Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos
A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants

by Junius Brutus

attributed to Philippe Duplessis-Mornay




Populum, Populique in Principem, legitima postestate


Bruto Celta, Autore.
  1. Question One: Whether subjects are bound to obey princes...
    1. The Covenant between God and Kings
  2. Question Two: Whether it is lawful to resist a prince who infringes the law of God.
    1. Whether private men may resist by arms.
    1. Whether it be lawful to take arms for religion.
  3. Question Three: Whether it is lawful to resist a prince who oppresses or ruins a public state.
    1. Kings are made by the people.
    1. The whole body of the people is above the king.
    1. The assembly of the three estates.
    1. Whether prescription of time can take away the right of the people.
    1. Why kings are created.
    1. Kings receive laws from the people.
    1. If the prince may make new laws.
    1. Whether the prince have the power of life and death over his subjects.
    1. If the king may pardon those whom the law condemns.
    1. Subjects are the king's brethren, and not his slaves.
    1. Whether the goods of the people belong to the king.
    1. Whether the king be the proper owner of the kingdom.
    1. Whether the king be the usufructer of the kingdom.
  4. Question Four: Whether neighbor princes may, or are bound by law to aid the subjects of other princes.

The text is from a 17th century translation. We are in process of modernizing the language somewhat. Thanks to Kevin Gowen for work on revisions.

A new, complete and much superior translation is available from Cambridge University Press, edited and translated by George Garnett. (1994). Because of copyright, we cannot make it available online.

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