We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Duo sunt: The historical and intellectual foundations of the medieval 'two powers' principle of government

Kiely, Philip (2005) Duo sunt: The historical and intellectual foundations of the medieval 'two powers' principle of government. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In the statements of the early Middle Ages, the most perennial question was how ought, regnum and Sacerdotium, the temporal power of kings and the spiritual power of priests be related. This work traces the development of an early formulation of the proper roles of ecclesiastical and temporal powers ― the Gelasian dualism. When Christianity first appeared in the Roman Empire, it was a persecuted sect and had no distinctive social or political philosophy. The maelstrom of the third century, however, stimulated the growth of Christianity, and the conversion of Constantine the Great, opened the possibility that Christianity could form a state-religion. The Church began to consolidate some form of central government, and its prelates began to emerge into a position of esteem and prominence. As a consequence, the Church faced a new danger ֊ that a Christianised state would acquire a controlling influence over the Church’s governance (caesaropapism). The dissolution of imperial power in the West, however, led to the development of a quite different religious and political tradition. The western Church sought to assert itself in matters of faith and claimed a degree of autonomy in its own affairs. The Church found its first great spokesman in St.Ambrose, bishop of Milan. The seed sown by Ambrose was borne out in the writings of his great pupil, St. Augustine of Hippo, who was hailed as an advocate of dualism. Towards the end of the fifth century, the bishops of Rome, the de facto heirs of the emperor’s power in the West, attempted a theoretical delimitation of the respectiveseparation owes a great deal to the thought of St. Augustine, but it was Pope Gelasius I who delivered this dualistic notion in its most influential formulation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:31

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter