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LEVIATHAN AND MEDIEVAL UNIVERSITAS: HOBBES'S DEBT TO CANON LAW

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According to communis opinio, Hobbes in Leviathan presented the first thoroughly modern theory of political order. Combining ideas of individualism, political representation and sovereignty, Hobbes constructed his revolutionary notion of the state. However, the ancestry of the conceptual apparatus implied in Hobbes's definition of the state as legal person produced through a process of political representation can be traced back deep into the pre-modern era. It has been remarked that the Roman law was one of the key sources of Hobbes's science of politics. The main thesis of this article is that Hobbes relied not so much on the Roman law of imperial codifications as on its medieval ecclesiastical adaptation in the form of Canon Law.
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Keywords: Canon Law; Legal Person; Legal Personality; Leviathan; Representation; Roman Law; Sovereignty; State; Thomas Hobbes; Universitas

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

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