The just price - economic thinking in the Middle Ages:
The focus of this exhibition is the economic history of the Middle Ages. We want to show you that the law of supply and demand is not as everlasting and natural as it seems nowadays. Different rules applied in the Middle Ages – which ones exactly you will find out in our five Picture Tours.
Our Picture Tours aim to explain how the modern market economy developed out of small seeds planted many centuries ago. They also want to offer an alternative view on today’s understanding of money, wealth and the meaning of life. No medieval man would comprehend why we frantically chase money, wealth and influence. Different benchmarks were set in the Middle Ages.
We recommend you eliminate all previous prejudices you have developed from watching historical movies. Allow yourself to be drawn into the world of the Middle Ages. And always remember: Medieval men and women weren’t any better or worse, smarter or dumber than we are. They simply had a different range of experiences. These Picture Tours will tell you all about those experiences.
Traditional societies have a hierarchical organization. The position of a person, and with it his prestige, depends not on how much he possesses, but on how many goods he has given to the other members of the society.
As a rule, coins are not manufactured to provide future generations with an insight into their users’ environment, but to be recognized as a reliable currency in the largest possible geographic area. The recognition effect was important – for instance, the most successful coins from Greek antiquity, the tetradrachms introduced by the Athenians and by Alexander the Great, featured the same image for more than one and a half centuries.
The denarii of the Roman Republic, on the other hand, are a completely different matter! Here, in the excited first century BC, the coin motifs change quicker than the years. We find everything: scenes from the past, allusions to the present, images of everyday political life, buildings, people, and of course deities. The ones responsible seem to have squeezed their whole world into the small space a denarius provides for coin motifs.
The exhibition highlights the phase of the Roman Empire when it was still Republican and focused on virtues, which enabled this state to fly high later.
Introduction to our library with rare books and modern literature.