Locating the development of speculum principum literature within the political landscape of early medieval Britain and Ireland allows a glimpse into the constitution of regal authority. As a discourse on kingly prerogative, insular advice literature reveals the unfolding relationship between ruler and cleric as the texts progress from admonition to encouragement. The ninth abuse of De Duodecim Abusiuis Saeculi is a pivotal text in understanding the influence and evolution of this literature. A detailed manifest of contemporary Western political concepts of Christian theocratic kingship, this mid-seventh-century text is implicitly concerned with the 'just' exercise of a king's authority. Its rulership terminology presents a cohesive clerical vision of the model king, and can be assessed against contemporary Irish texts that attempt to circumscribe the geo-political reach of a king within a Christian social framework.


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pp. 27-52
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