Classics Banking in the Roman World
by
Marta García Morcillo
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 May 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0312

Introduction

In ancient Rome, banking practices achieved a significant level of complexity and private bankers became necessary figures of urban everyday life. The ancient evidence stresses the involvement of bankers in a wide range of private transactions, as well as their positive contribution to the monetary life of Italian and provincial cities. The understanding of these activities and their integration in the Roman society permits to sketch a more comprehensive picture of the Roman economy and emerges as a relevant factor of comparative studies in economic history. Private bankers (argentarii, nummularii, coactores) fulfilled a series of distinctive practices associated with their profession. Services included money-changing and the assaying of coins. They also acted as cashiers to clients and opened monetary deposits. As was the case in classical Greece, the holding of accounts was key in distinguishing the professional dealings of Roman bankers from those of other financiers, businessmen, and moneylenders. Irregular or open deposits permitted the banker to reuse and reinvest the money of the client. This is a defining trait of modern banking as well. In Italy and the West, bankers also participated in auctions as financial intermediaries between vendor and purchaser. They kept records of all operations and concluded written agreements with their clients and third parties. Ancient Roman banking thus concerned a great variety of operations and financial practices. These are crucial to assess the relevance and level or complexity of the monetary transactions in which they were involved. Traditional and ongoing scholarly debates revolve around the social status of bankers, the scale and networking of their businesses, and the level of sophistication of Greco-Roman banking in comparison to other economic practices and systems. They also address the question of the impact of banking on Rome’s monetary history and on the endemic problem of liquidity. The study of private banking draws also interesting comparative questions about the absence of public banks and public debt in Rome and the specific financial functions of the state treasure (aerarium) in times of monetary difficulties. Research on Roman banking has been fuelled by heterogeneous evidence, from inscriptions to legal texts and cross-genre literature. Particular scholarly attention has been drawn in the last decades to the extraordinary archives from 1st century CE Campania: the wax-tablets of the banker Lucius Caecilius Iucundus and those belonging to the Sulpicii, financers from Puteoli. The study of papyri from Roman Egypt has also significantly contributed to shed light on the widespread integration and diversification of banking practices beyond Italy, where the majority of epigraphic material comes from, and has given fresh impetus to new approaches to ancient economies.

Scholarly Debates and Perspectives

More than any other practice, monetary deposits were the trademark and essence of private ancient banking. Raymond Bogaert (Bogaert 1968), was the first author to provide a definition of Greek banks or trapezai, which he expanded and slightly modified in his research on Roman Egypt in Bogaert 2000. The prolific and exhaustive contributions by Jean Andreau have dominated the studies of Roman banking since the publication of his historical study of the Iucundus archive, Andreau 1974, and a comprehensive monograph on private bankers in the Roman West up to the 3rd century CE, Andreau 1987. M. I. Finley’s traditional view of ancient banking as an activity eminently underdeveloped still resounds in modern debates about the economic relevance of this business. As Andreau (Andreau 1987, Andreau 1999) has critically noted, research still navigates largely between the dichotomy of archaism versus modernity. In his view, professional bankers created a great variety of financial mechanisms and practices that were deeply integrated in the daily life of the Romans. He further asserts that the amounts and the financial enterprises that deposit bankers and their networks moved remained within a relatively limited scale, compared with the volume of business of financers from other social orders. From a legal perspective, Petrucci 1991 discusses the concept mensam exercere, which he describes as any banking enterprise, being it conducted by professional bankers or not. Camodeca’s comprehensive edition and studies on the Sulpicii archive (Camodeca 1999), a group of financiers linked to the harbor of Puteoli, has led to differentiated views about the defining traits of private bankers, their functions, and economic impact. Traditional and new trends are discussed in depth in the edited collective volume homage to Bogaert, Verboven, et al. 2008. From a modernist perspective, Rathbone and Temin 2008 have argued that Roman banking represented a broader business that transcended social orders and that enclosed activities such as moneylending. The authors point out that from the 2nd century BCE banking provided a significant impetus into the credit market and the monetary economy. Recent works on Roman finances in the light of the influential new institutional economies have moved the focus toward different angles and forms of analysis, such as the application of information economics and particularly information asymmetries in the study of banking operations and relationships, such as in Lerouxel 2016.

  • Andreau, J. 1974. Les Affaires de Monsieur Jucundus. Rome: École Française de Rome.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An in-depth, commented edition and historical study of the wax-tablets of the Pompeian banker Lucius Caecilius Iucundus.

    Find this resource:

    • Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. - IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This is the most exhaustive analysis of Roman professional bankers, their activities, and the socioeconomic context in which they operated. This far-reaching monograph is a deep-seated work that also shows the relatively limited economic scale of the businesses led by private bankers. Andreau defines banking as a commercial business receiving deposits from clients to whom the banker provides cashier services, including the lending of funds to third parties.

