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Tyrannical Vices: Resistance to Monopoly, Ideology, and the Market at the Dawn of Modernity*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Riccardo Rosolino*
Università di Napoli, l’Orientale


In early modern Catholic Europe, certain theologians imagined and legitimized the possibility that one monopoly could be fought by an equal and opposite monopoly. Market dynamics were thus described in terms of the theory of resistance derived from political thought. During the Old Regime, it was necessary to defend the market and its actors from monopoly, which was associated with hoarding and meant to create scarcity and higher prices. A monopolist could be either a single merchant or a group of them, and there was no distinction between buyers and sellers who behaved in such a way. Monopolistic behavior was usually referred to as a “conspiracy,” which carried obvious political connotations. It was both a crime and a sin in addition to being considered an act of violence and one of the primary means of violating the principle of commutative justice. Nevertheless, many thought that it was morally acceptable to neutralize a monopolistic action with a similar one. This idea was not restricted to the field of theology and was also taken up by jurists. Thus, the market was no longer simply a place of rules and a forum where goods were valued, but also a space where it was possible to defend oneself against those who manipulated it by applying the very same criminal tactics.

Economic Theory and the Social Sciences
Copyright © Les Éditions de l’EHESS 2013

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I would like to thank Rodolfo Savelli for his helpful remarks and suggestions on sources.


1. According to the Attorney General, the costs of the agreement have already exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars. Alessandra Farkas, “Antitrust americana contro Apple ‘Ha creato un cartello di ebook,’” Corriere della Sera, April 12, 2012, . According to estimates by the Consumer Federation of America, these costs amount to two hundred million dollars. See Porter, Eduardo, “Competition Needs Protection,” New York Times, April 17, 2012 Google Scholar, .

2. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster.

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11. Farkas, “Antitrust americana contro Apple.”

12. Piotrowski, Roman, Cartels and Trusts: Their Origin and Historical Development from the Economic and Legal Aspects (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1933), 187-89 Google Scholar. Bankers were also suspected of conspiring to alter exchange rates and thus the price of money and interest rates. On the fear of speculative conspiracies organized against the common people, see Kaplan, Steven Laurence, Bread, Politics and Political Economy in the Reign of Louis XV (The Hague: Martinus Nijohff, 1976), vol. 1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, chap. 2, and The Famine Plot Persuasion in Eighteenth-Century France (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1982). A few allusions to this topic can also be found in Cormac Ó Gráda, Famine: A Short History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), chap. 5.

13. In sources from the late medieval and early modern periods, the association between monopoly and disruption of the social order is clear. See Epstein, Stephan R., An Island for Itself: Economic Development and Social Change in Late Medieval Sicily (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 359-60 CrossRefGoogle Scholar and Bianco, Furio, Mihi vindictam: clan aristocratici e comunità rurali in una faida nel Friuli fra ’400 e ‘500,” in Crime, Society and the Law in Renaissance Italy, ed. Trevor Dean and K. J. P. Lowe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 249-74 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14. As demonstrated by Todeschini, Giacomo, in Franciscan Wealth: From Voluntary Poverty to Market Society, trans. Donatella Melucci (New York: The Franciscan Institute, 2009), 151-166 Google Scholar. The ethical dimension and the way the economic game was played required constant verification of the participants’ intentions and behavior. This verification was carried out “not only by confessors and rulers but by businessmen themselves” (ibid., 162). This is indicative of their self-sufficiency, which also resulted in relative autonomy from religious power and politics, even when conditioning of this kind was inevitable. But if the market, as Paul Prodi has demonstrated, succeeded in imposing itself as the common forum for determining the prices of goods, thus acquiring the status of a collective person, it was primarily as a result of its autonomy. See Brodi, Paul, Settimo non rubare. Furto e mercato nella storia dell’Occidente (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2009)Google Scholar. In this sense, the coexistence of two levels of norms and the shift, in Western civilization, from a plurality of regulatory systems to a duality of the individual conscience and positive law, proved fundamental.

