European Renaissance Essay

1327 WordsJul 25, 20126 Pages
There are conflicting perspectives surrounding the subsistence of the papacy; whether in the present or in the course of history, individuals have always questioned or defended the legitimacy of the papacy. However, amid the secular/religious strife that subsisted during the Renaissance, it was a popular subject matter among the intelligentsia. There was a tendency among contemporaries who assessed the degree by which the authority claims of the papacy could be held legitimate. While some critics deplored the existence of the papacy, others rallied its existence as being wholly legitimate or, in various instances, in need of immense transformation. Given that such individuals vary on their perspectives, each present a compelling argument for the prospect of defending their positions. These commentators significantly have different means of approaching their particular critique of the papacy’s claim to authority. Three different accounts will be presented in order to provide a basis for demonstrating some of the perspectives that were instigated in regards to the papacy during the Renaissance. In the process of contemplating the most effective form of government, in his Treatise on City Government (1330), Bartolus of Sassoferrato, fundamentally defended a government ruled by a single man as being the best form of government providing he is not corrupt. He suggests to his readers that an individual that has unrestrained power over his realm, is disposed to become “…a tyrant if he is inclined to pursue bad or [merely] personal ends (Bartolus of Sassoferrato, pg. 8).” Avarice or commanding upon personal advantage, he proposes, is what evidentially leads to tyranny. A king who comes into power through “…election is [considered to be] more divine than [one who comes about] by succession (Bartolus of Sassoferrato, pg. 10).” To reduce the prospect that this will not occur,

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