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The Individual and Society in the Middle Ages

Walter Ullmann

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Originally published in 1966. The Individual and Society in the Middle Ages, based on three guest lectures given at Johns Hopkins University in 1965, explores the place of the individual in medieval European society. Looking at legal sources and political ideology of the era, Ullmann concludes that, for most of the Middle Ages, the individual was defined as a subject rather than a citizen, but the modern concept of citizenship gradually supplanted the subject model from the late Middle Ages onward. Ullmann lays out the theological basis of the political theory that cast the medieval individual…

Originally published in 1966. The Individual and Society in the Middle Ages, based on three guest lectures given at Johns Hopkins University in 1965, explores the place of the individual in medieval European society. Looking at legal sources and political ideology of the era, Ullmann concludes that, for most of the Middle Ages, the individual was defined as a subject rather than a citizen, but the modern concept of citizenship gradually supplanted the subject model from the late Middle Ages onward. Ullmann lays out the theological basis of the political theory that cast the medieval individual as an inferior, abstract subject. The individual citizen who emerged during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, by contrast, was an autonomous participant in affairs of state. Several intellectual trends made this humanistic conception of the individual possible, among them the rehabilitation of vernacular writing during the thirteenth century and the growing interest in nature, natural philosophy, and natural law. However, Ullmann points to feudalism as the single most important medieval institution that laid the groundwork for the emergence of the modern citizen.

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The Individual and Society in the Middle Ages

Walter Ullmann

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
178
ISBN
9781421433974
Table of Contents

Preface
Lecture 1. The Abstract Thesis: The Ecclesiological and Corporational Theme of Subject and Society
Lecture 2. The Practical Thesis: The Constitutional Significance of the Feudal Relationship

Preface
Lecture 1. The Abstract Thesis: The Ecclesiological and Corporational Theme of Subject and Society
Lecture 2. The Practical Thesis: The Constitutional Significance of the Feudal Relationship and Its Bearing on the Individual in Society
Lecture 3. The Humanistic Thesis: The Emergence of the Citizen
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Walter Ullmann

Walter Ullmann (1910–1983) was an Austrian-British scholar of medieval intellectual history with a focus on political thought, legal theory, and the papacy. He is the author of The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages. He was a scholar at the University of Cambridge from 1949 until he retired, in 1978, as the university's fifth professor of medieval history.