15. On the legal and economic thought of the Salamanca School, see: Roover, Raymond De, La pensée économique des scolastiques. Doctrines et méthodes (Montreal: Institut d’études médiévales, 1971)Google Scholar; Grice-Hutchinson, Marjorie, Early Economic Thought in Spain, 1177-1740 (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1978)Google Scholar, chap. 3; Grice-Hutchinson, , Economic Thought in Spain (Aldershot: E. Elgar, 1993)Google Scholar, chaps. 1, 2, and 6; García, José Barrientos, Un siglo de moral económica en Salamanca, 1526-1629 (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 1985)Google Scholar; Baeck, Louis, The Mediterranean Tradition in Economic Thought (London: Routledge, 1994), 182-208 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Camacho, Francisco Gómez, Economía y filosofía moral. La formacíon del pensamiento económico europeo en la escolástica española (Madrid: Ed. Síntesis, 1998)Google Scholar; Camacho, Gómez, “Later Scholastics: Spanish Economic Thought in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” in Ancient and Medieval Economic Ideas and Concepts of Social Justice Google Scholar, ed. S. Lowry, Todd and Gordon, Barry (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 503-61 Google Scholar; Camacho, Francisco Gómez and Robledo, Ricardo, eds., El pensamiento económico en la escuela de Salamanca. Una visión multidisciplinar (Salamanca: Ed. Universidades de Salamanca, 1998)Google Scholar, particularly Antonio García y García and Rodríguez, Bernardo Alonso, “El pensamiento económico y el mundo del derecho hasta el siglo XVI,” at 65-90Google Scholar, and José Barrientos García, “El pensamiento económico en la perspectiva filosófico-teológica,” at 93-121.

16. Höffner, Joseph, Wirtschaftsethik und Monopole in fünfzehnten und sechzehnten Jahrhundert (Jena: Verlag Gustav Fischer, 1941);Google Scholar Roover, Raymond De, “Monopoly Theory Prior to Adam Smith: A Revision,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 65, no. 4 (1951): 492-524 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, republished in Kirshner, Julius, ed., Business, Banking, and Economic Thought in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Selected Studies of Raymond de Roover (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), 273-305 Google Scholar; Langholm, Odd, The Legacy of Scholasticism in Economic Thought: Antecedents of Choice and Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 94-99 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Langholm, , “Monopoly and Market Irregularities in Medieval Economic Thought: Traditions and Texts to A. D. 1500,” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 28, no. 4 (2006): 395-411 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also the innovative studies of Todeschini, Giacomo, I mercanti e il tempio. La società cristiana e il circolo virtuoso della ricchezza fra Medioevo ed età moderna (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002)Google Scholar, especially 236 and 311-12, as well as Prodi, Settimo non rubare, 86-87 and 248-59.

17. On the idea of the market as a “forum” in Western history, see Prodi, Settimo non rubare.

18. Monica Martinat places particular emphasis on the role of the boni homines or prudentes in the context of communis aestimatio, which cannot be equated with the modern logic of the market: Martinat, Monica, “Chi sa quale prezzo è giusto? Moralisti a confronto sulla stima dei beni in età moderna,” Quaderni storici 135, no. 3 (2010): 825-56 Google Scholar.

19. Rosolino, Riccardo, Il giusto prezzo. Mercati e giustizia in una città d’ancien régime (Corleone, secc. XVI-XVII) (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2011)Google Scholar.

20. This tripartite distinction was introduced by Tommaso de Vio (better known as Cajetan or Gaetanus).

21. Azpilcueta, Martín de, Manuale de’ confessori nel quale si contiene la universale, e particolare decisione di tutti i dubbij che nelle confessioni de’ peccati sogliono occorrere (Vinegia: G. Angelieri, 1584), fol. 612 Google Scholar.

