Gerald Odonis' Economics Treatise

In: Vivarium
Giovanni Ceccarelli Università degli studi di Parma

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Sylvain Piron Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

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Gerald Odonis' treatise on contracts, restitutions, and excommunication is one of his earliest works, composed in Toulouse ca. 1315-17. Mainly based on Peter John Olivi's De contractibus, but using a variety of other sources and offering some original arguments as well, it is remarkable for its pragmatic approach to economic phenomena. His rejection of the rational argument against usury reveals a casual use of the bull Exiit qui seminat, defining Franciscan poverty, as well as a change of assumptions in the approach to economic exchange. Whereas various explanations can be provided for the provocative aspect of this youthful treatise, all in all, it can best be described as a free and uninhibited interpretation of the scholastic tradition.

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