Ph.D. Candidate in Government, Harvard University; Graduate Student Affiliate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
October 21, 2021
12:00pm - 1:15pm
The Dissertation Workshop is a graduate educational seminar open only to graduate students and their advisors as well as visiting scholars. The Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) invites those who are interested in attending this workshop or in presenting their research, to contact CES Dissertation Workshop Coordinator Hansong Li. All workshops will be held virtually during the 2021-2022 academic year. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link for the workshop one day in advance.
Sama Mammadova is a third-year PhD candidate in History studying the economic, religious, and social history of moneylending in late medieval and early modern Europe. The paper that she is presenting serves as a preliminary exploration of the themes that she hopes to develop in her dissertation on the emergence of charitable credit in the Mediterranean and its transmission to the New World.
This paper will address a major economic innovation of the 15th century – the development of monti di pietà, public banks that were co-founded by the Franciscan order and by the secular governments of Central Italian cities. These banks were established by the Observant Franciscans as a means to counteract the usurious moneylending practices that, according to the 15th-century preachers, stifled economic growth and caused further devastation to the already impoverished lower classes in Central Italy. Founded as a response to the expanding networks of major banks as well as minor moneylending enterprises, the monti di pietà were grounded in the Observant Franciscan devotion to the urban poor and were conceived as charitable Christian alternatives to usury.