Bookkeeping, double-entry
(1,601 words)

1. Bookkeeping in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Bookkeeping or accounting is probably almost as old as commercial activity itself. In Sumerian Mesopotamia (3rd millennium BCE), commercial transactions were already being recorded on clay tablets. This simple method of bookkeeping, in use since antiquity, served to document completed transactions as a reminder for the trader and as evidence in legal disputes. The Roman Corpus iuris ci…

Cite this page
Denzel, Markus A., “Bookkeeping, double-entry”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

▲   Back to top   ▲