the necessary enactments of reformed laws, which often contradicted one another. Further, the incorporation of Greek attitudes in law, such as the sharp division between nomos and polemos, which did not exist in Roman law previously, added to the confusion further[xxv], and desired concordia rather brought certamen dominationis upon it’s own citizens. Ius, law, could manifest as violence, such as the case of vindicatio, which has ancient etymological roots in vis, roughly translatable to applied force. In short, where the organisation of coercive violence manifested in the divine law of the polis in the Greeks, it was distributed as procedural war within private law, leges privitae in the Roman customs[xxvi].
The antitheses which converged with the philosophical construction of the pax and Imperium as pax deorum, in line with Stoic natural order, caused Rome to be wrecked by multiple civil conflicts because the procedure for resolution of civil distress became ad hoc responsum. The traditionalist, Cicero, himself did not view the relation between Law and peace as the Romans of old did, Silent leges inter arma demonstrates a collapse of the distinction between the private and the public within a general legal norm. Both popular will and princeps could, theoretically enforce dominance. With regards to the Empire which came after Cicero’s martyrdom, by the reign of Septimius Severus, the imperator had absolute proprietary rights over every inhabitant of the empire, empowered not only with the power to decree any law but also to abrogate as per his wish. The translatio(transfer) of maiestas populus populi romani to the distinct person of the Imperator as maiestas realis, a change justified by assumption of ius augurum, derived from the power of augury, foresight and it’s association with wisdom, hence the specific assumption of the title, Augustus, by Octavian resulted in significant abuse of sovereign power. In both Ulpian and in the Stoics, we see great emphasis on absolute dominium of ownership, which not only applied to strict paterfamilias but also more dangerously, to the relation between Imperator and subjects. Rome’s pride, it’s legislative branch, was turned into the instrument of Augustus by the conferring of the ius respondendi on them. By this, laws could be formulated by the will of the imperator which were binding to the judges but not the imperator. This remade the law in the new philosophical Pax, represented by the contradictory Edictas published annually simultaneously as the announcements for the office of consuls, privy to the Imperator alone, in that it was based on his imperium. The shuffling of this office, owing to the corruption of the original limited military capacity the term Imperator used to refer to and a mistrust for hereditary inheritance of a source of power stemming from Republican sentiments, made the laws of the Roman Imperium completely arbitrary. Worse was the reinterpretation of lex maiestas originally found in the Twelve Tables as a law binding every citizen to the punishment for treason, as a law against blasphemy to the state personified, the Imperator. The paranoid Tiberius we know so well from Maranon’s personality study essentially devoted part of his fiscus to the maintenance of a professional class of political spies, the delatores. These spies who would then be used by Sejanus to inflict brutal slaughter of the Roman political class and then by Nero in his purges, to be repeated continuously in the Imperial period, both Principate and Dominate. The Imperial claims of emperor after emperor as dominus et deus were repeatedly torn down after their depositions and the Senate’s repeated declarations of damnatio memorae corroded the institution’s legitimacy. It is clear why Augustine quoted Sallust, who wrote in the times of the Jugurthine conflict of the invasion of avaritia in Roman life, “imperium ex iustissimo et optimo, crudele intolerandumque factum”[xxvii]. The reference here sought to explain the reason why avaritia had overthrown the bonae artes, and why the primary objective of wealth had forced into submission the gloria imperium. For him, it was not the removal of the metus hostilis, Carthage, or Egypt, that led to the entrenchment of avaritia and lubido but the lack of recognition of the fons of virtue itself. The Imperial State which attains pax with force is nothing but a magna latrocinium(a great robber-band) in Augustine’s eyes.
Of the Greeks and the Jews: Kingship in Philo and Stobaeus
Philo of Alexandria, was a Hellenistic Alexandrian Jew and notable Scriptural theologian prior to Gamaliel and Paul famous for his allegorisation of the Scripture. Within the corpus of Philo, the vitae of Moses particularly, paints a portrait of Moses as a Platonic philosopher-king which precedes the later Alexandrian Christian Platonism idea found in Clement and Origen, who also saw Moses as a Platonic philosopher before Plato himself. Indeed the superiority of the quality of the Mosaic Laws, and thus Moses’s personality as lawgiver, is undoubtedly an opinion borrowed by later Christian authors from Philo. The curious aspect of Philo’s work is the Hellenistic influence, often pointing to Stoic notions of cosmic order. But it is also important to note parallels to Pythagorean or Neopythagorean views of Kingship. Philo’s commentary on the Decalogue contains an excerpt dedicated to the Great King[xxviii], where the first commandment becomes an explicit establishment of “God’s monarchical rule”[xxix]. Philo describes God with the same virtues he attributes to Moses as a King. The royal imitation of God, or the King as Platonic image(eidos) to the archetype, the kingship of God, is also found in Philo’s speculae. Already in Philo, we see the need for explication of the granularities of political theology. With reference to Exodus 7:1, in which Moses is explained to be a given as a “god to the Pharoah”, Philo does not interpret this in the traditional Hebraic sense, which would have taken into account the angelic host, bnai-elohim, but rather takes the Hellenic route in portraying Moses as a Greek sage, the ideal ruler devoted to the eternal realities of God. Philo is also aware, as evident from his exegesis on Exodus of the apophatic nature of the text. The reference to “eternal Kingship”(Exodus 15:18) and the deeply transcendent “I am who I am”(Exodus 3:14). But the patrimonial parallel is also used in commentaries on Genesis, we find another analogy, between the Abrahamic covenant and the possessions of rulers, where it is absolute possession of property and the legal inheritance of property which defines royalty[xxx]. The Neopythagorean author from Late Antiquity, Stobaeus Macedonius borrows in his anthology, which addresses Kingship, from Aristotle, Sthenidas and Cleanthes. The Stagirite sage, recounted to his students that phronesis(practical knowledge) was special to the ruler, and that the absolute ruler, megalopsychic by nature, surpassing all men in power would be a god among men. Likewise, enkrateia and philanthropia would ensure the Hellenic monarch was regarded as Eurgetēs(benefactor). Stobaeus’s concern, as all Pythagoreans, was that of mathematical order, which implied descending right nature in conformity with cosmic order. It is striking that Sthenidas of Locri, author of the Neopythagorean work, Peri Basileon(On Kingship) wrote that Theos is “king by nature and that the king on earth is king by imitation”[xxxi]. The Matthean depiction of Christ, as Augustine keenly noted in his De Consensu Evangeliorum, was that of royalty. The Jesus of this Gospel embodies the Hellenic prautēs, used specifically in the procession into Jerusalem, in reference to the prophecy of Zechariah. Closely following Matthew 11:27-29, which begins with a theological statement on the Incarnation, Jesus calls the listeners to him because he is praus. A work written contemporaneously within Philo’s lifetime, the Alexandrian Deuterocanonical text Wisdom of Solomon, provides us of an example of the changing tides in philosophical direction within ethico-politics. The prayer attributed to Solomon(Wisdom 9.55) is an exhortation to created man, given the responsibility of managing the earth’s other creatures. The famous contrast of the just and the wicked from the book sets a new paradigm for the inheritance of Kingship, that of righteousness bestowed by Wisdom and lends insight into the eschatological dynamic in the work. The coronation of the righteous(Wisdom 5:16)The “incorruptible light of the law”, a reference to Wisdom(chokmah/Sophia) herself used later grounds the universality of the Mosaic Law, fulfilling the aim of the Septuagint’s Messianism. The Solomon of the text and Wisdom remain distinguished from one another, the relationship is imputational and paedogogical as opposed to the ideal conformation found in Philo and expected from Stobaeus. “Reception of wisdom” would be refined from Wisdom literature into what we currently understand as revelation.
It is from a fellow North African, Tyconius, that Augustine borrows the basic concept of the Heavenly City from even though it’s rough outline can be found in the simple statement from Philippians 3:20, which refers to “citizenship in heaven” and we know that Tyconius’s basic distinction came from the Old Latin Apocalypse of John, which fit into his generally apocalyptic ecclesiology. This is not to ignore the possible influence of the Stoics even in such a conception, if we recall that Marcus Aurelius envisioned the World as a state or a City in his Meditationes[xxxii]. Or the Manicheans for that matter, if the Pelagian Julian of Eclanum’s jibe at the Church father had any merit, if we take into consideration their belief in the Zoroastrian-influenced Realms of Light and Darkness. Not only is Augustine’s past as a Manichean important to consider here, but also a challenging debate with Fortunatus in his bishopric-town of Hippo, where despite the historical consensus that Augustine emerged victorious, the Manichee’s strong retort to Augustine’s bringing up of the Nebridian conundrum spurred a reading of the Pauline corpus and an abandonment of his previously libertarian views on free choice[xxxiii]. It could even be Johannine literature, which has many dualist light-darkness references possibly derived from Essene teaching. Augustine also points to the Psalms as proof for the existence of such a City even in Davidic literature[xxxiv]. But De Doctrina Christiana Book III contains a summary of Tyconius’s Rules(7 rules), which is undoubtedly where the sharp division between the Two Cities and it’s inhabitants, caritates and amaricantes, as duo genera homines, originates[xxxv]. Some strong words did come from Augustine which further confuse the reader, as Augustine explains the exact temporal location of the Pilgrim City, “This whole life of human affairs is a confusion…in this confusion, in this Babylon, Sion is held captive”[xxxvi].We find a striking reference to the societas of God and of the devil in the summary by Augustine, pointing us to a very possible source for the vision of the Two Cities. This comes as a surprise certainly considering Tyconius was a Donatist, albeit a moderate one. Augustine, however would not have had an issue with receiving Donatist opinion as there had been a clear distinction between schismatic Donatism and other “heretical” sects by Augustine’s patristic predecessors in North Africa such as Optatus of Milevis. However, against the Donatists, Augustine adapted from Paul’s language in the letter to the Colossians on the unity of the believing body, to assert his view of the Church in communion as totus Christus caput et corpus against the schismatic Donatists[xxxvii]. It is also known that Augustine’s stance on the coercion of Donatists and the confiscation of their property by Imperial officials did provide the Decretalists with grounds on which State power could be utilised and justified for religious coercion. It is also true that his view towards the intervention of the State gradually turned in favour around the turn of the century, especially marked in the Contra Epistulam Parmeniani, when Donatists had used state judiciaries to indict some Maximianists, a breakaway splinter from their own fold. Augustine’s building of the bipartite schema of the City of God and the City of Man can be traced to the very symbolical comments in the Enerrations, “Si non habet rem non suam publicam Christus, non habet fiscum suum”[xxxviii]. Note fisc here is used as a personal term, not understood as we would today as treasury or aerarium. We see here the political terms such as res publica used symbolically in reference to the Kingdom of God. An interesting parallel is when he writes in a commentary, “Aliter enim servit quia homo est, aliter quia etiam rex est”[xxxix], it is one thing when the King serves God as a man, and another as he serves him as King. We also find a qualification regarding the identification of the Cives Dei, where it is stated that “Ergo et nunc ecclesia regnum Christi est regnumque coelorum”[xl]. In that the Church is Christ’s Kingdom, it is not one of perfect peace, differentiated from the final eschatological kingdom.. It can only be concluded that the structure built Augustine folds seamlessly, through continued relevance of the political and the Pauline dispensation for authority(Romans 13), into the realm of political interpretation, which required the addressing of the destiny of the legal and political institutions with regards to divine supervention on their necessary existence. The Augustinian resolution to the problem of power is a reorientation, summed up by his advice to a Christian ruler, “to make power the handmaid of His majesty”[xli]
