Economy in Spanish. Economics is one of the most influential and liveliest disciplines in today's world, affecting the lives and fortunes of everyone on the planet. The knowledge and transferable skills gained, coupled with proficient Spanish language skills, economics lead to excellent career prospects in public and private management, financial institutions and in government.
The big reason Catalonia wants to secede may be economic: it's one of the richest regions in SpainThrough this course you will develop an in-depth understanding of economics at all levels — from the company to the state, and beyond; you will learn to appreciate and apply the core theories of micro and macroeconomics; gain important you and computing skills that are widely applicable as well as skills in logical reasoning and gain experience in spanish and philosophical reasoning.
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In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of macroeconomics, that of the economy as a whole, and of microeconomics, the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments. You will look at how the goods and assets markets underpin growth, inflation and unemployment, and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play in macroeconomic management. You will examine the theoretical basis to supply and demand and the role of government intervention in individual markets.
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Chat or rant, adult content, spam, insulting other members, show more. Harm to minors, violence or threats, harassment or privacy invasion, impersonation or misrepresentation, fraud or phishing, show more. How do i say "Home ec" in spanish. I need to write some paragraphs for spanish classes explaining some of my classes in spanish. Are you sure you want to delete this answer. I would help you with great pleasure, I am Spanish, but I do not know what "home ec" means. Related Questions How do you say "home away from home" in spanish?.
- How do you say economics in spanish economics - Translation
- economics /iːkəˈnomiks/ noun singular. › the
But culture and politics aside, many say the major reason Catalonia wants to secede is economic: On a weekday afternoon less than two weeks before the referendum, about 40, people gathered outside Catalan government offices in downtown Barcelona to protest raids and arrests of local officials by the Spanish police force, the Guardia Civil. The raids came days after police also raided printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in a search for campaign literature and ballot boxes.
People of all ages chanted: Related Is the euro to blame for Europe's problems? What went wrong with globalization? He speaks in Catalan, the prominent language of the region. Having lived through the Francoist dictatorship as a young adult, when the region experienced repressive measures that abolished Catalan institutions and banned the official use of the language, he feels Catalan people continue to be oppressed. But others, like Jessica Boluda, said the issues are economic.
Economics with SpanishThen, in , Catalonia sought a statute that would have allowed it to collect its own taxes — much like the system in another autonomous region of Spain, the Basque Country.
We cannot doubt that other converts did the same. It may be asked why I seem to lay more stress on the Jewish than on the Moorish use of contracts that were common to the law of both religions.
The Castilian legal texts do indeed allude repeatedly to the evil devices of both Jews and Moslems in evasion of the Christian laws that regulated usury, and we may suppose that Moorish as well as Jewish money-lenders made use of the classic devices.
But there is a good reason for attributing the survival of the evasive Edition: As the reconquest progressed, and one Andalusian city after another was won for the Crown of Castile, the Moors were expelled in great numbers, first from the towns and later from the countryside, whence they emigrated to Africa and to the Moorish kingdom of Granada.
Even so, by the middle of the fifteenth century the Moorish community still probably amounted to about a tenth of the population and was larger than the Jewish and ex-Jewish elements together.
But it was nothing like as rich and powerful, and played a steadily declining part in the business life of Castile. In the fifteenth century the rigidity of the usury laws was somewhat modified.
True, in , King John II of Castile issued a decree enjoining the justices to enforce the regulations. But four years later, at the request of the Cortes, he dispensed the Jews from observing the absolute prohibition of usury, while limiting the rate to 25 percent. Another petition of the Cortes, made to Henry IV of Castile in , pointed out the injustice of the existing laws that forbade the Jews to enter into any form of contract, whether usurious or not.
Mindful, no doubt, of the simultaneous decline in Jewish fortunes and in the Crown revenues, the king agreed to allow the Jews to contract freely, provided their dealings were neither usurious nor in evasion of usury. In we find the Catholic kings confirming the usury laws directed against Christian lenders:. We decree that any Christian who lends at usury or enters into any contract to conceal it should incur the prescribed penalties. In came the fateful decision to expel from Castile and Aragon all Jews who refused baptism.
Henceforth the usury laws could apply only to Christians and, for a few years longer, to Moslems, until they too were offered the choice between exile and conversion.
After the Castilian and Aragonese monarchs no longer ruled over men of different faiths. In name, if not always at heart, their subjects were all Catholics. The Aragonese princes were even slower than those of Castile in adopting measures prejudicial to the interests of their Jewish subjects. In a statute of James I of Aragon limits usury on loans made by Jews and Moors to 20 percent a year, and on those made by Christians to 12 percent.
At first the loan-contract was supposed to state the principal and interest separately, but from onwards the same king on various occasions permitted the Jews of certain towns to lump the two items together.
How do you say economics in spanish Translate Economics. See 2 authoritative translations of Economics in Spanish with example sentences, phrases and audio pronunciations. Translation. Conjugation. Vocabulary. new. Grammar. Log in Sign up. Log in. Sign up. Translation Conjugation Vocabulary Grammar Word of the Day. Basic economics indicated that this was the right thing to do, and you have to listen to basic economics. Así lo indicaban los fundamentos económicos. A esto hay que prestar atención.This concession was to the advantage of the money-lender, since it enabled him to charge interest on the interest due during any period when the loan was in default, as well as on the principal.
