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Reviewed by:
  • Historia jurídica del anatocismo
  • James A. Brundage
Historia jurídica del anatocismo. By María Encarnación Gómez Rojo. (Barcelona: Universidad de Málaga, Facultad de Derecho. Order from Librerías Proteo y Prometeo, Puerta Buenaventura, 3, 29008 Málaga. 2003. Pp. 81. Paperback.)

This brief survey of the ways in which legal systems, ecclesiastical and secular, have dealt with compound interest on loans and deposits seeks to cover an enormous span of time—from Plato to the 1917 Codex iuris canonici—and space—its focus is on Spain, but the author also deals briefly with France, Germany, and Italy, with additional side glances at Islamic and Jewish teachings on usury and compound interest as well. Given this vast scope, Professor Gómez Rojo is bound to be highly selective in her treatment and attempts to provide simply a broad general outline of what she regards as the principal highlights of this complex topic. The book's strength lies in the considerable number of bibliographical references that it provides for the selected writers and problems that it does cover. It is richest, naturally enough, in citations to the Spanish-language literature of the subject, but remarkably weak in its coverage of English and American scholarship—I saw no mention, for example, of such fundamental works as John T. Noonan's Scholastic Analysis of Usury, John Gilchrist's book on The Church and Economic Activity in the Middle Ages, or John Baldwin's work on Medieval Theories of the Just Price. On the other hand, scholars curious about the teachings of, say, Tomás de Mercado or Juan de Hevia Bolaños on usury and compound interest may find this book a helpful source of information and references.

James A. Brundage
The University of Kansas


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