Mediaeval Socialism
by Bede Jarrett
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The Schoolmen can therefore be regarded as a consistent and logical school. They had an extreme dislike to any broad generalisation, and preferred rather, whenever the occasion could be discovered, to distinguish rather than to concede or deny. Hence, confronted by the communistic theory of State ownership which had been advanced by Plato, and by a curious group of strange, heterodox teachers, and which had, moreover, the actual support of many patristic sayings, and the strong bias of monastic life, they set out joyfully to resolve it into the simplest and most unassailable series of propositions. They began, therefore, by admitting that nature made no division of property, and in that sense held all things in common; that in the early stages of human history, when man, as yet unfallen, was conceived as living in the Garden of Eden in perfect innocency, common property amply satisfied his sinless and unselfish moral character; that by the Fall lust and greed overthrew this idyllic state, and led to a continued condition of internecine strife, and the supremacy of might; that experience gradually brought men to realise that their only hope towards peaceful intercourse lay in the actual division of property, and the establishment of a system of private ownership; that this could only be set aside by men who were themselves perfect, or had vowed themselves to pursue perfection, namely, Our Lord, His Apostles, and the members of religious orders. To this list of what they held to be historic events they added another which contained the moral deductions to be made from these facts. This began by the assertion that private property in itself was not in any sense contrary to the virtue of justice; that it was entirely lawful; that it was even necessary on account of certain evil conditions which otherwise would prevail; that the State, however, had the right in extreme cases and for a just cause to transfer private property from one to another; that it could, when the needs of its citizens so demanded, reverse its primitive decision, and re-establish its earlier form of common ownership; that this last system, however possible, and however much it might be regretted as a vanished and lost ideal, was decidedly now a violent and impracticable proceeding.

These theories, it is evident, though they furnish the only arguments which are still in use among us to support the present social organisation, are also patent of an interpretation which might equally lead to the very opposite conclusion. In his fear of any general contradiction to communism which should be open to dispute, and in his ever-constant memory of his own religious life as a Dominican friar, Aquinas had to mark with precision to what extent and in what sense private property could be justified. But at the same time he was forced by the honesty of his logical training to concede what he could in favour of the other side. He took up in this question, as in every other, a middle course, in which neither extreme was admitted, but both declared to contain an element of truth. It is clear, too, that his scholastic followers, even to our own date, in their elaborate commentaries can find no escape from the relentless logic of his conclusions. Down the channel that he dug flowed the whole torrent of mediaeval and modern scholasticism.[2] But for those whose minds were practical rather than abstract, one or other proposition he advanced, isolated from the context of his thought, could be quoted as of moment, and backed by the greatness of his name. His assertion of the absolute impracticable nature of socialistic organisation, as he knew it in his own age, was too good a weapon to be neglected by those who sought about for means of defence for their own individualistic theories; whereas others, like the friars of whom Wycliff and Langland spoke, and who headed bands of luckless peasants in the revolt of 1381 against the oppression of an over-legalised feudalism, were blind to this remarkable expression of Aquinas' opinion, and quoted him only when he declared that "by nature all things were in common," and when he protested that the socialist theory of itself contained nothing contrary to the teaching of the gospel or the doctrines of the Church.

Truth is blinding in its brilliance. Half-truths are easy to see, and still easier to explain. Hence the full and detailed theory elaborated by the Schoolmen has been tortured to fit first one and then another scheme of political reform. Yet all the while its perfect adjustment of every step in the argument remains a wonderful monument of the intellectual delicacy and hardihood of the Schoolmen.


[2] Cf. Coutenson, Theologia Mentis et Cordis, iii. 388-389, Paris, 1875; and Billnart, De Justitia, i. 123-124, Liege, 1746.



Besides the Schoolmen, by whom the problems of life were viewed in the refracted light of theology and philosophy, there was another important class in mediaeval times which exercised itself over the same social questions, but visaged them from an entirely different angle. This was the great brotherhood of the law, which, whether as civil or canonical, had its own theories of the rights of private ownership. It must be remembered, too, that just as the theologians supported their views by an appeal to what were considered historic facts in the origin of property, so, too, the legalists depended for the material of their judgment on circumstances which the common opinion of the time admitted as authentic.

When the West drifted out from the clouds of barbaric invasion, and had come into calm waters, society was found to be organised on a basis of what has been called feudalism. That is to say, the natural and universal result of an era of conquest by a wandering people is that the new settlers hold their possessions from the conqueror on terms essentially contractual. The actual agreements have varied constantly in detail, but the main principle has always been one of reciprocal rights and duties. So at the early dawn of the Middle Ages, after the period picturesquely styled the Wanderings of the Nations, we find the subjugating races have encamped in Europe, and hold it by a series of fiefs. The action, for example, of William the Norman, as plainly shown in Domesday Book, is typical of what had for some three or four centuries been happening here and on the Continent. Large tracts of land were parcelled out among the invading host, and handed over to individual barons to hold from the King on definite terms of furnishing him with men in times of war, of administering justice within their domains, and of assisting at his Council Board when he should stand in need of their advice. The barons, to suit their own convenience, divided up these territories among their own retainers on terms similar to those by which they held their own. And thus the whole organisation of the country was graduated from the King through the greater barons to tenants who held their possessions, whether a castle, or a farm, or a single hut, from another to whom they owed suit and service.

This roughly (constantly varying, and never actually quite so absolutely carried out) is the leading principle of feudalism. It is clearly based upon a contract between each man and his immediate lord; but, and this is of importance in the consideration of the feudal theory of private property, whatever rights and duties held good were not public, but private. There was not at the first, and in the days of what we may call "pure feudalism," any concept of a national law or natural right, but only a bundle of individual rights. Appeal from injustice was not made at a supreme law-court, but only to the courts of the barons to whom both litigants owed allegiance. The action of the King was quite naturally always directed towards breaking open this enclosed sphere of influence, and endeavouring to multiply the occasions on which his officials might interfere in the courts of his subjects. Thus the idea gradually grew up (and its growth is perhaps the most important matter of remark in mediaeval history), by which the King's law and the King's rights were looked upon as dominating those of individuals or groups. The courts baron and customary, and the sokes of privileged townships were steadily emptied of their more serious cases, and shorn of their primitive powers. This, too, was undoubtedly the reason for the royal interference in the courts Christian (the feudal name for the clerical criminal court). The King looked on the Church, as he looked on his barons and his exempted townships, as outside his royal supremacy, and, in consequence, quarrelled over investiture and criminous clerks, and every other point in which he had not as yet secured that his writs and judgments should prevail. There was a whole series of courts of law which were absolutely independent of his officers and his decision. His restless energy throughout this period had, therefore, no other aim than to bring all these into a line with his own, and either to capture them for himself, or to reduce them to sheer impotence. But at the beginning there was little notion of a royal judge who should have power to determine cases in which barons not immediately holding their fiefs of the King were implicated. The concern of each was only with the lord next above him. And the whole conception of legal rights was, therefore, considered simply as private rights.

The growth of royal power consequently acted most curiously on contemporary thinkers. It meant centralisation, the setting up of a definite force which should control the whole kingdom. It resulted in absolutism increasing, with an ever-widening sphere of royal control. It culminated in the Reformation, which added religion to the other departments of State in which royal interference held predominance. Till then the Papacy, as in some sort "a foreign power," world-wide and many-weaponed, could treat on more than equal terms with any European monarch, and secure independence for the clergy. With the lopping off of the national churches from the parent stem, this energising force from a distant centre of life ceased. Each separate clerical organisation could now depend only on its own intrinsic efficiency. For most this meant absolute surrender.

