About this book
This is the first English translation of Benedetto Cotrugli's The Book of the Art of Trade, a lively account of the life of a Mediterranean merchant in the Early Renaissance, written in 1458. The book is an impassioned defense of the legitimacy of mercantile practices, and includes the first scholarly mention of double-entry bookkeeping. Its four parts focus respectively on trading techniques, from accounting to insurance, the religion of the merchant, his public life, and family matters.
Originally handwritten, the book was printed in 1573 in Venice in an abridged and revised version. This new translation makes reference to the new critical edition, based on an earlier manuscript that has only recently been discovered.
With scholarly essays placing Cotrugli's work into historical context and highlighting key themes, this volume is an important contribution to our understanding of the origins of management and trade practices.