This paper examines Nicholas Copernicus’ monetary thinking to ascertain whether he is an early expositor of the quantity theory of money. The paper reviews the historical setting of the 1500s, considers the history of economic thought that pertains to the quantity theory of money, and considers prior translations and interpretations of Copernicus’ manuscript "On the Minting of Money" with our own translation. The paper finds that Copernicus’ monetary thinking is noteworthy for associating monetary policy instability with various economic effects, but he is not a quantity theorist or an advocate of policy positions associated with quantity theorists.
Keywords: Copernicus, monetary theory, quantity theory, metalism, the Great Inflation
Jel Code: B11, B31, N1