The civil law therefore which supplanted feudalism entailed two seemingly contradicting principles which are of importance in considering the ownership of land. On the one hand, the supremacy of the King was assured. The people became more and more heavily taxed, their lands were subjected to closer inspection, their criminal actions were viewed less as offences against individuals than as against the peace of the King. It is an era in which, therefore, as we have already stated, the power of the individual sinks gradually more and more into insignificance in comparison with the rising force of the King's dominion. Private rights are superseded by public rights.

Yet, on the other hand, and by the development of identically the same principles, the individual gains. His tenure of land becomes far less a matter of contract. He himself escapes from his feudal chief, and his inferior tenants slip also from his control. He is no longer one in a pyramid of grouped social organisation, but stands now as an individual answerable only to the head of the State. He has duties still; but no longer a personal relationship to his lord. It is the King and that vague abstraction called the State which now claim him as a subject; and by so doing are obliged to recognise his individual status. This new and startling prominence of the individual disturbed the whole concept of ownership. Originally under the influence of that pure feudalism which nowhere existed in its absolute form, the two great forces in the life of each member of the social group were his own and that of his immediate lord. These fitted together into an almost indissoluble union; and therefore absolute ownership of the soil was theoretically impossible. Now, however, the individual was emancipated from his lord. He was still, it is true, subject to the King, whose power might be a great deal more oppressive than the barons' had been. But the King was far off, whereas the baron had been near, and nearly always in full evidence. Hence the result was the emphasis of the individual's absolute dominion. Not, indeed, as though it excluded the dominion of the King, but precisely because the royal predominance could only be recognised by the effective shutting out of the interference of the lord. To exclude the "middle-man," the King was driven to recognise the absolute dominion of the individual over his own possessions.

This is brought out in English law by Bracton and his school. Favourers as they were of the royal prerogative, they were driven to take up the paradoxical ground that the King was not the sole owner of property. To defend the King they were obliged to dispossess him. To put his control on its most effective basis, they had no other alternative left them than to admit the fullest rights of the individual against the King. For only if the individual had complete ownership, could there be no interference on the part of the lord; only if the possessions of the tenants were his own, were they prevented from falling under the baronial jurisdiction. Therefore by apparently denying the royal prerogative the civil lawyers were in effect, as they perfectly well recognised, really extending it and enabling it to find its way into cases and courts where it could not else well have entered.

Seemingly, therefore, all idea of socialism or nationalisation of land (at that date the great means of production) was now excluded. The individualistic theory of property had suddenly appeared; and simultaneously the old group forms, which implied collectivism in some shape or other, ceased any longer to be recognised as systems of tenure. Yet, at the same time, by a paradox as evident as that by which the civilians exalted the royal prerogative apparently at its own expense, or as that by which Wycliff's communism is found to be in reality a justification of the policy of leaving things as they are, while St. Thomas's theory of property is discovered as far less oppressive and more adaptable to progressive developments of national wealth, it is noticed that, from the point of view of the socialist, monarchical absolutism is the most favourable form of a State's constitution. For wherever a very strictly centralised system of government exists, it is clear that a machinery, which needs little to turn it to the advantage of the absolute rule of a rebellious minority, has been already constructed. In a country where, on the other hand, local government has been enormously encouraged, it is obviously far more difficult for socialism to force an entrance into each little group. There are all sorts of local conditions to be squared, vagaries of law and administration to be reduced to order, connecting bridges to be thrown from one portion of the nation to the next, so as to form of it one single whole. Were the socialists of to-day to seize on the machinery of government in Germany and Russia, they could attain their purposes easily and smoothly, and little difference in constitutional forms would be observed in these countries, for already the theory of State ownership and State interference actually obtains. They would only have to substitute a bloc for a man. But in France and England, where the centralisation is far less complete, the success of the socialistic party and its achievement of supreme power would mean an almost entire subversal of all established methods of administration, for all the threads would have first to be gathered into a single hand.

Consequently feudalism, which turned the landowners into petty sovereigns and insisted on local courts, &c., though seemingly communistic or socialistic, was really, from its intense local colouring, far less easy of capture by those who favoured State interference. It was individualistic, based on private rights. But the new royal prerogative led the way to the consideration of the evident ease by which, once the machine was possessed, the rest of the system could without difficulty be brought into harmony with the new theories. To make use of comparison, it was Cardinal Wolsey's assumption of full legatine power by permission of the Pope which first suggested to Henry VIII that he could dispense with His Holiness altogether. He saw that the Cardinal wielded both spiritual and temporal jurisdiction. He coveted his minister's position, and eventually achieved it by ousting both Clement and Wolsey, who had unwittingly shown him in which way more power lay.

So, similarly, the royal despotism itself, by centralising all power into the hands of a single prince, accustomed men to the idea of the absolute supremacy of national law, drove out of the field every defender of the rights of minorities, and thus paved the way for the substitution of the people for itself. The French Revolution was the logical conclusion to be drawn from the theories of Louis XIV. It needed only the fire of Rousseau to burn out the adventitious ornamentation which in the shape of that monarch's personal glorification still prevented the naked structure from being seen in all its clearness. L'Etat c'est moi can be as aptly the watchword of a despotic oligarchy, or a levelling socialism, as of a kingly tyranny, according as it passes from the lips of the one to the few or the many. It is true that the last phase was not completed till long after the Middle Ages had closed, but the tendency towards it is evident in the teachings of the civil lawyers.

Thus, for example, State absolutism is visible in the various suggestions made by men like Pierre du Bois and Wycliff (who, in the expression of their thoughts, are both rather lawyers than schoolmen) to dispossess the clergy of their temporalities. The principles urged, for instance, by these two in justification of this spoliation could be applied equally well to the estates of laymen. For the same principles put into the King's hand the undetermined power of doing what was necessary for the well-being of the State. It is true that Pierre du Bois (De Recuperatione Terre Sancte, pp. 39-41, 115-8) asserted that the royal authority was limited to deal in this way with Church lands, and could not touch what belonged to others. But this proviso was obviously inserted so arbitrarily that its logical force could not have had any effect. Political necessity alone prevented it from being used against the nobility and gentry.

Ockham, however, the clever Oxford Franciscan, who formed one of the group of pamphleteers that defended Louis of Bavaria against Pope John XXII, quite clearly enlarged the grounds for Church disendowment so as to include the taking over by the State of all individual property. He was a thinker whose theories were strangely compounded of absolutism and democracy. The Emperor was to be supported because his autocracy came from the people. Hence, when Ockham is arguing about ecclesiastical wealth, and the way in which it could be quite fairly confiscated by the Government, he enters into a discussion about the origin of the imperial dignity. This, he declares, was deliberately handed over by the people to the Emperor. To escape making the Pope the original donor of the imperial title, Ockham concedes that privilege to the people. It was they, the people, who had handed over to the Caesars of the Holy Roman Empire all their own rights and powers. Hence Louis was a monarch whose absolutism rested on a popular basis. Then he proceeds in his argument to say that the human positive law by which private property was introduced was made by the people themselves, and that the right or power by which this was done was transferred by them to the Emperor along with the imperial dignity.

Louis, therefore, had the same right to undo what they had done, for in him all their powers now resided. This, of course, formed an excellent principle from which to argue to his right to dispossess the Church of its superfluous wealth—indeed of all its wealth. But it could prove equally effectual against the holding by the individual of any property whatever. It made, in effect, private ownership rest on the will of the prince.

Curiously, too, in quite another direction the same form of argument had been already worked out by Nicole Oresme, a famous Bishop of Lisieux, who first translated into French the Politics of Aristotle, and who helped so largely in the reforms of Charles V of France. His great work was in connection with the revision of the coinage, on which he composed a celebrated treatise. He held that the change of the value of money, either by its deliberate depreciation, or by its being brought back to its earlier standard of face value, carried such widespread consequences that the people should most certainly be consulted on it. It was not fair to them to take such a step without their willing co-operation. Yet he admits fully that, though this is the wiser and juster way of acting, there was no absolute need for so doing, since all possession and all property sprang from the King. And this last conclusion was advocated by his rival, Philip de Meziers, whose advice Charles ultimately followed. Philip taught that the king was sole judge of whatever was for public use.

