Money and Morality in 14th century Sweden

Money and Morality in 14th century Sweden

von Heijne, Cecilia

Ephesos to Dalecarlia. Reflections on Body, Space and Time in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. The Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm. Studies 11.Stockholm Studies in Archeology 48 (2009)


The establishment of the monetary system that came to imbue medieval society brought about a substantial change in how people related to each other. Many aspects of everyday life were affected, including questions concerning the role of the royal and religious authorities, trading situations, savings and economic planning. On the one hand, money was crucial in creating wealth, but on the other, it could bring out the worst in people, causing greed and betrayal. Scholastic thinkers endeavoured to create a sustainable economic system, and their thoughts were largely acknowledged by the secular society, in which religious beliefs were closely integrated. The aim of this paper is to seek an understanding of the complex relation between money and morality during the reign of Magnus Eriksson (1319–1364).

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