Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 July 2016
Since the turn of the century, historians have shown considerable interest in the origins of a capitalistic outlook in Europe. The Werner Sombart - Max Weber debate indicated that Europe had experienced the ‘emergence of a unique mental attitude towards economic activity’ sometime between the later Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern era. The importance of Max Weber's Protestant Ethic (1904) to the literature on the spirit of capitalism needs little commentary, since a clutter of expository works on his thesis already exists. Weber's Ethic gave rise to three schools of opinion concerning the period during which capitalistic attitudes began to flourish. One group of historians, still dominant, has claimed that new economic values first appeared in the course of the sixteenth century, especially in Calvinist portions of Europe. Another set of students has disagreed, finding that spokesmen truly began to assert these ideals later, in seventeenth-century forms of Puritanism or in eighteenth-century expressions of individualism. The third interpretation declares that an altered scheme of economic values appeared during the Renaissance and later Middle Ages. The mass of material produced by the first two schools has all but obliterated the small but significant literature of the third. Sufficient evidence is now available, however, to warrant a fresh evaluation of the formative stages of this change. The purpose of this essay, then, is three-fold: it intends to outline the present state of scholarly opinion about the earliest appearance of new economic attitudes, to offer a new survey of the evidence from a different perspective, and, finally, to suggest causes for the change.
1 Baldwin, J. W., ‘The Medieval Theories of the Just Price,’ Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 49 (1959) pt. 4. 5–7.Google Scholar
2 Weber, M., The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Parsons, T. (New York 1930). Tawney, R. H., Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (New York 1947) contains an excellent bibliography on the Weber thesis. See also the masterful study by Müller-Armack, A., Genealogie der Wirtschaftsstile (Stuttgart 1944). Kitch, M. J. has provided the most recent summary of the argument concerning the Weber thesis in his Capitalism and the Reformation (London 1967), and Green, R. W., Protestantism and Capitalism (Boston 1959) also provides a useful summary of the problem and some bibliography.
3 One work, already in its fourth printing, can serve as an example of the hundreds of books expressing the views of this first school of thought: Whittaker, E., Schools and Streams of Economic Thought (Chicago 1960). Heckscher, E. F., Mercantilism , trans. Shapiro, M., rev. ed. (London 1955) II 154 declares, ‘Since Max Weber's famous essays made their appearance shortly after the beginning of this century, historians have usually given the Puritan ideal of labour first place in the treatment of the spiritual revolution in the economic sphere.’ Robinson, H. M., Aspects of the Rise of Economic Individualism (New York 1959) 50 also notes that for a long time the leading economic historians, with the exception of Henri Pirenne, accepted some form of the Weber thesis.
4 Tawney, , Religion; Solt, L. F., ‘Puritanism, Capitalism, Democracy and the New Science,’ American Historical Review 73 (1967) 18–29 generally concedes the validity of Tawney's, R. H. and Knappen's, Marshall judgments against applying the Weber thesis to the early Puritans. Samuelsson's, K. Religion and Economic Action , trans. French, E. (New York 1961) dates the most significant changes in economic attitude to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fanfani, A., Catholicism, Protestantism and Capitalism (New York 1955) 45, 149–53, 181 seems to share Samuelsson's point of view. Fanfani believes that only with the rise of eighteenth-century laissez-faire doctrines was individualism sufficiently released to serve capitalism. He also expresses the unusual notion that true Catholics could not have been capitalistic in mentality or behavior.CrossRef
5 Nef, J. U., ‘Industrial Europe at the Time of the Reformation (ca. 1515-ca. 1540),’ Journal of Political Economy 49 (1941) 2 asserts that a change in economic attitude began in thirteenth-century Europe. To counter the view that Protestantism was responsible for the capitalism of the sixteenth century, Trevor-Roper, H. R. in 1963 published a significant essay entitled ‘Religion, the Reformation and Social Change,’ Historical Studies IV, Papers read before the Fifth Irish Conference of Historians (ed. Hayes-McCoy, G. A.). This study has been reprinted in Professor Trevor-Roper's collection of essays, Religion, the Reformation and Social Change (London 1967) 1–45. Trevor-Roper claims that the capitalistic mentality of migrating Catholic entrepreneurs more adequately accounts for the sudden prosperity of heavy industries in northern Europe during the sixteenth century. Trevor-Roper dismisses the Protestantism-progress thesis and claims instead that the formation of clerical states in Catholic regions of Europe slowed economic development in these areas. This condition, rather than Protestantism as a positive force, permitted northern Protestant Europe to make progress relative to a stagnating, but still capitalistic, southern Europe. Hoselitz, B. F., Sociological Aspects of Economic Growth (Glencoe, Illinois 1960) 105 had anticipated Trevor-Roper's thesis in a brief but perceptive discussion of the economic failure in Italy at the close of the Middle Ages. De Roover, R., ‘Monopoly Theory Prior to Adam Smith: A Revision,’ Quarterly Journal of Economics 65 (1951) 508 claims that scholastic economic theory provided the main source for European social and economic ideals well into the seventeenth century. See also De Roover's, ‘Scholastic Economics : Survival and Lasting Influence from the Sixteenth Century to Adam Smith,’ Quarterly Journal of Economics 69 (1955) 161–90. See also Nussbaum, F. L., ‘The Economic History of Renaissance Europe,’ Journal of Modern History 13 (1941) 529–532, 538; Nussbaum cites the work of Georg von Below and Lujo Brentano as interesting revisions of Sombart's work. Two older works are also important for their discussion of later medieval attitudes toward economics: Cossa, L., An Introduction to the Study of Political Economy, trans. L. Dyer, rev. ed. (London 1893) and Gobbi, U., L'Economia politica negli scrittori Italiani del secolo XVI–XVII (Milano 1889).Google Scholar
6 Sombart, W., The Quintessence of Capitalism, trans. and ed. Epstein, M. (New York 1967; a reprint of the 1915 English translation of the original Der Bourgeois of 1913).
7 Sapori, A., Studi di storia economica medievale (2nd ed. Firenze 1946) 737–765 discusses the poor reception given to Sombart's Quintessence by contemporary historians. Sombart weakened his presentation by exaggeration; he compared Alberti to Benjamin Franklin, for example: Quintessence 104.
8 Ibid. 29–31 103–106 108–109. Even Fanfani, a hostile critic, agrees that Sombart was correct about Alberti: Catholicism 149–53, 181.
9 Sombart, , Quintessence 222–27.
10 Ibid. 226–227. Sombart claimed that the Oeconomicus was more widely read than Soudek, Aristotle. J., ‘The Genesis and Tradition of Leonardo Bruni's Annotated Latin Version of the (pseudo-) Aristotelian Economics,’ Scriptorium 12 (1958) 260–68 finds (p. 260) that this treatise appeared in a large number of manuscript copies between the early 1420s and the 1470s, and that there were nearly 70 printed editions of it between 1469 and 1598. Sant' Antonio's scholastic Summa (undeniably a bulky item) appeared in only 20 editions between 1477 and 1600. The new economics, as it were, definitely possessed a large audience; this point will be emphasized again in later notes of this essay. See below, notes 122, 125, and 139.