But there was a further point in the same question which afforded matter for an interesting discussion among the lawyers. Pope Innocent IV, who had first been famous as a canonist, and retained as Pontiff his old love for disputations of this kind, developed a theory of his own on the relation between the right of the individual to possess and the right of the State over that possession. He distinguished carefully between two entirely different concepts, namely, the right and its exercise. The first he admitted to be sacred and inviolable, because it sprang from the very nature of man. It could not be disturbed or in any way molested; the State had therefore no power to interfere with the right. But he suggested that the exercise of that right, or, to use his actual phrase, the "actions in accord with that right," rested on the basis of civil, positive law, and could therefore be controlled by legal decisions. The right was sacred, its exercise was purely conventional. Thus every man has a right to property; he can never by any possible means divest himself of it, for it is rooted in the depths of his being, and supported by his human nature. But this right appears especially to be something internal, intrinsic. For him to exercise it—that is to say, to hold this land or that, or indeed any land at all—the State's intervention must be secured. At least the State can control his action in buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining it. His right cannot be denied, but for reasons of social importance its exercise well may be. Nor did this then appear as a merely unmeaning distinction; he would not admit that a right which could not be exercised was hardly worth consideration. And, in point of fact, the Pope's private theory found very many supporters.

There were others, however, who judged it altogether too fantastical. The most interesting of his opponents was a certain Antonio Roselli, a very judiciously-minded civil lawyer, who goes very thoroughly into the point at issue. He gives Innocent's views, and quotes what authority he can find for them in the Digest and Decretals. But for himself he would prefer to admit that the right to private property is not at all sacred or natural in the sense of being inviolable. He willingly concedes to the State the right to judge all claims of possession. This is the more startling since ordinarily his views are extremely moderate, and throughout the controversy between Pope and Emperor he succeeded in steering a very careful, delicate course. To him, however, all rights to property were purely civil and arguable only on principles of positive law. There was no need, therefore, to discriminate between the right and its exercise, for both equally could be controlled by the State. There are evidences to show that he admitted the right of each man to the support of his own life, and, therefore, to private property in the form of actual food, &c., necessary for the immediate moment; but he distinctly asserts as his own personal idea that "the prince could take away my right to a thing, and any exercise of that right," adding only that for this there must be some cause. The prince cannot arbitrarily confiscate property; he must have some reasonable motive of sufficient gravity to outweigh the social inconveniences which confiscation would necessarily produce. Not every cause is a sufficient one, but those only which concern "public liberty or utility." Hence he decides that the Pope cannot alienate Church lands without some justifying reason, nor hand them over to the prince unless there happens to be an urgent need, springing from national circumstances. It does not follow, however, that he wishes to make over to the State absolute right to individual property under normal conditions. The individual has the sole dominion over his own possessions; that dominion reverts to the State only in some extreme instance. His treatise, therefore (Goldast, De Monarchia, 1611-1614, Hanover, p. 462, &c.), may be looked upon as summing up the controversy as it then stood. The legal distinction suggested by Innocent IV had been given up by the lawyers as insufficient. The theories of Du Bois, Wycliff, Ockham, and the others had ceased to have much significance, because they gave the royal power far too absolute a jurisdiction over the possessions of its subjects. The feudal contractual system, which these suggested reforms had intended to drive out, had failed for entirely different reasons, and could evidently be brought back only at the price of a complete and probably unsuccessful disturbance of the social and economic organisation. The centralisation which had risen on the ruins of the older local sovereignties and immunities, had brought with it an emphasised recognition of the public rights and duties of all subjects, and had at the same time confirmed the individual in the ownership of his little property, and given him at the last not a conditional, but an absolute possession. To safeguard this, and to prevent it from becoming a block in public life, a factor of discontent, the lawyers were engaged in framing an additional clause which should give to the State an ultimate jurisdiction, and would enable it to overrule any objections on the part of the individual to a national policy or law. The suggested distinction that the word "right" should be emptied of its deeper meaning, by refusing it the further significance of "exercise," was too subtle and too legal to obtain much public support. So that the lawyers were driven to admit that for a just cause the very right itself could be set aside, and every private possession (when public utility and liberty demanded it) confiscated or transferred to another.

Even the right to compensation for such confiscation was with equal cleverness explained away. For it was held that, when an individual had lost his property through State action, and without his having done anything to deserve it as a punishment, compensation could be claimed. But whenever a whole people or nation was dispossessed by the State, there was no such right at all to any indemnity.

Thus was the wholesale adoption of land-nationalism to be justified. Thus could the State capture all private possessions without any fear of being guilty of robbery. It was considered that it was only the oppression of the individual and class spoliation which really contravened the moral law.

The legal theories, therefore, which supplanted the old feudal concepts were based on the extension of royal authority, and the establishment of public rights. Individualistic possession was emphasised; yet the simultaneous setting up of the absolute monarchies of the sixteenth century really made their ultimate capture by the Socialist party more possible.



It may seem strange to class social reforms under the wider heading of Socialistic Theories, and the only justification for doing so is that which we have already put forward in defence of the whole book; namely, that the term "socialistic" has come to bear so broad an interpretation as to include a great deal that does not strictly belong to it. And it is only on the ground of their advocating State interference in the furtherance of their reforms that the reformers here mentioned can be spoken of as socialistic.

Of course there have been reformers in every age who came to bring to society their own personal measures of relief. But in the Middle Ages hardly a writer took pen in hand who did not note in the body politic some illness, and suggest some remedy. Howsoever abstruse might be the subject of the volume, there was almost sure to be a reference to economic or social life. It was not an epoch of specialists such as is ours. Each author composed treatises in almost every branch of learning. The same professor, according to mediaeval notions, might lecture to-day on Scripture, to-morrow on theology or philosophy, and the day after on natural science. For them a university was a place where each student learnt, and each professor taught, universal knowledge. Still from time to time men came to the front with some definite social message to be delivered to their own generation. Some were poets like Langland, some strike-leaders like John Ball, some religious enthusiasts like John Wycliff, some royal officials like Pierre du Bois.

This latter in his famous work addressed to King Edward I of England (De Recuperatione Sancte Terre), has several most interesting and refreshing chapters on the education of women. His bias is always against religious orders, and, consequently, he favours the suppression of almost every conventual establishment. Still, as these were at his own date the only places where education could be considered to exist at all, he had to elaborate for himself a plan for the proper instruction of girls. First, of course, the nunneries must be confiscated by Government. For him this was no act of injustice, since he regarded the possessions of the whole clerical body as something outside the ordinary laws of property. But having in this way cleared the ground of all rivals, and captured some magnificent buildings, he can now go forward in his scheme of education. He insists on having only lay-mistresses, and prescribes the course of study which these are to teach. There should be, he held, many lectures on literature, and music, and poetry, and the arts and crafts of home life. Embroidery and home-management are necessities for the woman's work in after years, so they must be acquired in these schools. But education cannot limit itself to these branches of useful knowledge. It must take the woman's intelligence and develop that as skilfully as it does the man's. She is not inferior to him in power of reason, but only in her want of its right cultivation. Hence the new schools are to train her to equal man in all the arts of peace. Such is the main point in his programme, which even now sounds too progressive for the majority of our educational critics. He appeals for State interference that the colleges may be endowed out of the revenues of the religious houses, and that they may be supported in such a fashion as would always keep them abreast of the growing science of the times. And when, after a schooling of such a kind as this, the girls go out into their life-work as wives and mothers, he would wish them a more complete equality with their men-folk than custom then allowed. The spirit of freedom which is felt working through all his papers makes him the apostle of what would now be called the "new woman."

