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II Legislative Theory and Police in Early Modern Sweden

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Chapter Summary

In the course of the late Middle Ages, several works on rulers' rights and duties also started to spring up in Germany. This chapter argues that early modern Sweden was not completely unfamiliar with contemporary continental currents of political theory. It discusses three works, Konungastyrelsen, Månsson's Barnabok and Skytte's Een kort Vnderwijsning, all heavily influenced by different Continental European traditions. Whereas the medieval Konungastyrelsen was inspired by Aegidius Romanus's groundbreaking work De regimine principum, Månsson's Barnabok reflected the humanistic views of its paragon, The Education of a Christian Prince by Erasmus of Rotterdam. In order to obtain a full picture of kings' legislative activities in early modern Sweden, one must study actual royal legislation, i.e., police ordinances issued in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It will be interesting to see, against the intellectual background canvassed above, what kind of a legislative theory, if any, early modern royal police ordinances embody.

Keywords: Continental European traditions; early modern Sweden; Konungastyrelsen; legislative theory; police ordinances



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