11 Sombart, , Quintessence 243 summarized the scholastic position as saying, ‘Don't prevent money from becoming capital.’
13 Ibid. 2–21.
14 Ibid. 22.
15 Ibid. 17–8.
16 Ibid. 18–34.
17 Ibid. 25.
18 Ibid. 36–7.
19 Baron, H., ‘A Sociological Interpretation of the Early Renaissance in Florence,’ South Atlantic Quaterly 38 (1939) 427–48.Google Scholar
20 Ibid. 434: ‘Thus the economic outlook of the Florentine Renaissance became what one might term the first approach to a mercantilist attitude.’
21 Ibid. 431–35. Florentine banking failed in the fourteenth century, and this catastrophe brought about a new social and economic evolution, according to Baron. Following this failure, an industrial revolution of sorts dominated Florentine society until the decade of the 1430s and even (p. 435) thereafter.
22 Ibid. 433–38.
23 Bec, C., Les marchands écrivains: affaires et humanisme à Florence, 1375–1434 (Paris 1967).
24 Ibid. 11, 437 ff.
25 Ibid. 60–1, 63, 85, 103.
26 Ibid. 361 ff.
27 Ferguson, A. B., The Articulate Citizen and the English Renaissance (Durham, North Carolina 1965) xi–xii.
28 Ibid. 51, 57, 60, 96–98. Cf. Owst, G. R., Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England (2nd ed.; New York 1961).
29 Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 86, 92, 104.
30 Ibid. 93, 105, 134.
31 Ibid. 135.
32 Ibid. 136–38.
33 Ibid. 304–05, 307.
34 Ibid. 146, 161–68, 213–16, 230–32, 279, 281, 284.
35 Ibid. 311.
36 Ibid. 341 ff.
37 Garin, E., Italian Humanism, trans. Munz, Peter (New York 1965) 43–4.
38 Certain twelfth-century personalities, however, sometimes express startling views. Thompson, J. W., An Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages, 300–1300 (New York 1928) 807 reports that the mystic Hugo of St. Victor outlined a theory of the progressive evolution of humanity not only in a spiritual way but also in accordance with its level of material civilization. Hugh underlined the importance of economics, according to Thompson, and gave a prestigious place to knowledge of business techniques. Pike, J. B., Frivolities of Courtiers and Footprints of Philosophers (Minneapolis 1938) 22 reveals that John of Salisbury believed life and property to be the two fundamental rights of citizenship. Yet, John of Salisbury also declared (p. 424–25) that money carries deadly venom, and (p. 269) that poverty is a breeder of men. The latter sentiments reflect more accurately, it seems, the characteristic thinking of the twelfth century. For a discussion of the older views before the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, consult Bultot, R., Christianisme et valeurs humains: la doctrine du mépris du monde, IV; Le XIe siècle; 2 (Paris 1964).
39 Wilson, C., Mercantilism (Historical Association pamphlet # 37 London 1958) 3 records the remarks of Johnson, Professor E. A., ‘Mercantilism has become a positive nuisance. It is confused with autarky, with nationalism, with protection …. ’ See also pages 8, 10, 18. The standard work on this subject, of course, is Heckscher's Mercantilism. Professor Heckscher's aim (p. 20) is to deal ‘with the economic policy of the time between the Middle Ages and the age of laissez-faire’; yet he concerns himself mostly with British and French developments. In respect to time, his work seems overly ambitious; in respect to Europe, he neglected some half-dozen other countries. Coleman, D. C., ‘Eli Heckscher and the Idea of Mercantilism,’ Scandinavian Economic History Review 5 (1957) presents an interesting critique of Heckscher's Mercantilism . De Roover, , Quart. J. of Econ. 69.177–78, 180 points out that mercantilism lacked a coherent philosophy, and never stood for a clear concept. Modern interpretations of mercantilism correspondingly suffer from this lack of coherence. See also Minchinton, W. E., ed., Mercantilism (Boston 1969). Since mercantilism primarily desired economic well-being for the state, whether that meant emphasizing agriculture or shipping, depending on a given region's strength, the phrase, ‘economic nationalism,’ seems more apt than mercantilism. See below, note 41.
40 I am partially indebted to Saitta's, G. Il Pensiero Italiano nell' Umanesimo e nel Rinascimento I (Bologna 1949–1951) 409 for the phrase, ‘economic humanism’; Saitta used it to describe Leon Battista Alberti's views—‘economia umana,’ or ‘economia borghese.’ Robertson, Aspects 48 declares, ‘There is no doubt that the emancipation of secular thought during the Renaissance led to a reaction against medieval economic teaching.’ Robertson describes this phenomenon (p. xv, note 2) as ‘economic individualism.’ Several other scholars, in addition to Nef, J. Pol. Econ. 49., have indicated a change in economic outlook in the later medieval period. Fanfani, A., Storia delle dottrine economiche (4th ed. Milano 1955) 134 notes that humanism called attention to the material things of this world and to riches. Renouard, Yves, Les hommes d'affaires italiens (Paris 1949) 193 discusses the businessmen of the fourteenth century and ‘their rationalistic and lay spirit, their materialism, their thirst for profit …,’ which was increasingly accepted by society. Neff, F. A., Economic Doctrines (2nd. ed.; New York 1950) 51, 55–56, declares that by the time of Nicholas Oresme there had occurred a ‘pronounced shift in ideas about wealth …,’ and he connects this movement of the early 1300s with such figures as Bodin, Machiavelli and Serra, Antonio (ca. 1500–1650). See also Jarrett, B., Social Theories of the Middle Ages, 1200–1500 (reprint of 1926 edition; New York 1966) 122–27, 147–48, 173. von Martin's, A. Sociology of the Renaissance (New York 1963) also concerns itself with this shift in economic outlook.
41 Gobbi, , L'Economia politica 2–3 suggests that a different approach to economic theory becomes apparent after 1550. Gobbi, commenced his treatment of sixteenth-century economic theorists (pp. 6 ff.) with a treatise of the year 1556. Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 341 ff. also implies that 1550 began a new economic era in England. An abundant bibliography could easily be amassed for justifying the mid-sixteenth century as a turning point in the development of economic thought. Bining, A. C. and Cochran, T. C., The Rise of American Economic Life (4th ed.; New York 1964) 11 describe mercantilism as ‘a system of economic nationalism.’ Economic nationalism is more suggestive of the wide variations in emphasis whether for bullion, manufacturing, trade, finance, or agriculture which each contemporary political economist could suggest according to circumstances of his nation or territory. After 1550, the state stands at the forefront of economic theory. See above, note 39. De Roover, R., Quart. J. of Econ. 69. 177–178 observes that in the later 1500s mercantilism employed the concept of the common good; Professor De Roover believes that such rhetoric really veiled the greed of private interests. More likely it reflected the growing interest on the part of economic theorists in government's role in the economy. The following items are worth consulting in this regard. Ehrenberg, R., Capital and Finance in the Age of the Renaissance , trans. Lucas, H. M. (London 1928) 13 ff., 21, 23; Robertson, , Aspects 66, 86; Neff, , Doctrines 51, 55–6.
