Photo: Maria Sattrup


Marsilius of Padua. Revolutionary Philosopher of the Middle Ages
(Marsilius af Padua. Middelalderens revolutionære filosof)
Published 2021, 204 pages


Aarhus University Press

Foreign rights:

Aarhus University Press
Karina Bell Ottosen,

Previous sold to

Norway, Sweden


Marsilius of Padua

Marsilius of Padua (ca. 1272-1342), numbered among the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages, broke radically with the teachings of the church and papacy. In his principle work Defensor Pacis (Defender of Peace), he presented what was possibly his time’s most striking intellectual testimony about a new way of comprehending state and society. The work became a wellspring of inspiration for the theory of state that followed and the reformations of the 15th and 16th centuries. At the same time, it foreshadowed Enlightenment thought about the republic and democracy. In Marsilium of Padua, Claus Bryld thoroughly presents the content of Marsilius’s thoughts alongside the necessary historical context. Accordingly, he also grapples with a number of political questions still relevant today.

About the author

Claus Bryld is professor emeritus at the University of Roskilde and studies the history of labor movements, the history of political ideas and collective memory. He is also the author of Edmund Burke: Prophet of Conservatism (2018)—translated into Swedish and Norwegian—and the personal memoir What liberation: Stories from a childhood spent in the shadow of nazism and the collaboration trials (2008).

Text translated by Sharon Rhodes