Representations of rulership in the Legenda aurea.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelBachelors with Honours
Degree NameBachelor of Arts (Hons)
The thirteenth century is a period of great innovations in the development of political thought. The relationship between temporal and ecclesiastical power became increasingly strained over this period, giving birth to a plethora of new political narratives from the intellectual elite. Many of these new narratives wove Aristotelian philosophy into their theories of power, and indeed their world views. Through analysing the way in which Jacobus de Voragine represents temporal rulership throughout the Legenda aurea (The Golden Legend), this research provides insight into the political ideas circulating within popular thought from the thirteenth century. Jacobus’ representation of rulership in the Legenda aurea, communicates a well-articulated model of traditional Augustinian thought, which would have been an influential source of traditional political thought for the wider population, which ran counter to the papal hierocratic model of power. The way in which Jacobus crafted the bond between temporal and divine spheres is integral to understanding the power and appeal of Jacobus’ work within contemporary society. Jacobus’ political views were an integral part of the way in which Jacobus conceived of the world in which he lived. Jacobus’ representation temporal of rulership throughout the Legenda aurea is a communication of more than a political theory, but an explanation of the divine mechanics which underscored temporal existence.