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OPEN  Bug report #1345  -  Economic thinking in antiquity and in the Middle Ages
Posted Oct 05, 2021 - updated Oct 05, 2021
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Issue description

Economic thinking in antiquity and in the Middle Ages  ⇑ top

In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, people dealt with economic issues that revolved around the term “Oikos” (Greek for house). This was used to designate the building and describe the people living in a house with their activities and goods. The thinkers were concerned with questions that were on the agenda in an originally agricultural domestic economy (subsistence economy):

  • about questions of rule between man and woman, parents and children, master and servants / slaves,
  • educational and medical issues,
  • questions of housework and agricultural activity,
  • about ethical-philosophical questions,
  • questions of property, trade, money, work.


The focus was always on the various personal relationships in a housekeeping.

In Arestotel's (384–322 BC) the “doctrine of the house” fits into his moral philosophy - do my philosophy homework . He accepts the individual pursuit of profit - in contrast to Platon (427–347 BC) - and sees the appropriate distribution of property as an important element for a functioning state: “If measure and middle are recognized to be the best, then it is also with regard to the goods of happiness the middle possession of all is the best, because in such circumstances one obeys reason most easily. ” (Aristotle, Politik 1295b5-6). On the other hand, he rejects leveling equality and advocates social differentiation:“So equality seems to be just and it is, but not among all, but among equals. In the same way, inequality seems to be and is just, but among the unequal. ” (Aristotle, Politik 1280a13-16).

XENOPHON (around 430 – after 355 BC) describes in his "Oikonomikos" those who have more than is necessary to satisfy their needs as rich. This is based on the idea of gaining wealth by owning as much money as possible. For Arestotel, on the other hand, real wealth consisted in a multitude of means and tools as well as in their utility. He saw money as a means of payment and a measure of value as necessary, but he rejected money lending and the interest charged as unnatural.

In Roman antiquity, the philosophical economic ideas - econ homework help - of the Greek thinkers did not play a major role. On the other hand, practical business texts were created, i.e. more business management writings. The best known text is "De agri cultura" (About agriculture) by Cato The Elder (234–149 BC). These instructions for agricultural management are geared towards the pursuit of profit and profitability.

For economic thinking in the Middle Ages - do homework for me , some references in the Bible (especially in the Pauline letters) and the Greek texts received and commented on by Arab scholars are significant. Accordingly, played a decisive role:

  • population growth, population growth,
  • the increasing division of labor and
  • the spread of the money economy and long-distance trade.
But until the late Middle Ages, the doctrine of the "house" based on Greek origins continued to be at the center of economic ideas. Typical for this is the font “Oeconomica” by Konrad Von Megenberg (1309–1374). The direct effect of these and similar writings on the majority of the population was, however, small because the texts are written in Latin.

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