Two important works on medieval political thought appeared in 1302; the treatise, On Ecclesiastical Power, by Giles of Rome (d. 1316) proclaimed the supremacy of the papacy over temporal power, whereas John of Paris (d. 1306) argued for a more dualistic approach in his work, On Royal and Papal Power. Although the treatises represent very different views on the relationship between the two powers, both writers were influenced by the 12th-c. work of Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153), Five Books on Consideration: Advice to a Pope (De consideratione). In particular, Bernard’s articulation of the relationship between the material and spiritual swords and the role of dominion (dominium) with respect to the church’s power were used to develop very different claims about papal authority. This paper assesses how Bernard’s concepts were incorporated into the treatises of Giles of Rome and John of Paris, and examines the impact of Bernard’s ideas on the development of medieval political thought.
C.1520 the monk Matthias Henriksson from Sorø Abbey in Denmark was appointed abbot of Tautra Abbey in Norway. During the next few years he managed to squander and pawn most of the abbey’s fortune while living a dissolute life and the spiritual life of the abbey suffered greatly. After some years he also became abbot of Hovedøya Abbey and continued in the same way there. Returning to Tautra, he was finally arrested and tried in 1530 by Archbishop Olav, but managed to keep his position. Finally, in 1532 he sold the entire abbey to a local nobleman, but the archbishop intervened and confiscated the abbey, which was also used as a prison for his political enemies until the Lutheran Reformation in 1537. Many of the documents concerning this case are preserved and give a fascinating glimpse of this period. Some of the information was not printed until the 20th century due to its ‘immoral’ nature.
The Cistercian Order was introduced in Portugal in the 12th century and its monasteries were from the beginning associated with the development of the nation and the objectives of occupation and administration of the territory. However in 1567 the Portuguese Cistercians separated from the obedience to Clairvaux when they were elevated to the category of Congregation, in short known as the ‘Autonomous Congregation of Alcobaça’, and they then owed their obedience to the great abbey of Alcobaça. Nevertheless, their architectural legacy continuously reminds us of the importance of the Cistercian Order in Portugal, accompanying as it did the beginning, maturation and affirmation of a country.