Course: St. Thomas - "On Kingship" - Book One
A helpful annotated and illustrated version for high school students

Course description:

Besides describing the nobility and duties of a king, in this work St. Thomas lays down more generally the principles that ought to be active in any government. He touches on the need for government, its purpose, the source of authority, the possibility of revolution. This work coincides nicely with the papal encyclicals on government. Although neither a novel nor a biography, this letter by the Church’s greatest theologian (to a Catholic king who requested the saint to explain to him his new duties), is not only an excellent and easy introduction to Saint Thomas’ writings, but is also an important explanation of the correct view of government itself, kingship, the duties of any ruler, and the duties of his citizens. This work refutes today’s modern spirit which takes for granted that democracies / republics are the “only way to go”, that governments are “a necessary evil”, and the idea that citizens can revolt when they see fit. This mini-course goes very well with Pope Leo XIII’s Immortale Dei or A Heart for Europe.

Course fee:

$ 38

Course Length (in weeks):


Book(s) used:

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Textbook: Annotated “On Kingship” – Book One, by St. Thomas Aquinas - Annotated for Catholic High School Students


Author: St. Thomas Aquinas

Publisher: Christ the King Books

Publisher's Description:

Please view / download a PDF sample of this book.

This work by the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher is not only very useful and instructive in itself, but it also serves as a friendly and easy introduction for the student to become familiar with the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Carefully annotated by the Christ the King Staff, it is easily understandable to the average high school student.

Written in a very easy style for the King of Cyprus, who was not a theologian or philosopher, this political work is one of the easiest works of St. Thomas. In it, St. Thomas, following the brilliant teachings of the philosopher Aristotle, teaches many beautiful things by means of clear arguments. First, he shows how very natural, and necessary government is in itself because, since man is meant to live together, a leader is needed. In doing so, the saint refutes multiple serious errors that even Catholics sometimes even fall into, as for example, “government is a necessary evil.” He then lays out the various kinds of good and bad governments, showing by several arguments that monarchy is the best, and tyranny the worst. The saint then goes on to show the prime duties of a good king (and any ruler for that matter), what his reward should be, and how he should model his kingdom after God’s governance of the universe.

Recommended for grades 11-12. 55 pages. This beautiful little treatise is a perfect match with the biographies of the great leaders Queen Isabella of Spain and Garcia Moreno of Ecuador (both of which Christ the King Books also publishes), as well as Christ the King Books’ annotated papal encyclicals Quas Primas (“On Christ the King”) by Pope Pius XI and Immortale Dei (“On the Christian Constitution of the State”) by Pope Leo XIII.

ISBN: 9781637941997

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Exercise Manual: “Annotated “On Kingship” – Book One, by St. Thomas Aquinas - STUDENT EXERCISES


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