The king is the nation’s principle of unity and must live for the common good

April 25, 2011



A sovereign ruler was thought to be the physical embodiment, or representative, of an abstract legal body, in this case the community of the realm, and to be totally identified with its interest. Thus, John of Salisbury wrote in the mid-twelfth century, “The prince is…the minister of the public utility and the servant of equity, and in him the public persona is born.” The ruler is no longer his own man: he has to remember that “he does not owe his life to himself but to others.”   Diana Wood, Medieval Economic Thought (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 37.

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