Often, contemporary studies maintain that mediaeval thinkers regarded money as a commodity, a metal valuable only according to its intrinsic value; however, a thorough textual examination reveals that they were first and foremost concerned with its institutional dimension as a nomothetic moment of community building. This contribution aims at clarifying the late mediaeval conceptualisation of the nature of money as it emerges from the commentaries of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas to Aristotle’s Ethica, V.8. "Talis fluxus et refluxus gratiarum commanere facit civitatem", notices Albert the Great, portraying money as an institution that guarantees this flow of mutual reciprocation. Money was then seen as the institution which brought together the different parts of the productive community, whose perpetuation was ensured via the government of the monetary system, allowing for balance among the interests of debtors and creditors, producers and rentiers, merchants and labourers.
Keywords: Mediaeval monetary history; Thomas Aquinas; Albert the Great; money of account; just price; usury
Jel Code: B11; D46; E02; E12