42 Governments, when they spoke, naturally reflected a governmental position. If one selects only government papers, one can see mercantilism, or economic nationalism, developing since 1300 at least. For Florence see Baron, , S. Atlant. Quart. 38.431–435. The government of Venice in an act of 1339 said: ‘Cum inter alia sit principaliter habendus respectus ad conservationem, augmentum, et bonum nostrorum, qui merchatorio more conversantur per varias partes mundi, cum in hoc consistat conditio status nostri …. ’ This statement is quoted in Queller, D. E., Early Venetian Legislation on Ambassadors (Genève 1966) 13 n. 4. For fifteenth-century English practice see Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 106. According to Garin, E., La cultura filosofica del Rinascimento Italiano (Firenze 1961) 14 Coluccio Salutati, chancellor of Florence, stated in 1381 concerning merchants: ‘hoc genus hominum necessarium profecto societati mortalium, et sine quibus vivere non possemus …. ’ The point of our paper is that by 1550 various types of literature, apart from governmental decrees and position papers, had already made economic nationalism and economic individualism attractive.
43 De Roover, R., San Bernardino of Siena and Sant' Antonio of Florence, Kress Library of Business and Economics # 19 (Boston 1968) 7 quite rightly observes that modern textbooks commonly consider that Thomas Aquinas said the final word on economics among scholastics. See also Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49. 5–7.
44 De Roover, R., Quart. J. of Econ. 65.495 argues that scholastics concerned themselves mainly with questions of social justice. In his Quart. J. of Econ. 69.166 De Roover declared that while later schoolmen overemphasized the usury question, the latter problem did not furnish the key point in their economics. Primarily, the scholastics sought equity in distribution and exchange. The role of the market in scholastic thought is amply discussed by Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49. 1–92.
45 De Roover, Even, who would tend to reject this contention, says in his article, ‘The Scholastic Attitude towards Trade and Entrepreneurship,’ Explorations in Entrepreneurial History 2nd Series 1 (1963–64) and partially reprinted in Kitch, Capitalism 95–103 that (p. 99 in the latter) ‘theological prejudices against trade were on the wane in the fifteenth century …. ’ In another place (p. 98) he states, ‘By the fifteenth century mercantile pursuits had secured the approval of the theologians as essential to the smooth operation of the economic system and as beneficial to the res publica.’ Noonan, J. T. Jr., The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1957) 195 claims that by 1450 usury theorists had ‘ungracefully’ accommodated themselves to governmental financing and funded-debt schemes. See also De Roover, , San Bernardino 40–1. Robertson, , Aspects 133 notes that the Catholic Church was moving toward a modern theory of interest in the latter part of the fifteenth century. Emil Lucki, History of the Renaissance (Salt Lake City 1963) I 108–09 provides a survey of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century revisions of usury theory, including those of John Eck, Dumoulin, and Conrad Summenhart. See also Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 93.Google Scholar
46 De Roover, , San Bernardino 28–33; Noonan, , Scholastic Analysis 195: ‘The rule, as applied, did not choke commerce.’
47 De Roover, , San Bernardino 38–40.
48 Noonan, , Scholastic Analysis 202 ff. states that after 1484 scholastics abandoned the concept of the sterility of money. De Roover, , San Bernardino 29 notes a contradiction in one of St. Thomas' writings. In one place Thomas denied that money bears fruit, and a few lines later he compared money with seed which will sprout and produce a return. So too San Bernardino believed money to be barren, but in the same treatise he declared, according to Professor De Roover, that money can obtain ‘a seminal quality by being invested in a business venture and becoming capital.’ See also Cossa, , Political Economy 150.
49 Fanfani, , Catholicism 35 n. 1. He adds (p. 35–7) that by the end of the fifteenth century no one felt shame in acting in a capitalistic manner. Noonan, , Scholastic Analysis 195 states, ‘Particularly in sales on credit, in purchase of bills of exchange and in deposit banking the theories of the leading moralists were ignored.’
50 De Roover, , San Bernardino 17, 19, 40–41.
51 Ibid. 20–22, 24. See also Robertson, , Aspects 57; Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49.1–92.
52 The studies of Raymond De Roover have revealed the large contribution made to modern economic thought by the scholastics. In Quart. J. of Econ. 65.493–94, 501–02, 509, De Roover, insists that classical economics as well as mercantilism borrowed from scholastics who advocated competition and opposed monopolies. De Roover's Quart. J. of Econ. 69.161–190, makes a strong case for the influence of scholastic theory on economic thought from the 16th century to Adam Smith. See also De Roover, , San Bernardino 22, 25.
53 Fanfani, , Catholicism 124–25 cites Bernard's statement from the De consideratione,‘ Argentum et aurum quad ad animi bonum spectant, nec bona sunt, nec mala: usus tamen horum bonus, abusio mala, sollicitudo pejor, quoestus turpior.’
54 Fanfani, A., Le Origini dello spirito capitalistico in Italia (Milano 1933) 5 quotes from Thomas' Contra Gentiles, ‘Exteriores divitiae sunt necessariae ad bonum virtutis, cum per eas sustentemur et aliis subveniamus.’ Jarrett, , Social Theories 123 declares that thirteenth-century schoolmen reversed the traditional outlook on wealth and insisted, for example, on the principle of private property.
55 de Lagarde, G., La Naissance de l'esprit laïque au déclin du moyen âge (Paris 1942) III 51, 108–12.
56 Fanfani, , Catholicism 125.
57 Jarrett, , Social Theories 162 states that Aquinas, St. Thomas examined the intentions of trade, and accepted that trade which allowed for upkeep of the household, for assisting the needy, and that trade which contributed to the public advantage (lest a country lack the necessities of life). Origo, Iris, The World of San Bernardino (New York 1962) 86 adds that San Bernardino († 1444) also considered trade as licit when it maintains the family, gives welfare to a city, and relieves the poor. De Roover, , San Bernardino 14 makes clear that Sant' Antonino made the same allowances for the same three reasons.
58 Fanfani, , Catholicism 45. See also De Lagarde, , Naissance III 165.
59 De reggimento de'Principi di Egidio Romano 3.1 (ed. Corazzini, F.; Firenze 1858) 215; especially significant are such statements as, ‘E perciò le città fuoro primamente ordinate per avere le cose necessarie alla vita umana …. ’ This edition reproduces the Italian vernacular rendition of 1288 of the De regimine principis. Aegidius was theologian at Paris and general of the Augustinians.
60 Ibid. 3. pt. 2.8 (p. 246) and 2. pt. 3.10 (p. 202–03). Book 2 is entitled ‘Del governo della famiglia’, and book 3 concentrates on the common good, that is, the state. Humanists, like Alberti, later devoted separate studies to such topics; Renaissance humanist interest in the family and household thus seems to derive from scholastic themes of the thirteenth century.
