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date: 08 December 2022



  • 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.


  • Ancient Economy
  • Roman Law

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