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adaeratio

Adaeratio, the procedure whereby dues to the Roman state in kind were commuted to cash payments. The related word adaerare first appears in ce 383 (Cod. Theod. 7. 18. 8) and the practice is characteristic of the later Roman empire. But it is attested for certain dues supplementary to the standard form of taxation in Cicero's Verrines and Tacitus' Agricola, along with its attendant abuses. In the later Roman empire the procedure was also applied to distributions by the Roman state in kind. The transaction was sometimes official, sometimes unofficial, and might be made on the initiative of the government, the tax-collector (see publicani), or the taxpayer in the case of levies, or of either party in the case of distributions. The rate might be settled by bargaining, or fixed by the government at the market price or at some arbitrary sum. The range of commodities involved was large. Just as dues and distributions in kind had assumed greater importance because of the collapse of the coinage system in the 3rd cent. ce, so a consciousness of the existence of a stable gold coinage after Constantine led to a slow move back to transactions in money, normally gold, over the late 4th and 5th cents.

Bibliography

A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284–602 (1964) see index.Find this resource:

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