61 Ibid. 3.1 (p. 215–16).
63 Ibid. 2. pt.1. 12 (p. 145); see also 2. pt. 3.1 (p. 188–89) and 4.4 (p. 193–94). In the last reference Aegidius sarcastically declared that those who do not wish to marry, and who disregard riches and possessions, thereby show an arrogant desire to become and be like God. The importance of wealth is a general theme in book 2.CrossRef
64 Renouard, , Les hommes d'affaires 193 points out that around the year 1400 Giovanni Dominici, who died a Cardinal, declared that wealth could be a state to which God has called certain men; at least wealth was not condemnable in itself. See also Dominici, Blessed Giovanni, On the Education of Children (trans. Arthur B. Cote; Washington D. C. 1927) 27–28, 60, 66–7.
65 Fanfani, , Origini 125.
66 Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49.63–5 believes that much earlier, in the second half of the thirteenth century, a new type of literature was emerging which discussed merchant activity in a full scholastic manner.
67 Ibid. 49.63–65. Noonan, , Scholastic Analysis 199 remarks upon the different attitude growing after 1450 toward the ‘social utility of the financiers.’ De Roover, , San Bernardino 10 says, ‘By the fifteenth century … the attitude of the churchman toward trade had mellowed considerably.’ Fanfani, , Origini 128 also states that there was something new in scholastic views toward wealth in the fifteenth century. See above, notes 45 and 46.
68 De Roover, , San Bernardino 13; Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49.66.
69 Ibid. 13–14. See also De Roover's, views in Kitch, , Capitalism 100.
70 Origo, , San Bernardino 153. The Venetians, said Bernardino, (p. 155), obtained greatness because of a firm government rule and because ‘… they are never idle.’ Jarrett, , Social Theories 156–57 points out that the Little Flowers and the Regula prima also advised an avoidance of idleness; indeed, they seem suggestive of a gospel of work.
71 Origo, , San Bernardino 109–10.
72 Fanfani, , Origini 119–20 provides this quotation from Savonarola's Della semplicità de la vita cristiana. Savonarola, Girolamo, Trattato del Reggimento degli stati in vol. VI (Scrittori Politici) Biblioteca Enciclopedica Italiana (Milano 1839) 12 states, ‘essendo buon governo nella città, abonderà di richezze, e per tutto si lavorerà, e i poveri guadagneranno, e i figliuoli loro, e figliuoli potranno nutrire santamente.’ The reformer also seems to have recast Christianity's golden rule into an economic ethic, when (p. 2) he declared that man has fragile and multiple needs and so each helps the other, each doing his part toward building up a perfect body of all the sciences and crafts (‘… e facendo insieme tutto un corpo perfetto di tutte le scienze ed arti’). Savonarola also expressed an economic insight into political disintegration (p. 5): powerful men so control economic resources that the common good falters.
73 Fanfani, , Origini 7.
74 Ibid. 122 ‘ut dominium temporale emant.’ De Roover, , in Kitch, , Capitalism 99 notes this novel opinion and offers for it the rather weak explanation that Cajetan was Italian, and that social mobility was greater there than in northern Europe.
75 Fanfani, , Origini 144.
76 Kitch, , Capitalism 95–103 reprints a portion of De Roover's ‘Scholastic Attitude,’ which notes that fifteenth-century scholastic teaching justified profits if gained in service and utility to the commonweal—‘pro reipublicae servitio et utilitate.’ See also De Roover, , San Bernardino 11–13. Fanfani, , Origini 123 quotes Cajetan's († 1534) commentary on St. Thomas which allowed profit if it served ‘ad sustentationem familiae vel reipublicae.’
77 Leff, G., Heresy in the Later Middle Ages (New York 1967) I 51–166. De Lagarde, , Naissance (Paris 1946) VI 177–81 discusses the question as it affected views of private property.
78 Beard, M., A History of Business (Ann Arbor 1962) 162. See also her interesting remarks (p. 251 and 283 ff.) on the employment of art in various parts of Europe to celebrate the triumph of wealth and business during the Renaissance period. Renouard, , Les hommes d'affaires 223 cites the case of Francesco Sassetta in the fifteenth century who desired to honor St. Francis in Santa Maria Novella, but because of Dominican opposition switched his project to Santa Trinità. Renouard also points out (p. 247) that Franciscan poverty held increasingly little attraction for businessmen in the fifteenth century.
79 De Lagarde, , Naissance III 51. See also pages 64, 72, 108–112. During the thirteenth century intellectuals established the concept of nature as a criterion of morality and anticipated some aspects of Renaissance philosophy. Probably under this impulse the Roman de la Rose declared, ‘Trop est povretez laide chose.’ Heer, Friedrich, The Intellectual History of Europe , Trans. Steinberg, J. (New York 1968) I 288 ff. and 302 ff. outlines the anti-monastic, anti-poverty, and anti-contemplative side of humanist thought. See also Hay, Denys, The Italian Renaissance in Its Historical Background (Cambridge England 1966) 125–29.
80 Saitta, , Pensiero I 317: ‘Quis enim quicquam aget remota spe utilitatis?‘ Ibid. I 319:’… auferetur magnificentia omnis civitatum, tolletur cultus atque ornatus, nulla aedificabuntur templa, … perturbatio vitae nostrae et rerum publicarum sequetur.’ Bec, Les marchands écrivains 379 ff. believes, as I do, that within the debate à trois the opinions of Loschi represent Bracciolini's.
81 Saitta, , Pensiero I 319: ‘necessaria est enim pecunia veluti nervi quidam quibus sustinetur respublica, cuius cum copiosi existant avari, tanquam basis et fundamentum iudicandi sunt.’
82 Saitta, , Pensiero I 359–360 quotes from Collenuccio's Agenoria: ‘… agros excolat, qui maria traiciat, qui urbes extruat, civitates faciat, tueatur, augeat …. ’ See also Garin, , Italian Humanism 66 ff.
83 Previté-Orton, C. W., ed., Opera hactenus inedita Livii ee Frulovisiis de Ferrararia (London 1932) 361 quotes Frulovisi, , ‘Pauper est et mendicus? Opere, diligentia, et parsimonia rem faciat.’ See also Garin, , Filosofi italiani del quattrocento (Firenze 1942) 35–36.
