The Politics of Johannes Althusius. An abridged translation of the Third Edition of. POLITICA METHODICE DIGESTA, ATQUE EXEMPLIS SACRIS ET PROFANIS. After philosophic and legal studies in Switzerland, Althusius was a professor at the “Politica methodice digesta atque exemplis sacris et profanis illustrata”. According to Althusius, the purpose of the state is to protect and encourage social life. The family is the most natural of human associations, and all other unions.

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Johannes Althusius

Indeed, now philosophers, then jurists, and still again theologians handle political questions and axioms. Since the nuclear family is a conjugal relationship, even it is covenantal. David marked it as to-read Sep 25, Although Althusius himself does not develop a theory of confederation per se, his particular kind of federal thinking in which he sees his universal association as constituted by comprehensive organic communities has clearly had something to contribute to an emerging postmodern theory of confederation.

We turn now to types of association or of symbiotic life. But the greatest achievement of his Herborn years was the publication in of the Politica, a work that received immediate and wide attention. The reason is that what is common politicq everyone is not my private concern alone. Power set over against equal power would bring all things to an end by continuous and irreconcilable discord, and would involve in its ruin things that do not belong to it, and that it does not know how to govern.

Every althusiud therefore needs the experience and contributions of others, and no one lives to himself alone. Sometimes, however, the last two are combined in one estate known as the commons. Althuisus, Althusius frequently joins clauses that are not of parallel construction, and amalgamates lathusius number of them into a confusing sentence that, if diagrammed, politlca look like a crab-apple tree.

She joins and consoles him in misery and calamity. He saw in Althusius a seminal thinker who was enabled by an exceptional learning in law, theology, politics, and history to formulate a political theory that served as something of akthusius culmination of medieval social thought and a watershed of modern political ideas. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. This organized body is also known to Althusius as the people populus.


The Ephors and Their Duties pp. At the same time, its strong Calvinist spirit enabled it to exercise an exceptional influence in key areas of the Netherlands and Germany. For each contributes in this matter, as in others, what he can. Representatives of these estates, and in some realms of the ecclesiastical order as well, will meet in convocation where they perform much the same function in the province that the senate does in the city.

They remove the supreme magistrate who becomes tyrannical. The Latin word jus employed althksius this connection means both right and law. The public association exists when many private associations are linked together for the purpose of establishing an inclusive political order politeuma.

Politica – Online Library of Liberty

If it is composed of clergymen, philosophers, or teachers, it is called an ecclesiastical collegium. Would that Althusius had also permitted his often dull and sometimes barbarous Latin style to be influenced by Cicero!

The continued existence popitica the family tends to confirm this agreement. Pactum covenant is the only basis for legitimate political organization. Another problem is that of style. They do this according to the judgment of the chief and the laws leges of good order and althysius discipline prescribed by him for inferior symbiotes. It is a striking feature of Althusian studies, however, that until this translation was made there had not been a published translation of a substantial part of the Politica in any vernacular language.

The Constituting of the Supreme Magistrate pp. Symbiotic association thus requires a balance between social necessity and social volition. The collegia of magistrates are of particular importance because by their public power jus potestatis they set bounds for each and every other collegium. He directs the business of the community, and althjsius on behalf of its welfare and advantage, exercising authority jus over the individuals but not over the citizens collectively.

By this means a testimony may stand forth of our friendship and affinity.

Finally, it notes the form and constitution of the commonwealth by which all actions of the citizens are guided. I miss in these writers an appropriate method and order.


Farewell to you, and to my relatives and friends. For several centuries interest in Althusius politicca slight until he was rediscovered early in the 20th century by Otto Friedrich von Gierke.

Each is oriented toward some higher degree of human harmony to be attained in the fullness of time. Andreas Jongeneel marked it as to-read Oct 30, Giovanni Gigliozzi Bianco marked it as to-read Oct 03, Whence arises the particular and private union and society among the covenanters, whose bond vinculum is trust granted and accepted in their communication of mutual aid, counsel, and right jus.

They differ in each specie of association according as the nature of each requires. The first grand federalist design, as Althusius himself was careful to altjusius, was that of the Bible, most particularly the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament.

Politica by Johannes Althusius. Thus Althusius departs from a distinction common in medieval Roman law between public and private. We should make sure that we render to each science its due suum cuique and not claim for our own what is poltiica to it. Clearly man by nature is a gregarious animal born for cultivating society with other men, not by nature living alone as wild beasts do, nor wandering about as birds.

Aug 09, Leonardo Bruno rated it really liked it. Althusius could poljtica himself without undue difficulty to the notion that a ruler pplitica be Edition: Althuaius without this primary association others are able neither to arise nor to endure.

Moreover, it is difficult in certain instances to determine which of several editions of a book should be listed since Althusius never identified which edition he was using. By his weeping and tears, he can initiate nothing except the most miserable life, a very certain sign of pressing and immediate misfortune.