A medievalist’s tangent:
Among one of the first avowed interpreters of note of Augustine and representative of older Augustinian political theology was another Hispano-Roman, St. Isidore of Seville. As per Dvornik, Isidore represented Augustinisme politique like no other, rendering the “natural state” as only useful in service of the Church. In Book V of the Etymologies, which also contained the legal chapters of relevance, Isidore borrowed Augustine’s sixfold division of world history(aetates mundi) from De Cathechizandis rudibus[xlii], later developed in Civitate Dei. An appropriate statement reflecting the descending thesis of government and law was given by St Augustine, “Ipsa jura humana per imperatores et reges saeculi distribuit Deus generi humano”[xliii]. Isidore notably, supported the formation of a new ethnic identity in Spain, both his Chronicles(Greater and Lesser) sought to praise the Visigoths as having superceded the Romans in glory, which was different from the approach another post-Imperial Roman writer, Cassiodorus used. The Danielic four kingdoms schema helped restore continuity to the dominant epistemic paradigm, Cassiodorus used this to great effect, arguing that the eastern branch, the Ostrogoths, by extension of translatio imperii had taken over the reins of Empire and the mantle of the kingdom of cosmic salvation, a kind of adaptation to Augustinian dispensatio temporalis Christology. This is not comparable to the ideational articulation of the objective course of history as we know today from an ideological framework, but it did seek to justify and comprehend new paradigms in history. The use of diachronic historical periodisation naturally stems from a desire to reconcile the historia sacra of Augustine to the political ascendancy of regional sovereigns, itself an example of an attempt to fuse the sacred and profane. The judgements and definitions of the great Spanish saint were the main source, along with Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis, for Gratian’s decretals in the Concordia Discordantium Canonum and the greater Romano-canonical legal culture of the Middle Ages. 20 of the 27 chapters from Book V in the Etymologiae’s legal chapters are copied, nearly word-for-word by Gratian from St.Isidore due the clarity of listed dictae. Gratian’s 3rd Distinction on privilegia for instance, is based primarily on chapter 18 from Isidore’s most valued work. Gratian acknowledged Isidore’s presuppositions on faith and reason(instinctu naturae) to custom law so thoroughly that he concluded that all law which was valid and written was constitutio sive ius[xliv] and all unwritten laws were consuetudo, with equal jurisdiction. This was despite their differences with regards to the ideal law of succession, Isidore believing the right of natural succession fundamental to natural law, while Gratian deeming the vitae of institutions safeguarded by elective succession. It is also worth mentioning that the first definition of forus in it’s original application as a court of appeals whose authority derived from the iuris status(legal state) prior to it’s political manifestations as regional autonomous bodies, such a definition clearly found with, “Forus est exercendarum litium locus... Constat autem forus causa, lege et iudice”[xlv]. On the manner and matter of the princeps, we find a thoroughly Augustinian premise in Isidore’s Etym. X.3, derived from the speculum of princes, , reges a regendo et recte agendo(Kings govern as long as they do so with rectitude)[xlvi]. In his other popular work, the Sententiae, we find a comment on Kingship and it’s relation to virtue. That the key to increasing iustitia in his realm, the King must demonstrate humilitas[xlvii]. At the Fourth Council of Toledo(633), which Isidore presided over, the backdrop of the deposition of King Suinthila by Sisenand meant that the Council tried it’s utmost, for the sake of stability, to reinforce the idea that Kingship had divine origins. We see appearance of the term minister Dei in the 75th decretal of the Council, with an aim to limit royal power for the purpose of uniting the patria and the gens through Isidore’s political formulations. The King was a minister of God in his own right, and the ideal King was to “rule in humbleness(humilitas) of heart, so that none of his subjects would receive capital punishment by ordeal but by public agreement of leaders… thus Kings rejoice in the populus, the populus in the King and God in both”[xlviii]. The Toledan councils also assumed the purpose of being the confluence of transmission for both ecclesial and royal power for the sake of internal stability. Gratian also directly used Augustine, often in support of definitions given by Isidore. The largest group of decretals which are sourced from Augustine and include references to princeps, are in Case 23, questions 1-5, which are concerned with the use of force by both ecclesiastical and secular princes, primarily found in Distinction X. It is important to remember that Gratian formalised the subordination of princely power to the ecclesiastical prior to our considerations on the limits of sovereign authority. Two important canons from St.Augustine concern the help from kings sought by the church against its enemies and the punishment of evil men by the church. They both cite Psalm 2.2, “The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together,” and justify the use of force by kings to protect peace and order. One does not find in the canonists or Isidore a preference for the potestas ordinis in opposition to the larger ecclesia and with the same effect, Huguccio’s commentary on the Decretum emphasises both the power of the Pope and that of the ecclesial communitas. And in a canon epistle entitled “The peace of the church is assisted by the severity of princes,” Augustine drew a parallel between “our intercession,” that is of the clergy, and “your severity,” that is of princes. In the conception of law, the omnipotent Divine Law, Lex Divina, is dependent upon the voluntas Dei, the Divine Will. In this sense, immanent human law exists as a direct product of ut omnia sint ordinatissmia. The redemption of an individual and their admittance into the City of God entails a greater attunement to the divinely ordained order of existence. This also means that human will’s creative aspect is a mirror to the free creative acts of God which manifest laws. Sequentially, the divine law precedes the power of human positive law. In this sense, Ulpian’s maxim, “Iustitia est constans et perpetua voluntas jus suum cuique tribuendi”[xlix](Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to each one his rights), which grounds the inviolability of law in it’s immutability but does nothing more than formalise on the level of consent the decision of state, is undone. The principle of legitimation shifts to the realisation of laws brought forth by the omnipotent Divine Will. Augustine’s dialogue with Evodius on their return from Milan lends some insight into the notion of eternal law, specifically referred to as summa ratio in the manner of Cicero first, then referred to as Lex Aeterna[l]. This law must always be obeyed and is “eternal and unchangeable”. It is also important to point out that if honours were justly given in accordance with temporal law, “this temporal vicissitude was drawn from that eternity”[li] For instance, Bl. Duns Scotus would, nearly nine centuries after Augustine, would distinguish between potentia absoluta and potentia ordinata, the systemisation of the latter being built on the perfect order of the former. This no doubt is an explication from the beatified Scotsman on Civitate Dei XIX 13-24, in which the pantheistic naturalism of the Stoics is countered with the parallel between due order and natural order. The theory of synchronic contingency, which Scotus affixed to a real possibility of the opposite state of affairs existing as possible momentarily, or put differently, that unrealised possibilities of ordained and absolute power are real as-postulation. The contingency of reality guarantees human and Divine free choice(with right reason), allowing Scotus to tread the narrow road Augustine made between the residual determinism of Manicheanism and the libertarianism of Pelagianism. The control of highest power lies in the immediate production of what does not involve a contradiction. He favourably cites Augustine with regards to “the disposition of God to act together with things and allow them proper actions”[lii]. This can only be understood through the order of eminence, wherein God is the most eminent nature with intensive actuality in a hierarchy of perfection. Concurrently, William of Ockham fundamentally agreed on the statement that law was a jurisprudential concept that was limited to comprehension by voluntary agents alone. The important question here is that of the Divine liberty of indifference, which allows Ockham to give reasons for the existence of positive law, as there is no Divine obligation to creatures, that the Divine power could suspend all created agency at Will. Ockham’s pessimism extended to natural reason, which in his view, could not possibly demonstrate the First cause as “intensively infinite” and cause of all producibles[liii]. St.Thomas Aquinas also wrote that promulgation of Divine Law, which binds by force, instils in non-rational creatures essential principles that order nature to an end. The creation of a different order in a possible world, within which values and morals would exist as absolute magnitudes, stemming from the Divine Will, would then cause a voluntaristic comprehension of divine action becomes necessary to elucidate[liv]. Though the pagan value hierarchy was attacked with the polemical utilisation of humilitas, Christian society would have realised the necessity of hierarchy, even in it’s redefined form. In St. Thomas Aquinas’s view, civil law’s subjection to ius gentium addresses the necessity of intermediaries in reaching the final End. The difference was to the Angelic Doctor, man was ens sociale et politicum. I am sceptical about a discussion that greatly distinguishes between the medieval Augustinian and Aristotelian views of the cause of proximate authority. But the Augustinians always argued in favour of the antecedence of the familial unit, bonum familiae ahead of the political unit in naturality. “Amicitia civum… est ex determinata propinquitate gradu”[lv], that civic friendship would have no coherence as a relationship without the basis of the principal parts of the family. And so, the political vision of Christendom was not purely based on internal diversity of customs, but on relations between Christian polities in Europe which agreed on a common ground of discourse on the essential nature of man, despite the roots of ius gentium fundamentally arising from a Roman explication of war against the hostis, and concepts such as Pax, Foedus and Indutiae. Isidore’s divergence from Ulpian can be marked by the relation yet distinction between the aequitas(equity) and Iustitia by which equity signifies primordial natural law just as justice is derived from written law. Imperium, in opposition to the Roman interpretation of Ulpian, devolved in Medieval law into a set of franchises, imperium merum specifically synonymised with suprema potestas, but there was a greater application of imperium mixtum. Already in the Catalan marches, to be a free peasant of an alous, an aloer, meant to possess summum dominium and servitude to no master. One could say Venice, as a cive, was an Imperium in it’s own right, or earned the claim because the cive was regnal and did not recognise, de facto, a superior power to itself. The Doge was somewhat primus inter pares and the populus honorabilis in contrast to the ignobile did not represent an estate like they did in say medieval Germany. We find in Bartolus of Saxoferrato’s jurisprudential work even the power of imperium merum being applicable, as a species, to being wielded by inferior powers within a hierarchy[lvi]. If we think of Andrew Willard Jones’s idea that the “sacramental Kingdom” of Louis IX and it’s institutions do not fit the dual model of Church-State, we only ought to look at legislation of the time, such as the enacted Beuavais Customs which allowed the right of feud with the intention of maintenance of negotium pacis et fides[lvii], eliminating the possibility of equivocating the anachronistic tag of a modern monopolistic Weberian Staat.
