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Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Michael Crawford

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.

Article

aerarii  

Andrew Dominic Edwards Lewis

Aerarii, payers, were a class of Roman citizens who had incurred the *censors' condemnation for some moral or other misbehaviour. They were required to pay the poll-tax (*tributum) at a higher rate than other citizens. The origin of the class is obscure. Mommsen argued that a payer was originally one who had no landed property and was therefore disqualified from certain public rights such as voting and military service but had to pay the poll-tax in proportion to his means.

Article

Graham Burton

Aerarium, derived from aes, denotes ‘treasury’. The main aerarium of Rome was the aerarium Saturni, so called from the temple below the Capitol, in which it was placed. Here were kept state documents, both financial and non-financial (including leges (see lex (1)) and *senatus consulta which were not valid until lodged there), and the state treasure, originally mainly of bronze (aes) but including also ingots of gold and silver and other valuables. The *tabularium (1) was built near it in 78 bce.The aerarium was controlled by the quaestors under the supervision of the senate, with a subordinate staff of scribae, *viatores, etc. The *tribuni aerarii, men of a property-class a little below the knights, were probably concerned with making payments from the tribes into the treasury. The aerarium sanctius was a special reserve, fed by the 5 per cent tax on emancipations. Treasure was withdrawn from it in 209 bce and on other occasions.

Article

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Antony Spawforth

The purpose of the alimentary foundations in the Roman empire was to give an allowance for feeding children, and this was achieved by the investment of capital in mortgage on land, the mortage-interest being paid to, and administered by, cities or state-officials. The system originated in civic *euergetism, the earliest known benefactor being the senator T. Helvius Basila at *Atina in the late Julio-Claudian period (ILS997). A later benefactor, the younger Pliny, who gave a similar endowment to *Comum, has recorded his reasons for doing so (Ep. 7. 18). Inscriptions record similar private benefactions both in Italy and in the provinces, the east included. Gifts from the imperial *fiscus to Italian towns for this purpose were first made by *Nerva and *Trajan. The evidence for the imperial scheme in Italy (continuing at least until the early 3rd cent. ce) comes mainly from honorific inscriptions set up by the beneficiaries and two alimentary tables from Veleia and Ligures Baebiani (ILS 6675; 6509).

Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Antony Spawforth

Collatio lustralis (chrysargyron), a tax in gold and silver levied every five years (later four) on traders in the widest sense. It was instituted by *Constantine, and abolished in the east by Anastasius in ce 498; it continued to exist in the Ostrogothic and Visigothic kingdoms in the 6th cent. From the late 4th cent. it was levied in gold only. Not only were merchants liable, but moneylenders, craftsmen who sold their own products, and apparently anyone who received fees. Prostitutes paid, and the fact that the government thus profited from sin made the tax unpopular with Christians. Doctors and teachers were expressly exempted. Landowners and peasants selling their own products were also immune, and rural craftsmen were declared exempt in 374. Painters were also freed from the tax then, and clergy and veterans who practised crafts or trade were exempt if their assessment fell below a certain minimum. The tax was assessed on the capital assets of the taxpayer, including himself and his slaves and family. The rate of tax does not seem to have been heavy, but it caused grave hardship to poor craftsmen and shopkeepers; this explains the evidence for payment by annual instalments, in Roman Egypt and perhaps generally. It was levied in each city by mancipes (i.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Commentarii ‘memoranda’, were often private or businesslike, e.g. accounts, notebooks for speeches, legal notes, or teaching materials. Their public use (excluding the false ‘commentarii of the kings’) developed in the priestly colleges (e.g. *pontifices, see libri pontificales, and augures), and with magistrates (*consuls, *censors, *aediles) and provincial governors. They apparently recorded decisions and other material relevant for future consultation, and at least in some cases explained their rationale: this could amount to a manual of protocol. Under the empire the ‘imperial memoranda’ (commentarii principis) provided an archive of official constitutions, rescripts (see magister libellorum), etc: entering a decision in the commentarii conferred its legal authority.In the late republic a more literary usage developed, ‘memoir’ rather than ‘memoranda’. Various records, handbooks, and other learned works were so described, but especially autobiographies, under the influence of such Greek works as *Aratus (2)'s ‘memoirs’ (ὑπομνήματα, the nearest Greek equivalent): thus perhaps the work of *Sulla, more certainly *Cicero's accounts of his consulship and above all *Caesar's commentarii.