22. Mercado, Tomás de, De’ negotii et contratti de mercanti et de negotianti (Brescia: Pietro Maria Marchetti, 1591)Google Scholar.

23. Ibid., 105.

24. “One is made by merchants for a particular kind of merchandise; another is made by artisans such as masons and stonemasons when, as they begin a construction or another important task, they agree among themselves not to do it except at a particular price or, once the construction has already begun, an artisan abandons the master who is directing it and, as the master seeks another, all are persuaded by the first artisan not to accept the work.” Ibid., 106.

25. Ibid.

26. “Artisans further agree among themselves,” Mercado warned, “on the price that must be paid for the goods belonging to their art; they also decide together that no one else can work on goods belonging to their activity, but that this work is only for those who belong to the company, so that no one teaches the art they practice except to their direct descendants and lineages.” Ibid., 106-7.

27. Ibid., 107.

28. Ibid., 107-8.

29. “The same thing happens in auctions … if those who can offer a particular price and no more conspire together or make an agreement of two or three people, by appealing to or suborning others to withdraw from such an endeavor; even this is a monopoly. And the same thing happens even when smaller things are put up for auction.” Ibid., 108.

30. Surprisingly, Mercado also included “confradias” among the forms of solidarity he labeled as monopolistic, a term the theologian seems to use to refer as much to the world of workers’ corporations as to that of devotional associations. Ibid, 106-7. Three years earlier, Jean Bodin expressed the same conclusions in the pamphlet he wrote in reply to Jean de Malestroit, published in Paris in 1568. He maintained that the primary cause of price increases lay in “monopolies of merchants, artisans and laborers when they unite to fix the prices of goods or to enhance their daily wage or the price of their work. And because such associations normally cover themselves with the veil of religion, the Chancellor Poyet wisely advised that we ought to abolish and restrict fraternities.” Bodin, Jean, Response to the Paradoxes of Malestroit, trans. Henry Tudor and R. W. Dyson (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1997), 68 Google Scholar.

31. Mercado, De’ negotii, 108. In the Italian, the phrase here translated as “severely” is “à’ misura di carbone,” an old popular expression that means inflicting a punishment greater than the offense—Trans.

32. “Q. n. verò venditores monopolium fecerent, tunc iustè emptores, quasi vim vi repellentes contraria pariter possent prudentia uti: puta convenire inter se, ut nullus nisi certo pretio emeret.” Domingo de Soto, De iustitia et iure libri decem (Venetiis: Florauantem à Prato, 1553; repr. 1589), libri 6, quaestio 2, articulus 3, 569. On this passage, Barrientos García writes: “even if a conspiracy of buyers, in the event that its purpose was to defend itself against a monopoly of sellers, could be considered just, he believed that an agreement between buyers was in practice almost impossible.” García “El pensamiento económica,” 106.

33. Ludovico Molina, Disputationes de contractibus, in quibus quaestiones omnes atque difficultates ad hanc materiam pertinentes, resolutae ac… decisae adeo videntur (Venetiis: M. Collosinum et B. Baretium, 1601), disputato 345.

34. Such as Juan Saravia de la Calle, Institutione de’ mercanti: che tratta del comprare et vendere et della usura che puo occorrere nella mercantia…. (Venetia: Bolognino Zaltieri, 1544; repr. 1561), fol. 34v.

35. Gerard Malynes believed that there are “reasonable” monopolies, related to the trade in sumptuary goods; “unreasonable” monopolies, related to essential goods, without which civil life was impossible; and “indifferent” monopolies, related to goods that were not absolutely essential (such as spices, sugar, and silk). Malynes, , Consuetudo, vel Lex Mercatoria, or The Ancient Law-Merchant (London: Adam Islip, 1622), chap. 42 Google Scholar.