84 Mandeville in his Fable of the Bees (1714–1729) suggested that private vices can be public economic benefits; sins of avarice and pride are ‘ministers of industry.’ Mandeville became ‘the first name to be given prominence in a doctrinal history of the idea of economic progress,’ according to Spiegel, H. W., ‘Theories of Economic Development: History and Classification,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 16 (1955) 524. Poggio should have been accorded a similar place, and even Leonardo Bruni. Saitta, , Pensiero II 13 quotes the following from Da Vinci's poetry: Lussuria è causa della generazione, Gola è mantenimento della vita, Paura over timore è prolungamento di vita, Dolor è salvamento dello strumento. Saitta, (Ibid. I 177–180) offers an interesting discussion of the work of Leonardo Bruni in this regard; p. 232 provides a list of the various editions of Lorenzo Valla's De voluptate; see also pp. 240–41 and 259 for the general tendency of humanists to discount the religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Origo, , San Bernardino 87, and the note on page 274, declares that other humanists surpassed Poggio in descerning in riches, as in Jacob's, flocks, a positive token of the Lord's approval. Even some Franciscans, it seems, shared the anti-monastic ideals of the humanists and advocated an active charity in the world. See Baron's, H. review-discussion, ‘Secularization of Wisdom and Political Humanism in the Renaissance,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 21 (1960) 131–150 in which he maintains that the humanists desired knowledge to be socially useful, based on experience, and centered on man's natural powers. This review agrees with the main contentions of Rice, E. F. Jr's The Renaissance Idea of Wisdom (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1958). See also Waith, E. M., ‘Landino and Maximus of Tyre,’ Renaissance News 13 (1960) 289–94 and especially 290–91. Previté-Orton, , Opera Inedita xxxii and 357 shows that Frulovisi in his De Republica of 1434 expressed dislike for mendicant friar-monks: ‘Quod impertinentia tractant, utilia vero praetermittunt …. ’ See also Garin, Eugenio, Filosofi 33 ff. and 84 ff. Garin, , Italian Humanism 61 ff.; Fanfani, , Origini 134–50; Fanfani, , Catholicism 181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
85 Baron, Hans, ed., Leonardo Bruni Aretino, Humanistisch-philosophische Schriften (Leipzig 1928). For Bruni's advocacy of the active life see pages 114, 115, 120.
86 Ibid. 114–115. Heckscher, , Mercantilism II 270 declares that the ancients contributed little to early modern economic theory. Yet the little in the way of economic sentiment—for example, expressions of economic self-interest by Cicero, and Seneca, —had a considerable impact on the early humanists.
87 Baron, , Bruni 120.
88 Garin, , La cultura filosofica 65.
89 Rational control of the world became a theme in the writings of many Renaissance figures. See Bec, , Les marchands écrivains pt. II ch. 3. Green, L., 'Critical Interpretations in Fourteenth-Century Chroniclers, Florentine, 'Journal of the History of Ideas 28 (1967) 170 ff. indicates that such control became an important theme in contemporary histories. See also Guicciardini, Francesco, Maxims and Reflections of a Renaissance Statesman , ed. Domandi, M. (New York 1965) 35 ff.; Garin, , Italian Humanism 29 ff. and 61 ff.; Saitta, , Pensiero I 259 and II 418; Kristeller, P. O., Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance (Stanford 1964) 27–32. In Renaissance artistic motifs Renouard, Les hommes d'affaires 248–49 points out that artists depicted merchants as guiding the chancy ship of Fortune; no longer, that is, did it drift under Fortune's guidance. Lopez, R. S. would disagree with this view. See his ‘Hard Times and Investment in Culture,’ The Renaissance: Six Essays (New York 1962) 29–54 and especially 49. Parker, J., ed., Merchants and Scholars (Minneapolis 1965) 3–5 discusses the significant relationship of humanistic scholarship to exploration, geography, and economic expansion. Two studies contained in Parker's volume are worthy of mention: Goldstein, T. ‘Geography in Fifteenth-Century Florence’ (11–32) and Hirsch, E. F., ‘The Discoveries and the Humanists’ (35–46 and especially p. 37). Heer, , Intellectual History I 288 ff. and especially 291 comments upon the appearance of themes of control and progress during the Renaissance. The importance of Cicero in establishing the value of an active life for the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance has been pointed out by Baron, H., ‘Cicero and the Roman Civic Spirit in the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance,’ in Lordship and Community in Medieval Europe , ed. Cheyette, Frederic L. (New York 1968) 293–94, 296–310. Baron, H., ‘The Historical Background of the Florentine Renaissance,’ History n. s. 22 (1937–1938) 315–27 states that the humanists considered an active and social life to be the only truly human life. Rice, , Idea of Wisdom viii–lx 30 comments upon the secular and activist tinge to the ideal of wisdom; efforts were made to tie wisdom more closely to civic virtue and to active political and business life. See note 84 above. Martines, L., The Social World of the Florentine Humanists 1390–1460 (Princeton, New Jersey 1963) 296 contends, however, that the ideal of the vita operosa suffered in the later-fifteenth century.
90 Palmieri, Matteo, Della vita civile in Biblioteca Enciclopedica 381–82: ‘… che tutto il vulgo, e la meno scelta parte del popolo s'affatichi e faccia pro cumune della repubblica. Chi fosse ozioso, ed inerte in modo che nocesse e desse danno nella città, se non è da giusta cagione impedito, sia costretto all' opera o veramente mandato fuori, acciocche la città si purghi della nociva plebe.’ See also Martines, , Social World 31.
91 Palmieri, , Vita civile 382: ‘Nell’ infirma plebe basti solo il vitto necessario che dì per dì coi loro esercizi s'acquistano: nella più scelta parte del popolo, le molte ricchezze fanno abbondante e copiosa la città, e per vari modi conducono utilità grandissime.'
92 Ibid. 382. Such evil arti must be avoided: ‘… inutili… e ministre di non necessario diletto; come taverne, cuochi, venditori di liscio, scuole di balli o d'altre lascivie, e di qualunque giuoco di dadi.’
93 Robbins, C., ‘Influence or Coincidence—A Question for Students of Machiavelli?’ Renaissance News 14 (1961) 244 finds Machiavelli's secular attitude to church and clergy, his views on population, and his ‘firmly if not fully developed mercantilist attitude towards colonies …’ influential upon or coincidental with ideas pervasive in Europe until the French Revolution. She also finds (p. 248) that the ‘… theory of mercantilism … was in some particular aspects anticipated by Machiavelli …. ’ Of course, Machiavelli was influential in setting forth the harsher aspects of statecraft for economic nationalism, but others had anticipated him. Robertson, , Aspects 59 also notes the economic man in Machiavelli. See Saitta, , Pensiero III 397 and Arias, G., ‘II pensiero economico de Niccolò Machiavelli,’ Annali di Economia 4 (1928) 1–13. Garin's, Filosofi 265–66 discusses the economic and social views of Platina (1421-ca. 1470s) and his hard Machiavellian tone. See also Breglia, A., 'A proposito di Botero, G. “economista”,' Annali di Economia 4 (1928) 87–128; Fanfani, , Storia delle dottrine 145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
94 Previté-Orton, , Opera Inedita: regulation of marriage (p. xxxii); peasants regarded as state slaves (p. xxxiii); idleness and idle paupers forbidden (p. 351); a special lay magistracy (p. xxxiii); young boys brought up on labor (p. 340); the city should be wealthy but the people only moderately so (p. 344). See also note 122 above for reference to the somewhat systematic nature of Leon Battista Alberti's economic thought.
