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Law, Legislation, and Lending: An Examination of the Influence of the Crusades on the Usury Prohibition

Law, Legislation, and Lending: An Examination of the Influence of the Crusades on the Usury Prohibition

Ryan, Matthew James

MA Thesis, University of North Carolina (2008)

Abstract

The focus of this work is an exploration of the potential impact of the economic necessities of crusading on the usury prohibition of the Latin Church. Throughout the twelfth-century, one sees an amplified rhetoric and an increasing intolerance of lending at interest. The question remains as to why, especially in a period of corresponding commercial growth. The protection of combatants became an area of critical importance, as highlighted by the canonical legislation of the period. Property protection, the continuance of fair market practices, and the extended policy of limiting trade with the Saracens each played a crucial role in the enforcement of usury statues. It also inspired a sense of “Christian Universalism” that was significant to the crusading movement.

Click here to read this thesis from the University of North Carolina

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