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12 The Reception of Bodin in the Holy Roman Empire and the Making of the Territorial State

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Chapter Summary

The reception of Jean Bodin is considered to have been an influence on German political thought of the later sixteenth and seventeenth century. But precisely what was this 'influence'? The question is made more difficult by the fact that our understanding of the development of both the concept and the terminology of 'state' in early modern Germany is undergoing profound change. This change is primarily encouraged through a stronger emphasis in research on early modern Germany on the importance of the Empire as a whole. This chapter determines precisely at what juncture the reception of Bodin did have an impact. It traces the uses made of Bodin during the 1590s through to the 1620s. Finally, the chapter inquires into the role of Bodin, if any, in relation to the new conceptions of princely rule emanating from the great historian and political philosopher Hermann Conring in Helmstedt.

Keywords: Hermann Conring; Holy Roman Empire; Jean Bodin



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