36. Lugo, Ioannis de, Disputationum de iustitia et iure (Lugduni: Borde, Arnaud & Rigaud, 1642; repr. 1652)Google Scholar, tomus 2, disputatio 26, sectio 12, 308.

37. Leonardo Lessio, De iustitia et iure (Parisiis: Rolini Thierry, 1606), liber. 2, chap. 21, dubitatio 20, 271.

38. Michaele Bartholomeo Salon, Controversiae de iustitia et iure, atque de contractibus & commercijs humanis, licitis ac illicitis (Venetiis: Baretium Baretium, 1608), tomus 2, 700, col. 2.

39. Fernando Rebello, Opus de obligationibus iustitiae, religionis et caritatis (Lugduni: Horatii Cardon, 1608), liber 9, quaestio 7, 638-39: in situations when a politically established monopoly resulted in notabile harm for the Respublica, the prince or whoever represented him risked committing a mortal sin if he did not return their due to the offended parties.

40. Stone, Lawrence, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1641 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965), 432-38 Google Scholar; Braudel, Fernand, The Wheels of Commerce, vol. 2 of Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 412-21 Google Scholar.

41. Strieder, Jacob, Jacob Fugger the Rich: Merchant and Banker of Augsburg, 1459-1525, trans. Mildred L. Hartsough (Washington: The Adelphi Company, 1926; repr. 1931)Google Scholar.

42. Mund, Vernon A., Monopoly: A History and Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1933), 20-27 Google Scholar; Heckscher, Eli F., Mercantilism, trans. Mendel Shapiro (London: G. Allen, 1955), 1: 269-90 Google Scholar; Barbara Malament, “The ‘Economic Liberalism’ of Sir Edward Coke,” The Yale Law Journal 76, no. 7 (1967): 1321-58; Joyce Oldham Appleby, Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978); and Thomas B. Nachbar, “Monopoly, Mercantilism, and the Politics of Regulation,” Virginia Law Review 91, no. 6 (2005): 1313-79.

43. The origin of this idea was to be found in Aristotle’s conception of avarice. In commenting on the lesson found in book five of Ethics at Nichomachea, Thomas Aquinas wrote in Quaestiones disputatae De Malo, De Vitiis capitalibus: “Quidam igitur loquntur de avaritia sicut de opposito liberalitatis, et secundum hoc avaritia importat quendam defectum circa emissiones pecuniarum et quandam superfluitatem circa acquisitionem et retentionem earum in superfluo amore pecunie. Philosophus vero in V Ethicorum loquitur de avaritia sicut de opposito iustitie, et secundum hoc avarus dicitur qui recipit vel retinet aliena contra debitum iustitie: liberalitati enim opponit non avaritiam set illiberalitatem.” Quaestio 13, De avaritia, articulus 1, responsio.

44. Molina, De, Disputationes de contractibus; Lessio, De iustitia et iure; Ioannis de Salas, Commentarii in secundam secundae D. Thomae de Contractibus (Lugduni: Cardon, 1617), tract. 1, dubium 38, 70-74 Google Scholar; Villalobos, Henrique de, Summa de la theologia moral, y canonica (Barcelona: Sebastian de Cormellas, 1636), pt. 2, vol. 2, tratado 21, dificultad 17, 362-63 Google Scholar; Vega, Alfonso Di, Somma overo pratica del foro interiore, e penitentiale (Venetia: Giunti, 1621), 368 Google Scholar; Bañes, Domingo, Decisiones de iure &iustitia (Venetüs: Minimam Societatem, 1595), quaest. 77, 346-73 Google Scholar; Martini Bonacinae, Operum de morali theologia (Lugduni: Claudii Landry, 1629), tomus 2, punctum 5, 732-35.