The Carolingian vision, which would ultimately fashion the very idea of Europe, sought legitimacy from the ecclesial power of Rome and the Frankish realm under Charlemagne thought itself to be a realisation of the Civitas Dei on earth. De Civitate Dei, especially its speculum principis was a particular favourite of Charlemagne, who would listen to the work being read by a courtier in Aachen, according to Einhard’s chronicle[lviii]. In a more striking example, Frischulf of Lisieux’s universal Chronicle used Daniel and Orosius’s four kingdoms schema to highlight a transfer of the divine gift of sovereignty from the Assyrians to the Persians, then the Greeks to the Romans, finally descending on the Carolingian realm. A successor to Arquiliere, F.L Ganshof, in his work The Coronation of Charlemagne elucidated more clearly that the Empire was viewed as a prefiguration of the City on earth[lix]. It is unsurprising that in Alcuin of York’s epistles, Charlemagne is described as an ideal Christian Emperor, matched in virtue to Constantine and Theodosius, who are deliberately portrayed as antecessores. There is no doubt the campaign against the Saxons was viewed as an imitation of the marches of Cynegius. As his tutor, Alcuin tended to remind Charlemagne of his imperium, but also of his sapientia. Where Imperium would serve to subject different nations(gentes), in Epistle 257, Alcuin strongly makes it clear to his patron that sapientia, bestowed by God, is so that His will would be known better to the Emperor. It is clear that this power is greater than the bestowing of the Imperium, and that as princeps populi christiani, the role of the Emperor was sacerdotal. The responsibility of establishing pax and iustitia. The British scholar lauds Charlemagne’s realm as perpetuae pacis civitas[lx]. In discussing the three most powerful Christian rulers, Alcuin notes rather bluntly that while the Pope had apostolic sublimity and the Emperor in Constantinople imperial dignity, Charlemagne alone had divine dispensation which complemented his regal dignity and “exceeded the other dignities in power”[lxi]. But we also find, ironically, in the term populi Christiani the origins of the communi consilio that would shape medieval politics. Even earlier, in a decree of Charlemagne’s grandson Charles II(the Bald), the Edictum Pistense(864), with the striking use of the phrase, Quoniam lex consensu populi et constitutione regis fit[lxii]. With regards to the interpretation and historiography of the term “consensus”, we must be wary of the Rechtschule[lxiii] interpretations in the 19th century. I will come to Otto Brunner later, but it is important to note that the conventus(think, convention) in Coulaines in 843 called by Charles the Bald after his allotment of West Francia, laid the foundation for a foedus concordae salubris in the last capitula(Frankish decretal)[lxiv]. The emphasis of reciprocity was in maintain the honor of the convened members and applied to his whole realm. Such evidence and categorisation contextualises the medieval legal culture and the perception of an emerging Christendom, and it is true then that Einhard’s praise for Charlemagne as a “codifier of laws”, especially in his decreed notation of various Germanic tribal codes(Gundobad’s Burgundian law, Alemannic, Bavarian law) speaks to an attempt at imitatio imperii, as the Romans used to consider the codification of law into a written system a mark of civilisation among peoples, even if the practical effect did not wipe away the tribal territorial organisation as Länder, which became gerichtsgemeinde in fullness.
Two decades after the Fourth Council, at the Eight Council of Toledo(653) presided by King Recceswintha, decreed the finished Forum Iudicum, or the Visigothic Code, inspired by the contribution to law made by Isidore of Seville. Amalgamating Germanic tribal law and Roman formal law in view of Christian ethics, it thus became the first Christian public law. In this legal testimony also is a strong declaration which realised Christianised maxim of legibus alligatus, “The royal power, like the whole of the people, is bound to respect the laws. Obeying the will of heaven, we give, to ourselves as well as to our subjects, wise laws”[lxv]. Of particular interest is the connection drawn between the Visigothic Code, in use in the Christian polities of Northern Iberia (Leon, Castille) and in Christian communities under the Umayyads in Coimbra and Toledo, to the Magna Carta and the Oxford Provisions which lay the groundwork for English ius commune, Common Law by historians such as Rafael Altamira and Wentworth Webster[lxvi]. I of course admit the general recorded animosity towards doctrinal canon when it butted heads with local benefices, but we can also acknowledge the interplay. Bracton’s system demonstrates this the clearest, where his borrowing from Azzo came from a desire to systematise and fill in the gaps, but never intruded upon English custom when a contrary Roman law was presented in the gloss. This was long before the assertion by John Adams that the “Biscayan Laws” set the precedent for the American Constitution. The translation of the Visigothic Code in Old Castillian, the Fuero Juzgo enacted in 1241 by St Ferdinand III remained in force in Spain till the 19th century and still applies partially in modern autonomous Navarra to this day. On the note of regnal limits, we see the usage of the term contrafuero applied to any act of the King is discord with granted privileges[lxvii], though the elaboration of the King’s limits were solidly established in the famous Siete Partidas(1265) and the Privilegio de la Unión(1287). Whereas as the rest of Europe adapted through glossators and decretalists the procedural methods for trials of Isidore through Gratian, the Iberian polities had retained such procedures as long as the Code remained in force. Webster particularly focused on the figure of Simon de Montfort and his Gascon possessions and a possible interaction with administration of Pyreneean fueros(oral laws) in practice. The Ordinance of the 1188 Cortes in Leon, the first constitutional decretals from a governing body in Europe, did have different agendas to be addressed in contrast to the barons with King John Lackland and Henry II. Particularly important was the law of the inviolability of the home and the right of the Cortes to declare war and peace. However Webster found in the establishment of the English Court of Common Pleas, a striking parallel to the Cortes Real’s special provisions of royal justice common in 13th century Castille and Leon. The charters, very contemporary, also represented the growing freedom of boroughs and other agglomerations from seigneurial authority, which for instance, the 13th charter clause of the Magna Carta deals with specifically. This is of course before England, followed by France, moved away from the general European model as the notion of communitas angliae came into being and where the individual associations were collectivised into a grand conglomeration where England came to mean the Parliament, or better put, the judicial twinned body of the King sitting in absentio in parliament. So, in a rather contradictory manner, the parliamentary monarchy is both dualist and absolutist, because the person of the King is conjoined to the communitas. In France, the coronation of Henri II involved a special ritual of wearing the royal ring to signify his status henceforth as maritus respublicae. The King became executive, where earlier the personality in the concept of Rex meant that regnal power was viewed more so as the supreme tribunal of the land, a definition one finds ossified in Law II of the Siete Partidas of Alfonso X.
A special mention must be made on Otto Brunner’s finest work on the organisation of Austro-Bavarian medieval Landes. In reference to the Interregnum which saw the rise of the progenitor Rudolf von Habsburg, Johann von Viktring follows his comment on the anarchy in Germany with a lament that “there was no King in Israel and each did as he thought”, a relic of the Merovingian/Carolingian regnum davidicorum political theology which directly likens the patrimony of the ruler with those Old Testament Israelite kings. Brunner also quotes De Civitate Dei IV on kingdoms being robber bands without justice, claiming that Augustine’s postulation was the basis for medieval practice, in a rather unique manner. Viktring’s description of Rudolf’s enforcement of Landfriede, despite the great plunder of Basel which von Viktring chronicles with great detail, side by side with acclamations of Rudolf’s pietas and iustitia, speaks to the complete lack of distinction between war and judicial punishment within the space of interpretation of the justness of war. This is to say medieval machtgesichte was fundamentally different to modern conceptions, arising out of systemisations from the perspective of legitimate violence arising from monopoly of power. The object of law was the coincidence of Ideal Right and positive law[lxviii].. Such analysis falls flat in the face of instances such as the Landfehde or the Guerra de los Bandos in Navarre. Landfrieden, was a parallel development of sovereign power to the more ecclesiastical Treuga dei in France, a response to the growth of internecine castellan conflict in early Capetian France. These reforms were pushed by the Church and later aided by the influence of the Bolognese and Pavese scholae. Parallel also was the Anglo-Saxon Pax Maxima of Edward the Confessor, which mentions the stability of state(firmiori statu) by the King’s Tithe. In fact such standardisations were justified for totius stabilitate iuris, the guarantee of every right. But it is equally interesting to find Feudal law as an overarching concept only began to be exercised gradually based on reciprocity and mutuality. Brunner’s work also brings up the fact that sovereignty in the sense of summa potestas lay only with the Roman pontiff, as potestas directa in temporibus. In most instances and for most of the Middle Ages till the 14th century, feudal law remained well within the sphere of private law. And so Roman vindicta lived on as vendetta and fehde, unseparated from Right, undoubtedly justified by exegesis of the Book of Deuteronomy and the ancient Hebrew are-ha-miqlat, the six cities of refuge. And this was mediated by the more classical understanding of civic friendship as opposed to enmity, wherein there was a common understanding of the limits of law. The contradiction with the new Christian ethic was obvious, even if venegeance(Blutbann) was always mentioned as negative ahead of Gemach, peace, and that peace was the natural(desired) condition or state of affairs[lxix]. A just feud, or procedural war, operated under the assumption of honour, the same primordial honour which drove the ambitions of men Cicero despised and the medieval private interests which devolved into armed acts were the far removed from Augustine’s saying in De Cathezicandis Rudibus “The honors of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness, and peril of falling?”, perpetuandi nominis desiderium, but such a system did operate as a societal nexus of private interests within the purview of Christendom’s ius gentium, and peace was seen as God-given. Aside from practical application of law through definition of societal paradigms, medieval Augustinianism as a movement did continue as a tradition which was partial to Papal claims, especially in the crisis with Philip IV of France, backed by his own legistes, such as Nogaret and Guillaume Durandus. Aegidio(Giles) of Rome, Augustinus Triumphus and James of Viterbo were prominent writers from the Augustinian Order, who worked in conjunction with the Franciscans in correcting doctrinal errors being committed in the Scholastic academies. Giles is thought to be the writer of the Correctorium to the English Franciscan William de la Mare against certain aspects of Thomist literature. They were certainly far from denying the headship of Peter and the authority of Rome as a great rebel from the perceived Aristotelianisation of the Church in Martin Luther a couple of centuries later. Giles’ Potentia Ecclesia was also a major influence on the Unam Sanctam Bull of 1302. Von Gierke’s concept of a legal shift from Augustinianism to Thomism was interpreted by RA Markus as a “profound cleaveage” within Tradition. It is curious that Markus picks Giles as a representative of the change towards Thomistic opinion, considering that Distinctions 21 and 22 in Giles’ In Secundum Librum Sententiarium borrows from Augustine and St.Bonaventure’s notion of dominium. Giles does however, deem dominium to have existed in the pre-lapsarian state, demonstrating a unique syncretism perhaps, however the dominion of Adam was in dilectione(with love), the Fall being a product of desire to rule per natura as opposed to per gratiam. But Giles also began to set a precedent by which the Church was societas perfectissimi, where the Supreme Pontiff, as head of the Church reflecting the right order of the universe, was subject to the judgement of God alone[lxx]. The Pontificalis Maiestas, the Roman Bishop and his Church became the perfect blueprint for the rationally ordered mystical body. Kantorowicz notes the perplexing switch in terms, where the corpus mysticum, previously used for the Eucharist, became used for the visible church body, while the codification of the doctrine of transubstantiation in 1215 saw a new term corpus verum applied to the eucharistic host itself[lxxi]. On the other side of the feud between the French monarch and the Pope was Jean de Paris, author of De Potestate Regia, contemporaneous with Dante, along with whom Jean drew a distinct division between the celestial spiritual and the natural regnal spheres of power. Advancing a dualist thesis which stemmed from de iure right derived from the independence of the French monarch from other sovereigns, including the Pope. Jean’s claim derives from an Averroistic comment on a passage from the Nichomachean Ethics, “populi voluntate, sed cum et rex, ut dominateur, est naturale”, the power of Kings, derived from the people, who are non moritur as body corporate, is ultimately derived from nature, not the mediation of the Pope. Such questions were particularly in vogue in light of the events of the middle of the century prior, when the negligent Portuguese monarch Sancho II was declared rex inutilis in favour of his brother Alfonso the Boulognese by Pope Innocent IV’s bull Grandi non immerito. This very much resembled the proclamation of the rule of the early Capet Robert the Pious as imbecilitas regis, but by the local bishops of Beuavais and Soissons at the insistence of both nobility and plebeians for the province of Rheims in 1023. The French legiste also assigned a strict function to clergymen, that of dispensing spiritual sacraments. He thus equalised the hierarchical relationship, away from superordination. Jean was still far more charitable and cognizant on the matter of “accidental power” that the spiritual and natural held over another. The Portuguese case study and the wishes of Philip were recognised and a legalistic solution was devised where both powers could depose another on the grounds of their respective responsibilities to their institutions. Where John’s dualist thesis does go extremely towards the side of the monarch was on the insistence that the regnum formed the highest form/species of natural society, which consequently could be fully perfect and just regardless of spiritual sanction. William of Ockham noted another instance of the Roman pontiff declaring a ruler inutilis, Childeric III, the last Merovingian, who was tonsured for good measure. Even the translatio of Imperium from the Greeks to the Germans was discussed. To the English Franciscan, it was the Franks who requested the deposition, and the Romans who requested the translatio, it would naturally follow that it was the complaints of the Portuguese clergy and nobility that forced the hand of the Pontiff(Dialogus 3.2 Chapter XX). The question of supremum bonum also produced extreme comments from the other camp, when the extremist curialist(or papalist) Augustinus Triumphus emphasised the papal body, not the successive elected Bishops as vicarius. In response to such a claim, Peter Olivi wrote that iurisdictio was mobilis and instantiated in the personhood of the vicar. The juridicial rationalisation of the corpus morale et politicum and it’s equating to the corpus mysticum was completed when the great jurist Baldus wrote in his glossa on the Constitution of Sicily, Regia maiestas non moritur(the Kingdom never dies)[lxxii], that the royal corporation was eternal, applying Aristotelian notions of generation and corruption to explain why although a certain corporation has permanent duration, it changes in status as time causes the corruption of the very corporation, but it does not erode it’s legal personality. This did not have the same meaning as the later persona ficta, which emerged in early modern politics with the Reason of State concept. The development of the juristic concept of perpetual duration in it’s relation to the eternity of the commonwealth was also simultaneous with the Avveroistic input which informed the specific maxim, universitas non moritur. In what can only be thought as a grand irony acting out in history, St.Jerome’s belief in the sempiternity of Rome on the basis of the fourfold Danielic schema which Orosius also later used, returned with jurists such as Bartolus, where Rome was accorded a status of in finem saeculi[lxxiii], the irony stemming from, as so many secular concepts, this sempiternity of a corporation, “Rome” was derived from the praises lavished upon the spiritual Church, as ecclesia triumphans. The latter view derived from Augustine, who noted in the Enerrations, ecclesia nulla esse non potest(The Church will never be without power)[lxxiv] . Tolomeo of Lucca, in his finishing touches to St. Thomas Aquinas’s Regimine Principium, added “ed nos quintam monarchiam possumus addere”[lxxv], that the divine Principatus of Christ began with the Nativity with Augustus as his first vicar and the enrollment of the census described in Luke’s Gospel, which resembled the opinion of Bracton that Joseph and Mary had responded to the legitimate legalibus institutis of Augustus[lxxvi].
