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Argentarius

(534 words)

Author(s): Degani, Enzo (Bologna) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] [1] Marcus Epigrammatic poet Writer of epigrams, probably identical with the rhetor of the same name who, in the Augustan era, was a pupil of Cestius Pius, and who is described by Seneca maior as a man of eloquence and caustic humour (contr. 2,6,11; suas. 7,7,12 etc.). Generally, his 37 mainly erotic-sympotic epigrams from the ‘Garland’ of Philippus are successful and elegant variations of conventional themes (notably Anth. Pal. 10,4 on the return of spring, cf. Leonidas, Anth. Pal. 1…

Navicularius

(1,161 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] As documented in literary and legal texts as well as in inscriptions from the end of the Roman Republic to Late Antiquity, the navicularii undertook the transporting goods by sea on ships which were either rented or owned. At times the navicularius was referred to as navicularius marinus (ILS 1432; 6971; 7029). The position, tasks and specific relationship of the navicularii in relation to the public administration were in a constant state of flux and, as a consequence, the navicularii of the Early Principate are not identical with those of Late Antiquity. The relationsh…

Banks

(2,042 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Banks as institutions whose specific task consists of arranging payment transactions, accepting deposits and granting credits, did not exist in the Ancient Orient. There is evidence of deposit and credit operations in ancient oriental societies of differing quantity and intensity, both in the domain of palace and temple economy and in individual private legal and economic transactions, but they were always subordinate to the respectively dominating redistributive an…

Caecilius

(6,633 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Will, Wolfgang (Bonn) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) | Et al.
Name of a plebeian gens (probably derived from Caeculus, older form is Caicilios, Greek Καικίλιος, Κεκίλιος [ Kaikílios, Kekílios]; ThlL, Onom. 12-14), whose existence is documented since the 5th cent. (since C. [I 1]), but who only gained importance in the 2nd cent.; their most famous branch were the C. Metelli (I 10-32). A later explanation related the name back to Caeculus, the legendary founder of Praeneste, or Caecas, a companion of Aeneas (Fest. p. 38). I. Republican period [German version] [I 1] C., Q. Supposedly people's tribune in 439 BC Supposedly people's tribune in 439 BC …

Societas

(534 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] Society (κοινοπραξία/ koinopraxía) based on a contract, known to Roman law from the late Republic. In its origins, it was probably influenced by archaic forms of a community based on kinship, esp. the consortium ercto non cito ('partnership by undivided inheritance') of brothers who did not wish to divide their father's estate (Gai. Inst. 3,154, v. also communio ). However, this influence was no longer of import to the legal development of the societas after the 2nd cent. BC. The societas was created by the conclusion of a contract of consent ( consensus

Maritime loans

(982 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] In ancient Greek, a maritime loan (ML) was called ναυτικά/ nautiká, ναυτικὸς τόκος/ nautikòs tókos or ναυτικὸν δάνεισμα/ nautikòn dáneisma (cf. nautikòn dáneion ) and in Latin it was called traiectitia or pecunia nautica; the expression fenus nauticum cannot be found before Diocletian. The first mention of a ML occurs in Babylonian texts; ML are documented in Greece from the 5th cent. BC on and continued into the Roman period and the Middle Ages. Although there are fewer sources available for the R…

Private wealth

(2,962 words)

Author(s): Spielvogel, Jörg (Bremen) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
I. Greece [German version] A. Definition A fragment of Lysias distinguishes between 'invisible' (ἀφανής/ aphanḗs) wealth (οὐσία/ ou sía), such as money, animals, slaves and equipment, and 'visible' (φανερός/ phanerós) wealth, such as land (Harpocr. s. v. ἀφανής). Spielvogel, Jörg (Bremen) [German version] B. Archaic Era The Protogeometric grave finds at Lefkandi ( c. 1050-850 BC) reflect the assets of aristocratic warriors in the 'Dark Ages': weapons, horses, and tools and equipment such as whetstones, snaffle bits and spits. In Homer, Odysseus' w…

Auctiones

(497 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris) | Schanbacher, Dietmar (Dresden)
[German version] I. History In Rome, auctiones, auctions, which were carried out by a magistrate, were designated as public in order to distinguish them from private auctions where the owner willingly sold part of his property. The magistrates arranged on the one hand the sectio bonorum, the auction of the goods of those who owed debts to the public, and on the other hand, the venditio bonorum, the forced auction of the goods of other debtors. The venditio bonorum, which is documented since the 2nd cent. BC, was a forcible measure taken by a creditor against a debtor who…

Licitatio

(95 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The Latin term licitatio, signifying a price offered during a sale, generally refers only to auctions; accordingly, the bidder is called licitator. Bidding took place by raising a finger ( digito licitus sit: Cic. Verr. 2,3,27; cf. 2,1,141). Beyond that, licitatio can generally denote the sale at auctions. In a figurative sense the word licitatio denotes illegal trade or corrupt behaviour (Cic. Verr. 2,2,133; Suet. Nero 26,2). Auctiones; Purchase Andreau, Jean (Paris) Bibliography 1 M. Talamanca, Contributi allo studio delle vendite all'asta nel mondo an…

Negotiator

(1,153 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The Latin term negotiator, apparent in literary texts from the end of the Republic and during the Principate in legal texts as well as in inscriptions, changed its meaning under Augustus. In the latter years of the Republican era, negotiator referred to a Roman citizen of Italian descent or to a non-Roman whose permanent place of residence, from where he pursued his private business interests, was outside of Italy or of the empire: agriculture, banking transactions, moneylending, trade - the decisive factor was that th…

