chapter  Chapter 4
12 Pages

The merchant societies and usury

Assyrians and Babylonians
WithMuhammet Sait Bozik, Murat Ustaoğlu

Known as leading ancient civilizations, Assyrians and Babylonians take attention with their innovations in many fields including law, astronomy, education, medicine, mathematics, literature, agriculture and trade. But their specialty has been traded due to troubles associated with scarcity of natural resources and of water due to the economic climate of the region. Historical research shows some resemblances between contemporary banking practices and the debt system employed in both civilizations. Practices and transactions relevant to the use of interest have been mostly conducted by usurers, nobles and temples in these two civilizations which, however, made attempts to address the issue of income inequality associated with these practices. The primary goal of the legal arrangements is to control debt slavery, an issue that emerged mostly due to the pervasive use of interest in financial transactions. But the success of these measures remains modest and controversial.