L’ethos mercantile in Il Libro dell’arte di Mercatura di Benedetto Cotrugli
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In her essay the author focuses attention on the problem of merchant ethos presented in the 15th century Benedetto Cotrugli’s tractat Il libro dell’arte di mercatura. Analysing the norms of comportments of honest merchant, to whom the tractat is dedicated, the author of the essay describes qualities typical for the merchant morality of that age, related to both to the Christian faith lay traditions. The dissonance between this values characteristic rather for the medieval mentality and the willingness to gain profit is less and less dramatic, and the figure of merchant, based on the perspective of the others members of society, less ambivalent morally. The commerce, i.e. the art of dealings, becomes the value in her self because is usefull for all of the citizens, and the merchant’s practices become appreciated if made according to the professional ethic.
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