The soteriological origin of the two cities, explained in Book XV, is found with Abel and Cain as progenitors. Abel was the first pilgrim in Augustine’s eyes, because he built nothing, while his brother Cain did build the first city of man, which are then represented by Assyria(Nineveh) and Rome[lxxvii]. In a typical nod to the common myths of the Latins, Augustine parallels the killing of Abel by Cain with the killing of Remus by Romulus, highlighting the fratricidal origin of the city of man, emphasising it’s rootedness in sin [lxxviii]. This particular reference may be a retort to Cicero, who thought Romulus was aequus et sapiens(just and wise), the rex iustus[lxxix]. It is prior to this in Book XII, in chapter 4, where despite the acknowledgement of the proto-evolutionary Lucretian theory of germen ex semine, Augustine holds up his rationes seminales as ultimately being embedded in the Divine Mind, where the theodicy of the Adamic Original Sin, which is elaborated as “penal antecedent become natural consequence” and disconnection from the Maker, separates man from the true architecture of Nature. There is a sharp juxtaposition drawn between marred and unmarred nature. This does not serve as a refutation of Lucretian evolution, which was relevant and vogue in Augustine’s time, but it’s subordination to the Divine plan, appealing to the unknowability of finality, and the continuation of the bellum omnium till the Second Coming. With regards to the famous theodicy from Book XIII, it has to be specified that original sin did not come from inheritance of the will of Adam by imputational inheritance, but rather by ontological participation of man with nature marred by Adam’s sin, because we were in Adam by seminal nature as possibilities. The expression of Augustine was novel in relation to his construction of Adamite history but the idea is also present in another Father of the church, St.Gregory Nazianzen, who wrote from the perspective of being present to witness the Fall, as all humans did, because we are “wholly sinned and condemned by the disobedience of the firstborn”[lxxx]. Fear of death is the cause of indulgence in luxuria et voluptate. With his view of death as inheritance, and the Ambrosian view of bono mortis(the good death), Augustine distinguishes between the first death(prima mors) and the second, true death(secunda mors) which refers to eternal damnation. Augustine’s view of damnation and predestination have tended to be reinterpreted and given way to double predestination(that there are preordained damned), espoused in the 9th century by monk Gottschalk of Orbais and later by Jean Calvin. Undoubtedly convened in order to resolve issues of extremity in Augustine’s work by the Massilian monks, the Second Council of Orange, stuck with Augustine’s view of predestination against St.John Cassian’s view of unaided grace. The followers of St.John Chrysostom, including Cassian and later St.John Damascene tended towards foreknowledge but denied predestination. Both views suffered from a lack of scope on the fullness of God’s power. Origen had previously, in the hope of universal salvation, acknowledged his modesty and pointed to free will as the cause of differentiation in species of creation. It also needs to be said that Cassian and fellow Masillian, Vincent of Lerins opposed Pelagius in their lifetimes and stood closer to Augustine despite their differences[lxxxi]. The accusations against Augustine were that of fatalism, as Julian of Eclanum had done so in his argumentative correspondence with the bishop of Hippo. Unaided grace was untenable in the Augustinian system precisely because of Divine Foreknowledge and doing good things pertaining to worship is guided by the hand of God all the same. This turns into a matter of “true free will” and I would consult once more, Duns Scotus, quotes from Augustine’s commentary on Super Genesim IX, that “God is not first an avenger before someone is a sinner”, where even Judas would have had the chance of perdition, offered in natural state prior to sinning[lxxxii]. In De duabus animabus 15, Augustine asserts that sin is the will to keep or pursue something unjustly. It is a definition of will as a movement of the soul towards some object of desire emphasising the absence of external constraint, and the ensuing definition of sin as an unjust volition endorses the principle of alternative possibilities. Interpreting Psalm 72:28, “For me it is good to cling to God”, Augustine insists that God is the supreme and final truth, teleologically speaking. Virtue is to live in accordance with God, and so virtue becomes intentional in the sense of the interior. Or in summation, Virtue-itself in this life is the Love of God to Augustine, virtu ipsa. The origin of virtue in God allows Augustine to cast a wider net than the Classical Stoic Prohairesis. The fulfilment of desire is with the Beatific Vision, visio Dei, which signifies the intellectual possession of God.
On the question of the political:
More than the question of being the father of historical consciousness, the continued pertinence of St.Augustine is with the matter of political theology. A Carlist political philosopher and master of Roman law, Alvaro D’Ors, in a diaphanous piece on the Schmitt-Peterson debate, noted two things, 1)That Peterson criticised the abuse of theological concepts, not precluding lawful use and 2) The renewed relevance of progressive political theology around Vatican II which sought to reconcile and build a bridge between modern plebiscitary notions of natural law and distinctive historically Christian notions. D’Ors, in his masterful review of the Vatican II pastoral Gaudium et spes, particularly pt.74 which addresses the common good, he asserts that the gap remains and the reconciliation of the two traditions is impossible as long as the fundamental apostolic(Pauline) distinction of subordination to constituted power is upheld. D’Ors explains that the dispensation of the decisionism of previous Church documents which would have been more to the liking of Schmitt and Hans Barion is a nod to traditionalism as opposed to a progressive declaration as the pastoral document returned to a definition of political community that accounted for consocationes apart from the generic structure of the State[lxxxiii]. That in fact, Vatican II’s dynamice conceptum of the “common good” holds no ground outside Traditional teaching on subsidiarity, neccesarily vague(in contrast to the common good of modern theologian-sociologists) which puts into context the phrasing of “auctoritas requiritur, quae omnium civium vires in bonum commune dirigat”, that there is a “hermeneutic of continuity” as opposed to rupture[lxxxiv]. To him the justification of the Revolution by liberal theologians in a theological manner indicates that the original bounds of the Peterson-Schmitt debate were too limited, and that if one begins with dogmatics and considers the Incarnation as the pivotal moment in history, what separates the teachings Augustine advances from the Neoplatonists, a theological political resolution could possibly achieved. The main political consequence of accepting that Christ is King is to deny any other claim to absolute power(be it democratic or autocratic) manifested in the modern State inaugurated by Jean Bodin. The crisis of the state which heralded the early modern period depersonalised the corpus mysticumand metastasized into the proto-modern body politic. As the State claims absolute jurisdiction, excluding all other sovereignties, it is an affront to the reign of Christ, and as such conscious insubordination to their rightful King by which legitimacy is lost, and he who assumes to the fullest the claim and mantle of lord of the world and thus persecutes those who remain with Christ is the Antichrist, who shall be destroyed before the final enemy, Hades itself. In D’Ors legal studies, this has implications about legitimation and legality. To D’Ors, political theology of the medieval states had often recoursed to metaphorical imagery, as opposed to it’s true purpose of being grounded in firm dogma[lxxxv]. The etmyos nomos of legitimacy, which lends all institutions the necessity of development is the Word, the onomatological end. He argues that auctoritas suggests the necessity of an auctor. That is all lived custom or tradition has it’s origin in speculative or practical truth which neccesarily conforms to natural law which was legitimate, and hence, sacred. When legality replaces legitimacy, it utilises legitimation by positive law to abrogate custom, and the putative shadow of modern supra-national natural law, which in it’s premise appeals to something akin to God, but does not care to mention His name. Legality is an epiphenomenon of legitimacy, therefore not wholly separated from it. It is for good reason that this is associated with the Rechtstaat of Kant, which was a State envisioned to be built on legality, where the postulate of reason trumps the “darkness of unreason” evident in custom, to the end of peace as opposed to justice. And so a law of this nature remains defunct and redundant, an artificial assemblage without authority, if it does not acknowledge it’s auctor. Authority has an ontological relationship with power(potestas) in that power responds as a factor of nature in the individual to recognise authority, which leads to the conclusion that power is delegated but authority acquired, true to it’s Latin root augeo, to accumulate, to build. Bertrand de Jouvenel noted that the protection of “sacred rights” invoked by the French Revolution was in the hands of the judiciary, bestowing it unlimited right of command(I recommend Dan Edelstein's work on the "terror", the judiciary utilisation of natural rights framed contra humanity in justifying authorised executions), which served to conform rights to legality and had no auctoritas as the old regional parlements did, with the ability to withstand royal pressure and forces of centralisation. It is unsurprising that de Jouvenel invoked St.Augustine as the representing voice of the belief in the subjection of Power to God[lxxxvi]. The outgrowth of institutions of sovereignty in the West from conflict, result in 3 postulates of sovereignty according to Jouvenel, those of divergence, convergence and dispersion, all centred on the premise of natural opinion, which undermines conviction, and which aimed at the awakening to the natural metaphysical light in all people or it’s willful rejection[lxxxvii]. Legitimacy’s reliance on right transcendence guaranteed political right and has proven to be the only reliable antidote to tyranny. Is this not reminiscent of “ubi ergo iustitua vera non est, nec ius potest esse”?