As in Castile, the punishment at this period for infringing the regulations was mild: Money forfeited by usurers was an important source of revenue to the Crown; when James II granted pardons for exceeding the maximum legal rate to the Jews of Lerida, Saragossa, Valencia, Gerona, Majorca, and other places, the measure brought him in the tidy sum of , shillings.
Research has disclosed much interesting information about the practice of usury among the Jews of Perpignan in the thirteenth century. Catalonia, the northeast region of Spain, with Barcelona as its capital, is preparing to vote on an independence referendum on Oct. The region has its own language, a proud identity and a history of repression by Spain. But culture and politics aside, many say the major reason Catalonia wants to secede is economic: On a weekday afternoon less than two weeks before the referendum, about 40, people gathered outside Catalan government offices in downtown Barcelona to protest raids and arrests of local officials by the Spanish police force, the Guardia Civil. The raids came days after police also raided printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in a search for campaign literature and ballot boxes. People of all ages chanted: Money-lending seems to have been the chief occupation of the Perpignan Jews.
How to Say Economics in SpanishHow do you say economics in spanish Those most active in the business were the leading members of the community. The fact that rabbis, scholars, and poets were eager to invest their money in this way accords with talmudic doctrine, which, as we have seen, recommends money-lending as especially appropriate for such persons, since they are less likely than the common run of mortals to be corrupted by the contact with Gentiles that is unavoidable in these activities.
The Perpignan Jew travelled regularly through the countryside, making the greater number of his loans to villagers. Then came loans to townsmen, knights and nobles, the clergy, and the royal officers.
The word usura occurs in hundreds of documents recording loans made by Jews for whom it clearly carried no moral slur. Toward the end of the thirteenth century, in Aragon as in other parts of western Christendom, an increasingly bitter conflict arose between civil and religious authorities over this matter of usury. James I of Aragon had issued repeated orders to his officials to enforce the loan-contracts entered into by Christian debtors, provided their terms accorded with the legal limits.
But by , if not before, Christians were citing Jewish creditors before the ecclesiastical courts for the very practices permitted by the king. In that year the Aragonese monarch ordered his officers in the Rousillon to collect substantial fines from any Christian layman who presumed to cite a Jew before a church court, provided only that the Jew stood ready to answer the charge before a royal tribunal.
If a cleric should do so, the royal officers were to prevent other Christians from trading with the plaintiff, lending him money, lodging him in their houses, working his land, or aiding him in any other way. Even in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Aragonese kings were still far from desiring the impoverishment of their Jewish subjects.
They were well aware that the hard-working Jewish communities were their main source of wealth. Yet it would seem that the prudent policy of the Aragonese Crown toward its Jews, which combined royal protection with moderate exploitation, was unable to arrest the decay in Jewish prosperity that marked the later Middle Ages in Aragon. Toward the end of the Edition: Popular anger was, as usual, vented on the Jews, and culminated in the massacres of The failure of many Jewish bankers forced the Aragonese kings to place the credit of the Crown in the hands of Italian financiers and of the New Christians of Jewish origin whose numbers increased so greatly during this period.
An important instrument of State and personal credit in Aragon was the census or rent-charge. The contract is unknown to Roman law and seems to have arisen in various parts of Europe in the course of the twelfth century, perhaps, as Noonan seems to think, in answer to the increasingly strict control of usury. It will be recalled that among the Jewish evasionary devices mentioned in the Talmud is the enjoyment by the money-lender of the fruits of property given in pledge for a loan or sold with the right of redemption.
This lends a certain color to the hypothesis that the census originated as a Jewish evasionary device. The census is, in essence, an obligation to pay an annual return from fruitful property.
For example, a farmer might sell for ready cash the right to certain produce for so many years to come. Landowners found the sale of census on their property a convenient way of raising money, and kings financed themselves by the sale of census on their lands, monopolies, and tax receipts.
The census instalments were sometimes paid in cash instead of in kind, and the transaction then became the sale of a right to money secured on property.
Great attention was paid to the census contract by the theologians of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and there was much doubt and controversy as to whether it was licit.
An effort was made to keep loan-theory and census -theory apart, and we generally find the census discussed under the heading of sale and the just price. As time went on, ever finer distinctions were drawn between the various types of census, some being generally approved and others such as the personal census by which a man sold his future labor for ready cash universally condemned. On the whole, the real census on fruitful Edition: Aragonese practice played a significant part in the later development of census -doctrine.
In answer to this plea, the pope determined that in Aragon and Sicily at this date among the possessions of the Aragonese Crown such census -contracts as the king described were licit, provided they paid not more than 10 percent.
The greater commercial experience of the Aragonese, and their more advanced banking system, which in some places dated back to the early Middle Ages, helped to provide credit, and perhaps to protect them from the more rapacious demands of the private money-lender.
The year , which saw the marriage of Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Aragon, and Isabella, heiress to that of Castile, may conveniently be taken as marking the end of the Middle Ages in Spain. The union of the two young people, who in and assumed their crowns, announced the opening of a new era. True, we cannot yet speak of a united Spain. The two kingdoms were to retain their separate parliaments, laws, and systems of taxation until the time of the Bourbons. The last decades of the fifteenth century brought a series of great achievements and innovations that combined to make that concept a reality.
The conquest of Granada severed the last political link with the Maghreb, and the imposition of religious unity throughout Castile Edition: The voyages of discovery and the winning of a vast colonial empire, the final union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon under Charles I, and the coming of the new and foreign dynasty of Habsburg, were further steps that helped to bring Spain into the modern world and transform her into a great European power.
