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Michael Crawford

A bag for coins, then—by the late 3rd or early 4th cent. ce—a bag containing a fixed number of coins, then a unit of account; the value of this unit of account varied over the centuries from the Tetrarchic period onwards. There is no clear evidence in practice that the term applied to an individual coin before the reforms of Anastasius (491–518ce), though the metrological writers contain some confused statements which may be interpreted in this way.


Arnold Hugh Martin Jones

Indictio under the Principate meant the compulsory purchase of food, clothing, and other goods for the army and the court. Owing to the inflation of the mid-3rd cent. ce the payments made for such purchases became derisory and were finally abandoned. From the time of *Diocletian the term indictio was applied to the annual assessment of all levies in kind made by the praetorian prefects: the indictio declared the amount of each item (wheat, barley, wine, oil, clothing, etc. ) payable on each fiscal unit (caput, iugum, etc. ). From 287, indictions were numbered serially in cycles of five years, from 312 in cycles of fifteen years. The number of the indiction was regularly used for dating financial years (which began on 1 September) and sometimes for dating other documents. See finance, roman.