95 Schumpeter, J. A., History of Economic Analysis (New York 1954) 159–61 discusses the role of such ‘consultant administrators’ and ‘pamphleteers’ during and after the fifteenth century. Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 336 cites the work of Vives as having great influence upon the formation of the English poor law of 1536. See also Cossa, , Political Economy 154–55 and Grau, J. G., ‘La doctrina social de Juan Luis Vives,’ in Estudios de historia social de España (Madrid 1952) II. Taylor, J., ‘Copernicus on the Evils of Inflation and the Establishment of a Sound Currency,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 16 (1955) 540–47 discusses the surprisingly advanced character of Copernicus' analysis of national currencies.CrossRef
96 Ferguson, , Articulate Citizen 279.
97 Baron, H., ‘Fifteenth-Century Civilization and the Renaissance,’ chapter 2 of The New Cambridge Modern History I: The Renaissance 1493–1520 (Cambridge, England 1957) 55–56 declares that after the 1490s and especially after the 1520s Renaissance views on history, politics, and social problems ‘were reaching England in an uninterrupted stream.’Google Scholar
98 An anonymous treatise perhaps authored by Fitzherbert, John entitled Here begynneth a new tract or treatyse moost profytable for all husbande men (London: Pynson, R., 1523) in University Microfilms (Ann Arbor, Michigan) collection of English Books 1475–1640 reel 42 no. 1166 declared in its prologue (fol. Aii.): ‘… a man is ordeyned and borne to do labour as a byrde is ordayned to flee.’ It further noted, ‘… every man from the hyest degre to the lowest is set and ordeyned to have labour and occupacyon …. ’ Heilbroner, R., The Quest for Wealth (New York 1956) 136 believes that capitalism only appears in the seventeenth century when, with the influence of the Protestant ethic, the notion of the ‘working rich’ appeared. Obviously, it made its appearance long before this. de Guevara, Antonio, A dispraise of the life of a courtier and a commendacion of the life of the labourying man, trans. Bryant, F. (Grafton, R. 1548) in English Books reel 50 no. 1262, represents a translation of a Catholic continental treatise. Folio Eii declares that while the court is ‘doying nothying,’ one might be in a village to ‘exercise himself to his honor, and to the helth of his body and profite of his neighbour.’
99 Robertson, , Aspects 13 ff. remarks on sixteenth-century insistence on the rights of the ‘publike state.’ There were some exceptions, such as Pierre Gringore, Castell of Laboure , trans. Barclay, A. (Pynson, R. 1505?) in English Books reel 20 no. 685. This tract condemns sloth and recommends diligence and industry; ‘Thou must be besye in every hour…,’ it added (fol. Gvi.). Cousin, Gilbert, Of the office of servauntes, trans. Chalmer, Sir T. (Berthe[let], T., or Chaloner 1534 or 1543) in English Books reel 61 no. 938 recommended (fol. Cvi) that one would ‘… do bettre in inducynge soch yonge, and strong lubbers, to betake them to an occupation…. For els wylle al men … cleave unto ydleness, and bealycheare skottefree. But (alas) to what steade in a commen wealthe mayssoch a froth … serve in case they swarme overmoche abrode.’ Arber, E., ed., The First Three English Books 1511–1555 (Birmingham, England 1885) published Eden's, Richard Booke of Metals. Eden's preface noted that gold and silver were‘ … not only most desired, but also such without which in this age the life of man cannot be passed over without many adversities, forasmuch as poverty is hateful to all men, and virtue no further esteemed than it is supported by richer…. ’ This sounds much like Renaissance economic humanism. Eden further stated that ‘… gold and silver … are such necessary evils which the life of man cannot lack without detriment…. ’ But the purpose of the book-was to urge on Englishmen to find bullion, and thus the public motive is equally strong.
100 A glasse for housholders (London: Grafton, R., 1542) in English Books reel 67 no. 1245 fol. Aii.
101 Xenophons treatise of householde, trans. Hervet, Gentian (London: Thomas Berthelet 1544, but on frontispiece as 1534) in English Books reel 375 no. 10385. The statement cited above in the text appears in the ‘To the Reder’ section. Folio v suggests avoiding women, gambling, association with ‘unthriftes,’ drunkenness, and ‘costly vayne glorye.’ If one follows such advice, the translator declares (fol. ix), ‘so by the grace of God, [one will] come to be a very ryche man, with moche wynning and lucre.’ Xenophon's Oeconomicus may be overrated, however, by modern commentators; Xenophon's aversion to the city and the ‘handy craftes’ which are ‘abiecte and vile,’ and his defense of husbandry limit its so-called capitalistic tone.Google Scholar
102 Isocrates [ad Nicolem]. The doctrinal of princes , trans. Eliot, Syr T. (Berthelet, T. 1534) in English Books reel 54 no. 1419 fol. 8. See also fol. 12 and fol. 9.
103 The treasuri of helth, Trans. Lloyd, Humfrey (Coplande, W. 1550?) in English Books reel 55 no. 1447 fol. Aii. This is the translator's prologue.
104 Baron, H., ‘Cicero and the Roman Civic Spirit’ 291–314.
105 Barni, G. L., ed., Le Lettere di Andrea Alciato Giureconsulto (Firenze 1953) xxx letter no. 4; 123 ff. letter no. 68. The letter, or treatise, is printed in an appendix beginning on page 265.
106 Ibid. 268, 271–72.
107 Ibid. 273. The quotation was borrowed from Catullus, Carmina LI: ‘Otium molestum est. Otium reges prius et beatas perdidit urbes.’
108 Ibid. 275, 282, 283: ‘Quam ob causam Plutarchus paupertatem ab aliis malum, ab aliis magnum, a quibusdam et maximum malum iudicari autor est.’ Also there is his statement that poverty ‘… odio tantum et infamiae causam.’ Finally he remarked, ‘… opes enim nostris temporibus viscera hominum habentur…. ’
109 See above, note 105.
110 Schiaffini, A., ed., Libro di Buoni Costumi de Paolo da Certaldo (Firenze 1945) 9, 24. Bec, Les marchands écrivains 95 ff. notes other sources for this literature, and has collected an excellent bibliography on this genre insofar as it concerns Florentine cultural development.
111 The treatises of Alberti, Pandolfini, and others on household economy trace their origins to medieval handbooks of merchant advice and scholastic treatises (see note 60 above). Giovanni Rucellai seems to have adopted medieval merchant views while borrowing heavily from Pandolfini and other predecessors. Consult Allessandro Perosa, ed., Giovanni Rucellai ed il suo Zibaldone (in Studies of the Warburg Institute # 24 London 1960). Guicciardini, , Maxims, presents Guicciardini's Ricordi. The following maxims are worthy of note: in series C: 15, 33, 45, 55, 56, 62, 63, 93, 145, 150, 167, 178, 185, 192, 204; series B: 18, 19, 39, 40, 65, 93, 99, 141, 162, 163, 164; series Q2: 21, 22.
112 Crafty sentiments from the business world seem to have affected writers in other genres as well. See Martines, , Social World 19–20 for the words of Giovanni Morelli (1440s), ‘Be sure to have cash on hand at all times. Guard it carefully and use it wisely, for it is your best friend and dearest relative.’ And again, Morelli advised, ‘If you are rich and have no other way of getting friends, be prepared to buy them with your money.’ See note 123 below.