And yet, running through the new Spain like veins in marble, the traces of her multi-racial, religious, linguistic, and cultural past were not to be effaced. Even today they are clear enough, in many branches of the national life.
How much more evident must they have been in the sixteenth century! Their survival is of greater importance for the history of economic doctrine than may appear at first sight.
Thus, the old game of handball that had for long centuries been carried on between rabbis, kadis, priests, and merchants was played out in Spain with a virtuosity unequalled since the days of the Babylonian rabbis. In my third chapter I shall describe some of this scholastic work, and contrast it with that of the political economists who wrote at the same period. Here I wish merely to show that certain of the traditional evasionary devices not only survived in the new Spain but took on fresh life and vigor there.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the economy of Spain in the sixteenth century is the increase in her supplies of gold and silver caused by imports of the precious metals from the recently discovered Indies.
Small quantities of gold and silver began to reach Spain in the first decades of the century. The first half of the sixteenth century saw a dramatic rise in the Castilian price level, which continued until the end of the century.
The increase in prices began in Seville, home port of the treasure fleet, and spread through Andalusia and New Castile, and thence to Old Castile and Valencia.
Since the curves of treasure imports and of prices do not correspond exactly the former rising more rapidly in the second half of the century, and the latter in the first half , the phenomenal increase in Spanish prices and wages—a fourfold growth between and —cannot be explained, as contemporary observers often explained it, by the simple application of the quantity theory of money. But, while opinions differ as to the precise effect of treasure imports on the Spanish price level, no historian has gone so far as to doubt that the influx of precious metals helped in some measure to inflate prices.
There are great real-exchanges for all fairs, within and without the kingdom, sales and purchases on credit and for cash, and for huge sums, great shipments, and baratas for many thousands and millions, such as neither Tyre nor Alexandria in their day could equal.
But the practice has arisen of lending money at usury and disguising the contract as an exchange-deal. Dry exchanges [continues Mercado] are exchanges that exist not, nor have being, but are imaginary, and bear a blank space for a name. They are scarcely to be numbered.
Firstly, the gentlemen and princes take out a great quantity of bills drawn on Naples, Antwerp, or Coimbra. Where they have no money, nor expect to have it except on paper, but only to gain time, they draw a first bill of exchange on some person in that place, and mostly there is no such person. Then, when it does, he draws another in the name of his factor [in the distant place, of course] and says that, having no funds for that payment, he has taken it on exchange at so much per cent.
Occasionally, being somewhat scrupulous, and thinking the fault lies in not sending off the bill, the changer actually does remit it to Flanders, instructing his correspondents to protest it and rechange it at the market rate. All these frauds, first, second, and third are steps that lead straight to hell. The transfer of money by some kind of document, avoiding the necessity of transporting the coins themselves, must go back to the very beginnings of long-distance trade.
I have already mentioned one or two of the instruments used by Jewish and Islamic traders to convey money from country to country. We have also seen that the transfer of debt was long frowned upon by the orthodox of both religions, and that money-changing was suspect in Islam, highly so , since usury could easily be hidden in the exchange-rates.
The exact mechanics of an exchange-transaction do not matter for the purpose of this study. Whether the instrument used to perform the exchange was called by a Hebrew, Arabic, or Latin name, or took the form of a notarial contract, bill of exchange, or informal private letter, the effect was the same. Money present was exchanged for money absent, as the medieval phrase had it, and if the two amounts were in different currencies, as was usually the case, they were exchanged at the market rate.
The exchange-contract was known to Roman law and was probably common in the earlier Middle Ages. The oldest bills of exchange that have come down to us date from the twelfth century. One of the earliest records of an exchange-contract concerns an Islamic city: Other bills of about the same period refer to advances made in Genoa in local money and repayable in Provisine currency at the next fair of Champagne. Sometimes the contract stipulates that if the payment is not duly made the debt must be settled in Genoa on the return of the caravan bringing home the Genoese merchants from the fair.
It may have been a genuine transfer of funds, or it may have been a straight loan disguised as an exchange transaction. As the rates of exchange between the different coinages fluctuated continually, as well as the rate at which bills could be bought and sold, a broker could make a profit by speculating on the exchanges, Edition: It would seem, too, that the changer, or broker, commonly charged a commission for his services. Here the concept of interesse, derived from Roman law, came into play.
In and the French Crown authorized the payment of interesse on bills payable at the fairs of Champagne and Brie, which were held six times a year. In Flanders, in the sixteenth century, the exchanges functioned in much the same way. Merchants made loans carrying interesse to other merchants who were travelling to a distant country, justifying their profit on the pretext of lucrum cessans. But lenders were not content with this relatively moderate rate of interesse, or with whatever profit they could make by speculating on the exchanges.
They made loans not only to merchants who genuinely needed money for trading purposes but to all-comers, charging exorbitant usura made up of interesse where it was permitted and the proceeds of a fictitious rate of exchange fixed in advance. In the sixteenth it was widespread throughout Castile where it seems to have become a favorite device for evading the civil and ecclesiastical prohibition of usury.
The contract is condemned in a manual for the use of confessors, published in Saragossa in The priest is instructed to ask the penitent: If so, you have committed usury. At the fairs there is scarce any business but the borrowing of money at usury and the taking of mohatras. All is done through the brokers, which ill-fated wretches are left with the lesser part of the profit and the greater part of the guilt, for they run after these customers, importune those, and deceive them all with their lies, promises, and perjuries.
