The historical significance of double-entry bookkeeping: Some non-Sombartian claims

Author: Yamey, B.S.

Source: Accounting, Business & Financial History, Volume 15, Number 1, March 2005 , pp. 77-88(12)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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Abstract:

Werner Sombart's views on the connection between double-entry bookkeeping and the rise of capitalism are well known and have been influential. In recent decades other views - independent of Sombart's - claiming historical significance for double entry have also been published. Three of these disparate claims are considered in this article: the connection between double entry and Manichaeism; the influence of the rhetoric of double entry; and double entry and the recognition in Western Europe of zero as a number.

Keywords: Accounting history; Luca Pacioli; Manichaeism; Werner Sombart; rhetoric; zero

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585200500033089

Affiliations: London School of Economics and Political Science London

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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