After him, there comes a lull in reforming ideas. But half a century later occurs a very curious and sudden outburst of rebellion all over Europe. From about the middle of the fourteenth century to the early fifteenth there seemed to be an epidemic of severe social unrest. There were at Paris, which has always been the nursery of revolutions, four separate risings. Etienne Marcel, who, however, was rather a tribune of the people than a revolutionary leader, came into prominence in 1355; he was followed by the Jacquerie in 1358, by the Maillotins in 1382, and the Cabochiens in 1411. In Rome we know of Rienzi in 1347, who eventually became hardly more than a popular demagogue; in Florence there was the outbreak of Ciompi in 1378; in Bohemia the excesses of Taborites in 1409; in England the Peasant Revolt of 1381.

It is perfectly obvious that a series of social disturbances of this nature could not leave the economic literature of the succeeding period quite as placid as it had found it. We notice now that, putting away questions of mere academic character, the thinkers and writers concern themselves with the actual state of the people. Parliament has its answer to the problem in a long list of statutes intended to muzzle the turbulent and restless revolutionaries. But this could not satisfy men who set their thought to study the lives and circumstances of their fellow-citizens. Consequently, as a result, we can notice the rise of a school of writers who interest themselves above all things in the economic conditions of labour. Of this school the easiest exponent to describe is Antonino of Florence, Archbishop and canonised saint. His four great volumes on the exposition of the moral law are fascinating as much for the quotations of other moralists which they contain, as for the actual theories of the saint himself. For the Archbishop cites on almost every page contemporary after contemporary who had had his say on the same problems. He openly asserts that he has read widely, taken notes of all his reading, has deliberately formed his opinions on the judgments, reasoned or merely expressed, of his authors. To read his books, then, is to realise that Antonino is summing up the whole experience of his generation. Indeed he was particularly well placed for one who wished for information. Florence, then at the height of its renown under the brilliant despotism of Cosimo dei Medici, was the scene where the great events of the life of Antonino took place. There he had seen within the city walls, three Popes, a Patriarch of Constantinople, the Emperors of East and West, and the most eminent men of both civilisations. He had taken part in a General Council of the Church, and knew thinkers as widely divergent as Giovanni Dominici and AEneas Sylvius Piccolomini. He was, therefore, more likely than most to have heard whatever theories were proposed by the various great political statesmen of Europe, whether they were churchmen or lawyers. Consequently, his schemes, as we might well expect, are startlingly advanced.

He begins by attacking the growing spirit of usury, and the resulting idleness. Men were finding out that under the new conditions which governed the money market it was possible to make a fortune without having done a day's work. The sons of the aristocracy of Florence, which was built up of merchant princes, and which had amassed its own fortunes in honest trading, had been tempted by the bankers to put their wealth out to interest, and to live on the surplus profit. The ease and security with which this could be done made it a popular investment, especially among the young men of fashion who came in, simply by inheritance, for large sums of money. As a consequence Florence found itself, for the first time in its history, beginning to possess a wealthy class of men who had never themselves engaged in any profession. The old reverence, therefore, which had always existed in the city for the man who laboured in his art or guild, began to slacken. No longer was there the same eagerness noticeable which used to boast openly that its rewards consisted in the consciousness of work well done. Instead, idleness became the badge of gentility, and trade a slur upon a man's reputation. No city can long survive so listless and languid an ideal. The Archbishop, therefore, denounced this new method of usurious traffic, and hinted further that to it was due the fierce rebellion which had for a while plunged Florence into the horrors of the Jacquerie. Wealth, he taught, should not of itself breed wealth, but only through the toil of honest labour, and that labour should be the labour of oneself, not of another.

Then he proceeded to argue that as upon the husband lies the labour of trade, the greater portion of his day must necessarily be passed outside the circle of family life. The breadwinner can attend neither to works of piety nor of charity in the way he should, and, consequently, to his wife it must be left to supply for his defects. She must take his place in the church, and amid the slums of the poor; she must for him and his lift her hands in prayer, and dispense his superfluous wealth in succouring the poverty-stricken. For the Archbishop will have none of the soothing doctrine which the millionaire preaches to the mob. He asserts that poverty is not a good thing; in itself it is an evil, and can be considered to lead only accidentally to any good. When, therefore, it assumes the form of destitution, every effort must be made to banish it from the State. For if it were to become at all prevalent in a nation, then would that people be on the pathway to its ruin. The politicians should therefore make it the end of their endeavours—though this, it may be, is an ideal which can never be fully brought to realisation—to leave each man in a state of sufficiency. No one, for whatever reason, should be allowed to become destitute. Even should it be by his own fault that he were brought low, he must be provided for by the State, which has, however, in these circumstances, at the same time, the duty of punishing him.

But he remarks that the cause of poverty is more often the unjust rate of wages. The competition even of those days made men beat each other down in clamouring for work to be given them, and afforded to the employers an opportunity of taking workers who willingly accepted an inadequate scale of remuneration. This state of things he considered to be unjustifiable and unjust. No one had any right to make profit out of the wretchedness of the poor. Each human being had the duty of supporting his own life, and this he could not do except by the hiring of his own labour to another. That other, therefore, by the immutable laws of justice, when he used the powers of his fellow-man, was obliged in conscience to see that those powers could be fittingly sustained by the commodity which he exchanged for them. That is, the employer was bound to take note that his employees received such return for their labour as should compensate them for his use of it. The payment promised and given should be, in other words, what we would now speak of as a "living wage." But further, above this mere margin, additional rewards should be added according to the skill of the workman, or the dangerous nature of his employment, or the number of his children. The wages also should be paid promptly, without delay.

But it may sometimes happen that the labour which a man can contribute is not of such a kind as will enable him to receive the fair remuneration that should suffice for his bodily comfort. The saint is thinking of boy-labour, and the case of those too enfeebled by age or illness to work adequately, or perhaps at all. What is to be done for them? Let the State look to it, is his reply. The community must, by the law of its own existence, support all its members, and out of its superfluous wealth must provide for its weaker citizens. Those, therefore, who can labour harder than they need, or who already possess more riches than suffice for them, are obliged by the natural law of charity to give to those less favourably circumstanced than themselves.

St. Antonino does not, therefore, pretend to advocate any system of rigid equality among men. There is bound to be, in his opinion, variety among them, and from this variety comes indeed the harmony of the universe. For some are born to rule, and others, by the feebleness of their understanding or of their will, are fitted only to obey. The workman and servant must faithfully discharge the duties of their trade or service, be quick to receive a command, and reverent in their obedience. And the masters, in their turn, must be forbearing in their language, generous in their remuneration, and temperate in their commands. It is their business to study the powers of each of those whom they employ, and to measure out the work to each one according to the capacity which is discoverable in him. When a faithful labourer has become ill, the employer must himself tend and care for him, and be in no hurry to send him to a hospital.

About the hospitals themselves he has his own ideas, or at least he has picked out the sanest that he can find in the books and conversation of people whom he has come across. He insists strongly that women should, as matrons and nurses, manage those institutions which are solely for the benefit of women; and even in those where men also are received, he can see no incompatibility in their being administered by these same capable directors. He much commends the custom of chemists in Florence on Sundays, feast-days, and holidays of opening their dispensaries in turn. So that even should all the other shops be closed, there would always be one place open where medicines and drugs could be obtained in an emergency.

The education of the citizens, too, is another work which the State must consider. It is not something merely optional which is to be left to the judgment of the parent. The Archbishop holds that its proper organisation is the duty of the prince. Education, in his eyes, means that the children must be taught the knowledge of God, of letters, and of the arts and crafts they are to pursue in after life.

Again, he has thought out the theory of taxation. He admits its necessity. The State is obliged to perform certain duties for the community. It is obliged, for example, to make its roads fit for travelling, and so render them passable for the transfer of merchandise. It is bound to clear away all brigandage, highway robbery, and the like, for were this not done, no merchant would venture out through that State's territory, and its people would accordingly suffer.