[lxxxviii].Right derives solely from fons iustitae(the Fount of justice). Delegation of power points to investment, conferment upon, and that is why modern demolatry, built on the recapitulation of sophistic conceptions of the summation of nature as power emphasises majoritarianism to enforce unaccepted monolithic consensus. It is why the Act of Vienna 1820 spoke of the representation of individual estates(Standische verfassung)against the representative constitution advanced by those who would be termed “liberals”. Authority was inextricably linked to the legitimate prerogatives accorded to community members of higher status or dignity, which is precisely what defined an Estate. To be under the prince’s protective advocacy and yet to undermine him as the territoria. To D’Ors, authority, which the Roman Senate(In Senatu sit) or a just medieval monarch wielded was not quantitatively measurable, it is not subject to definition, which is inherently built on intellection and reception. Classically, Roman jurisprudence was built on the Senatus Consultum, itself an expression of Senatus Auctoritas with the right to veto being bestowed on the plebeian tribunes, who acted on compulsion of pietas, recognising the ancestral (the maiores) inheritance of the Senatorial patres, while the Magistrate had potestas. Hence why the medieval German equivocation of potestas was always Gewalt, and is corroborated by the 20th Distinction of Gratian where justice and the interpretation of scripture are discussed and it is made quite clear that the difference between a tribune and a paedogogue lay in his ability to use force. The only response to legalist plebiscite of every day, a usurpation of true freedom, lies in legitimacy as a living community, the act of social recognition of this legitimacy is ineffable authority. The Community is enlivened by it’s Traditions, which is marked by it’s naturality, owing to it’s etymological root, tradere, to hand down, joined to the naturality of Divine Law, and so custom at root relation with substance, has it’s principium in Divinity through authority. It is precisely for this reason that Augustine equates forum with civil society, Remouit tamen hoc genus a foro, id est populus[lxxxix], in reference to Varro’s civil theology. The Augustinian model for civil relations takes into account the depravity of man and his inability to be “always peaceful and just” so that “all kingdoms may be small”. But any realisation of fundamental principles would veer towards love of self-determination in small governing units built on acceptance of authority as opposed to enforcement of power. In light of Augustine’s comment in Book XIX on the ordering of the household and concord established by the father in the household in accordance with the civic order, it is vital to state that nomos is intricately tied to obedience, even if the obedience of Augustine unites rule and life that neccesarily conjoins true authority with true freedom or better put, the parallelisation of the order of conscience with the order of being. The chronology De Jouvenel catalogues in his works details nothing but the eclipse of authority and the coalescence of power in modern institutions. The contemporary domination of instrumental reason was itself a product of confusion between authority and power, and it’s dissolution into the vague understanding that all hierarchical subordination operates as tyranny, liberation from which is an axiological necessity for the communication of(signalling) of the individual as possessor as opposed to interpreter of object.Jouvenel also makes sheds light on the development of opinion in the Early Modern era, noting that St.Augustine considered free opinion dangerous in opposition to authority. The French political philosopher also grants the belief in an organised body of doctrine to the early Reformers, evident in Vossius, Voetius and Van Limburg among Dutch Reformers, where religio nostra and Eusebia conformed to a defined creed(the Reformed in this case) associated secondarily with the theoretical force of politia. Both Catholic and Reformed held to the guideline of formal proceeding in Matthew 18:15. Notably, the VOC’s(East India Company) second charter of 1622 explicity mentions the creation of the company for the purpose of “the preservation of the Reformed Faith”. Even in the collegiant inclusivist tolerance model of Dutch Jesuit Franciscus Van den Enden, which sought to build a Dutch Pennsylvania on the Delaware River, the idea of a single public church, albeit with a collegial model, was considered the norm. I would argue that Kant’s ideal civility, Gluckseligkeit, was still within this tradition. The Spinozist credo minimum all the same sees religion in association with morality. Reason of State brought about toleration of doctrinal belief which one party thought the other subscribed to error. It is the power of the State that defends Lady Liberty, who herself utters the words, “Let no citizen be treated as lesser because of his confession” in Romeyn de Hoogh’s Spiegel van Staat.Bodin, affiliated with the Politiques in his lifetime, regarded nothing save the principle of survival of his prince’s dominion as worthy of allegiance, threatened by hegemonic Castille as primary before the “fanaticism” of the Catholic Ligue and Coligny’s Huguenots who sought to assert a dogmatic order. It is only with the advent of the Republic of Letters and the Enlightenment generally, that liberty of interpretation was ascribed a positive value. With Bodin’s definition of sovereignty from his Republique, written in opposition to the monarchomachs, as the most high, absolute and perpetual power over all citizens(potestas absoluta in terra), and his ultimate deferral of such power to the prince, “chief mark of a sovereign prince, to be of power to give laws to all his subjects in general”[xc], theology was severed from political theory, as there came a definition and distinction between custodial and pure sovereignty, the latter in possession of the supreme sovereign who could theoretically change ordinary law with the exception of law of God and Nature.
Hobbesian man, who oscillates between the maddening will to power and the desire for peace, the damnosum experientia[xci] can only find satiety and direction for fulfillable morality under a controlling power, non partium, sed pacis studio[xcii]. The dynamization of ontological conceptuality and the reorientation of power and it’s use to the centre of the stage in discourse leads to the formulation of new ideas of sociality, which must contend with the eruption of power, giving rise to the decision.Aristotelian natural philosophy had sought to explain natural phenomena in which subjects were natural beings with intrinsic power, which had to be superseded by the omniscient supersufficient will of Malebranche’s mathematical God, in which creatures were secondary causes, which sought to account, by intimate causal involvement through general volition immanent Divine action as the conceived third substance between Mind and Body. One should however, contextualise Hobbes' postulates in light of the Scholasticism he rejected. In the Defensio Fidei of Suárez(3.1.4), the great Jesuit thinker notes that individuals families isolated from a political community would have no means of delivering justice. Suárez says so in his mediation on whether political communities would have formed even in a state of innocence, he replies positively, asserting a natural hierarchy of virtue even in a state untainted by sin, and that natural hierarchy characterises political community united by an "explicit or tacit pact". The transition in political history did not occur with a refusal of past knowledge, Malebranche’s understanding of free causes and their future determination is undergirded by Divine Foreknowledge, in a very Augustinian line of thinking. Hume shifts the perspective, and custom provides a subjective interpretation of general laws of nature. His Treatise defends the principles of Occasionalism[xciii], surprisingly, and Hume is more properly an agnostic with regards to the “ultimate force and efficacy of nature”[xciv], considering Malebranche’s causal efficacy being the efficacy of will, man’s line is too short to fathom such a deep abyss, but customs, which emerge from the conjunction of objects and the determination of thought nailed the coffin on the theological explanation of causal connections. The question here is not on the advancement of philosophy to which Hume contributed, but a judgement on purely his abstract outlook on morals. Just as right and wrong are judged by moral sentiment, Hume supposed all rights to be founded on complementary rapport, a seismic shift in the history of nomology. Where Hume appeals to a depersonalised “infinite wisdom”, he also notes the impossibility of the exclusion of evil[xcv]. Further doubt, which fuelled Malebranche’s explanation on causal effects may have had it’s origins in the formulation of inertia by the true father of nominalism, Jean Buridan, who laid bare the necessity of impetus by a “motor” as opposed to mediative or direct celestial intelligence. By the time we get to Rousseau, the fundamental notion of rerum naturae reintroduced by Machiavelli is retained, however, the perspective on human interaction has changed drastically within a novel epistemological configuration. Through Malebranche and Descartes, Rousseau would look “into myself”, his Confessions truly being the antithesis to Augustine’s own titled work, concerned fully with the ego as opposed to the tridimensional interlocution of Augustine between oneself, God and alli(the other), even if he used the same narrative interiority pioneered by the great Doctor of the Church. Malebranche’s Augustinianism and his view of generalite and it’s relation to moralite, saw the retention of the fundamental premise of a source of Goodness in French moral thought, even in its dechristianised form. Rather than attributing desire and evil to man in his individual societal state, Rousseau constructs a posterior schema by which it is rootedness and cohabitation of one with another which sparks social war with the third person. And so, “friendly and timorous” man as a nomad in nature is disturbed in his tranquillity. The drive for perfectibilite was what made genus humanum unique, at the expense of natural experience. In the German context, the sovereign citizen of the enlightened despotic realm was both untertan and subjekt. Bear in mind the context of man as ligare and his status as liberus-servus, but without the Roman understanding of Saturnine state of nature in considering Rousseau. And so the sovereign will becomes pure power, pure abstraction because the volonte generale is Total and the only exception to it is itself. Here, the exercise of sovereign decision is an emanation of a totalised entity, borne out of passionate self-expression, but power from Nature as the essence of Being, united by beings in pactum. Rousseau is unable to leave the shadow of Hobbes, but wishes to incorporate parrhesia within the Hobbesian framework, because self-expression, making oneself known to oneself to Rousseau is an act of affirmation of being, offering objective knowledge of being. Important for this dialectician is reactive causality, where “self-expressions” are conducive to stability between individuals. The great Swiss Conservateur, Carl Ludwig von Haller, followed his predecessor, Gottlieb Walther, also from Berne, in asserting that the erroneous language of Roman law had diminished the notion of divine right which complemented Germanic personalism. Haller stated that despite Rousseau’s anthropological paradox, his basis for the social contract was determined to be the result of an emergence from a natural state, which was iustitia vacuus compared to a civil one. Here Haller’s conversion to Catholicism and his complementary patrimonialism make sense, the legal codes of the Imperium Romanum and their adoption transferred it’s nolens volens into European legislation. It is defiantly clear that the civil government is artificial to Haller, and he made important points that even Locke and Pufendorf preferred natural lordships to civil societies, turning Rousseau’s theory on it’s head in quoting the latter that actually the civil society fragments natural sociability. Equally stunning is the critique of Kant, who he accuses of importing Romanisms into his law of nations, wherein the current state of war(the natural state) needs to be overcome. Here Haller is most relevant because both the foundations of peace between nations through interactivity and communication and the subsequent supposed rationalisation of the human spirit is characteristic of both Kant and the contemporary intellectual. And so just as the obstacle of the nation or the border today does not necessarily remove the anthropological root of conflict or the realistic elastic demand for resource and consumption(even if basic), leaving conflict equally an option in an imagined borderless world within the legal class of “international civil war” between races, continents(other forms of identification), Haller’s psychology was folk and simple in that the predisposition for Gloria, marked by ambition was always natural, and hence any equalitarian civil society would be faced with more neediness where the natural order respected superiority of rank, reciprocated by the natural magnanimity of the superior to the inferior, solidified by Christian ethic.
