Decline and Economic Ideals in Italy in the Early Modern Age

Decline and Economic Ideals in Italy in the Early Modern Age


Published by Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence)​​​​​​​


What did the Italians think of money and wealth during the Renaissance? In this work published for the first time in 1940, Gino Barbieri traces the evolution of Italian economic ideals through the analysis of the writings of theologians, men of law and of business. The book, now in English translation, reveals astounding similarities between the pivotal role of finance in those days and now.


Decline and Economic Ideals in Italy in the Early Modern Age (1940) is certainly the most important work of Gino Barbieri, who developed it from his PhD thesis. It is an example of deep economic insight, investigating the writings of theologians, lawyers and merchants to disclose the Italian outlook on money and wealth in the sixteenth century. Among the many reasons for its new release is the way it tackles fundamental issues, such as the notion of making a profit, arousing attitudes surprisingly similar to those of our day. The original Italian version is published alongside this new English translation, as a way of encouraging the international public to achieve a better knowledge of an important part of Italian historiography.

  • Gino Barbieri

    Decline and Economic Ideals in Italy in the Early Modern Age


    By Gino Barbieri

    Edited by Sergio Noto and Maria Cristina Gatti with an introduction by David Colander  


    March 2018 (first published 2013, Italy)
    Published by Leo S. Olschki
    Distributed by Ad Ilissum

    ISBN: 978 88 222 6301 8

    Hardback, 170 x 240 mm

    272 pages

  • About the author

    Gino Barbieri (1913-1989) was one of the greatest Italian economic historians. He was born in Legnago, and studied with Amintore Fanfani. He started his academic career first in Cagliari, then in Bari, Padua and Verona, where he contributed to the foundation of the economics faculty together with Giorgio Zanotto. He then became the Head of the Department of Economics, and President of the Cassa di Risparmio di Verona, Vicenza, Belluno e Ancona. He was able to combine with both his academic and banking activities a broad interdisciplinary culture, a knowledge of the inner workings of the economy, and a great respect for his cultural heritage.

  • About Leo S. Olschki Editore

    Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence) is one of Italy's oldest and most respected publishers of critical works in the humanities.

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