Juan de Mariana


From the Jesuit Album:

Juan Mariana, S.J. (Spanish: 1537-1624) was a prodigious Castilian scholar who wrote on a wide variety of subjects.  He is most remembered for his 1599 book The King and his Formation which recalls an unfortunate page of Jesuit history. One of his topics was the morality of tyrannicide. He supported the proposition that a tyrant should be removed from office, killed if necessary, except by poisoning, once the people had made the decision to do so. This was quickly and solemnly condemned by the Superior General Aquaviva and later by a General Congregation of the whole Society of Jesus. Careless historians have neglected to point out this Jesuit condemnation of Juan's ideas. Spaniards paid little attention to Juan's thesis, but it caused a great stir in France partly because of the assassination of Henry IV. A century later John's name occasioned the now-familiar image of Mariane found on many French stamps. This was meant to be a play on John Mariana's name, and was used as the symbol of the French Revolution. The French extremists used John Mariana's thesis to justify the excesses of the French Revolution. (Ban, Ham, JLx, O'M, Som)

A taste of his writings:

Spanish:

"El rey pues, si es verdaderamente digno de este nombre, obedece a las leyes divinas, toma por guía la razón, hace igual para todos el derecho, reprime la liviandad, aborrece la maldad y el fraude, mide por la utilidad pública y no por sus antojos el poder que ha recibido, se esfuerza en aventajar a todos por su honradez y sus costumbres a proporción de lo que es mayor en autoridad y riqueza, no retrocede ante ningún peligro, no perdona medio para salvar a la patria, es fuerte e impetuoso en la guerra, templado en la paz; no siente latir el corazón sino por la felicidad de los pueblos, a los cuales procura sin cesar todo género de bienes.”   [bold mine]

“es cosa miserable no poder negar lo que es vergüenza confesar, grande afrenta de nuestra profesión, que no haya cosa tan absurda que no defienda algún teólogo.”

“La prosperidad, si es grande, saca de seso aun a los muy sabios, y los hace olvidar de la inestabilidad que las cosas tienen.”

His book on money (English PDF)


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