The double contract was condemned not only by the Church but also by the State. On account of the many dealers and money-lenders who travel through the Adelantamientos, the farmers and the very poor suffer great distress. They enter into contracts and fraudulent schemes by which they bind themselves for large sums and receive much less than the amount they promise to repay, buying goods on credit and immediately afterwards selling them for cash, sometimes to the very same merchants who have sold them the goods.
It was not only at the fairs, then, that the double contract flourished. In certain districts of Castile, namely the Adelantamientos, it was the common resort of poor people in It seems reasonable to suppose that the mohatra or double contract, which I have shown to be of Jewish origin, was among the devices used by medieval Jewish money-lenders to conceal usury, and that after the expulsion of the Jews in it continued to be used among Christians, especially those of Jewish antecedence, in the parts of Castile where it had been most firmly rooted.
The use of the mohatra or barata, as the double contract was often called was by no means confined to the poorer borrower. He describes the contract in several passages:. Another ocean of fraud are the baratas that are here in use. The origin of this business was and remains the want of money in which many find themselves. They cannot borrow in exchange, because the term allowed for repayment is very short and they desire it to be long.
The barata, then, was the resort of those who needed long-term credit. Mercado goes on to explain that there are two kinds of barata, one being permissible and the other forbidden. Mercado regards the contract as permissible for the borrower, provided he sells the merchandise openly.
Indeed, he is performing a public service by selling his goods cheaply. But the merchant who sells him the clothing on credit is to be looked on with suspicion. They hold him in no good opinion, though they do not condemn or reprove anyone else who may buy the goods.
As Saravia had observed twenty years before, dealings in baratas were largely in the hands of corredores —those brokers or commission-agents without whose services, even today, it is difficult to transact the smallest piece of business in certain parts of Spain. Touts were sent out to fish for customers:. A broker arrives from the market and says: Then he makes out a receipt for the satin or the cocoa, though generally he has never even seen them, nor ever could, except in the land of Cockaigne.
But they all understand one another and turn a blind eye to the fraud. Occasionally there would come forward some simple-minded person who was unfamiliar with the device:. I once saw a broker offer the business to a rich blacksmith in so bold and care-free a manner that the smith took him at his word.
He handed over two thousand ducats, no little pleased at the prospect of earning two hundred in each thousand. But when he found out the truth he undid the contract like a good Christian, being unwilling to take interesse arising out of such a diabolical fraud. Few were so ingenuous. The hoary double contract was, as a rule, recognized by all.
We have already noted its use in medieval Italy. The correspondence between the talmudic, Maimonidean, and modern descriptions of the mohatra leaves, it seems to me, little doubt on that score. As regards the name, mohatra, I have been unable to find any instance of its use in Spain before , though I cannot believe that the word was not in use before that date. The double contract was to keep its popularity for many years to come.
Some theologians began tentatively to condone it, calling down the contempt of their opponents. We may suppose that in the course of the eighteenth century the mohatra fell gradually out of use together with other evasionary devices, the merging of the once well-separated concepts of interesse and usura having by that time rendered them superfluous.
As for the census, which may reasonably be surmised to have originated in reply to the prohibition of usury, it had long since become the general and respectable recourse of the Spanish capitalist. Nevertheless, it did not escape the attention of the Spanish doctors, many of whom devoted chapters, and even entire treatises, to the subject. A reservative census is. We see this continually in the benefices and prebends of the Church; it is a thing so widely introduced that a man rarely acquires a benefice without it.
Mercado approves the contract on the ground that it is the sole concern of ecclesiastics, to whom it is fully familiar. The contract, says Mercado, is very confusing to the ignorant, who are apt to mistake it for a mutuum, but essentially it is the sale of a right to a yearly payment of money or produce, secured on real estate.
This old evasionary device as we may suppose it to be enjoyed great popularity in sixteenth-century Spain. All the ills of Spain proceed from shunning what naturally sustains us and turning to what destroys republics, when they place their wealth in money and in the income derived from census -contracts, which like a general plague have reduced these realms to abject poverty, since all or most men have desired to live by this means, on the interest they get from their money, without considering where they are to find what they require for such a way of life.
This is the thing that has so obviously ruined this republic and the census -holders, because, thinking only of getting an income, they have renounced the virtuous processes of the crafts, commerce, husbandry, and all that naturally sustains mankind.
The Mosaic prohibition of usury, then, presented the same dilemma to the members of the three religious communities of medieval Spain. Jews, Moslems, and Christians in turn chose the second course, but, in each case, only after a tenacious, centuries-long struggle.
What effect, we may wonder, did the attempt to abolish usury have on the life of medieval Spain? It is difficult to agree with those who hold that the civil and ecclesiastical laws against usury greatly hampered the economic development of the Peninsula. In the first place, many lenders were Jews and Moors, and it was not until the middle of the fourteenth century that these were forbidden to lend at a moderate rate of usury.
Secondly, Christian lenders found ways of evading the ban we have examined only a few of them. We can probably take this pronouncement at its face value. It was perhaps fortunate that the anti-usury laws could not be fully enforced. One of their chief aims was to protect the needy peasants from the depredations of the money-lender.