With Kant, who thinks of certain properties as realities and other properties as negations of these realities, the principle of complete determination is the only mode of reconciliation to accept an ens realissimum. Predicates which one would ascribe to God, or better put, personalities, problematised the argument for Kant. So the ens realissimum, which holds all possibilities, necessarily demands the grounding of the natural order to a divine order, with one qualification, that the Divinity here mentioned does not have the features or personalities to fully justify the placement of Kant’s argument within the wider Christian tradition. But Hume’s genius was recapitulated by Jacobi, who associated presuppositionally Vernunft with Begriffe, and in turn Josef Kleutgen, author of the ecclesial constitution, Dei Filius, captured the spirit of Jacobi, who in Augustinian fashion(intellectus/rationcinari also found in St.Anselm) interpreted that the magnitude of Verstand, in relation to Glaube could render the percipience of Vernunft redundant, this is to take the idea that raison renders no knowledge of things-in-themselves to the limit. If belief is what assures us of the actuality, or better put, reality of objects, it entails human capacity to possess immediate certainty, that is to work with the knowledge of heterogenous fields of quality prior to differentiation. Where the presentation of object, by custom, as Hume puts it, is conceived. For Jacobi, and for Kleutgen obviously, supersensibility is the alpha, it is before Sinnliche Anschauung. The qualities it possess are it’s is-ness, and so the question is not of demolishing metaphysical categories such as essence, but to reconfigure it’s definition. Kleutgen’s contemporary Fr.Louis Bautain defined his ontologisme(first defined by Vincenzo Gioberti, not ontologia, first mentioned in reference to Aristotle by Goclenius) by borrowing from Rationes Seminales, which he rendered as germes, innately allowing for sensibility. In Bautain, we also find Jacobi’s scepticism of the utility of raison/Vernunft which degrades what it operates on. We find in Zubiri and in Unamuno’s corpus(who borrowed Spinoza’s use of res/essence) much later the same dilemma with regards to the theistic arguments always producing their antinomies and a similar attempt to extricate evidentialism from belief. Equally in Rosmini, and so the process of purging speculation from the tradition and from matters of faith comes to the conclusion of the enigmatic real which imposes upon as from sensibility. Equally thus Suarez could insist that natural law, not given, but inscribed, could be perceptive and a rational character could functionally discriminate between good and evil. God is God of the atheist too and the antinomial is “within” Him equally(as such we return to the "fracture" within God of Agamben's analysis of Nazianzen, which produces politico-economic dissension), the objectivity of subjectivity if recast. If this is not the leading thrust against the philosophical civilisation, then what is? If God is entified, then man is deified, as zoon politikon or homo oeconomicus.
The patriarch of counter-revolution, Joseph De Maistre, has often been thought to have had an Augustinian outlook on the irredeemable condition of man. Augustine wrote in Letter 153 to Marcellus, that “surely it is not in vain we have institutions such as the power of the king, the penalty of the judge, the hooks of the executioner and the weapons of the soldier”[xcvi], Maistre’s speculation in the Soirees is on the latter two forms of justice. Providence after all, "constantly uses war to correct and chasten the corrupt morals of mankind, as it also uses affliction to train men in righteousness and laudable way of life." The Savoyard Count’s innatism explains his notion of substance, man is man by his holding to original notions common to all men, innate notions which represent the symbolic bridge between the Sacred and the temporal. Punishment for both Augustine and Maistre is not retributive, it is penitential, and fundamentally concerned with good order. Recall the introduction to the Executioner, “he is born like us, but he is a being like no other, and for him to be brought to existence... a particular decree was required, a fiat of creative power”[xcvii]. Sheer power is subordinated to the executioner, “the divine and terrible prerogative” the reign of manifest violence which colours Maistre’s pages shares with Hobbes and Rousseau a degree of anti-sociality that makes the Count a man of his time, but equally an oracle considering the past and a prophet for the future. But Maistre’s eschatological vision is Origenist, even if his ethical justifications remain fundamentally Augustinian. His historicist critique of traditional natural law is unorthodox, to say the least. It is rather impossible to disconnect his personal belief in total sovereign transfer without remit and opposition to insurrection from the shocking event of the execution of Louis XVI. I speak here purely on his reception of Origen’s ideas, as it is now debated whether the Alexandrian Father believed in a complete apocatastasis panton(universal restitution), as Maistre did. Origen’s work may have come by Maistre in his Chambery library through the Cambridge Platonists, particularly Henry More, who praised the Platonic elements in Origen and was also a critic of Locke and Descartes. The famous quote from the Soirees on the “entire earth, steeped in blood, nothing but an immense alter…until the extinction of the earth, until the death of death” differs significantly from the Augustinian view of the damned and predestination. What is less known, but more clear in light of the adaptation of Maistre by men such as Auguste Comte and Henri St.Simon(who wrote of the need for Nouveau Christianisme), is that Maistre held to an idea of progress, but a different progress to the philosophes. The economy of violence is central to man, if those who “live by the sword, die by the sword” then it is because “the tree that an invisible hand is pruning, often to its benefit”[xcviii], violence clears the space for genuine human freedom. It is so heterodox, it is not genuinely Origenist either, the Alexandrian was a firm believer in pacifism. Sacrifice is the necessary antidote to disequilibrium of fallen man, the Savoyard cites Augustine’s lament, “there is such a difference between myself and myself”[xcix], and is a predecessor to Girard in his belief that the theandric host perpetuates the sacrifice at Calvary, thus sublimating the ritual sacrifice, but the eucharistic host, with similar etymological roots as hostis binds man by communion of the flesh, redeeming redemptive sacrificiality and overcoming individual confusion natural to existence. Ritual gives sense, or meaning, to the blunt necessity of social order, so Maistrean anthropology frames intersubjectivity of ceremonial ritual as what gives form to visible political reality. The Greek Hierarkhia, is rooted in hieros, in that which is holy. Ceremony is the process of interiorisation of authority. On the flipside, Maistre’s search for sacrifice, the “fundamental rite of nations”, gave his notion of sacrifice a sociological dimension, where ritual construction of custom and representation becomes exteriorised and objected from a sociological, or a perceived scientific perspective as the socialisation of the irrational. His philosophie de la mystification represents a unique political-theological construction. He that the sovereign answers to is the true sovereign, and that to the Savoyard is the infallible Pope. Sovereignty can only be limited by sovereignty of another nature. Maistre’s construction is not very Traditional, as in foralist(bound by obligations), or orthodox, depending more so on Platonic/Proclean propositional logic. Sovereignty is framed purely in terms of totality or deprivation of sacral legitimation, and resembles Byzantine political theology in a descending hierarchy of generation, which justifies the presence of absolute authority, a Leviathan to preserve the state of grace.
Juan Donoso Cortes subtitled his great Ensayos pondering, “How a great question of theology is always involved in every great political question”. Approaching the work of this figure, whose speeches before the Spanish Cortes in 1848 reverberated through Europe, inducing praise even from Schelling must account his sudden conversion to Roman Catholicism after years of being a nominal practitioner. Some biographers even speak of dos Donosos, one the enchanted Francophile liberal attracted to Henri Guizot’s doctrines, the other the intense, sombre, pious Spaniard. Very much an Augustinian, the heavy usage of analogy in Cortes is intrinsically linked to the Trinity as actualised into Creation itself. As Augustine, he too wished to show that the machinations of temporal powers was but a speck in the grander design of sacred history. It is apocalyptic precisely because an appeal is made to that which occurs “outside of time”. So the properly conservative concept of the societas civilis is reflected by the Triune essence. As such the assortment of nations, representing variety are bound by unity, not uniformity to Rome. “Catholic civilisation” is representative of those societies animated by the only parasocial institution that does not decay, the Church, in opposition to the philosophical civilisation. On the occasion of the publication of his Ensayos, Prince Metternich wrote to Cortes on the greatest symptom of the philsophical age, the suffixation of abstractions, to which Cortes replied by acknowledging the falsifications inherent in the transmutation/politicisation of terms. The inevitable dialectical movement of history and the clashes between it’s forces(or civilisations) in his work, many have attributed to knowledge of Hegel. But it may have a more simple explanation as he explains universo in the Ensayos to mean “unity and variety in one”. The jerarquias(hierarchies) were concrete manifestations of a reflected Order. This is parallel to Augustine’s commentary on Galatians 3:28, where he writes, “distinctions of race and condition…persist in the orders of life, we walk in this way so His creation may not be blasphemed”, itself inspired by the word of the Apostle in 1st Corinthians, where he instructs that men remain in their stations in life, but inwardly desire greater gifts. The Spaniard had found his enemy in Proudhon, the great leveller in his eyes, who himself noted surprisingly that political questions always stumbled upon theology. Cortes further notes that the surprise was to Proudhon alone, as God enveloped all things, even those which elicited the concern of the father of anarchism. We find of course the famous reference to the telegraph eliminating distances and an association with the impending centralisation in the discourse on dictatorship. Striking here is the equation of the dissolution of physical resistance to that of moral resistance. As much as they were related, it was political form that lent these a certain unity stemming from an ethical universal responsibility that had been assumed by the expanding State. An earlier lecture from his liberal days on Political Right(Derecho politico) spoke of the proportion of the degree of power to the degree of intelligence, where no absolute intelligence existed, so no absolute power could. With regards to the question of caudillaje, particularly relevant to Spain’s experience with Primo de Rivera and Franco and its perceived roots in the work of Cortes, we cannot see him outside the Traditionalist mould, especially if we consider his recognition of the superficiality of absolutism, which had conserved the perpetuity of power but had suppressed or despised hierarchies, away from his stated normative order of unity and variety. A curious reference to a "degraded Augustinianism" is found in an article collection of cultural historian and Basque Communist Antonio Elorza from his time in exile in Paris during the Francoist era. This was in specific reference to the personal ideology of Admiral Carrero-Blanco, Franco's protege. His general worldview, also described as "purified Francoism", was characterised as permeated by conspiratorialism and superstitition. With relevance to modern managerialism, a phenomenon we can certainly trace to the dialectic of power is the paradox of the simultaneously impotent and tyrannical State. Schmitt at his most perceptive attributes the totalisation of pluralist or separated power to its weakness, not its strength, and this is the fundamental difference that marks the strongest of contradictions between democracy and liberalism. Elio Gallego Garcia noted the breadth with which Cortes in his Discourse on the Spanish situation engaged in the anthropology of power and the close relation between ideology and the expansionist state. Donosian dictatorship was the shedding of the skin of Restoration, but his personal character, by his very own admittance, could not accept the prescribed dictatorship in good conscience in what reads as the most lucid passage in the Discourse. It was of course, borne out of the defence of the repression by plenary power of radical activity in Spain by the brutal General Narvaez. Indeed we find the analogy between miracle as extraphenomenalism and the dictatorship as rupture in juridical continuity in this very work. But it would be folly to think of this form of dictatorship as being a legitimating force in itself. Autoridad, Gobierno and societias civilis were anterior to the State. The pre-eminent concern for Cortes was not proceduralist and value neutral Liberalism with its clase discutidora, but what it threatened to give way to, namely the ideologically affirmative Socialism. Where the propertied Liberal’s(Franco-Spanish context) indifferentism caused alienation and Conservatism’s Pauline approach(defended by Veuillot and actively practiced by Cortes) was regarded as redundant in an age where resources for advancement could be attained rather than received or given for grace, socialism offered this redistribution. This was not too different to the conclusion of Konstantin Franz or Auguste Romieu, who wrote contemporaneously with Tocqueville, when the classical understanding of dictatorship had not fully been melded with the topical and relevant Napoleonisme or Bonapartisme. In fact, Donoso traces back the esprit of revolution to the search for what Catholicism had previously provided, dogma. The third renowned speech given to the Spanish parliament in 1850, turning his back on the moderados to whom he had lent his utmost support, chastised his former friends for their narrow class interest and raised the “social question”, causing Narvaez to resign. As such his concept of dictatorship is purely pragmatic, resisting the fascination which hooked Maistre, it has no theological justification, but there is a metaphorological parallel to the supernatural miracle. Since he wished for Cincinnatus, temporary suspension of the norms of law is not a particularly accurate way in which to envisage a moral dictatorship. If the erosion of morals cause society to demand provisional absolutism, then the una excepcion confirms the order to which it is still bound. Cortes left a sombre comment that a whole people rarely returned to the faith, which provided the principles that animated states, which was something beyond the possibility of the ancillary solutions to restore.
