1st Edition

A History of Interest and Debt Ancient Civilizations

Edited By Murat Ustaoğlu, Ahmet İncekara Copyright 2020
    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    With the spread of interest-based transactions, major problems such as inequality, poverty and debt-based slavery have emerged. Those who practiced professions such as usury have, despite the negative connotations attributed to them, contributed extensively to the construction of the conventional financial system in the global economy, suggesting that the core concepts in this practice need to be analyzed in greater depth and from a historical perspective.

    This book analyzes the evolution of interest-bearing debt transactions from ancient times to the era of Abrahamic religions. In modern times, interest is strictly prohibited by Islam, but this book demonstrates that it is a practice that has been condemned and legally and morally prohibited in other civilizations, long before Islam outlawed it. Exploring the roots of this prohibition and how interest has been justified as a viable practice in economic and financial transactions, the book offers deep insight into the current nature of finance and economics, and the distinctive features of Islamic finance in particular and enables researchers to further delve into a review of interest-free financing models. Islamic finance, or alternative financial methods, have become extremely popular particularly in the aftermath of global financial crises, suggesting that they will attract further interest in the future as well.

    The book is primarily aimed at undergraduate and graduate students but, as it avoids the use of technical jargon, it also speaks to a general readership. It will appeal to those who have an interest in financial history, particularly the history of debt as well.




    About the Editors


    Chapter 1: Introduction to Interest and Debt

    (Murat Ustaoğlu, Halil Şimşek and Servet Bayındır)

    Chapter 2: Dynamics of Social Life in Ancient Mesopotamian Civilizations as Historical Precursors of Interest/riba within the Context of Religion, Politics and Economics

    (Murat Ustaoğlu and Betül Mutlugün)

    Chapter 3: Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Civilizations: Sumerian Era

    (Muhammet Sait Bozik and Selim Demez)

    Chapter 4: The Merchant Societies and Usury: Assyrians and Babylonians

    (Muhammet Sait Bozik and Murat Ustaoğlu)

    Chapter 5: Social Costs of Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Greece

    (Muhammet Sait Bozik and Ferda Güvenilir)

    Chapter 6: Debt and Politics in Ancient Roman

    (Muhammet Sait Bozik, Halil Tunalı and Murat Ustaoğlu)

    Chapter 7: Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Egypt

    (Murat İstekli and Murat Ustaoğlu)

    Chapter 8: Interest and Debt in Ancient China

    (Muhammet Sait Bozik and Murat Ustaoğlu)

    Chapter 9: Dynamics of Interest-bearing Debt in Hinduism

    (Ferda Güvenilir and Ahmet İncekara)

    Chapter 10: Interest and Debt in Buddhist Economic Doctrine

    (Esra Türkoz, Mehmet Akyol and Murat Ustaoğlu)

    Chapter 11: Interest and Debt in Ancient Era

    (Murat Ustaoğlu and Abdüsselam Sağın)



    Murat Ustaoğlu is an associate professor of economics at Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey, and currently a visiting scholar at the City University of New York, USA.

    Ahmet İncekara is a professor of economics at Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.