Hence, again, he deduces the need for some sort of army, so that the goods of the citizens may be secured against the invader, for without this security there would be no stimulus to trade. Bridges must be built, and fords kept in repair. Since, therefore, the State is obliged to incur expenses in order to attain these objects, the State has the right, and indeed the duty, to order it so that the community shall pay for the benefits which it is to receive. Hence follows taxation.

But he sees at once that this power of demanding forced contributions from wealthy members of society needs safeguarding against abuse. Thus he is careful to insist that taxation can be valid only when it is levied by public authority, else it becomes sheer brigandage. No less is it to be reprobated when ordered indeed by public authority, but not used for public benefit. Thus, should it happen that a prince or other ruler of a State extorted money from his subjects on pretence of keeping the roads in good order, or similar works for the advantage of the community, and yet neglected to put the contributions of his people to this use, he would be defrauding the public, and guilty of treason against his country. So, too, to lay heavier burdens on his subjects than they could bear, or to graduate the scale in such a fashion as to weigh more heavily on one class than another, would be, in the ruler, an aggravated form of theft. Taxation must therefore be decreed by public authority, and be arranged according to some reasonable measure, and rest on the motive of benefiting the social organisation.

The citizens therefore who are elected to settle the incidence of taxation must be careful to take account of the income of each man, and so manage that on no one should the burden be too oppressive. He suggests himself the percentage of one pound per hundred. Nor, again, must there be any deliberate attempt to penalise political opponents, or to make use of taxation in order to avenge class-oppression. Were this to be done, the citizens so acting would be bound to make restitution to the persons whom they had thus injured.

Then St. Antonino takes the case of those who make a false declaration of their income. These, too, he convicts of injustice, and requires of them that they also should make restitution, but to the State. An exception to this, however, he allows. For if it happens to be the custom for each to make a declaration of income which is obviously below the real amount, then simply because all do it and all are known to do it, there is no obligation for the individual to act differently from his neighbours. It is not injustice, for the law evidently recognises the practice. And were he, on the other hand, to announce his full yearly wage of earnings, he would allow himself to be taxed beyond the proper measure of value. But to refuse to pay, or to elude by some subterfuge the just contribution which a man owes of his wealth to the easing of the public burdens, is in the eyes of the Archbishop a crime against the State. It would be an act of injustice, of theft, all the more heinous in that, as he declares with a flash of the energy of Rousseau, the "common good is something almost divine."

We have dwelt rather at length on the schemes of this one economist, and may seem, therefore, to have overlooked the writings of others equally full of interest. But the reason has been because this Florentine moralist does stand so perfectly for a whole school. He has read omnivorously, and has but selected most of his thoughts. He compares himself, indeed, in one passage of these volumes, to the laborious ant, "that tiny insect which wanders here and there, and gathers together what it thinks to be of use to its community." He represents a whole school, and represents it at its best, for there is no extreme dogmatism in him, no arguing from grounds that are purely arbitrary, or from a priori principles. It is his knowledge of the people among whom he had laboured so long which fits him to speak of the real sufferings of the poor. But experience requires for its being effectually put to the best advantage, that it should be wielded by one whose judgment is sober and careful. Now, St. Antonino was known in his own day as Antonino the Counsellor; and his justly-balanced decision, his delicately-poised advice, the straightness of his insight, are noticeable in the masterly way in which he sums up all the best that earlier and contemporary writers had devised in the domain of social economics.

There is, just at the close of the period with which this book deals, a rising school of reformers who can be grouped round More's Utopia. Some foreshadowed him, and others continued his speculations. Men like Harrington in his Oceana, and Milton in his Areopagitica, really belong to the same band; but life for them had changed very greatly, and already become something far more complex than the earlier writers had had to consider. There seemed no possibility of reforming it by the simple justice which St. Antonino and his fellows judged to be sufficient to set things back again as they had been in the Golden Age. The new writers are rather political than social. For them, as for the Greeks, it is the constitution which must be repaired. Whereas the mediaeval socialists thought, as St. Thomas indeed never wearied of repeating, that unrest and discontent would continue under any form of government whatever. The more each city changed its constitution, the more it remained the same. Florence, whether under a republic or a despotism, was equally happy and equally sad. For it was the spirit of government alone which, in the eyes of the scholastic social writers, made the State what it happened to be.

In this the modern sociologist of to-day finds himself more akin with the mediaeval thinkers than with the idealists of the parliamentary era in England, or of the Revolution in France. These fixed their hopes on definite organisations of government, and on the exact balance of executive and legislative powers. But for Scotus, and Wycliff, and St. Antonino, the cause of the evil is far deeper and more personal. Not in any form of the constitution, nor in any division of ruling authority, nor in its union under a firm despot, nor in the divine right of kings, or nobles, or people, was security to be found, or the well-ordering of the nation. But peace and rest from faction could be achieved with certainty only on the conditions of strict justice between man and man, on the observance of God's commandments.



Any description of mediaeval socialistic ideals which contained no reference to mediaeval notions of almsgiving would not be complete. Almsgiving was for them a necessary corollary to their theories of private possession. In the passage already quoted from St. Thomas Aquinas (p. 45), wherein he sets forth the theological aspect of property, he makes use of a broad distinction between what he calls "the power of procuring and dispensing" exterior things and "the use of them." We have already at some length tried to show what economists then meant by this first "power." Now we must establish the significance of what they intended by the second. And to do this the more clearly it will be as well to repeat the words in which St. Thomas briefly notes it: "The other office which is man's concerning exterior things is the use of them; and with regard to this a man ought not to hold exterior things as his own, but as common to all, that he may portion them out readily to others in time of need."

In this sentence is summed up the whole mediaeval concept of the law of almsdeeds. Private property is allowed—is, in fact, necessary for human life—but on certain conditions. These imply that the possession of property belongs to the individual, but also that the use of it is not limited to him. The property is private, the use should be common. Indeed, it is only this common enjoyment which at all justifies private possession. It was as obvious then as now that there were inequalities in life, that one man was born to ease or wealth, or a great name, whereas another came into existence without any of these advantages, perhaps even hampered by positive disadvantages. Henry of Langenstein (1325-1397) in his famous Tractatus de Contractibus (published among the works of Gerson at Cologne, 1484, tom. iv. fol. 188), draws out this variety of fortune and misfortune in a very detailed fashion, and puts before his reader example after example of what they were then likely to have seen. But all the while he has his reason for so doing. He acknowledges the fact, and proceeds from it to build up his own explanation of it. The world is filled with all these men in their differing circumstances. Now, to make life possible for them, he asserts that private property is necessary. He is very energetic in his insistence upon that point. Without private property he thinks that there will be continual strife in which might, and not right, will have the greater probability of success. But simultaneously, and as a corrective to the evils which private property of itself would cause there should be added to it the condition of common use. That is to say, that although I own what is mine, yet I should put no obstacle in the way of its reasonable use by others. This is, of course, really the ideal of Aristotle in his book of Politics, when he makes his reply to Plato's communism. In Plato's judgment, the republic should be governed in the reverse way, Common property and private use; he would really make this, which is a feature of monastic life, compulsory on all. But Aristotle, looking out on the world, an observer of human nature, a student of the human heart, sets up as more feasible, more practical, the phrase which the Middle Ages repeat, Private property and common use. The economics of a religious house are hardly of such a kind, thought the mediaevalists, as to suit the ways and fancies of this workaday world.

