ABSTRACT

In the history of political thought, John of Salisbury's Policraticus has been claimed as an important source for the idea of the organic metaphor of the state. In explaining the significance of this idea, commentators and translators tend to focus on its inclusion in the latter half of the Policraticus to the exclusion of material, including a discourse on dream interpretation, in the first several books of the work that have been deemed overly medieval and, hence, extraneous. This essay argues that John's representation in book 2 of dream interpretation as a mystical practice best trusted to spiritual advisers demonstrates structural connections in the work and should be read, like his representation of the organic metaphor, as an iteration of John's validation of clerical authority.

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