Authored by: Michalis M. Psalidopoulos

Routledge Handbook of the History of Global Economic Thought

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415508490
eBook ISBN: 9781315761084
Adobe ISBN: 9781317644125


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After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, most Byzantine intellectuals, the bearers of Hellenic-Christian culture, emigrated to the West, mainly to Italy. Others stayed and became high-ranking state administrators and translators for the new rulers; they formed a distinct social group, the Phanariots. Greece became a Christian province of the Ottoman Empire and was excluded during the next 400 years from the technological and scientific breakthroughs of the early modern period. The Greek language was preserved through the reading and teaching of texts of the Eastern Christian Fathers of the Church dating from the third century AD. These texts called for a humble Christian life, a life of sharing surpluses in a closed community, of no luxury and of no taking-up of interest. Life generally ought to be non-materialistic, a stage of acquisition of properties by humans who qualified for paradise. This teaching was microeconomic as it applied to individual behaviour, but was also in tune with the macroeconomic maxims of Ottoman economic thought: provisionism, fiscalism and traditionalism (Psalidopoulos and Theocarakis, 2011).

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