113 Schiaffini, , Buoni Costumi 15–49. See also nos. 108, 139, 188, 248. One of the greatest joys in the world, according to Paolo, is becoming rich, and the greatest sorrow is to come into poverty (no. 276).
114 Ibid. 37 and no. 247. Do not trust anyone, not even friends (p. 24, and no. 375) or your own sons (p. 21, and no. 375).
115 Ibid. 24 no. 92, and also no. 13. Renouard, , Les hommes d'affaires 185 declares that the company of the Tolomei in Siena in 1321 put the following dedication on their documents: ‘In the name of God and of the Virgin Mary; may they give us to do things which turn to their praise and their glory, to our honor and our profit for soul and body. Amen.’ Renouard also notes that Giovanni Morelli in his Chronicle (1441) considered success in business to be a reward of piety (p. 247). Contracts of the mid-1400s in Italy used the phrase (p. 248) ‘col nome di Dio di buona ventura,’ which can be translated, ‘in the name of God and of profit.’ De Roover, , San Bernardino 14 states that even scholastics recognized the value of a reputation for honesty and reliability, and that merchant manuals up to the 17th century recommended practice of religion to keep one's business in good order.
116 Schiaffini, , Buoni Costumi 138 no. 239; 42 no. 270.
117 Ibid. 33–6 no. 81 and no. 142. Of course, appropriate spending also found a place in Paolo's system.
118 Ibid.: work — 38 no. 305 and nos. 180, 255, 305, 306, 385; good management — 38, 45 ff. no. 356; temperance — no. 121.
119 Ibid. 43 and no. 133. See also nos. 6, 72, 80.
120 Ibid. 44, 45.
121 Perosa, , Giovanni Rucellai 10–11. Schiaffini, , Buoni Costumi 32–3 and no. 100 lists the recommended dodges of Paolo da Certaldo. Such tricks had been traditional and continued to be so in this genre.
122 Ibid. 10 states that Paolo da Certaldo intended the book for a wider public than his mere family (see no. 1). The same is true for the other collections in this genre with the exception of Giovanni Rucellai's Zibaldone. Bec, Les marchands écrivains 95 refers to the fifteenth-century audience of businessmen who read Paolo da Certaldo's work; he also notes the several manuscripts of it, and (n. 324) the similar treatises which it inspired. Other humanists such as Alberti, Leon Battista and Pandolfini, borrowed from such books the notions of thrift, schedule, and activity that they recommend in their treatises on household economy. Other scholars have sufficiently discussed Alberti; he is a systematic economic humanist. See the controversial discussion of Alberti in Sombart, , Quintessence chapter 8; Baron S. Atlant. Quart 38.437–38, also commented on Alberti. An excellent review of Alberti's thought is furnished in Michel's, Paul-Henri La Pensée de L. B. Alberti. Un idéal humain au xv e siècle (Paris 1930). See especially pages 295–300 and 317–25. Michel believes (p. 319) that Alberti's Delia famiglia is ‘A document of very great value for the history of modern capitalism’; he notes that Alberti's was the first systematic essay of empirical procedures for a more modern economy.
123 Historians may have been influenced by these handbooks; clever proverbs, possibly of business origin, sometimes appear in contemporary chronicles. Stefani, Coppo (Marchionne di Coppo Bonaiuti), Cronaca Fiorentina in RIS2 30 fasc. 3 pt. 1 (Città di Castello 1907) 194 declared concerning the Duke of Athens' and all men's greed for greater and greater sums of money: ‘non è questo vizio de’ Fiorentini solo, che sempre fu che i pesci maggiori mangiano li minori.' Such proverbs abound in the manuals of good behavior for merchants. See note 112 above and Bec, Les marchands écrivains 95 ff.Google Scholar
124 Perosa, , Giovanni Rucellai 39; see also page 5.
125 Lopez, R. S., Raymond, I. W., Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World (New York 1955) 408–09. Tracing its origin to such treatises as Pegolotti's Practica della mercatura (14th century) and the English merchant's handbook, ‘The Noumbre of Weyghts’ (15th century MS), this genre only later began to express Cotrugli's kind of views. After 1500, however, merchant manuals all over Europe reflect Cotrugli's point of view. This literature, moreover, grew quite large during the early modern period. Consult the following for information on the subject: Davis, N. Z., ‘Sixteenth-Century French Arithmetics on the Business Life,’ Journal of the History of Ideas 21 (1960); Meuvret, J., ‘Manuels et traités à l'usage des négociants aux premières époques de l'âge moderne,’ Études d'histoire moderne et contemporaine 5 (1953); Cole's, A. H. introduction (pp. 2–11) to An Essay on the Proper Method of Forming a Man of Business: 1716 (Kress Library of Business and Economics # 4 Boston 1946) contains much information, as does Patrick McGrath's introduction (p. v–xxxii) to his edition of The Marchant's Avizo (Kress Library of Business and Economics #11 Boston 1957). This type of literature included such notable treatises as Jacques Savary's Le parfait négociant of 1675 and the sixteenth-century An Essay on Drapery in English Books reel 1006. See the following: Samuelsson, Religion 61–6; Schumpeter, , Analysis 156–57; De Roover, , San Bernardino 14.
126 Lopez, and Raymond, , Medieval Trade 413–18.
127 Bec, , Les marchands écrivains 408 claims that numerous Tuscan merchants purchased law books.
128 Post, Gaines, Studies in Medieval Legal Thought (Princeton 1964) 410 states that in medieval public law based on Roman law ‘… the royal estate was the material wealth or financial rights of the king — indeed, estate meant property.’ The term, state or status, contained in origin much that was economic. The economic wherewithal of a territory could be its status, or the state of the realm.
129 Summa Azonis (Venice : Raphael, Angelo 1581) col. 449 comments upon Cod. 4. 62. 1: ‘Decreto autem principis posset institui nouum vectigal, ut infra eodem lege penultimo maxime ratione tenuitatis, et paupertatis patriae, quae debent vectigalia: et hoc ipsum debet allegare pauper patria praesidi provinciae, qui re diligenter inspecta, et utilitatem communem intuitus, scribat principi, quam reperit: et princeps aestimabit, an et quatenus ratione patriae sit habenda, ut infra eodem lege uno.’ This is a bit more emphatic in tone than the statement of the Justinian Code on which it is based. Cf. Krueger, Paul, ed., Corpus Iuris Civilis II: Codex Iustinianus (Berlin 1963) Cod. 4. 62.1: ‘Non quidem temere permittenda est novorum vectigalium exactio: sed si adeo tenuis est patria tua, ut extraordinario auxilio iuvari debeat, adlega praesidi provinciae quae in libellum contulisti: qui re diligenter inspecta utilitatem communem intuitus scribet nobis quae compererit, et an habenda sit ratio vestri et quatenus, aestimabimus.’
130 See above, notes 59 to 63, and the text to which they relate.
131 Andreae, Ioannis, In Quinque Decretalium Libros, Novella Commentaria (Torino 1963) I De renunciatione cap. x 55 ‘… ut dicebat Claudius, etiam reipublicae melius est negocium, quam otium …. ’
132 Marongiu, Antonio, ‘The Theory of Democracy and Consent in the Fourteenth Century,’ Cheyette, Lordship and Community 404–421. See page 412 for Albornoz's statement. This assertion was common in medieval canon and civil law.