But the Middle Ages do not simply repeat, they Christianise Aristotle. They are dominated by his categories of thought, but they perfect them in the light of the New Dispensation. Faith is added to politics, love of the brotherhood is made to extend the mere brutality of the economists' teaching. In "common use" they find the philosophic name for "almsdeeds." "A man ought not to hold exterior things as his own, but as common to all, that he may portion them out readily to others in time of need." This sentence, an almost literal translation from the Book of Politics, takes on a fuller meaning and is softened by the unselfishness of Christ when it is found in the Summa Theologica of Aquinas.

Let us take boldly the passage from St. Thomas in which he lays down the law of almsgiving.

(2a, 2ae, 32, 5.) "Since love of one's neighbour is commanded us, it follows that everything without which that love cannot be preserved, is also commanded us. But it is essential to the love of one's neighbour, not merely to wish him well, but to act well towards him; as says St. John (1 Ep. 3), 'Let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.' But to wish and to act well towards anyone implies that we should succour him when he is in need, and this is done by almsgiving. Hence almsgiving is a matter of precept. But because precepts are given in things that concern virtuous living, the almsgiving here referred to must be of such a kind as shall promote virtuous living. That is to say, it must be consonant with right reason; and this in turn implies a twofold consideration, namely, from the point of view of the giver, and from that of the receiver. As regards the giver, it must be noted that what is given should not be necessary to him, as says St. Luke 'That which is superfluous, give in alms.' And by 'not necessary' I mean not only to himself (i.e. what is over and above his individual needs), but to those who depend on him. For a man must first provide for himself and those of whom he has the care, and can then succour such of the rest as are necessitous—that is, such as are without what their personal needs entail. For so, too, nature provides that nutrition should be communicated first to the body, and only secondly to that which is to be begotten of it. As regards the receiver, it is required that he should really be in need, else there is no reason for alms being given him. But since it is impossible for one man to succour all who are in need, he is only under obligation to help such as cannot otherwise be provided for. For in this case the words of Ambrose become applicable: 'Feed them that are dying of starvation, else shall you be held their murderer.' Hence it is a matter of precept to give alms to whosoever is in extreme necessity. But in other cases (namely, where the necessity is not extreme) almsgiving is simply a counsel, and not a command."

(Ad 2m.) "Temporal goods which are given a man by God are his as regards their possession, but as regards their use, if they should be superfluous to him, they belong also to others who may be provided for out of them. Hence St. Basil says: 'If you admit that God gave these temporal goods to you, is God unjust in thus unequally distributing His favours? Why should you abound, and another be forced to beg, unless it is intended thereby that you should merit by your generosity, and he by his patience? For it is the bread of the starving that you cling to; it is the clothes of the naked that hang locked in your wardrobe; it is the shoes of the barefooted that are ranged in your room; it is the silver of the needy that you hoard. For you are injuring whoever is in want.' And Ambrose repeats the same thing."

Here it will be noticed that we find the real meaning of those words about a man's duty of portioning out readily to another's use what belongs to himself. It is the correlative to the right to private property.

But a second quotation must be made from another passage closely following on the preceding:

"There is a time when to withhold alms is to commit mortal sin. Namely, when on the part of the receiver there is evident and urgent necessity, and he does not seem likely to be provided for otherwise, and when on the part of the giver he has superfluities of which he has not any probable immediate need. Nor should the future be in question, for this would be looking to the morrow, which the Master has forbidden (Matt. 6)."

(Ibid., 32, 6.) "But 'superfluous' and 'necessity' are to be interpreted according to their most probable and generally accepted meaning. 'Necessary' has two meanings. First, it implies something without which a thing cannot exist. Interpreted in this sense, a man has no business to give alms out of what is necessary to him; for example, if a man has only enough wherewith to feed himself and his sons or others dependent on him. For to give alms out of this would be to deprive himself and his of very life, unless it were indeed for the sake of prolonging the life of someone of extreme importance to Church and State. In that case it might be praiseworthy to expose his life and the lives of others to grave risk, for the common good is to be preferred to our own private interests. Secondly, 'necessary' may mean that without which a person cannot be considered to uphold becomingly his proper station, and that of those dependent on him. The exact measure of this necessity cannot be very precisely determined, as to how far things added may be beyond the necessity of his station, or things taken away be below it. To give alms, therefore, out of these is a matter not of precept, but of counsel. For it would not be right to give alms out of these, so as to help others, and thereby be rendered unable to fulfil the obligations of his state of life. For no one should live unbecomingly. Three exceptions, however, should be made. First, when a man wishes to change his state of life. Thus it would be an act of perfect virtue if a man, for the purpose of entering a religious order, distributed to the poor for Christ's sake all that he possessed. Secondly, when a man gives alms out of what is necessary for his state of life, and yet does so knowing that they can very easily be supplied to him again without much personal inconvenience. Thirdly, when some private person, still more when the State itself, is in the gravest need. In these cases it would be most praiseworthy for a man to give what seemingly was required for the upkeep of his station in life in order to provide against some far greater need."

From these passages it will be possible to construct the theory in vogue during the whole of the Middle Ages. The landholder was considered to possess his property on a system of feudal tenure, and to be obliged thereby to certain acts of suit and service to his immediate lord, or eventually to the King. But besides these burdens which the responsibility of possession entailed, there were others incumbent on him, because of his brotherhood with all Christian folk. He owed a debt, not merely to his superiors, but also to his equals. Such was the interpretation of Christ's commandment which the mediaeval theologians adopted. With one voice they declare that to give away to the needy what is superfluous is no act of charity, but of justice. St. Jerome's words were often quoted: "If thou hast more than is necessary for thy food and clothing, give that away, and consider that in thus acting thou art but paying a debt" (Epist. 50 ad Edilia q. i.); and those others of St. Augustine, "When superfluities are retained, it is the property of others which is retained" (in Psalm 147). These and like sayings of the Fathers constitute the texts on which the moral economic doctrine of what is called the Scholastic School is based. Albertus Magnus (vol. iv. in Sent. 4, 14, p. 277, Lyons, 1651) puts to himself the question whether to give alms is a matter of justice or of charity, and the answer which he makes is compressed finally into this sentence: "For a man to give out of his superfluities is a mere act of justice, because he is rather the steward of them for the poor than the owner." St. Thomas Aquinas is equally explicit, as another short sentence shall show (2a, 2ae, 66, 2, ad 3m): "When Ambrose says 'Let no one call his own that which is common property,' he is referring to the use of property. Hence he adds: 'Whatever a man possesses above what is necessary for his sufficient comfort, he holds by violence.'" And the same view could be backed by quotations from Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus, St. Bonaventure, the sermons of Wycliff, and almost every writer of any consequence in that age.

Perhaps to us this decided tone may appear remarkable, and even ill-considered. But it is evident that the whole trouble lies in the precise meaning to be attached to the expressions "superfluous" and "needy." And here, where we feel most of all the need of guidance, it must be confessed that few authors venture to speak with much definiteness. The instance, indeed, of a man placed in extreme necessity, all quote and explain in nearly identical language. Should anyone be reduced to these last circumstances, so as to be without means of subsistence or sufficient wealth to acquire them, he may, in fact must, take from anywhere whatever suffices for his immediate requirements. If he begs for the necessities of life, they cannot be withheld from him. Nor is the expression "necessities of life" to be interpreted too nicely. Says Albertus Magnus: "I mean by necessary not that without which he cannot live, but that also without which he cannot maintain his household, or exercise the duties proper to his condition" (loc. cit., art. 16, p. 280). This is a very generous interpretation of the phrase, but it is the one pretty generally given by all the chief writers of that period. Of course they saw at once that there were practical difficulties in the way of such a manner of acting. How was it possible to determine whether such a one was in real need or not? And the only answer given was that, if it was evident that a man was so placed, there could be no option about giving; almsdeeds then became of precept. But that, if there were no convincing signs of absolute need, then the obligation ceased, and almsgiving, from a command, became a counsel.