Article

M. I. Finley and Keith Bradley

Contubernium meant a ‘dwelling together’, as of soldiers or animals, but referred especially to a quasi-marital union between slave and slave or slave and free. Since a slave lacked juristic personality, a contubernium was not a marriage but a factual situation, at the pleasure of the slave-owner, creating no legal consequences despite the use of such words as uxor, maritus, or pater, even in legal texts. Children were the property of the mother's owner; no slave-woman could be guilty of adultery; manumission of one or both parents need not extend to their issue. Sepulchral inscriptions indicate that contubernia were highly valued. But how widespread de facto slave ‘families’ were and which social contexts best favoured them cannot be accurately known. Slave-owners always retained the right to separate slave family members, and commonly did so to judge from records of slave sales and bequests.

For bibliography see marriage law; slavery.

Article

fiscus  

Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar and Graham Burton

Fiscus originally meant ‘basket’ or ‘money-bag’ and thence came to denote the private funds of an individual or, in an administrative context, to mean the public funds held by a provincial governor. In the Principate it came to denote both the private funds of the emperor and the whole financial administration controlled by the emperor.The questions of the origins, legal nature, and revenues of the imperial fiscus, of its relationship to the *aerarium, and of the normal meaning of the term remain hotly disputed. Three principal, if overlapping, views exist.1. The fiscus was the property of the emperor, its income was formed principally by the revenues of the imperial provinces (Mommsen, Röm. Staatsr. 23. 998 ff.). On this view the distinction between fiscus and aerarium was a product of the ‘dyarchy’ of emperor and senate and of the division of the provinces.2. Fiscus was used originally only of the private funds of the emperor (e.g. Sen.

Article

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.

Article

Jean-Jacques Aubert

Because of the traditional reluctance of the Roman elite to engage personally in profit-oriented economic activities other than agriculture (Cic., Off. 1.151), entrepreneurs of all kinds formed a distinctive social class and would tend to act as non-advertised agents for those who may have had the needs, the means, and the willingness to operate businesses on a larger scale than the individual, subsistence-level enterprise. However, the concept of agency was foreign to Roman law, because acting on behalf and in the name of someone else smacked of magic. Consequently, agents were, at least originally, legally dependents, as slaves or sons and daughters in power, whose lack of legal personality enabled them to better their principal’s economic condition and eventually to engage both their delictual and contractual liability, under certain circumstances. The key to such a legal arrangement was the formal appointment (praepositio) of business managers (institores).

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

In the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, centred as they were on the Mediterranean, maritime transport was far more practical than land transport for long- and even medium-distance trade. Most ships seem to have been of medium size (around 70 tonnes burden) and to have been owned and run by a shipper who both carried goods as freight and traded on his own account. There were also many individual merchants who hired shipping as needed for their ventures. Then as now, the major expense in trading was the investment in purchasing goods; roughly, one cargo of wheat was worth as much as the ship. Hence a merchant, whether or not also a shipowner, often needed third-party finance, for which, because of the peculiar risks involved, a special type of loan was used. This was the maritime loan—nautikon daneion in Greek, nauticum faenus or mutua pecunia nautica in Latin.The maritime loan is first attested in 4th-century bce Athens, in four speeches attributed to Demosthenes, of which the most informative is the prosecution of the brother of a pair of merchants for fraudulent default on a loan (Dem.

Article

Andrew Lintott

Proletarii, as opposed to assidui, were the citizens of Rome too poor to contribute anything to the state except their children (proles). They seem to have been equated with the capite censi as persons who paid no tribute and were exempt from military service except in an emergency (*tumultus), when they were issued with armour and weapons. The alternative explanation produced in *Gellius (NA 16. 10), that the proletarii had property between 1,500 and 375 asses, while the capite censi had 375 or less, is not confirmed elsewhere nor can it be easily reconciled with the single century of capite censi/proletarii in the *comitiacenturiata.In the mid-2nd cent. bce direct taxation for Romans was suspended (see tributum) and the property qualification for military service was lowered. Nevertheless, the distinction between those who were sufficiently wealthy to be regarded as both sound citizens and reliable defenders of their country, and those who were not, remained important in Roman political ideology. C.

