Fifth-Century Patristic Conceptions of Savings and Capital: Isidore of Pelusium and Theodoret of Cyrrhus

  • Gerasimos Merianos
  • George Gotsis
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)


After a long period of experimentation with solutions to the economic problem in growing Christian communities, the fifth-century Fathers seemed to realize some of the obstacles to or limitations of the “classical” teachings on the proper management of wealth. This chapter presents two case studies of fifth-century patristic responses to the issue of savings and capital: the exhortation for the consolidation of Church finances by Isidore of Pelusium and the call for social cooperation by Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Their views signify, respectively, the attempt to preserve traditional Christian patterns of wealth management by trying to amend shortcomings and the emergence of diverse approaches in an era when the Church had to face new dilemmas as it had already expanded over urban centres.


Isidore of Pelusium Theodoret of Cyrrhus Mismanagement of Church finances Luxury consumption Wealth inequalities Social cooperation 

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Historical ResearchNational Hellenic Research FoundationAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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