45. Lugo, De writes: “Durante eo monopolio ex parte venditorum, posse emptores è contra conspirare, ne ullus emat nisi pretio medio, vel infimo. Ratio autem est quia persuadere absque vi, & fraude volenti tibi donare, ne tibi donet, non est contra iustitiam nec obligat ad restitutionem; ergo a fortiori persuadere volenti vendere ne tibi vendat, nisi pretio iusto summo non erit contra iustitiam: quod enim iusté potest facere cur non possum ego iuste ei persuadere, dum minae, vel fraudes non interveniant.Disputatio-num de iustitia et iure, 308 Google Scholar.

46. Another text in which this mechanism is clearly expressed is Bañes’s Decisiones de iure&iustitia: “Isti tamen poterunt aliquando excusari: si hoc faciant contra monopolium quod fecerunt venditores: tunc enim redimunt sua vexationes, dummodo conveniant emptores in quodam iusto pretio et aequabili, quale potest estimari à viris probis, si nullum esset monopolium.” Decisiones de iure &iustitia, 350, col. 2.

47. “Circa hoc tamen videtur esse difficultas, quomodo debeat intellegi illud pretium summum iustum, in quo mercatores conspirant absque iustitia: an scilicet sit pretium summum iustum idem, quod esset, si monopolium non fieret, an veto illud, quod supposita illa difficultate, & conspiratione venditorum (ac stimaretur) aestimaretur iustum. … Respondetur tamen, procul dubio intellegi in primo sensu de pretio iusto summo, quo, secluso eo monopolio, merces illae venderentur, & ita supponunt praedicti Doctores: pretio enim iustum non debet desumi ex statu ab ipso monopolio introducto, sed ex statu, quem, eo secluso (merces haberent, cuius rationem statim reddemus).” De Lugo, Disputationum de iustitia et iure, 308.

48. “Quaeres utrum mercatoribus convenientibus non vendere merces, nisi pretio rigoroso, emptores possint conspirationem inire, ut non emant merces nisi pretio viliori, quod tamen sit iustum. Respondeo, emptores posse conspirare ad depellendum monopolium venditorum, utuntur enim iure suo, ut se ipsos servent indemnes, & sicut clavus clavo truditur, ita monopolium monopolio depellitur, ut ad aequalitatem veniatur.” Bonacinae, Operum de morali theologia, 733.

49. “Verum tamen est, emptoribus desistendum esse ab huiusmodi monopolio, statim ac venditores cessarunt à suo, in tantum enim licitum est emptoribus conspirare, in quantum monopolium venditorum perseverat, ut unusquisque se ipsum servet indemnem, quantum fieri potest.” Ibid.

50. For an analysis of the Dominican Soto’s contributions to the Catholic formulation of the right to resist, see Turchetti, Mario, “ Il faut obéir à Dieu plutôt qu’aux hommes. Aux sources théologiques du droit de résistance au siècle de la Réforme,” in Le droit de résistance, XIIe-XXe siècle, ed. Jean-Claude Zancarini (Lyon: École normale supérieure, 1999), 71-103 Google Scholar, especially 76-77.

51. On the right to resist, see Zancarini, , Le droit de résistance, and Benedictis, Angela De, “Sapere, coscienza e scienza nel diritto di resistenza,” in Wissen, Gewissen und Wissenschaft im Widerstandsrecht (16.-18. jh.), ed. Angela De Benedictis and Karl-Heinz Ligens (Frankfurt: V. Klostermann, 2003), 1-47 Google Scholar.

52. “Verisimilius tamen videntur in proposito peccare contra iustitiam, quia forum rerum venalium iure gentium, tum etiam per leges prohibentes eiusmodi monopolia, videtur esse liberum ad contrahendum intra latitudinem iusti pretij; non potest ergo non esse iniuriosum praedictum mercatorum pactum, quo istud emptorum ius violatur restringendo pretium ad supremum, atque adeo ad interesse damni dati iuxta arbitrium prudentis obligandi videntur damni passis.” Rebello, Opus de obligationibus, 639.

