Defining duties
The cooperative model of the polity
in John of Salisbury and the medieval Roman renaissance
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This chapter brings the question of appropriate duties to the fore, looking at their implications for life in the polity. It introduces the concept of oikeiosis, illustrating how it was a fundamental aspect of the works of the Roman Stoics that ensured the performance of reciprocal duties throughout the polity. It argues that John’s account of political relationships was influenced by this concept, suggesting that he transformed aspects of it to suit a Christian model of ethics. It introduces the metaphor of the body politic, with particular reference to its Ciceronian roots, and argues that it demonstrates reciprocal political relationships in action.

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