Liberty, Investiture, and the Papal Revolution


This conference examined the ideas of limited government and the rule of law as they developed through the contest between the princes and the popes during the Investiture Controversies of the late Middle Ages, as presented in Harold Berman’s first volume of Law and Revolution, with supporting primary documents. How did the contest between authorities in this period shape understanding of the rule of law? What role did ideas play in shaping the perceptions of these contests on both sides? How important is this history for understanding free institutions today, such as federalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances?


Conference Readings

Berman, Harold J. Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983.

Henry II. "Medieval Sourcebook: Constitutions of Clarendon, 1164." Fordham University. (6/10/09).

John of Salisbury. "Medieval Sourcebook: John of Salisbury: Policraticus, Book Four (selections)." Fordham University. (6/10/09).

McLetchie, Scott. "Medieval Sourcebook: Peter of Blois: Description of Henry II (Letter No. 66: to Walter, Archbishop of Palermo, 1177)." Fordham University. (6/10/09).

Thatcher, Oliver J. and Edgar Holmes McNeal. A Source Book for Medieval History: Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Ages. Edited by Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar Holmes McNeal. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905.