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10 A Question of Right: Hermann Conring’s New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor

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Chapter Summary

In his New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor, Hermann Conring (1606-81) argued that the Roman Empire had disappeared from the face of the earth or had at least been reduced to a sorry remnant in the hands of the papacy. This chapter draws some attention to that book and its significance for understanding of early modern European political thought. As per author's knowledge no one has paid serious attention to the New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor since the seventeenth century. Nonetheless there is much to be learned from reading the New Discourse, and some material that would be difficult to learn elsewhere. The New Discourse is an early, brief, and unvarnished statement of a thesis that was going to remain central to Conring's thinking about the Holy Roman Empire throughout a long and productive scholarly life.

Keywords: Hermann Conring; Holy Roman Empire; New Discourse



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