Contextualizing Patristic Concepts of Hoarding and Saving

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


This chapter comprises two sections aiming at highlighting the need for contextualization in studying patristic views on the management of financial resources. The first section examines certain aspects of the economic, monetary and social conditions from the second to the fifth century. Debasements and inflation, practices of hoarding, the introduction of the solidus and its socio-economic implications, as well as the association of gold with the Byzantine emperor, the Church and the elite are some of the issues under discussion which affected patristic views on the proper use of wealth. The second section employs the Life of Melania the Younger as a case study on the way in which a super-rich person managed her wealth after she had decided to denounce her riches and renounce the world.


Late Roman economy Early Byzantine economy Gold Solidus St Melania the Younger Elite divestment Elite asceticism (patronage and benefaction) 

Copyright information

© 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 Hellenic Research FoundationNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensGreece

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