Menandrino, Marsilio

, better known by the name of Marsilius of Padua, the place of his birth, was one of the most celebrated philosophers and lawyers of the 14th | century. He was educated at the university of Orleans; was afterwards made counsellor to the emperor Louis of Bavaria; and wrote an apology entitled “Defensor pacis,” for that prince, in 1324. In this extraordinary work, for such at that time it might well be deemed, he boldly maintained that the pope ought to submit to the emperor, not only in temporal affairs, but also in what regards the outward discipline of the church. He described in strong colours, the pride, the luxury, and other irregularities of the court of Rome; and shewed at large, that the pope could not, by divine right, claim any powers or prerogatives superior to those of other bishops. John XXII. at that time filled the papal chair, and was so provoked at this doctrine of Marsilius, as well as his manner of propagating it, that he issued out a long decree, in which he endeavoured to refute it, and by which he excommunicated the author, in 1327. Dupin relates, that on this book being translated into French without the author’s name, pope Gregory XL complained of it to the faculty of divinity at Paris when the faculty declared, by an authentic act, that none of their members had any hand in that translation and that neither Marsilius of Padua, nor John de Jande, who was likewise thought to have been concerned in the work, belonged to their body. Besides the “Defensor pacis, seu de re imperatoria et pontifica, adversus usurpatam Romani Pontificis jurisdictionem, libri tres,” Marsilius wrotea treatise entitled “De translatione imperil*” and also another, “De jurisdictione imperial! in causis matrimonialibus.” He died at Monternalto, in 1328; and, however his memory may have been honoured elsewhere, was ranked at Rome among the heretics of the first class. 1

1 Gen. Dict.