In an instance of this extreme nature it is not difficult to decide, but the matter becomes perilously complicated when an attempt is made to gauge the relative importance of "need" and "superfluity" in concrete cases. How much "need" must first be endured before a man has a just claim on another's superfluity? By what standard are "superfluities" themselves to be judged? For it is obvious that when the need among a whole population is general, things possessed by the richer classes, which in normal circumstances might not have been considered luxuries, instantly become such. However then the words are taken, however strictly or laxly interpreted, it must always be remembered that the terms used by the Scholastics do not really solve the problem. They suggest standards, but do not define them, give names, but cannot tell us their precise meaning.

Should we say, then, that in this way they had failed? It is not in place in a book of this kind to sit in judgment on the various theories quoted, and test them to see how far they hold good, or to what extent they should be disregarded, for it is the bare recital of mere historic views which can be here considered. The object has been simply to tell what systems were thought out and held, without attempting to apprize them or measure their value, or point out how far they are applicable to modern times. But in this affair of almsdeeds it is perhaps well to note that the Scholastics could make this much defence of their vagueness. In cases of this kind, they might say, we are face to face with human nature, not as an abstract thing, but in its concrete personal existence. The circumstances must therefore differ in each single instance. General laws can be laid down, but only on the distinct understanding that they are mere principles of direction—in other words, that they are nothing more than general laws. The Scholastics, the mediaeval writers of every school, except a few of that Manichean brood of sects, admitted the necessity of almsgiving. They looked on it from a moral point of view as a high virtue, and from an economic standpoint as a correlative to their individualistic ideas on private property. The one without the other would be unjust. Alone, they would be unworkable; together, mutually independent, they would make the State a fair and perfect thing.

But to fix the exact proportion between the two terms, they held to be the duty of the individual in each case that came to his notice. To give out of a man's superfluities to the needy was, they held, undoubtedly a bounden duty. But they could make no attempt to apprize in definite language what in the receiver was meant by need, and in the giver by superfluity. They made no pretence to do this, and thereby showed their wisdom, for obviously the thing cannot be done. Yet we must note, last of all, that they drew up a list of principles which shall here be set down, because they sum up in a few sentences the wit of mediaeval economists, their spirit of orderly arrangement, and their unanimous opinion on man's moral obligations.

(I) A man is obliged to help another in his extreme need, even at the risk of grave inconvenience to himself.

(II) A man is obliged to help another who, though not in extreme need, is yet in considerable distress, but not at the risk of grave inconvenience to himself.

(III) A man is not obliged to help another whose necessity is slight, even though the risk to himself should be quite trifling.

In other words, the need of his fellow must be adjusted against the inconvenience to himself. Where the need of the one is great, the inconvenience to the other must at least be as great, if it is to excuse him from the just debt of his alms. His possession of superfluities does not compel him to part with them unless there is some real want which they can be expected to supply. In fine, the mediaevalists would contend that almsgiving, to be necessary, implies two conditions, both concomitant:—

(a) That the giver should possess superfluities.

(b) That the receiver should be in need.

Where both these suppositions are fulfilled, the duty of almsgiving becomes a matter not of charity, but of justice.


Among the original works by mediaeval writers on economic subjects, which can be found in most of the greater libraries in England, we would place the following:

De Recuperatione Terre Sancte, by Pierre du Bois. Edited by C. V. Langlois in Paris. 1891.

Commentarium in Politicos Aristotelis, by Albertus Magnus. Vol. iv. Lyons. 1651.

Summa Theologica, of St. Thomas Aquinas. This is being translated by the English Dominicans, published by Washborne. London. 1911. But the parts that deal with Aquinas' theories of property, &c., have not yet been published.

De Regimine Principio, probably by Ptolomeo de Lucca. It will be found printed among the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, who wrote the first chapters. The portion here to be consulted is in book iv.

Tractatus de Civili Dominio, by Wycliff, published in four vols. in London. 1885-1904.

Unprinted Works of John Wycliff, edited at Oxford in three vols. 1869-1871.

Fasciculus Zizaniorum and the Chronicon Angliae, both edited in the Roll Series, help in elucidating the exact meaning of Wycliff, and his relation to the insurgents of 1381.

Monarchia, edited by Goldast of Hanover in 1611, gives a collection of fifteenth-century writers, including Ockham, Cesena, Roselli, &c.

Summa Moralis, by St. Antonino of Florence, contains a great deal of economic moralising. But the whole four volumes (Verona, 1740) must be searched for it.

Among modern books which can be consulted with profit are:—

Illustrations of the Mediaeval Thought, by Reginald Lane Poole. 1884. London.

Political Theories of the Middle Ages, by F. W. Maitland. 1900. Cambridge.

History of Mediaeval Political Thought, by A. J. Carlyle. 1903. &c. Oxford (unfinished).

History of English Law, by Pollock and Maitland. 1898. Cambridge.

Introduction to English Economic History, by W. J. Ashley. 1892. London.

Economie Politique au Moyen Age, by V. Brandts. 1895. Louvain.

La Propriete apres St. Thomas, by Mgr. Deploige, Revue Neo-Scholastique. 1895, 1896. Louvain.

History of Socialism, by Thomas Kirkup. 1909. London.

Great Revolt of 1381, by C. W. C. Oman. 1906. Oxford.

Lollardy and the Reformation, by Gairdner. 1908-1911 (three vols.) London.

England in the Age of Wycliff, by G. M. Trevelyan. 1909. London.

Leaders of the People, by J. Clayton. 1910. London. A sympathetic account of Ball, Cade, &c.

Social Organisation, by G. Unwin. 1906. Oxford.

Outlines of Economic History of England, by H. O. Meredith. 1908. London.

Mutual Aid in a Mediaeval City, by Prince Kropotkin (Nineteenth Century Review. Vol. xxxvi. p. 198).


Albertus Magnus, 51, 86, 87 Albigensians, 29 Almsgiving, 80 Ambrose, St., 10, 87 Antonino, St., 50, 52, 71, 80 Aquinas, St. Thomas, 30, 42, 51, 60, 79, 80, 83 Aristotle, 35, 42, 51, 64, 82 Augustine, St., 10, 86 Authority, 8, 10

Ball, John, 32, 38 Bavaria, Louis of, 32, 63 Beghards, 32 Beguins, 32 Benedict, St., 13 Black Death, 22 Bois, Pierre du, 62, 69 Bonaventure, St., 87 Bourbon, Etienne de, 29 Bracton, 59

Cabochiens, 71 Cesena, Michael de, 32 Ciompi, 25, 71 Communism, 29

Destitution, 71 Dominicans, 30, 39, 47

Education, 76

Fall, 9 Fathers of Church, 8 Feudalism, 15, 56 Francis, St., 31 Franciscans, 30, 31, 39 Friars, 39 Froissart, 33

Ghent, Henry of, 87

Harrington, 79 Hildebrand, 10 Hospitals, 75

Innocent IV, 64

Jacquerie, 25, 71 Jerome, St., 86 John XXII, 32, 63

King, 15, 56

Labourers, landless, 19, 27 Langenstein, Henry of, 81 Langland, 27, 39 Law of Nations, 11 Law of Nature, 11 Lawyers, 55 Legalists, 11 Lucca, Ptolomeo de, 51

Maillotins, 71 Manicheans, 29 Manor, 71 Marcel, Etienne, 71 Meziers, Philip de, 64 Milton, 79 Moerbeke, 42 Monasticism, 13 More, Sir Thomas, 79

Necessities, 83

Ockham, 32, 49, 63 Oresme, Nichole, 64

Parliament, 43 Peasant Revolt, 25, 32, 71 Plato, 35, 52, 82 Praetor Peregrinus, 11 Praetor Urbanus, 11 Property, 10, 12, 29, 41, 80

