An interdisciplinary study of the development of institutional accountability in the later Middle Ages, highlighting innovations in auditing procedures, administrative professionalisation, and the political and social impact of the reforms.
Accounts and Accountability in Late Medieval Europe traces the momentous transformation of institutions and administration under the impact of accounting records and procedures, c. 1250–1500. The volume’s focus on the materiality and organising logic of a range of accounts is complemented by close attention to the socio-political contexts in which they functioned and the agency of central and local officials.
The volume is divided into three parts: the role of financial accountability in the political designs of late medieval states, the uses of accounts auditing and information management as tools for governance, and their impact on the everyday life of local communities. Covering both the centre and the periphery of medieval Europe, from England and the Papal curia to Savoy and Transylvania, the case studies evince the difficult passage from the early experiments with financial accounts towards an accountability of office.
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