The aim of the conference is to investigate fundamental methodological and factual questions concerning the relationship between the concrete historical development of economic structures, in particular the expansion of monetary relations, and contemporary knowledge of economy, in particular the attempt to restrict economy to the domestic sphere. Against this background we aim to reconstruct the history of the transformation of “economic” bodies of knowledge in European history.

We shall begin in fourth and fifth-century B.C. Greece which on the one hand was marked by intra-household and polis-wide economy and an increase in the significance of the agora, and on the other hand saw the establishment of conceptions of oikonomia – most prominently in Xenophon and Aristotle – which took a conscious stand against differentiated economic patterns of relationship and rationality (chrematistike) and conceptualised the domestic sphere as a place of male “despotic” rule over wife, children and slaves, and as the basis for the “good life” in the political community of the polis.

In a second stage we shall turn to the transformation of ancient bodies of theory and knowledge in the Renaissance. Beginning in the fifteenth century, first in Italy and later above all in France and England, we see the emergence of an emphatic return to the Aristotelian and Xenophonian concepts of oikonomia. Because of the privileging of the reception of ethical and political knowledge, the motives and range of this revival have yet to be adequately elaborated.

More specifically, the following questions are to be addressed:

1) What economic developments (banking systems, etc.) motivate our examination of ancient knowledge, what selections can be observed and how are they to be understood in terms of function?

2) What conceptual innovations can be seen to emerge in reaction to new and complex economic practices? What is the relationship between these conceptual innovations and Medieval theological concepts?

3) What forms does the transformation of economic knowledge take, and how are they connected to economic practices? Here the spectrum ranges from economic house book over forms of treatise and dialogue to fictional treatment.


09:00 - 09:15
Grußworte und Einführung
Iris Därmann
Aloys Winterling
09:15 - 10:45
Rethinking the Ancient Economy
Neville Morley
10:45 - 12:15
Die ökonomische Funktion des Haushalts im klassischen Griechenland
Moritz Hinsch
12:15 - 13:45
Xenophons Oikonomikos
Peter Spahn
15:00 - 16:30
Aristotle's Critique of Money-Making
Colin Guthrie King
16:30 - 18:00
Haus- und polisübergreifende geldwirtschaftliche Beziehungen im 4. und 5. Jahrhundert
Armin Eich
18:00 - 19:30
Reconsidering the Economy
Traditional Values and Philosophical Theory versus Public and Private Practice in Fourth Century B.C.E. Athens
Darel Engen
09:00 - 09:15
Helmut Pfeiffer
09:15 - 10:45
Die erste Welle
Scholastische Ansätze zu einer Wirtschaftstheorie
Rudolf Schüßler
10:45 - 12:15
Geoffrey Chaucer's Household Dreams
Wolfram Keller
12:15 - 13:45
Temporalisierung der Oikonomia. Albertis Della Famiglia
Helmut Pfeiffer
15:00 - 16:30
Theology, Biology, and Biography
The Conceptual Model of oikonomia in Early Modern Europe
Germano Maifreda
16:30 - 18:00
Die Oikos-Polis-Differenz als prägende Struktur der neuzeitlichen Ökonomie/Politik-Formation
Birger Priddat