Rienzi, 71 Ripa, John de, 50 Roselli, Antonio, 65

Schoolmen, 41, 88 Scotus, Duns, 49, 80, 87 Slavery, 10 Socialism, 6, 16, 60 Straw, Jack, 34, 39 Superfluities, 83

Taborites, 71 Taxation, 76 Tyler, Wat, 34

Vaudois, 29

Wages, 23, 25, 74 Women, 70, 73 Wycliff, 35, 49, 60, 62, 80, 87

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO. Edinburgh & London




The volumes issued (Spring 1913) are marked with an asterisk


*1. The Foundations of Science By W. C. D. Whetham, F.R.S. *2. Embryology—The Beginnings By Prof. Gerald Leighton, M.D. of Life 3. Biology—The Science of Life By Prof. W. D. Henderson, M.A. *4. Zoology: The Study of Animal By Prof. E. W. MacBride, F.R.S. Life *5. Botany; The Modern Study of By M. C. Stopes, D.Sc., Ph.D. Plants 6. Bacteriology By W. E. Carnegie Dickson, M.D. *7. The Structure of the Earth By the Rev. T. G. Bonney, F.R.S. *8. Evolution By E. S. Goodrich, M.A., F.R.S. 9. Darwin By Prof. W. Garstang, M.A., D.Sc. *10. Heredity By J. A. S. Watson, B.Sc. *11. Inorganic Chemistry By Prof. E. C. C. Baly, F.R.S. *12. Organic Chemistry By Prof. J. B. Cohen, B.Sc., F.R.S. *13. The Principles of Electricity By Norman R. Campbell, M.A. *14. Radiation By P. Phillips, D.Sc. *15. The Science of the Stars By E. W. Maunder, F.R.A.S. *16. The Science of Light By P. Phillips, D.Sc. *17. Weather-Science By R. G. K. Lempfert, M.A. *18. Hypnotism By Alice Hutchison, M.D. *19. The Baby: A Mother's Book By a University Woman. *20. Youth and Sex—Dangers and {By Mary Scharlieb, M.D., M.S., Safeguards for Boys and Girls {and G. E. C. Pritchard, M.A., M.D. *21. Motherhood—A Wife's Handbook By H. S. Davidson, F.R.C.S.E. *22. Lord Kelvin By A. Russell, M.A., D.Sc. *23. Huxley By Professor G. Leighton, M.D. 24. Sir W. Huggins and {By E. W. Maunder, F.R.A.S., of the Spectroscopic Astronomy {Royal Observatory, Greenwich. *62. Practical Astronomy By H. Macpherson, Jr., F.R.A.S. *63. Aviation By Sydney F. Walker, R.N., M.I.E.E. *64. Navigation By W. Hall, R.N., B.A. *65. Pond Life By E. C. Ash, M.R.A.C. *66. Dietetics By Alex. Bryce, M.D., D.P.H. *94. The Nature of Mathematics By P. G. B. Jourdain, M.A. 95. Applications of Electricity By Alex. Ogilvie, B.Sc. *96. Gardening By A. Cecil Bartlett. 97. The Care of the Teeth By J. A. Young, L.D.S. *98. Atlas of the World By J. Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. *110. British Birds By F. B. Kirkman, B.A.


25. The Meaning of Philosophy By T. Loveday, M.A. *26. Henri Bergson By H. Wildon Carr. *27. Psychology By H. J. Watt, M.A., Ph.D. *28. Ethics By Canon Rashdall, D. Litt., F.B.A. 29. Kant's Philosophy By A. D. Lindsay, M.A. 30. The Teaching of Plato By A. D. Lindsay, M.A. *67. Aristotle By Prof. A. E. Taylor, M.A., F.B.A. *68. Nietzsche By M. A. Muegge, Ph.D. *69. Eucken By A. J. Jones, M.A., B.Sc., Ph.D. 70. The Experimental Psychology By C. W. Valentine, B.A. of Beauty *71. The Problem of Truth By H. Wildon Carr. 99. George Berkeley: the By G. Dawes Hicks, Litt.D. Philosophy of Idealism 31. Buddhism By Prof. T. W. Rhys Davids, F.B.A. *32. Roman Catholicism By H. B. Coxon. *33. The Oxford Movement By Wilfrid P. Ward. *34. The Bible in the Light of the {By Rev. W. F. Adeney, M.A., and Higher Criticism {Rev. Prof. W. H. Bennett, Litt.D. 35. Cardinal Newman By Wilfrid Meynell. *72. The Church of England By Rev. Canon Masterman. 73. Anglo-Catholicism By A. E. Manning Foster. *74. The Free Churches By Rev. Edward Shillito, M.A. *75. Judaism By Ephraim Levine, B.A. *76. Theosophy By Annie Besant.


*36. The Growth of Freedom By H. W. Nevinson. 37. Bismarck By Prof. F. M. Powicke, M.A. *38. Oliver Cromwell By Hilda Johnstone, M.A. *39. Mary Queen of Scots By E. O'Neill, M.A. *40. Cecil Rhodes By Ian Colvin. *41. Julius Caesar By Hilary Hardinge.

History of England—

42. England in the Making By Prof. F. J. C. Hearnshaw, LL.D. *43. England in the Middle Ages By E. O'Neill, M.A. 44. The Monarchy and the People By W. T. Waugh, M.A. 45. The Industrial Revolution By A. Jones, M.A. 46. Empire and Democracy By G. S. Veitch, M.A. *61. Home Rule By L. G. Redmond Howard. 77. Nelson By H. W. Wilson. *78. Wellington and Waterloo By Major G. W. Redway. 100. A History of Greece By E. Fearenside, B.A. 101. Luther and the Reformation By L. D. Agate, M.A. 102. The Discovery of the By F. B. Kirkman, B.A. New World *103. Turkey and the Eastern By John Macdonald. Question 104. A History of Architecture By Mrs. Arthur Bell.


*47. Women's Suffrage By M. G. Fawcett, LL.D. 48. The Working of the British By Prof. Ramsay Muir, M.A. System of Government to-day 49. An Introduction to Economic By Prof. H. O. Meredith, M.A. Science 50. Socialism By F. B. Kirkman, B.A. *79. Mediaeval Socialism By Rev. B. Jarrett, O.P., M.A. *80. Syndicalism By J. H. Harley, M.A. 81. Labour and Wages By H. M. Hallsworth, M.A., B.Sc. *82. Co-operation By Joseph Clayton. *83. Insurance as Investment By W. A. Robertson, F.F.A. *92. The Training of the Child By G. Spiller. *105. Trade Unions By Joseph Clayton. *106. Everyday Law By J. J. Adams.


*51. Shakespeare By Prof. C. H. Herford, Litt.D. *52. Wordsworth By Rosaline Masson. *53. Pure Gold—A Choice of By H. C. O'Neill. Lyrics and Sonnets *54. Francis Bacon By Prof. A. R. Skemp, M.A. *55. The Brontes By Flora Masson. *56. Carlyle By the Rev. L. MacLean Watt. *57. Dante By A. G. Ferrers Howell. 58. Ruskin By A. Blyth Webster, M.A. 59. Common Faults in Writing By Prof. A. R. Skemp, M.A. English *60. A Dictionary of Synonyms. By Austin K. Gray, B.A. 84. Classical Dictionary By A. E. Stirling. *85. History of English By A. Compton-Rickett. Literature 86. Browning By Prof. A. R. Skemp, M.A. *87. Charles Lamb By Flora Masson. 88. Goethe By Prof. C. H. Herford, Litt.D. 89. Balzac By Frank Harris. 90. Rousseau By H. Sacher. 91. Ibsen By Hilary Hardinge. *93. Tennyson By Aaron Watson. 107. R. L. Stevenson By Rosaline Masson. *108. Shelley By Sydney Waterlow, M.A. 109. William Morris By A. Blyth Webster, M.A.

London and Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack

New York: Dodge Publishing Co.


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