When it comes to recent reception of Augustine and political ontology, the name which stands out in theology is John Milbank, the Anglican founder of the radical orthodoxy school. Fellow schoolman William Cavanaugh rightly identified an insoluble division between the two cities of Augustine, a legitimate position he develops from his genealogy of entailed violence inherent to the modern sovereign state, wherein even the extralegalities which are acknowledged become legally enforced within the immanent and rational space of sovereign law. Cavanaugh rightly notes that the discrete category of “religion” used in contrast to politics is a modern invention, but when it comes to the relation of faith to political economy and Augustine, the two cities are “two moments” and defined within the theme of salvation. The liturgy is then also an act of resistance against “global consumerism”. But I sincerely contend a naive assertion that the replacement of a sacral act or it's juxtaposition provides a solution in any sense to a problem, in that glorious politics of liturgy consitutes as itself the manifestation of governance. In any sense, all politics, if it does indeed bank on theological suppositions, reinforces itself on the vortex, that empty vortex of that which is super, whether ipsum esse subsistens or ens ab alio. So the operation of government or of the Mass Democratic state is dependent on glorification and it's rational contortion of language which is temporalised and equalised by it's innate purpose of democratising itself. No solution can offer a "better discursivity". Milbank notes in Augustine the revolutionary denial of “ontological purchase” to absolute dominium or absolute imperium, but takes issue with the pedagogic coercion Augustine recommends and the violence he sees as natural in a fallen state, though he is careful to not advocate pacifism, Milbank equally advocates a tragic view of the world. However Milbank much sees in Augustine an underlying metanarrative of a dialectical dynamic between ontological violence and ontological peace, this does not take into account the dialogue(Epistle 152) with the vicarius of Africa, Macedonius, where Augustine blatantly states that the practice of clementia by a Christian statesman is not the practice of leniency, which would compromise justice, it is merely the practice of temperance which recognises the appeal to full justice. The radical orthodox stumble upon a millennia old dilemma, but hold Augustine for ransom whilst acknowledging the Augustinian natural desire for the supernatural. This faces some challenges, as it is clear that Law always bears the threat of force by it’s very nature, and that sin persists.
One may argue from natural ends and the primacy of the common good, which of course does have the advantage of agreeing that limited participation in the created world and the theonomic view of the State, but I’d argue from the natural existence of States in a state of sin, of imperfection and that an attempt to eradicate violence and coercion, as opposed to abstaining from it, would also obfuscate the boundary between natural and supernatural which is precisely what led to the Baroque commentaries on the Church and the State which, much like Dante, saw there being two equally perfect powers. I may run afoul of Charles De Koninck, who asserted even in the purity of the state of nature, the eminence of the common good was above the personalist individual good, the negation of the former being a negation of God himself. But nor can we veer towards separating grace and nature to such a degree that we end up recognising the autonomy of the State. Frederick Wilhemsen lends light to why this is such a problematic view. Identity understood through the lens of personhood, not individuality, or more clearly, self-possession is vital for metaphysical participation in the larger order of existence. The Integrist, to Wilhelmsen, is not concerned with obligations and relations, but with medieval state-form viewed through a romantic lens, and so ignores the classical teaching of the Church which emphasises the transfer of authority from people to the sovereign, not vice versa. Blumenberg saw both the view of rupture and the view of severance are constructions of philosophy of history. Balzac’s lament in the works of the Human Comedy or Frederic Le Play’s diagnosis does not address the anomie perpetuated in one vertical hierarchical crystallisation of power, but rather alienation within the dynamic nexus of relations in the entirety of industrialised French society after the Revolution’s dissolution of custom. This is not a call to the expansion of the charity of the State, but rather a bemoaning of the disintegration of inferior authorities which regulated relations, and the general proliferation of scoundrels, which properly understands the aggregation of private goods toward the common good. It even ignores the Economic as a rational sphere and asserts the true economic as being rooted in the sphere of the moral. Even the assertion that a state which is not evil, or indeed good, can be bestowed legitimacy to do anything can justify tyranny. Indeed calls for authentic community can easily be dissolved in response to banal consumption into a different form ethical consensual-communicative consumption practiced in modern “Western societies”. On a greater jurisdictional level, there is the possibility of conformity of a universal state, but it has been critiqued by Schmitt in Nomos of the Earth, as the essence of universal endeavour and substance of claim requires discrimination of those who do not fit into the universal scheme. Of course, the reflection of internal friend-foe distinction was reflected on a global duality, as opposed to Henry Stimson’s desired technical-industrial unity when Schmitt commented on the state of the world in 1952[c]. The duality presented new dimensions and the possibilities for several political magnitudes. Kant’s perpetual peace recognised the multitude of nations and unfeasibility of a universal state, but imagined the relations defined by territorial sovereignty to be guaranteed by peace as opposed to war, wherein “devils” in the state of nature could mediate with one another omnilaterally within a framework of Recht(right)[ci]. Such an idea was a spiritual successor to Emer de Vattel’s construct of international law, which borrowed from Hobbes’ flawed individualism and accorded to the nations personae of their own as inviolable magni homini. This is the root of the Neokantian interpretation of states existing as interacting persons in anarchy within the state of nature, which would require a world-state as resolution. That is until the 20th century, when the supranational order defined an enemy as a “disturber of peace” where one side/nation, disregarding the independent sovereignty of the other, could order the defeated and change it’s political and legal norms via casus belli known to the Classical Period only in times of civil war. In view of the paradigmatic shift pioneered by the Leyes Nuevas, brought about by the Schola Salamantica(Vitoria, Suarez) which imagined a “totus orbis…una res publica”, we have to take into consideration the shift in analysis of political relations which hold up the idea of humanity as a general principle. But where schoolmen and nascent socialist visions were limited to a closed juridicial concept of a cive, or a communitas, the application of ethical standards in the contemporary ethical discussion in the universalist human rights complex assumes a highly differentiated division of labour, which is geared for maximum production and as follows, consumption, which is the path to consumptive self-realisation. The conditions of formation of political society, moving away from universal struggle, are subject to morphological changes which speak to configuration of the political societies themselves. If a positive conception of territorial sovereignty is envisioned in which States which internally utilise power with good conscience(rightful use of authority), and are independent, there can only be a suggestion of subjection to an external norm of coexistence higher than a vague fraternity of interests, keeping in mind the lessons of Ad Sinarum gentum, which only true spirituality and communion can address, a congregatio fidelium, this is obvious. What configuration this will take, I fear to suggest.
It must be made clear that Augustine’s treatment of Varro’s political theology from the Antiquities was itself political in nature, and thus presents a clue to answer Francis Oakley’s dilemma of why Augustine’s work propelled sacral royal political theology in the pre-medieval and medieval ages. But if we take into account Augustine’s comments on civil society along with those about custom, such as in Confessiones III, 8:15[cii], we understand in truth the object of the critique. That is, Augustine, through Varro, wished to criticise Cicero and pontifex Scaevolus as inherently knowing the falseness of their gods as purely functional spirits, subject to do ut des and sought to order or reform the cults on a noble lie, without necessarily assailing the basis of civil obedience. The rhetoric utilised by Augustine in criticism of the trivial material gods demonstrates that Augustine had chosen to attack the roots of archaic pagan worship, not contemporary pagan practice which points to a certain antiquarianism which is evidence of borrowing from the Antiquities. That is, if Varro himself considered civil theology to originate in the human psyche, because the theologians of civil religion were the people themselves, to Augustine it is nothing but a noble lie to argue for the necessity of functional sacral animation of the society[ciii]. By utilising Varro’s own arguments against poetic theology for it’s crafty praises and the philosophical theology for being far too sophisticated, all that is left is civil theology which cannot be as easily criticised by citizenry, but ultimately even it was not perfectible, Varro himself seeking to perfect it. Varro is chastised for not recognising, for all his wisdom, the superficiality of the public cultus, which required it’s propagation by poets and poetic popular theology, and led to the situation which irked Varro in which his sacred gods are depicted improperly in the Roman theaters. The key distinction here is the auctoritas of civil theology, and the revision of ancient custom in line with greater understanding open to civil life in conformity with Christian morals is rhetorically linked to the revision of public cultus envisioned by Varro. Augustine employed rhetorical reductionism to dissolve the demarcation between civil and mythical theology, where the deconstruction of the theologies leaves open only civil structures, uninhibited by obstructive daemons, Roman gods, who Augustine very much believed as real and execrated repeatedly, could function in conformity with the truth. Cicero himself had curtly asked Atticus if illa quaercus was haec quaercus, because the Roman philosopher, with regards to the mos maiores, was a doctissimi viri before a philosophi, tradition is at root no different to the free verse of the poet, fabulae. Atticus had asked if the Marian oak had been planted by Cicero’s imagination or it was really as told by tradition. Religare, properly, with the increase of piety is reflected in the inhabitation of summus Iuppiter in the cive. The historia contain no res gestae, beside those of the speakers, as oratio is in populari ratione and so the truth of the Roman traditions are accepted, but inquiry renders them open to scepticism. But as Augustine can say with conviction about the truth of God and the Incarnation, he could posit firmly, “res publica, cuius conditor rectorque Christus est”[civ]. Good works, within which civil duty falls, undertaken for the benefit of others is only fulfilled as a lesser good if there is an innate desire to transcend the order of moral contingency[cv]. This becomes clearer in Letters 137 and 138 to the official Marcellinus and his detractor Volusianus, where it is the inward disposition of the individual, and the soul’s redemption that affects the basic security of the polity. Reflecting on the commandment to love one’s neighbour as oneself, Augustine declares that this foundation of the faith would provide the harmony for the better securing of order in the most basic sense[cvi]. Considering his wider corpus for conclusion and the role of patriotism, it is sufficient to remind the reader that on the matter of obedience to Julian the Apostate and his anti-Christian decrees, Augustine emphasises that the Christian soldiers refused to burn incense at his command, but that when it came to being deployed on the Persian front, many did so unhesitatingly[cvii](similar to the pacifist Tertullian's praise of Legio XII Fulminata's miracle on the Danube and his exhortation of Aurelius's virtues as ruler). It would only be right to say that as with any profound study, we ought to end with more questions. It is as Arquilliere wrote, “He has applied his concept of justice to state… and developed an acerbic critique of the pagan state…He has made appeal to Cicero and the Stoics…Augustine seems to discern the legitimate character of ancient political constitutions”[cviii] The state as a remedial mechanism by virtue of ratione peccati. Precisely, in that, despite assertions which prioritise individual salvation over the wellbeing of states, one is left with a possibility of conformity towards true Divinity in a political space, but to what extent do we have the choice and to what degree we pursue such an aim? The ambitions for a glorious apostolate of politics is dimmed by Augustine’s view of human imperfectability, and the modern condition, as viewed from a diagnostic of the present, has not convinced me of a systematic improvement of our species or an eradication of our base instincts, rather we indulge in them ceaselessly. History must remain an open essence necessarily and hence, particular. So pilgrims we must remain, with no easy solution and a clear understanding of only our infinitesimalness in even pondering for solutions.
