An Annotated Bibliography on the History of Usury and Interest From the Earliest Times Through the Eighteenth Century

Author: Houkes, John M.


"Houkes's extensive and remarkably readable annotated bibliography on usury and interest will appeal to a wide range of readers, not just scholars of economics and finance ... Houkes presents with clarity an overview of the major literature, choosing factual presentation over interpretation and commentary ... full bibliographic citations and succinct, accurate summaries for every entry, as well as brief biographical information for many of the authors. English translations are given for key quotations ... Highly recommended. All libraries, especially those supporting graduate programs in finance, economics, history, or religion." - CHOICE

“This is a remarkable work—remarkable for both its breadth and its exhaustive coverage….Here we find not only the stars of the pageant but also the lesser-known supporting players who give us a greater appreciation of the wide diversity of positions taken at various periods on the problem of usury, a diversity that gives the intellectual history of this subject a richness and complexity that is lacking in the existing accounts….not limited to the traditions of the West. Houkes begins his intellectual journey in Mesopotamia, and pauses along the way to consider the usury teachings of ancient Chinese literature, those of the ancient Hindus, the precepts of the Koran on the matter, as well as those of the Rabbinical law. In all of this, he provides us with complete bibliographical citations together with annotations as to the work’s content and short authorial biographies, each succeeding section introduced with a brief essay placing the works of that section in their proper context.” – Glenn Hueckel, Pomona College

“No other single bibliographic survey offers such a sweeping panoramic survey, consisting almost entirely of the primary historical source material so highly valued by historians. It is complete with select, convenient quotations in English translation from the many original languages …. painstakingly accurate bibliographic descriptions and appropriate help for locating the works mentioned….Admirably introduced and annotated, this list of works reveals the economic, political, ethical, administrative, religious, nationalistic, legal, and cultural sides of the debate over usury in extremely diverse societies…..The annotations are unfailingly appropriate, ranging from a brief, tart quotation, characterizing the work without wasting time, to coverage of key points of multifaceted views….wonderfully informative and well-designed, ending at 1800, ‘when for all practical purposes the usury debate came to an end,’ yet supplemented with a bibliography of later contributions.” – Dr. Laurence J. Mykytiuk, History bibliographer and Reference Librarian, Purdue University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface, Acknowledgements
1. The Ancient Near East
2. Ancient China
3. Ancient Hindus
4. Ancient Greece
5. Classical Rome
6. Early Christianity
7. Church Councils and Church Fathers: 4th & 5th centuries
8. Roman Law
9. The Dark Ages
10. Islam
11. Rabbinical Law: the Mishnah and Talmud
12. Pronouncements by the Roman Pontifs: 12th–15th centuries
13. Church Council Legislation: 12th–15th centuries
14. The Scholastics: 12th–14th centuries
15. The Scholastics: 15th cent.
16. The sixteenth century
17. The seventeenth century
18. The eighteenth century
Bibliographic sources consulted
Bibliography; Bibliography supplement