Yet, speaking as one who has farmed in Spain for many years, I am sure that without some means of getting credit to tide him over the bad years—and bad years, in Spain, have always been frequent—it could no more have been possible for the medieval Spanish farmer to scratch a living from the soil than it is for his modern successor. The result was disastrous. The vassals complained that it was far worse to get no credit at all than to pay usury, since they were now obliged to sell their cattle, wool, and corn in advance of the crop, and begged the count to restore the old state of affairs.
Being unwilling to do so, Don Pedro was forced to furnish three of his towns with stocks of money and grain that could be borrowed by the farmers. But, so far as is known, there were few such public granaries in Spain at this period. We may safely assume that if the rapacity of the medieval money-lender Edition: We may perhaps venture to ask another question, one that is more far-reaching in its implications. Spain, it has often been said, is a difficult country to govern.
Her people are—have always been—individualists, mistrustful of authority, indifferent to the public good, united only in the evasion of any law that does not suit their purpose. And it must be confessed that this criticism a commonplace among travellers in Spain from the sixteenth century onwards, as well as among Spaniards themselves is not entirely unfounded.
Can the last of these alleged defects, the light-hearted flouting of tiresome regulations—the observance, let us say, of the letter, not the spirit, of the law—be yet another legacy of the complex Spanish past? Could it be that the Jewish and Moslem custom of evading outworn taboos by the use of legal fictions a habit by no means confined to usury but extending to many other walks of life and the adoption, in turn and for similar reasons, of evasive devices by Christians, have helped in some measure to bring law itself into contempt?
Legal fictions, it is true, were far from being unknown to Roman law. But their function was the relatively minor one of providing the legal framework for current practice with a minimum of innovation and disturbance: In the first chapter I chose the subject of usury as an example of economic thought governed by religious principles.
The view that all the activities of life, even the trivial haggling of the marketplace, are subject to the commands of God, forever valid and immutable, was that taken by the three religions of medieval Spain. It may be contrasted with the attitude of the Greeks, whose economic teaching rested chiefly on ethical principles, and who appealed to reason, and not to any form of revealed truth.
This second type of doctrine gained a footing in Spain at a period when the first was still in its heyday. The transmission of Greek economics to the West was the joint work of Christians, Moslems, and Jews, who collaborated in harmony. It is paradoxical that this lofty task should have been performed by men who in their private affairs may well have been busy evading the usury laws by some such sordid device as those I have described.
But human life is made up of light and shade. Up to now I may seem to have taken rather a cynical view of the intellectual activities of our medieval Spaniards. It is more than time that we watched them follow a more elevated purpose.
We shall begin by considering what were the economic doctrines whose passage through Spain we are able to trace, and later show the way in which they were transmitted. For the purpose of this study Plato and Aristotle overshadow all other Greek authors. Their importance for later theory can hardly be exaggerated.
The first five chapters of the Wealth of Nations simply develop the line of reasoning laid down by Aristotle, and, even today, textbooks of economic theory generally open by recapitulating the ideas that we are about to examine.
In the second book of the Republic, Plato considers the problem of justice within the community. We all have many needs. Plato next examines the nature of commercial exchange. If a man exchanges his product for that of another, it is because the transaction is to the advantage of both parties. To satisfy the primary demands of even the smallest settlement we shall need at least a farmer, a builder, a weaver, and one or two other specialized producers.
More things will be made, and the work will be easier, if each man devotes himself entirely to his own trade. As our little state develops, other workers will be needed. Farmers must have ploughs, and builders, weavers, and shoemakers their necessary tools. There will have to be merchants to fetch the things that are needed from other countries.
And, since they must carry back in return the goods those countries require, home production has to be increased by adding to the number of farmers and craftsmen employed. We shall also need shipowners and others skilled in foreign trade.
This short discussion is full of ideas that were taken up and developed by many later writers. The fact that Plato considers them in relation to the concept of justice helps to explain why, up to the end of the eighteenth century at least, it is in juridical treatises that we find some of the best discussions of such topics as the division of labor, demand, utility, and money as a medium of exchange.
Plato continues his description of the economic growth of the state by showing how an unhealthy demand for luxury and unlimited Edition: Demand is for Plato morally neutral having a good and an evil side. Finally he returns to that principle, and shows its intimate connection with the problem of justice.
The economic teaching of Aristotle is found chiefly in his Politics and Nicomachean Ethics and to a small extent in the Rhetoric and Topics. The Nicomachean Ethics is not a particularly easy work.
In the fifth book of the Nicomachean Ethics he begins by considering the general nature of justice and its various branches. Commercial justice depends on the attainment of equality between the parties to a transaction. When a dispute arises it is the business of the judge to add to, or take away from the shares currently held by the contending parties until he is satisfied that he has made them equal.
The line, as it were, being unequally divided, he takes from the greater part that by which it exceeds the half and adds it on Edition: Then he divides the whole into two equal portions and gives each man his own. Now, he could not do this in a barter economy. Take the case of a builder and a shoemaker. How are we to decide how many shoes are worth a house, having regard to quantity and quality?
In other words how are we to compare the value of things diverse in nature? Aristotle answers this question by saying that we do so by reducing them to mathematical terms. For this reason, he says, money was invented: All this is simple enough, though it is not obvious or banal. But now comes a difficulty. Having just stated that money measures all things, Aristotle proceeds to say that the measure of all things is really the demand for them.