Article

Ernst Badian and Tony Honoré

Quaestores parricidii (see parricidium) are said to have been appointed by the kings. Under the republic there were two, who prosecuted some capital cases before the people. They fade from our record by the 2nd cent. bce.Financial quaestors (perhaps not connected with them) were at first appointed by the consuls, one by each; after 447 bce (Tac.Ann. 11. 22) they were elected by the tribal assembly. Two were added when plebeians were admitted (421), to administer the *aerarium in Rome (hence urbani) under the senate's direction. Four more were instituted in 267 (Tac. loc. cit.; Livy, Per.15), perhaps called classici and stationed in various Italian towns, notably *Ostia (see food supply). More (we do not know how many and when) were added as various provinces were organized (Sicily even had two), until *Sulla, finding nineteen needed for all these duties, added one for the *water supply and raised the total to twenty.

Article

Ernst Badian and Andrew Lintott

Repetundae (pecuniae), (money) to be recovered. The quaestio de repetundis (see quaestiones) was a court established to secure compensation for the illegal acquisition of money or property by Romans in authority abroad. Before the establishment of the permanent quaestio, such offences were either brought before an assembly or tried by a panel of *recuperatores in a quasi-civil suit (Livy 43. 2). A civil procedure was also used originally to bring prosecutions in the quaestio, i.e. the actio sacramento, and a verdict of guilty was followed by an assessment of damages, *litis aestimatio, and simple repayment. C. *Sempronius Gracchus, finding this court corrupt and its senatorial jurors unwilling to convict fellow-senators, had a law passed (which may not be a lex Sempronia, but the lex Acilia mentioned by Cicero), of which major fragments survive on bronze (CIL 12. 583). It was a radical reform: those liable were now all senators, ex-magistrates, or their close relatives (but not *equites who did not fall into either of the last two categories); prosecution took place through denunciation to the *praetor, not a form of civil procedure; wronged parties or their delegates, even non-Romans, were themselves expected to prosecute; a 50-strong trial jury was drawn from an album of equites with no connections with the senate; the penalty was double repayment; rewards, including Roman citizenship, were offered to successful prosecutors; the whole trial procedure was set out in minute detail with emphasis on openness and accountability.

Article

Fergus Graham Burtholme Millar and Graham Burton

Salarium is a term used in the imperial period to denote regular payments to officials. *Augustus instituted the making of regular payments to senatorial and equestrian officials in the provinces (Cassius Dio 53. 15). The word salarium was used (Tac.Agr.42) for the pay of a proconsul which was 1,000,000 sesterces p.a. It is not specifically attested for the different sums paid to *procuratores. Fronto, for example, writes of stipendia (Ad Ant. P. 10). It is also used, for example, of the payment by the emperor to his quaestor Augusti (ILS 8973), payments by an emperor or governor to his comites (Suet.Tib.46; Dig. 1. 22. 4; 50. 13. 1. 8), and the payment by the *fiscus to regular advocati fisci. A few inscriptions are known in which soldiers, mostly evocati of the praetorian cohorts, describe themselves as salarii.

Article

Arnaldo Momigliano and Tim Cornell

In the time of the *Gracchi (c.133–121 bce) the senate was a body of around 300 wealthy men of aristocratic birth, most of them ex-magistrates. Although the sources tend to assume that this state of affairs had always existed, in fact it was the product of historical development and change. Since in the early republic there were very few magistrates, and iteration of office was common, it follows that there was a time when either the majority of senators had never held a magistracy, or their number was considerably less than 300. Probably both conclusions are true for the 5th cent. This must cast doubt on the notion that the number 300 is connected with the three tribes and thirty curiae (see curia(1)); in fact there is no basis for this theory in the ancient sources, and tradition itself implicitly denies it in maintaining that *Romulus, who founded the tribes (see tribus) and curiae, chose 100 men to form the first senate.

Article

Graham Burton

Tributum was a direct tax paid by individuals to the Roman state. Until 167 bce citizens of Rome were liable to pay a tributum which was in principle an extraordinary (in contrast to the regular vectigalia) levy on their property and might be repaid. The total size of the levy was decided by the senate and varied from year to year. In some years, e.g. 347–345, no tributum was levied. After its suspension in 167 bce this form of tributum was only again levied in the exigencies of the civil wars after Caesar's murder. Under the emperors Rome and Roman Italy were exempt from direct taxation. After 167 bcetributum came to denote the direct taxes raised in the provinces, either in the form of a land-tax (tributum soli) or poll-tax (tributum capitis). These were paid by all inhabitants of the provinces, whether Roman citizens or not, except by citizens of coloniae (see colonization, roman) which normally possessed the *ius Italicum and were consequently exempt, usually from both taxes (Dig.