Sunday, July 27, 2014

Roots of the Gold Standard

The Schoolmen: "Certain theologians of the Middle Ages; so called because they lectured in the cloisters or cathedral schools founded by Charlemagne and his immediate successors."
St. Thomas: 1225 – 1274
Buridan: (c. 1300 – after 1358)

Excerpts from Monetary Theory before Adam Smith, by Arthur Eli Monroe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics, Harvard University. (The book is (c) 1923 by Harvard University Press)
St. Thomas not only repeated what the Greek philosopher [Aristotle] had said about making money of materials useful in themselves, but added that the high specific value of the precious metals, making them easily portable, was a further reason for their use as money.

To this somewhat tentative analysis Buridan made important additions. Money should be made of precious material, he says, in order to facilitate transportation; durable, in order to serve as a store of value; divisible into small parts for lesser purchases; and capable of being impressed with adequate marks for identification.

...the statement of Buridan may be said to have remained the accepted one for over a century, and the basis of all later discussion.

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