Expulsions of Foreign Moneylenders in Medieval Europe, 1200-1450


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation studies the repeated expulsions of Christian moneylenders during the late Middle Ages. These moneylenders – generally northern Italians who had crossed the Alps in search of new markets – found themselves in the crosshairs of authorities grappling with evolving concepts of citizenship and territoriality as well as unprecedented patterns of economic migration. Furthermore, the moneylenders’ occupation placed them at the center of vigorous debates over the moral and religious implications of a rapidly expanding credit economy. Drawing on archival and manuscript evidence from across western Europe, the dissertation reconstructs the circumstances of these expulsions, the responses of their targets, the ideological and administrative connections with contemporary expulsions of other groups (the Jews in particular), and the legal and theological debates that resulted from these dramatic assertions of power, protectionism, and piety.