Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

O'Donovan, Oliver, ed.; O'Donovan, Joan Lockwood, ed., From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought 100-1625 (Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company)

Text name(s): First Apology; Against Heresies; The Military Chaplet; Against Marcion; Stromateis; Against Celsus; Divine Institutes; The Story of Naboth; The Duties of the Clergy; On Free Choice of the Will; Against Faustus; City of God; Heads of Advice; Pastoral Rule; Moralia in Job; Etymologies; The Institution of the King; On Christian Rulers; Donation of Constantine; Dictatus Papae; The Consecration of Bishops and Kings; Summa Gloria; On Consideration; Policraticus; Summa Decretorum; The King’s Statue; A Defense of the Mendicants; Summa Theologiae; Commentary on the Sentences of Peter the Lombard; On Kingship; On Ecclesiastical Power; On Christian Government; On Royal and Papal Power; Monarchia; Defensor Pacis; A Dialogue on Papal and Royal Dignity; Eight Questions on Papal Power; A Short Discourse on the Tyrannical Ascendancy of the Pope; Rulers’ Illegal Outrages against Sacred Property; Divine Lordship; Civil Lordship; The King’s Office; The Truth of Holy Scripture; On Church Power and the Origin of Law and Right; The Nature of the Law of Nature and Its Judgment upon the Succession to Sovereign Kingdoms; A Treatise in Commendation of the Laws of England; The Catholic Concordance

Number of pages of primary source text: 821


Dates: 100 - 1500

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • English - Middle English
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Latin


  • Translated into English.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe
  • Byzantium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy


Record Types: 

  • Philosophic Work
  • Letter
  • Law - Canon Law
  • Theology
  • Treatise - Political

Subject Headings: 

  • Law - Canon
  • Education / Universities
  • Diplomacy
  • Classics / Humanism
  • Church Fathers
  • Carolingians
  • Byzantium
  • Papacy
  • Political Thought
  • Revolt
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • War - Military History


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


Christianity had a profound impact on systems of government throughout the Middle Ages, shaping the way in which thinkers formulated the rights and responsibilities of ecclesiastical and secular rulers to each other and to their subjects. The medieval writers represented in this volume produced works responding to the political concerns of their times, including the Late Antique crisis of the Roman empire, Carolingian consolidation of empire, the investiture controversy between Holy roman Emperor and Pope of the central Middle Ages, and the increasing late medieval preoccupation with individual rights. This volume contains the political formulations of many important thinkers of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages; the editors select representative excerpts from larger works to provide a picture of each individual thinker’s views on government. Arranged chronologically and thematically, each selection is preceded by its own brief introduction, which provides historical and political context for its composition. The editors also include a specific bibliography for each thinker.

Introduction Summary: 

The editors’ brief (5 pp) general introduction notes criteria for selection of texts; the editors note that they sought to represent eastern and western Christendom as equally as possible, and tried to present a variety of major and minor thinkers, as well as of genres and political points of view. The editors also provide brief introductions to each of their chronological sections, in which they provide historical and literary context, and identify observable themes and patterns in their selections.

Cataloger: MCB