Italian. Eventual seminars will be held in English, Spanish or French.
The course aimed at providing a reconstruction and interpretation of the economic changes concerning money, finance and credit in the Western World between the Middle Ages and the Contemporary Age. Economic theories and historic events have been analyzed in order to correlate the evolution of monetary and financial systems and the structure of Italian and European banks.
Excerpts from the following texts:
a) C. M. Cipolla, Le avventure della lira, Bologna, il Mulino 2001. G. Nigro, Usura e banca nei documenti contabili toscani fino alla introduzione dei Monti di Pietà, in I conti dei Monti. Tecnica e pratica amministrativa nei Monti di Pietà fra Medioevo ed Età Moderna, Marsilio, Venezia, 2008, pp. 15 – 33. (Extract available online or by writing to Professor Orlandi).
F. Melis, Documenti per la storia economica dei secoli XIII – XVI, Firenze, Olschki, 1972, pp. 75 – 103. If students intend to purchase the book, it is available at the Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Economia Economica F. Datini: tel. 0574604187.
b) Full summary and commentary of one book freely chosen between the following:
- Pecorari (a cura), Crisi e scandali bancari nella Storia d'Italia, Istituto veneto di scienza lettere e arti, Venezia 2006 .
- L. Allen, Il sistema finanziario globale. Dal 1750 ad oggi, Mondadori, Milano 2002 L. Gallino, Finazcapitalismo. La civiltà del denaro in crisi, Einaudi, Torino 2011.
This summary should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com two or three days before the examination.
Those who will attend the course will be able to prepare the exam through the notes taken in class and other materials provided by the teacher.
ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE: the understanding of the mechanisms of monetary circulation – from minted coins to paper money, the functioning of the foreign exchange market, the credit system's role and operating methods and their long-term evolution.
ACQUIRED COMPETENCE: the use of critical tools for a comparative analysis of the monetary and financial markets.
ACQUIRED SKILLS: how to reconstruct and explain the economic changes which took place in money, finance and credit in the Western World from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age.
No one in particular even if basic macroeconomics could be useful.
Frontal teaching lessons: 48 hours.
Seminars held by foreign scholars are planned, offering a comparative view of some aspects of the history of money and banking related to other European countries. Visits / lessons will also be organized to the State Archives of Prato or Florence.
Small research experiences could also be organized, the content of which will be agreed upon during the course.
Type of Assessment
The written exam lasts between 60 and 75 minutes and consists of two essay questions. Total weight in grade evaluation: 50%.
The student should provide a full summary and commentary of one book (see above b) point). This summary should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org two or three days before the examination. Total weight in grade evaluation: 50%.
Monetary circulation, lending and banking activity can be an interesting observation angle for an understanding of the complex economic mechanisms that characterized Italian and European history in the last millennium. The course is divided into three parts and aims to provide the basic elements of the history of money, banking and finance in the Western countries from the Middle Ages to the early contemporary age. The first part will be essentially devoted to the Middle Ages, a period during which the so-called commercial revolution caused a sharp contraction of the "natural economy", boosting the circulation of money and increasing lending. This part will analyze the mechanisms of monetary circulation from the reform of Charlemagne (silver monometallism) to the introduction of bimetallism with gold coinage in Florence and Genoa in the thirteenth century. During that period credit and banking developed along not always parallel tracks, but set the foundation for the birth of the modern bank.
The second part, dedicated to the Modern Age, will review monetary and credit issues in light of the great changes brought by the discovery of the New World and the effects on prices in Europe caused by the arrival of large quantities of American silver. The study of the action of the great Italian and German bankers in the major European financial markets will allow insights into the public debt policies implemented by emerging modern states.
The third part of the course will examine the birth of the first banks of issue and the formation and development of national banking systems in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.