Demand, it now appears, is the common bond of commercial dealings. This seems satisfactory when we consider what has gone before. We may perhaps be permitted to go a little further and say that it now represents the utility the goods have for the contendants—that is, the total amount of utility involved in the deal.
By expressing this utility in mathematical or monetary terms the judge can assign an equal amount of utility to each party. Aristotle proceeds to remark that the Greek word for money, nomisma, is derived from nomos custom or law , and this, he says, implies that money is not a natural thing but arose out of custom, so that it rests with us to change its value or to make it wholly useless. This is quite consistent with the rest of the discussion. For the purpose of equal division it does not matter what substance our Edition: Aristotle further adds that money has another use.
It is a store of value. Of course, money is liable to depreciation, for its purchasing power varies. Still, at least it is more durable than the goods themselves. Money, therefore, enables us to compare and measure goods that are not only of a different nature but that also exist at different times. Our next task will be to show how these ideas were absorbed into the writings of Islamic authors, and how they passed through the Maghreb, into Spain, and thence into the Christian West.
The main source of the social sciences in Islam was what was known as Greek or peripatetic philosophy. Of course, the subject matter of the social sciences formed only a small part of the scientific legacy that the Arabs took over from Greece.
There were good reasons why the medieval world of Islam knew more about Greek science than did western Christendom. The Latin-speaking peoples of the Roman Empire had long since forgotten Greece; but in the eastern provinces, which were those first conquered by the Arabs, the usual liberal education was an education in Hellenistic rhetoric, while the tradition of Greek scientific and especially medical teaching was still unbroken.
Such teaching was still alive in Alexandria, for instance, when that city fell to the Arabs in , and also in the minor centers of Palestine, Syria, and western Mesopotamia. The Greek language did not die out suddenly in the provinces that came under Moslem rule, but survived at least until the middle of the ninth century. This was the greatest period of translation from Greek into Syriac and Arabic.
The translator, Hunain ibn Ishaq —73 , who presided over the school of translation that flourished in Baghdad in the time of Harun-al-Rashid, was thus in touch with Greek as a living language. It was through the versions produced in his school that the bulk of the scientific work of classical antiquity became known to the Arabs.
The Arabs eagerly absorbed all this Greek learning and carried it into every part of their empire. They were soon able to surpass the true heirs of Greek civilization, the Byzantines, so decidedly that, by the eleventh century, Arabic works on medicine and other subjects were being translated into Byzantine Greek instead of vice versa. Yet the Aristotelian and other Greek writings were also preserved and to some extent used in Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages; and at the end of the medieval period these two streams of Greek thought, the Arabic and the Byzantine, met together in western Europe, carrying with them the seeds of the Renaissance.
Moslem Spain was the principal though not the only channel by which the former of these streams, the Islamic, passed into western Christendom. One of the earlier Moslem philosophers who introduced the teaching of Plato and Aristotle into Islamic political thought was al-Farabi d. His Fusal al-Madani is a book of advice for princes and their counsellors.
They sometimes included discussions on taxation and other economic subjects, as well as moral exhortation and general remarks on the art of government. As a sample we may take a passage in which he compares the city to the human body, a simile that has been sadly overworked by writers of every age but is here used to rather good effect.
Another well-known mirror book is that of al-Ghazali — , one of the greatest of Islamic philosophers. This consists chiefly of moral precepts adorned with anecdotes. In his condemnation of usury, al-Ghazali follows the Koran. The same may be said of the passages in which he condemns the two extremes of luxury and avarice, counselling moderation in the acquisition of wealth, and charity once it is acquired. Also based on the doctrine of Plato and Aristotle is the work of Abul-Fadl al Dimashqi, an author whose biography is unknown to us.
He was formerly thought to have lived in the twelfth century but is placed by more recent scholars as early as the ninth. This is followed by an elaborate discussion as to what substance money Edition: Price, he says, is relative, varying from place to place and depending on many factors, of which cost of transport is particularly important. To arrive at the average price of a commodity the merchant should ask experienced people what is the usual price determined by long custom.
Finally, he should combine all these factors and thus be in a position to estimate the average value of the commodity in question.
The writings of al-Farabi and al-Ghazali were certainly, and those of Abul-Fadl probably, studied in Spain, and the political and economic theory of Plato and Aristotle became known there through their work and that of other authors. In the eleventh century the best-known Hispano-Moslem writer on politics and economics was Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Turtushi — Born at Tortosa, he studied law and mathematics at Saragossa, and the humanities at Seville. After making the pilgrimage to Mecca and visiting Baghdad, he settled as a teacher in Damascus and later in Alexandria, where he died.
We know the names of three of his disciples, scholars of Spanish birth, who studied under him in Alexandria and returned respectively to Valencia, Jaen, and Majorca to disseminate his doctrine. In addition to Greek sources, al-Turtushi drew upon Persian and Indian models for the mirror book that he wrote in the hope of outshining his great contemporary, al-Ghazali.
Though not, perhaps, of the highest intellectual quality, it is full of sensible advice and may be enjoyed for its colorful style. Al-Turtushi regards agriculture as the chief source of wealth.
The sultan must encourage farmers and refrain from taxing them too heavily, for if he oppresses them he will be like a man who whittles away his own tent poles. Once farmers are impoverished they will Edition: They should be collected without fuss or violence: Al-Turtushi exhorts the sultan not to seek to amass treasure but to spend it on the state, and more especially on the army. Instead, the sultan should imitate the prudent owner of a palm grove whose money is like the fertilizing water that flows from a spring.
