A purchase is a legal transaction entailing the exchange of goods for money. As barter of goods for other goods waned in the Middle Ages, purchase increased in importance, especially in cities as the money economy became established, and it remained the most important commercial transaction throughout the early modern period.1. Fulfillment and effectsA purchase in the early modern period was – in principle, and in the light of the reception of
ius commune – accomplished only by the agreement of purchaser and vendor on the purchase object and the purchase price. However, the contractual parties alone were not always entirely free to set the price: they were sometimes also constrained in part by official price controls (e.g. in the German lands, the
Brottaxe, “bread rate,” or
Fleischtaxe, “meat rate”).
Policey ordinances and other interventions also frequently regulated the quality of traded…