In one of the earliest of the Carolingian specula regiae, Jonas of Orleans (780-842) begins with a Gelasian summary of the relation between king and priest. Bishops are responsible for the spiritual health and salvation of all, including the king, and thus the bishop is higher than the king. Quoting from a treatise On the Twelve Abuses of the Age, attributed to Cyprian of Carthage, Jonas summarizes the justice of the king, combining biblical themes with concern for the morality of the people and protection of the true faith:

“To oppress no one unjustly with his power; to judge between a man and his neighbor without regard for persons; to be the defender of strangers, orphans, and widows; to repress crimes against property and to punish crimes against chastity; to deny promotion to the wicked; to provide no support for pornographers and stage players; to weed out the irreligious from the land; not to permit parricides and perjurers to live; to defend the churches, to support the poor with charitable gifts; to set the righteous over the affairs of the kingdom; to have old, wise, and sober counselors; to give no ear to the superstitions of magicians, soothsayers, and diviners; to defend the nation bravely and justly against its enemies; to live in all respects in God; not to be elated by times of prosperity, but to bear every adversity with patience; to hold the catholic faith in God; to prevent his sons adopting irreligious ways; to insist on prayers at set hours of the day; not to dine earlier than the appropriate hour.”

(ODonovan and ODonovan,From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought,217).

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