Medieval Market Morality: Life, Law and Ethics in the by James Davis PDF

By James Davis

This significant new research examines the marketplace exchange of medieval England from a brand new viewpoint, via offering a wide-ranging critique of the ethical and criminal imperatives that underpinned retail alternate. James Davis exhibits how market-goers have been motivated not just by means of useful and fiscal concerns of expense, caliber, offer and insist, but additionally by way of the ethical and cultural setting in which such offers have been carried out. This e-book attracts on a extensive variety of cross-disciplinary facts, from the literary works of William Langland and the sermons of medieval preachers, to nation, civic and guild legislation, Davis scrutinises daily industry behaviour via case stories of small and big cities, utilizing the facts of manor and borough courts. From those various resources, Davis teases out the advanced courting among morality, legislations and perform and demonstrates that even the impact of latest Christian ideology used to be now not unavoidably incompatible with effective and ecocnomic daily trade.

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Extra resources for Medieval Market Morality: Life, Law and Ethics in the English Marketplace, 1200-1500

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97 The town, in particular, was seen as the dynamic harbinger of a new market ethic and as inimical to feudalism. 98 Conversely, the countryside was static, inert and subsistencebased, with the feudal system lacking the ability to be innovative and flexible. However, historians now negate this stark opposition between town and country and have argued that the two had a symbiotic relationship. 102 Feudal forces encouraged trade as much as they were inimical to it. 104 In Marx’s view, feudalism involved small-scale production for the use of the producer or lord.

120 Dyer, An Age, ch. 2. Muldrew, ‘From a “light cloak”’, pp. 156–7. Patterson, Chaucer, pp. ), Transition. 122 He and others regarded the repetition of laws and religious condemnations as evidence of a society that ignored moral restrictions. Instead, individuals were driven by an inherent accumulative and self-interested streak, with little reference to moral strictures. Classical economic theorists were proponents of the idea that selfinterest was an innate human characteristic. 124 Smith was a champion of free-market competition, ‘laissezfaire’ and ‘invisible hand’ economics, and a disparager of interventionist regulation.

Firstly, literary, artistic and didactic sources frequently touched upon the vices and figures of the marketplace. Chapter 1, in addition to consulting the well-known texts of John Gower, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland, examines a broad range of other cultural productions, such as sermons, plays, poems, liturgical handbooks and artists’ images. From the scholarly debates of the thirteenth century through to the secular complaint poetry of the fifteenth century, the activities of the everyday marketplace and retail traders were intermittently touched upon as part of a rhetorical discourse that sought to address more fundamental issues of virtue and salvation.

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