133 On the question of sovereignty see Post, , Studies pt. II: ‘Public Law and the State’ chapters v–xi. Currently, I am engaged in research upon, the economic attitudes of canon and civil lawyers. As far as economic nationalism is concerned, medieval commentaries upon such statements in the Code (12.62.3) as, ‘Utilitas publica praeferenda est privatorum contractibus,’ should prove revealing. Medieval commentary upon the state's problem with, say, sturdy beggars (C. 11.26.1. De mendicantibus validis) should also be informative. For economic humanism see note 134.
134 Baldwin, J., Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 49.10 asserts that canon lawyers adopted the Roman law of sale during the thirteenth century with its harsh tone of caveat emptor; freedom in bargaining was accepted by the lawyers (p. 17); generally, canon law softened its attitudes toward merchants (pp. 39, 48) during the thirteenth century. Baldwin, Summerfield, Business in the Middle Ages (New York 1937) 3–4 states that law and lawyers encouraged business after the thirteenth century. In my own study I hope to examine the medieval commentaries for such opinions as Andreae's, Johannes that it is preferable for the state to prefer private profit. Other interesting legal opinions in medieval Roman law declared that the prince must avoid tampering with the currency and that he must abolish monopolies. Some lawyers also advised a shrewd discretion in giving alms. See below note 135. An absorbing discussion somewhat related to this topic is offered by Post, G., Giocarinis, K., Kay, R., ‘The Medieval Heritage of a Humanistic Ideal, “Scientia donum dei est, unde vendi non potest,”‘ Traditio 11 (1955) 195–234. The authors demonstrate that the teachers of law grew realistic about the economics of payment for teaching. Joannes Teutonicus (ca. 1215–1217) asked the question (p. 198–99) why a master should not sell his doctrina, just as a jurist sells his counsel. Recognizing (pp. 206–07) that the teaching of law was sacred, a gift of God and a true philosophy, and as such not to be sold, yet Johannes Teutonicus included a gloss in his Glossa Ordinaria which, while recognizing the ‘true philosophy’ of law, added, ‘licet pecuniam non abiiciamus’ — ‘let us not throw money away.’
135 Post, Gaines, Studies 374, in discussing the growth of a public law of the state, remarks upon the use to which medieval lawyers put the Justinian code. Medieval lawyers knew that ‘the prince needed revenues in order to govern and defend the Republic …,’ and thus, as Justinian said, ‘the imperial fisc should act not against but for the common profit … and the proprium commodum subiectorum was also the emperor's good or profit.’ The medieval prince, then, cared for his private and public purse as twin concerns.
136 Le Bras, G., ‘Conceptions of Economy and Society,’ chapter 7 in the Cambridge Economic History of Europe (Cambridge, England 1963) 3.557–64.Google Scholar
137 Robertson, , Aspects 82–3, speaking of the Renaissance period states, ‘Over most of the continent of Europe the reception of Roman law was of the greatest moment in providing a favourable institutional basis for capitalism.’ Especially Germany welcomed Roman law, Robertson adds. Gilmore, M. P., Humanists and Jurists (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1963) 83 states that Roman lawyers contributed to the growth of a secular attitude in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
138 Heilbroner, , Quest for Wealth 108–09 provides the text cited above. This legal brief seems to combine Roman law, scholasticism, and economic humanism. De Roover, , Quart. J. of Econ. 69.504–05 would disagree with this interpretation. He views the case as a continuation of scholastic, anti-monopoly thinking; he believes that the legal defense was merely opportunistic. It should be noted, however, that Roman law, long before the scholastics, was anti-monopolistic.
139 See note 127 above. Roman law enjoyed great commercial success in the book trade in the early modern period. For some information on this subject, see Will, E., ‘Decreti Gratiani Incunabula,’ and Adversi, A., ‘Saggio di un catalogo delle edizioni del “Decretum Gratiani“ posteriori al secolo XV,’ both in Studio. Gratiana 6 (1959). In fact, at least two of the other genres employed in this study enjoyed a similar success. See above, notes 10, 122, and 125.
140 The term ‘saturation’ appears in the Cambridge Economic History of Europe 3.198ff.; see also pages 342 and 343. Cf. Lewis, A., ‘The Closing of the Medieval Frontier,’ Speculum 33 (1958) 475–83. The sedentary character of thirteenth-century commerce has been described by De Roover, R., ‘The Commercial Revolution of the Thirteenth Century,’ Bulletin of the Business Historical Society 16 (1942) 34–8. See also the latter's opinion in the Cambridge Economic History of Europe 3. 108.Google Scholar
141 The quotation is taken from Konetzke's, R. ‘Entrepreneurial Activities of Spanish and Portuguese Noblemen in Medieval Times,’ Explorations in Entrepreneurial History 6 (1953–4) 115–20. He further observes that new conditions occasioned ‘… a change in thinking and behavior which characterized the late-Middle Ages everywhere in Western and Central Europe, a change which led to the rise of early capitalism.’ Miller, E., ‘The State and Landed Interests in Thirteenth-Century France and England,’ in Thrupp, S. L., ed., Change in Medieval Society (New York 1964) 116–28 shows that in the thirteenth century the incomes of landlords were dwindling so dramatically that most nobles were driven ‘further along a spendthrift's path.’ See Miller's discussion of this in the Cambridge Economic History of Europe 3.306–07.Google Scholar
142 De Roover, R., Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank (New York 1966) 21 notes the direct tax. Fanfani, Origini 77 believes that such a tax problem was developing in fourteenth-century Italy, and he presents this as a partial explanation for the growth of new views toward wealth after 1350. See the notes below.
143 The quotation is taken from one of Unwin's essays which appears in Stern, Fritz, ed., The Varieties of History (New York 1956) 305–07. Unwin also declares (p. 307) that such fiscal pressure began in the early days of the Italian republics.
144 Miller, , ‘State and Landed Interests’ 128 declares that during the thirteenth century the governments of England and France experienced pressing fiscal needs. For more details consult the Cambridge Economic History of Europe 3.302–03, 309–10, 315, 494 ff. and 533 ff. Strayer, J. R., ‘The Laicization of French and English Society in the Thirteenth Century,’ in Thrupp, , ed., Change in Medieval Society 103–07 suggests that a dramatic loss of influence by the church led to the primacy of lay governments in the thirteenth century; social and political leadership by laymen (p. 104, 107–08, 111–12) resulted in new policies, especially a vast increase in numbers of officials. Cf. Strayer, J. R., Taylor, C. H., Studies in Early French Taxation (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1939) 3–6; Erickson, N. N., ‘A Dispute between a Priest and a Knight,’ Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 111 (1967) 288–303.
145 Rather surprisingly, Queller, , Venetian Legislation 20, 54 relates that by 1371 diplomatic costs formed the heaviest item of expense for the government of Venice.
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