King’s Two Bodies- Ernst Kantorowicz
Arcadius to Irene- JB.Bury
Rome and Jerusalem- Johannes Van Oort
St.Petersburg Dialogues- Joseph De Maistre
Pilgrim City- Miles Hollingworth
After Augustine- Brian Stock
Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy: Origins and Background - Francois Dvornik
Augustine’s City of God and Historical Consciousness(paper)- Ernst Fortin
Empty Bottles of Gentilism- Francis Oakley
Augustine through the ages- Robert Dodaro
On Power- Bertrand de Jouvenel
On Sovereignty- Bertrand de Jouvenel
Saeculum: History and Society in the theology of St.Augustine- RA Markus
Critique and Crisis- Reinhart Koselleck
Teologia Politica, Un Revision de problema- Alvaro D’Ors
The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine – Herbert A Deane
A History of Political Thought- Walter Ullmann
Imperial Coronation of Charlemagne(lecture)- FL Ganshof
Augustine’s City of God and Modern historical consciousness- Ernest Fortin
Political Aspects of St.Augustine’s City of God- JN. Figgis
The Order of Things- J.Schall. SJ
Saving the City: Philosopher-Kings and Other Classical Paradigms- Malcolm Schofield
The Making of Gratian’s Decretum- Anders Winroth
Voluntarism in Augustine’s thought- V.J Bourke
The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious-Mayke de Jong
Political Theology & Political Theology II- Carl Schmitt
Politics of Identity in Visigothic Spain: Religion and power in the Histories of St.Isidore of Seville by Jamie Wood
Monotheism and Political Problem- Erik Peterson
St.Augustine and his age- Christopher Dawson
City of God against the Pagans, Loeb Classical Library(Primary) Vol.I-VI
Confessions, Electronic edition, available online on the Latin Library by Prof. James O’Donnell 1992(Primary)
Expositions(Enerrations) on the Psalms- New Advent
[i] Historia sacra- sacred time/history, Augustine did not use the opposite term, rather Markus has interpreted a new term for the rest of historical time, apart from scripture as historia profana- profane, uninspired time.
[ii] Esse- To be, Vivere- To see, Intelligere- To know. This triadic formulation is discussed in Books VIII-XV of De Trinitate, most likely modelled on the formulations of the convert grammarian Marius Victorinus.
[iii] there is no doubt, that no one understands who does not live, nor does anyone live who is not, self translated from Book XV of De Trinitate, (1968, Turnholti, Typographi Brepols Editores Pontificii)
[iv] C.Schmitt, Political Theology II, The Myth of the closure of any Political Theology, 1970(republished by Polity Press, 2008), Postscript, pg 130
[v] De Civitate Dei, Book XII, 24, 3, Loeb Classics, 1989, Harvard University Press
[vi] C.Schmitt, Political Theology II, The Myth of the closure of any Political Theology, 1970(republished by Polity Press, 2008), pg 95
[viii] Erik Peterson, Augustus theology and the debate indirectly are mentioned in King’s Two Bodies on pg 72, 156 and 466
[ix] JB Bury, A history of the later Roman Empire from Arcadius to Irene, pg 309
[x] E. Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies: A study in medieval political theology, 1957, Princeton University Press, pgs 70-85
[xi] E.Peterson, Der Monotheismus als Politisches, 88, cf.92
[xii] John of Salisbury, Policraticus 7:18, Webb edition 1909, pg 363
[xiii] Otto of Friesing, Chronicon Epicopi Frisingensis, 3:6, trans. C.C Mierow, 2002, pgs 20-30(introduction) and 227-230
[xiv] William of Ockham, Letters to the Friars Minor, Chapter XVIII, Q.3 trans. McGrade and Kilcullen, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
[xv] Schmitt refers to Donoso Cortes in the final chapter of his groundbreaking debut, Political Theology, and was heavily indebted to his theory of dictatorship.
[xx] Tullius Cicero, De Officis 2.46
[xxi] Tullius Cicero, De Invicta I, 16,22,
[xxii] Tullius Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae 3.2
[xxiii] Tullius Cicero, De Republica III, 21, 32
[xxv] I do not claim to be the first to make this observation, Frederick Wilhelmsen in his commentary on Donoso Cortes notes, "It follows that Roman Law, before its transformation and corruption at the hands of the Hellenic mind, was constituted by an act of judging which was always an act of answering, a 'respondere.'"- Wilhelmsen F. Juan Donoso Cortes and the Meaning of Power
[xxvii] Sallust, Bellum Catalinae X, 3, pg 50, Loeb Classic
[xxviii] Philo’s Decalogue 61, fragments trans by ER.Goodenough
[xxx] Philo’s On Agriculture 11
[xxxi] Excerpt of Sthenidas from Stobaeus’s on Kings, 187 12-13
[xxxii] Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. IV,4
[xxxiii] Augustine, Contra Fortunatum, trans by Teske, pg 156, the philosophical argument is named after Nebridius, a fellow convert from Manicheanism to Christianity
[xxxv] De Doctrina Christiania Book III, Ch. 24-37
[xxxvi] Enerrationes in Psalmos, CXXV, 3
[xxxviii] Enerrationes in Psalmos, CXLVI, 17, XXXVII, 1910
[xxxix] In Johannem IV XVIII. 4, referred to by Gratian in his 9th distinction as well
[xli] Ibid. Civ Dei, V, 24
[xlii] Isidore of Seville, Etym. 6.7.3 trans. Barney et al(2006), pg.139
[xliv] Isidore of Seville, Etym. 2.10.1 trans. Barney et al(2006), pg.73
[xlv] Ibid. Etym. 18.15, pg. 400
[xlvii] Isidore of Seville, Sentences 3.49, 3.48.1
[xlviii] Decreta 75 of the Fourth Council of Toledo
[xlix] From Ulpian’s Digest, 1,1,10, later transmitted in Justinian’s Institutes, with the minor change of using tribuens not tribuendi. Perhaps a microcosmic glimpse into the change from Antiquity to Christianity, Tribuens suggests moral inclination, such as it’s use in voluntas tribuens, the will to attribute.
[lii] John Duns Scotus, Opus Oxon IV, d.49, q.2
[liii] William of Ockham, Quast. IV Sententiae, q.16, introduces the concept
[liv] Aquinas, De Veritate q.5 a.1c
[lv] Ibid. Opus Oxon., IV, d. 26, q. 1
[lvi] Bartolus de Sassoferrato, Opera I.48r, decr 2-5, wherein the commentator on decretals makes an important distinction between imperium and iurisdictio simplex and the classification of laws on the virtue of power.
[lvii] Coutoumes de Beauvaisis, compiled by Philippe de Beaumanoir, c.15
[lviii] Einhard, Vita Karolini Magni, trans by Samuel Epes Turner, pg.29
[lix] FL. Ganshof, Coronation of Charlemagne, 1949 pg.9
[lx] Alcuin of York, Epi.198, pg.327
[lxi] Alcuin of York, Epi.307, pg.470, divine pietatis dispensatio
[lxii] Edictae Pist, article 490, from the Annals of Fulda, trans by Timothy Reuter, 1992, Manchester Press
[lxiii] The Historiche Recthschule was a Romanticist-influenced school of German legalism, who thought of law as an expression of national consciousness. Famous members include Jakob Grimm and Otto von Gierke
[lxiv] Capitularia Vol.2, no.254, pg 255, trans by Alfred Borretius into German, Hannover 1892, MGH Hannover
[lxv] Forum Iudicum or Lex Visigothorum trans by Samuel Parsons Scott, no.12, though this work of translation is deemed unreliable, as were many translations made by the man.
[lxvi] Magna Carta Commemoration Essays, compiled by the Royal Historical Society, 1917, ch.14, Magna Carta and Medieval Spanish Jurisprudence, Rafael Altamria y Crevea
[lxvii] For a modern example working on an ancient precedent, even in the Francoist Constitution of 1972, Art.64-66 enunciate the limits of the sovereign and the case for Cortes appeals.
[lxviii] Otto Brunner, Land and Lordship in Medieval Austria, trans by Kaminsky and van Horn Melton(1992), University of Pennsylvania Press, discussed in Ch.1, Politics and the feud.
[lxx] Aegidio de Roma, Ecclesia Potentia, trans RW Dyson, pgs 24-29
[lxxi] E. Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies: A study in medieval political theology, 1957, Princeton University Press, pg 229
[lxxii] In Decretales, Baldus Ch.7, Fol.18
[lxxiii] From Baldus’ Consilia, I, 328, no.8, fol.103, which reads imperium…in finem huius saeculi
[lxxiv] Enerrationes in Psalmos CXXIV, c.33
[lxxv] Aquinas, De Regimine principium, III, c.12-13
[lxxvi] E. Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies: A study in medieval political theology, 1957, Princeton University Press, pg 299
[lxxix] Tullius Cicero, De Republica, I. 25 pgs 41-43
[lxxx] Gregory Nazianzen, Select Orations, 22.13 trans by Martha Vinson The Catholic University of America Press, 2003
[lxxxi] On the 2nd Council of Orange and all other Ostrogothic and Frankish developments, I would recommend Gregory Halfond’s Archaeology of Frankish Church Councils, AD 511-768
[lxxxii] John Duns Scotus, Ordinatio 41(gen. 40-51 [VI 332-36])
[lxxxiii] Alvaro D’Ors, Teología Politica: Una revisión del problema, pg 59
[lxxxvi] Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power, II, pg 35, from Augustine’s commentary on Romans
[lxxxvii] Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Sovereignty pgs 281-288
[xc] Jean Bodin, Republique, 1962, pg 159
[xci] Thomas Hobbes, De Cive, Preface pg 31
[xciii] Schmitt links Malebranche’s occasionalism to aspects of Romantic politics, giving another example of political-theological transference in his early work Political Romanticism(1919)
[xciv] David Hume. Treatise on Human Nature I, III c14, pg.159
[xcvi] St.Petersburg Soirees, VI, 16
[xcviii] Considerations, pg 28, Cambridge Political Science
[c] Carl Schmitt, Die Einheit der welt, 1952, The Unity of the World, translated on Substack by the Noetic Pirate
[ci] Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace, pg 111-112, where the sublime form of constitution, the ideal, is deemed to be for angels and thus the achievement of a form of organisation where the inclinations of devils are neutered is deemed necessary.
[cii] quae autem contra mores hominum sunt flagitia pro morum diversitate vitanda sunt, ut pactum inter se civitatis aut gentis consuetudine vel lege firmatum nulla civis aut peregrini libidine violetur - But crimes that are against the morals of men are to be avoided according to the differences in their manners by agreement between a nation established by custom or by law, (so) that no citizen is violated by the desires of the foreigner.
[cviii] Henri-Xavier Arquilliere, L’Augustinisme Politique, pg 71