Negotium

(398 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The Latin word negotium is the negation of otium and originally meant the nonexistence of leisure. However by the time of the earliest recorded Latin texts, negotium had acquired a positive meaning : it corresponds to the English word business, the German word ‘Geschäft’, and the French affaire. Even if the etymology of the word otium and the influence of the Greek ἀσχολία ( ascholía) on the concept is unclear, it is obvious that negotium and otium were regarded as opposites. In the sphere of politics, negotium sometimes stands for one particular undertaking, but m…

Manceps

(692 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The term manceps (formed from manus and capere) denotes a person who lays his hand on something in order to acquire it, as well as one who takes something on by means of a lease or acquires something by public auction. The term could also apply to entrepreneurs who undertook private contracts. Thus Suetonius refers to the great grandfather of Vespasian, the father of T. Flavius Petro, as manceps operarum, recruiting entire teams of agricultural workers in Umbria and hiring them out to the great estates in the Sabine territories (Suet. Vesp. 1,4; cf…

Exactor

(447 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The term exactor has two different meanings: on the one hand, exactores worked as supervisors and controllers in various sectors, on the other hand, within the Roman financial administration, an exactor was a debt collector. As evident in one of Pliny's letters (Plin. Ep. 9,37,3), on large estates exactores supervised that the coloni carried out their work correctly. In the building trade and in public building projects, exactores are epigraphically attested (CIL VI 8480 = ILS 1601; 8481; 8673; 8677 = ILS 1628; CIL XII 3070 = ILS 4844); in these …

Interest

(2,129 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt The early Mesopotamian documents (24th-21st cents. BC) that refer to  loans and advances from institutional bodies to private individuals allow us to surmise that interest was calculated, though without our being able to make any observations about the rates of interest. Instead of being made to pay interest, the debtor was often obliged to undertake agricultural work for the creditor [10. 117]. In the Early Babylonian period (19th-17th cents. BC) a sharp distinction was drawn between loans of grain (331/3 %) and loans of silver (20%…

Coactores

(244 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The coactores, first mentioned in Cato (Agr. 150), were tasked with collecting revenue. They had an intermediary function between creditors and debtors. For the most part they were active at auctions, partly in collaboration with argentarii. They conducted the tabulae auctionariae and received a fee that mostly amounted to one per cent of the sale price. Several indicators suggest that their occupation disappeared in the course of the 2nd cent. AD. The theory that the coactores and the coactores argentarii were identical is not convincing. The coactores argentarii s…

Mensarius

(165 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] As a state magistrate, the mensarius exercized the function of a money-changer or banker, and was responsible above all for state payments and expenditures. Some Greek city-states, e.g. Tenos in the 1st cent. BC (Cic. Flacc. 44) had such official bankers constantly available: they were called δημόσιοι τραπεζῖται ( dēmósioi trapezîtai). At Rome, this function existed only in exceptional situations, as during a debt crisis in the 4th cent. B.C. (352 B.C., Liv. 7,21,5ff.) and during the Second Punic War ( triumviri mensarii, Liv. 23,21,6; 24,18,12; 26,36,8). In ad…

Murecine Tablets

(399 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] About 70 wax tablets were found in 1959 in a house, which may have been the seat of a guild ( collegium [1]), on the Agro Murecine bordering on the river harbour of Pompeii on the Sarno. After the first incomplete edition by C. Giordano and F. Sbordone an exemplary edition was published by G. Camodeca in 2 volumes. The tablets belonged to a group of four freedmen or sons of freedmen, among whom C. Sulpicius Faustus and C. Sulpicius Cinnamus above all played an important role. As one of the tablets con…

Wages

(1,443 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Andreau, Jean (Paris) | Kuchenbuch, Ludolf (Hagen)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East There is evidence of wages as recompense for work done by labourers hired for limited periods in Mesopotamia from the mid 3rd millennium BC to the late Babylonian period (2nd half of 1st millennium BC), in Hittite Anatolia (2nd half of 2nd millennium BC) and in Egypt (from the Old Kingdom on). In Mesopotamia, the institutional households (Palace; Temple) of the Ur III period in particular (21st cent. BC) supplemented their own labour force (which received rations …

Paid labour / wage work

(1,078 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] PL, which is legally to be understood as the leasing of work (Latin locatio operarum), should not be confused with the leasing of a person, e.g. a slave ( locatio rei). The locatio operis faciundi must also be distinguished from the locatio operarum, being a contract for the completion of specific work (construction projects, public works, manufacture or repair of an object by an artist). An inscription from Puteoli (105 BC) gives a good example of such a locatio operis (CIL X 1781 = ILS 5317), the building of a wall on public land in front of the Temple of …

Calendarium

(269 words)

Author(s): Andreau, Jean (Paris)
[German version] The Roman calendarium was a register of  loans; the meaning of the word stems from the fact that loan agreements often came into force on the Kalendae, the first day of the month, and that the Kalendae or the Idus (mid-month) were commonly set as the day the loan became due. In their calendarium, private individuals kept a record in their of the sums they had loaned with interest, of the debtors, the provisions of the loan agreements and the due dates of the loans (Sen. Ep. 87,7; cf. Dig. 15,1,58). In the area of  public finances, the word calendarium could refer to the totalit…
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