53. “Ludovicus Lopez, ubi suprà, post Sotum, & Garciam, quos citat, asserit contra praedictos mercatores in eo eventu fas esse emptoribus similiter conspirare, de non emendo, nisi tanto pretio viliori iusto tamen, ut sicut clavus clavo truditur, sic monopolium monopolio depellatur, ut ad aequalitatem veniatur, quod non displicet, si eo sine fiat, & ubi primum mercatores cessaverint à monopolio, ipsi quoque emptores à suo desistant; alioqui à peccato simili non excusabuntur.” Ibid.

54. Ludovico Lopez, Tractatus de contractibus et negotiationis duobus contenti libri (Lugduni: 1593), cap. 42, “De monopolijs,” 252-60, especially 255-56; Soto, de, De iustitia et iure, libri 6, quaestio 2, articulus 3, 569; Francesco Garzia, Trattato di tutti i contratti che nei negotii, et commertii humani sogliono occorrere (Brescia: Pietro Maria Marchetti, 1582-1583; repr. 1596), cap. 13, especially 212-13 Google Scholar.

55. “Primum propter periculum augmenti pretij ultra supremum commune iustum, quod esset, nisi praecessisset talis conventio. Quod periculum semper oritur moraliter loquendo ex ea conventione, cum saepe augmentum pretij in rebus ex ipsa conventione oriatur. … Secundo, quia licet tali conventio fiat de pretio supremo in latitudine iusti; excluditur tamen aliud pretium iustum minus, sub quo fieret frequenter venditio. Experientia enim docet, quod, quoties pretium non est legem taxatum; sed habet latitudinem, plures sunt qui, ut plures merces vendant, vendunt medio, aut infimo pretio, idque; sibi utilius reputant. Cum ergo, si non fieret conventio, quam plures emerent medio, & infimo: planè per illam conventionem si contra jus, quod habent homines liberè agendi cum venditoribus de assignando pretio in latitudine iusti. Infertur ergo per eam damnum Reipublicae & emptoribus.” Ioanne Dicastillo, De iustitia et iure (Antverpiae: Caesarem Joach. Trognaesium, 1641), libri 2, tractatus 9, disp. 3, dubitatio 10, 849.

56. “Quaerunt tamen aliquis, an mercatoribus convenientibus in non vendendis mercibus nisi pretio supremo, emptores possint conspirare ut non ement nisi viliori, quod sit intra latitudinem iusti? Respondet posse; utuntur enim jure suo, ut ea ratione depellant. Monopolium venditorum, ut tamquam clavus clavo, monopolium trudatur, ut utriumq; ad aequalitatem veniatur. … Ea tamen lege hac licet ut eo ipso quod venditores cessent a suo monopoliom, teneantur emptores cessare à suo, quo tantum utebantur ad depellendam iniuriam illatam ab alijs, qua non perseverante, neque perseverare debet remedium, eo tantum titulo iustum.” Ibid., 849-50.

57. On the mercantilism embraced by a number of distinguished Jesuits, see Birely, Robert, “Les jésuites et la conduite de l’État baroque,” in Les jésuites à l’âge baroque, 1540-1640, ed. Luce Giard and Louis de Vaucelles (Grenoble: Jérôme Millon, 1996), 229-42 Google Scholar, especially 237. The Jesuits studied in this article are Juan de Mariana, Pedro de Ribadeneira, Adam Contzen, and Charles Scribani.

58. The work, the original title of which was De indis, was begun in 1604. See Tuck, Richard, Philosophy and Government, 1572-1651 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, chap. 5, and Ittersum, Martine Julia Van, Profit and Principle: Hugo Grotius, Natural Rights Theories and the Rise of Dutch Power in the East Indies, 1595-1615 (Leiden: Brill, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

59. On this aspect of scholastic doctrine, see the very useful and important (albeit dated) essay by Catry, Joseph, “La liberté du commerce international d’après Vitoria, Suárez et les scolastiques,” Revue générale de droit international public, 3rd ser., no. 6.39 (1932): 193-218 Google Scholar.