Al-Turtushi does not, of course, suggest that money should be spent on the army alone. He quotes at length, giving many figures and details, from a Coptic history of Egypt which describes how the pharaoh spent the money that Joseph collected for him.
As well as being woven into the original work of Islamic writers, the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle reached Spain in the form of Arabic paraphrases and commentaries.
No direct translations from Greek into Arabic were made in Spain itself. Avempace did not leave any work on the social sciences, an omission that was repaired by his disciple and admirer, Averroes. His grandfather was kadi or chief judge of that city and famous for his wise decisions. As a boy Averroes studied medicine, law, and philosophy with the best teachers and enjoyed the society of the most distinguished men of his time. In Averroes was appointed kadi of Seville, returning in to Cordova where he probably composed his commentaries on Aristotle during the years that followed.
In Yusuf recalled him to Morocco as his chief physician and later made him kadi of Cordova as his father and grandfather had been. Greek philosophy, with its obvious rationalism, was the object of attack, and the emir, bowing to the storm, condemned its study and ordered that all books on the subject should be destroyed except for those on medicine, arithmetic, and elementary astronomy. Together with other scholars who had become associated with Greek philosophy, Averroes was banished to Lucena.
But his life had a happy ending. Four years later, when the current wave of opposition to Greek philosophy had spent its force, the caliph recalled him and restored him to favor. Averroes died at Marrakesh in It includes treatises on philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, medicine, astronomy, grammar, and other subjects.
Both were probably composed at Cordova in the year In his commentary on the Republic, Averroes is careful to define the scope of social science. It differs essentially, he says, from the speculative sciences in dealing entirely with matters dependent on free will and choice.
Whereas the aim of the speculative sciences is theoretical knowledge alone the practical application of such knowledge being accidental , the aim of political and economic science is action alone. He takes a rather more positive view of democracy than Plato, and even thinks on philosophical grounds, that out of it an ideal State might be born. But he also points out the dangers inherent in democracy. In such a State, he says, every kind of man is to be found. The rule of law will probably be maintained, though in a haphazard fashion, and this rule will be equal, favoring no one.
But the excessive quest for freedom in a democratic State, which leads to a man ruling himself and his affairs just as he wishes, and having no civic duties to perform, will turn many of the people into drones. However, since in a democracy a man will be free to work as well as to be idle, there will arise a class whose members seek wealth alone.
These people will serve to make honey for the drones. And there will be a third class, of men who go about their business but are not property-owners. The first and third classes will plunder the money-making class and hate them. After that, one of two things will happen. Either the only active class in the State will disappear, or its members gain power and the State become a tyranny.
I have already summarized the passages that chiefly concern us here. Averroes does make one rather significant omission. Aristotle had observed that the Greek word for money, nomisma, was derived from nomos, law or custom, and that it lies with us to alter the value of money or even to make it wholly useless.
Averroes keeps the wordplay but passes over the statement that it rests with us to alter the value of money, perhaps wishing to reject any approval of debasement. Yet he is of importance in the history of economic thought owing to the part he played in the transmission of Greek economics to the Christian West.
The rest of our discussion of Averroes will concern this aspect of his work. Averroes wrote in Arabic and commentated an Arabic text.
Manuscripts of his writings in Arabic are rare, Hebrew translations plentiful, and Latin versions to be found in all important libraries. At about the beginning of the twelfth century the Christian West began to awaken to the superiority of Islamic culture—or, perhaps we may better say, of Islamic technology, since the desire of western Christians was not so much to enrich their intellectual heritage as to improve their performance in such practical activities as medicine, mathematics, arithmetic, astronomy, astrology, botany, torture, and magic, in all of which the Arabs were known to be exceptionally proficient.
It was also realized that the key to this knowledge lay in the mastery of Arabic. But a reading acquaintance with Arabic is not to be acquired in a day, and a single glance at an Arabic manuscript must have discouraged all but the most ardent seekers after fame.
Clearly, the best way to get over this difficulty would be to travel to the nearest place where Arabic manuscripts were plentiful, and where assistants knowing Arabic and another language understood by the foreign scholar could be found to help in the work of translation.
Two places in Europe fulfilled these requirements. One was Sicily, under Arab rule from to , where there remained a considerable Moslem population protected by the Norman conquerors, who had themselves become Islamized to an extent that shocked the rest of Christendom.
The other was Spain, which offered a wider scope than Sicily and was more congenial to the orthodox mind. At first the work of selecting and translating suitable Arabic texts was carried on at different cities in the Peninsula, but it soon came to be centered on Toledo, which had been regained by the Christians in Here the would-be investigator found a powerful and enthusiastic patron in Raymond, Archbishop of Toledo and Chancellor of Castile d.
The method commonly used in Toledo and other Spanish centers was for one person to put the text from Arabic into Spanish and for his collaborator to turn it from Spanish into Latin, the latter being the more important partner and putting his name to the completed work.
We know the names of several of these pairs of translators. From Spain, then, in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, an enterprising body of translators sent out to the rest of Europe the Latin versions of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, Galen, and Hippocrates, and their Moslem expositors, abridgers, and commentators, thus laying down for several centuries to come the basis of study and teaching in the universities of western Christendom.
The work of Averroes began to penetrate the Christian West about thirty years after his death in Unfortunately for the good name of Averroes, Michael Scot was an accomplished astrologer.
