Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Medieval Economic Thought and the Birth of Europe

Magliulo Antonio, University of International Studies of Rome

The aim of this essay is to sketch the influence of medieval economic ideas on the birth of Europe. The work is structured in three parts. In the first, I will try to outline the long conception of Europe from the very beginning to 1250 (a symbolic year). In the second, I will summarize, in light of the valuable literature on the topic, some of the teachings of medieval economic thought. In the last part, I will illustrate the prevailing forces that led to the “birth of Europe” in 1453 (another symbolic date). In the conclusions, I will try to sketch the influence of significant medieval economic ideas on the making of Europe in the late Middle Ages by discussing the main theses provided by leading historians on the controversial and relevant issue of the emergence of a supranational community known as Europe.


Keywords: Medieval economic thought, Scholastic economic thought, Byzantine economic thought, Birth of Europe

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