Some Brief Remarks on what Thomas has to say on Rebellion and Regicide

Last Updated July 3, 2002 - a work in progress!

One of the visitors to this page, a colleague in fact, who was at the Saint Ignatius Institute at the same time as I, asked for some comments on what Aquinas had to say about regicide.

I just found a question about how far we are obliged to obey civil authorities, which addresses the question of regicide (tyrannicide), it is at the bottom of this page, and derived from the Commentary on the Sentences. Another sources I will draw on is On Kingship: to the King of Cyprus, a work attributed to Thomas Aquinas. Gerald Phelan, in his translation of this work, (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1949) points out certain difficulties, that the work is actually an amalgam of the words of Saint Thomas and those of later writers. I will follow my usual approach, and following the advice of Saint Thomas himself, heed what is said rather than who said what.

I will expand upon the following points, insofar as I have time.