His sinister reputation for being on familiar terms with the Devil helped to surround the person and writings of Averroes with an aura of sorcery and heresy that was to be long in fading. But he came rather late on the scene. As we have seen, the commentary includes what is practically a paraphrase of the fifth book of the Ethics, the only part of the treatise that is concerned with economics. Hermann tells us that he finished his translation on the third Thursday of June , in the chapel of the Holy Trinity at Toledo.
He also says that Edition: Hermann is almost certainly referring to a shortened version of the Nicomachean Ethics, called the Alexandrine Compendium, which had circulated among the Arabs during the Middle Ages and which he is known to have translated in — This abridgment also covers the fifth book in which alone we are interested. Hermann stayed on in Toledo for many years, eventually becoming Bishop of Astorga.
We have noted one or two passages in the Rhetoric that concern our study. For once the humble Jew, Andrew, is saluted from afar, even though he is not specifically named as co-translator. For the first four centuries of Arab rule the Jews found in Spain a second homeland. But, with the conquest of the greater part of Islamic Spain by the fanatical Berber sect of the Almohades, in the twelfth century, the climate of religious opinion grew harsher and was no longer propitious to a flourishing Jewry.
Many Jewish families sought refuge in Provence and in course of time lost their knowledge of Arabic, though not their appreciation of Arab learning.
They felt the need for Hebrew versions of the chief works of Arab science and philosophy. Medical books, especially, were needed by the many Jews who were physicians. This work of translation into Hebrew, which continued throughout the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth, was largely performed by the Tibbonides, a family of Andalusian Jews who had established themselves at Lunel.
Like Averroes, Samuel regarded them almost as parts of a single work, and wrote an epilogue to serve for both commentaries. Thus, the two commentaries were at last brought together in Latin, as they had been in Hebrew and Arabic. The infiltration of Greek science into the Christian West at the end of the Middle Ages was mistrusted by many Christians, as it had been by pious Moslems and Jews. We need not here discuss the doctrinal controversies that centered on Aristotle and his Cordovan commentator in the thirteenth century.
It is enough to say that by the beginning of the fourteenth century the earlier suspicion of Aristotelian science had faded, and the authority of Averroes as his commentator come to be acknowledged. This was the signal for an eager swarm of commentators to fall upon the Commentator. Many questions remained to be settled: Index followed index, abridgment abridgment, commentary commentary. One of the busiest centers of Averroism was the University of Padua, which was closely linked with that of Bologna.
Here the tough-minded of northern Italy—the physicians, astrologers, and natural philosophers in general—grouped themselves round Averroes, leaving the poets and men of letters to seek, through the study of Greek and of Greek literature, a beauty of form and expression as yet unfamiliar to Europe. Up to the end of the sixteenth century the editors of Averroes had continued to use the old translations made from Arabic into Latin in the thirteenth.
These texts were often deficient and in some parts unintelligible, and new Latin versions were now made from the Hebrew translations. Complete editions were also published at Padua —74 , Bologna , , and , Rome and , Pavia and , Strasbourg and , Naples and , Geneva , and Lyons , , , , and By the last quarter of the sixteenth century the editions had become less frequent, though the study of Averroes was still pursued at Padua.
Probably the last professor to allot him an important place in his lecture course was Cesare Cremonini, with whose death in we may regard the old Hispano-Arabic Aristotelianism as virtually ended. It was, then, on Spanish soil, at Cordova and at Toledo, that the economic teaching of Plato and Aristotle first gained a foothold in western Europe. In view of the great influence exerted by the Greek authors on the whole course of economic theory, I hope that this fact may be judged worthy of note in a book on early economic thought in Spain.
There is one remarkable feature of the story. Our beturbanned Aristotle was led westward by a German and a Spanish Jew. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas made use of the work in order to reach a synthesis between Greek social science and Christian tradition and learning. They were followed by other commentators, but there is no outstanding Spanish name among them, although the scholars of Christian Spain were distinguished in other branches of learning, including Aristotelian logic.
Not until the sixteenth century, in the Indian summer of scholasticism, did the Spanish Doctors assume the lead in further elaborating the political and economic thought of Aristotle. In this chapter and the next we shall follow some part of the development of economic thought in Spain from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginnings of laissez-faire; that is to say, from the end of the fifteenth century to the middle of the eighteenth. But for the historian of economic thought it does not, perhaps, represent the most interesting work of the period.
The high level of Spanish sixteenth-century economics noted by Schumpeter was largely the achievement of the late scholastics—the School of Salamanca, as they have sometimes been called. These writers were, in the main, theologians and jurists in whose thought the social and economic order played an important though secondary part. To some extent we have already cleared the ground. In connection with the subject of usury we have mentioned the Old and New Testaments, the fathers of the Church, and the Roman, canon, and earlier Spanish codes of civil law.
At about the same time—the exact date is a matter of dispute—another important source came to enrich the still scanty supply of economic literature available to the Christian West. The appearance of the first Latin translation, which was probably that made by William of Moerbeke d. Aristotle begins by distinguishing real wealth from money.
The art of administering real property, he says, is alone called economy. Money is a mere tool that serves for acquiring the things that are necessary to domestic and civil economy and the business of moneymaking is to economy proper as the shuttle to the art of weaving. Next follows the oft-quoted passage about the uses of every possession being two:
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