60. Grotius, Hugo, The Free Sea: Translated by Richard Hakluyt, with William Welwood’s Critique and Grotius’s Reply, ed. David Armitage (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004), 59 Google Scholar.

61. The theologian to whom Grotius is referring was undoubtedly Vitoria. In his Relectio de indis, Vitoria had indeed maintained that the negation of the natural right to free movement and free trade (jus peregrinandi et negotiandi) should be included among the legitimate bases for declaring war.

62. Grotius, The Free Sea, 77-78.

63. Many of his convictions were based on the idea that sovereign states are analogous to individuals. This analogy underpinned a new conception of man’s natural state, which was morally comparable to the situation of mutual respect between states. See Haakonssen, Knud, Natural Law and Moral Philosophy: From Grotius to the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 30 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The question of the distance (and whether it is significant or not) between Grotius and the moral thought of the second scholastics has long been debated. See: Tuck, Richard, Natural Rights Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Tierney, Brian, The Idea of Natural Rights: Studies on Natural Rights, Natural Law, and Church Law, 1150-1625 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997), 316-42 Google Scholar; Sommerville, Johann P., “Selden, Grotius and the Seventeenth-Century Intellectual Revolution in Moral and Political Theory,” in Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern Europe, ed. Victoria Kahn and Lorna Hutson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 318-44 Google Scholar; and Oakley, Francis, Natural Law, Laws of Nature, Natural Rights: Continuity and Discontinuity in the History of Ideas (New York: Continuum, 2005), 63-67 Google Scholar.

64. The right to resist clearly underwent a reformulation in Grotius’ thought. This right, which could be exercised publicly against an illegitimate and unjust power, was reconceived as an individual prerogative. Yves-Charles Zarka emphasizes this in “La mutation du droit de résistance chez Grotius et Hobbes: du droit collectif du peuple au droit de l’individu,” in Zancarini, Le droit de résistance, 139-51.

65. This was true of Molina, de Lugo, Villalobos, Alfonso Di Vega, and Dicastillo.

66. Mercado’s mistrust of the argument that one monopoly can neutralize another is discernible several decades later in the work of the Spanish Jesuit Petro de Oñate. See De contractibus onerosis, tomus tertius (Romae: Angelum Bernabo haeredem Manelphij, 1654), disp. 67, 139-55, especially 154. At the same time, what the organizers of an anti-monopolistic conspiracy could expect to achieve through resistance was hardly equivalent to what monopolists were expected to pay in compensation for the harm they had done. Indeed, it was not particularly realistic to believe that resisters would be able to adopt a strategy that was finely calibrated enough to restore the aequalitas of an exchange without going overboard.

67. Zaccaria Pasqualigo, Decisiones morales iuxta principia theologica, et sacras… (Verona: Bartholomaeum Merlum, 1641), 230-31.

68. “Et similiter est diversa ratio de monupolio: quia monupolium quoque est iniuriosum communitati, et particularibus personis, quae sunt de communitate: et infert moralem vim; ideo est licita defensio contra ipsum: unum autem ex medijs aptis ad defensionem est alterum monupolium contra ipsum; et ideo licet ipsum adhibere, quia vis moralis altera vi morali depellitur.” Ibid.

69. On the role of the Roman jurisconsult, see Savelli’s, Rodolfo important commentaries in “Between Law and Morals: Interest in the Dispute on Exchanges during the 16th Century,” in The Courts and the Development of Commercial Law, ed. Vito Piergiovanni (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1987), 39-102, especially 39-41 Google Scholar.

70. Piotrowski, Cartels and Trusts, 206-7 and 351-52. Piotrowski observes that both Scaccia and Savelli studied the question of the legitimacy of creating one monopoly to oppose another. He does not, however, devote much attention to the problem, summarizing in a few lines the two jurists’ writings without identifying their theological roots.

