Early Christian attitudes towards merchants

Roman law was not the only influence on economic ideas in the Middle Ages. Ambivalent attitudes in the early Christian tradition also proved highly important. Economic matters were of course scarcely central to either the Old or New Testament, and scattered economic pronouncements are contradictory or subject to ambivalent interpretation. Fulminations against excessive love of money do not necessarily imply hostility to commerce or wealth. One remarkable aspect of the Old Testament, however, is...

Xenophon on household management

A disciple and contemporary of Plato was the Athenian landed aristocrat and army general, Xenophon 430-354 BC . Xenophon's economic writings were scattered throughout such works as an account of the education of a Persian price, a treatise on how to increase government revenue, and a book on 'economics' in the sense of thoughts on the technology of household and farm management. Most of Xenophon's adumbrations were the usual Hellenic scorn for labour and trade, and admiration for agriculture...

The first economist Hesiod and the problem of scarcity

No one should be misled into thinking that the ancient Greeks were 'economists' in the modern sense. In the course of pioneering in philosophy, their philosophizing on man and his world yielded fragments of politico-economic or even strictly economic thoughts and insights. But there were no modernstyle treatises on economics per se. It is true that the term 'economics' is Greek, stemming from the Greek oikonomia, but oikonomia means not economics in our sense but 'household management', and...