71. Sigismundi Scacciae, Tractatus de commerciis et cambio (Romae: Andreae Brugiotti, 1619), fols. 445-47.

72. Ibid., fol. 445.

73. “Extende quarto, ut quemadmodum venditores mercium monopolijs augent pretium mercium, ita è converso (licet non tàm crebrò accidere consuescat) emptores pretia mercium minuunt, & est monopolium etiam iniquum, ut puta, si in portu, cui pretiosissima navis applicuit, illi, qui emere possent, sibi mutuo promitterent, non emere, nisi tanti, aut si in subhastatione alios ego, ne licitarentur, averterem, ut minoris ego emerem, peccatum profectò est, quod ante restitutionem non remitteretur, & hoc est, quod ait Cic. lib. de offic. non licitatorem venditor, nec qui contra se licitetur, emptor apponat: Quando verò venditores monopolium facerent, tunc iustè emptores, quasi vim vi repellentes, possent convenire inter se, ut nullus, nisi certo pretio emeret, Sot. de iust. & iur. lib. 6. q. 2 art. 3 col. 5 in fine, fol. 569.” Ibid., fol. 447.

74. Marci Antonii Sabelli, Summa diversorum tractatuum (Parmae: Pauli Monti, 1733), tomus 3, Monopolium 32, 269-70.

75. “Ubi quid sit monopolium & qualiter eius auctores teneantur ad restitutionem, & etiam qui non sunt auctores non possint accipere pro mercibus pretium auctum ex conventione aliorum, an liceat monopolium monopolio dissolvere.” Ibid., 270.

76. Jacobi Pignatelli, Consultationes canonicae (Lugduni: Gabrielis et Samuelis de Tournes, 1717), tomus 10, 75-85.

77. Ibid., 85.

78. “In electione licere uti subornatione contra subornationem affirmat Villalobos. tom. 2 summ. tract. 37. diffic. 30 n. 5. Unde per ipsum licebit adhibere numera, preces, promissiones aliaque huiusmodi in ordinem ad subornandum electores, quando scio ab aliis adhiberi, quia nimirum licet vim vi repellere, & monopolium alio monopolio dissolvere.” Ibid.

79. “ Est pariter diversa ratio de monopolio. Quia monopolium quoque est injuriosum communitati, & particularibus personis, quae sunt de communitate, ac infert moralem vim, idéoque est licita defensio contra ipsum. Unum autem ex mediis aptis ad defensionem est alterum monopolium contra ipsum, & ideò licet ipsum adhibere, qui vis mortalis, altera vi morali depellitur.” Ibid.

80. Hirschman, Albert O., The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977)Google Scholar; Rosanvallon, Pierre, Le capitalisme utopique. Critique de l’idéologie économique (Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1979)Google Scholar; Catherine Larrère, L’invention de l’économie au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: PUF, 1992); Perrot, Jean-Claude, Une histoire intellectuelle de l’économie politique, XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Éd. de l’EHESS, 1992)Google Scholar.

81. Guerreau, Alain, “Avant le marché, les marchés: en Europe, XIIIe-XVIIIe siècle (note critique),” Annales HSS 56, no. 6 (2001): 1129-75 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Margairaz, Dominique and Minard, Philippe, “Le marché dans son histoire,” Revue de synthèse 127, no. 2 (2006): 241-52 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

82. Thompson, Edward P., “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” Past &Present 50 (1971): 76-136 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Thompson, Edward P., “The Moral Economy Reviewed,” Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture (New York: The New York Press, 1991), 259-351 Google Scholar.

83. This was not an exclusively Italian phenomenon. One clue suggests that such a borrowing also occurred in other places: Reyger, Arnoldi de, The sauri juris locupletissimi (Frankfurt: Esaiae Felgibell, 1616; repr. 1667), tomus 2 (editio tertia), col. 351 Google Scholar.