      Find this resource:

      • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        This book updates some of Andreau’s most relevant research on Roman financial practices up to the 3rd century CE. It discusses the variety of operations and documents concerning the subject and establishes the ground differences between different categories of financers.

        Find this resource:

        • Bogaert, R. 1968. Banques et banquiers dans les cités grecques. Leiden, The Netherlands: Sijthoff.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Bogaert’s French revision of his pioneer PhD thesis is a cross-temporal examination of banking business in Greek cities from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century CE. The author concludes that Greek private banks were in origin deposit banks.

          Find this resource:

          • Bogaert, R. 2000. Les opérations des banques de l’Égypte romaine. Ancient Society 30:135–269.

            DOI: 10.2143/AS.30.0.565562Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            The author discusses here different activities attached to deposit accounts that Roman-Egyptian bankers held for their clients. This task was the quintessence of the profession, while the documents do not single out credit as a crucial practice.

            Find this resource:

            • Camodeca, G. 1999. Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum. Edizione critica dell’archivio puteolano dei Sulpicii (Vetera 12). 2 vols. Rome: Quasar.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              Accurate edition of the tablets and historical study of the documents and the operations they attest. The author suggests the hypothesis that the Sulpicii, whose activities were linked with the credit market of the harbor of Puteoli, would have been private bankers, possibly argentarii.

              Find this resource:

              • Lerouxel, F. 2016. Le marché du crédit dans le monde romain. Rome: École française de Rome.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                In this monograph on the Roman credit market, the author analyzes the important function of institutions, formal and informal, in the success and development of financial activities.

                Find this resource:

                • Petrucci, A. 1991. Mensam exercere: Studi sull’impresa finanziaria romana: (II secolo a.C.-metà del III secolo d.C.). Naples, Italy: Giovane.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  According to Petrucci, mensae were banking enterprises engaged in partnerships and networked economic organizations.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Rathbone, D., and P. Temin. 2008. Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 371–419. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    The authors attribute to Roman banking a major financial and economic function, which involved not only banks, but also brokers, partnerships, and filial structures that would have played a relevant part in the funding of economic enterprises. In their view, Roman banking achieved a high level of complexity that can be compared with that reached by 18th-century English banks.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Verboven, K., K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, eds. 2008. Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      This homage to Raymond Bogaert provides a far-reaching overview of the state of play of studies in Greco-Roman finances, discusses well-known sources and new evidence, and proposes new interpretations on the economic impact of ancient banking.

                      Find this resource:

                      Roman Professional Bankers: Origins, Evolution and Functions

                      According to Andreau 1987, Roman professional bankers distinguished themselves from other financers by their capacity to hold deposits and thus open accounts (rationes). They also acted as money changers and coin assayers, as not all coins minted officially were considered valid currency. During the Principate, money changing was mostly attested in Greek inscriptions, as local currency still circulated in Greek cities. Bankers obtained a commission on these practices, held monopolies, and were liable to the payment of a municipal tax (Andreau 1999). Bankers were also creditors and cashiers, and made payments on behalf of their clients. The earliest deposit bankers (argentarii) were attested in the Roman Forum between 318 and 310 BCE. They were influenced by Athenian bankers (trapezitai). Plautus’ Comedies provide the earliest testimony of bankers as money changers, assayers, and deposit holders, as stated by Andreau 1968. From the 2nd century BCE, argentarii began participating as intermediaries at auctions and supplying credit to purchasers. The nummularii, money changers and assayers, became deposit bankers in the 2nd century CE. Coactores were money receivers specialized in auctions. In the 1st century BCE, there were also coactores argentarii, deposit banker and receivers, as seen in Andreau 1987 and Bürge 1987. Unlike Andreau, Temin 2013 has proposed a more unifying interpretation of the terminology that defined banking functions and professions. Private bankers in the West are recorded up to the second half of the 3rd century CE, when the profession seems to have vanished after a long decline linked with the progressive devaluation of currency and the inflation of prices, according to Andreau 1999. Argentarii, now primarily silversmiths, are documented again by 330 CE. Toward the end of the 4th century, they again started accepting deposits. This function is traced at least until the end of the 6th century CE. According to Bogaert 1994, in the Eastern Roman Empire, including Egypt, private bankers (trapezai) held deposit and acted as cashiers, but they did not seem to have participated at auctions. Andreau 1987 has shown that Roman professional bankers did generally belong to low social strata. No knight or senator is known to have ever acted as professional banker. Bankers rarely interacted with members of the elite, who tended to resort to more powerful moneylenders and socially equals for credit agreements, Howgego 1992. As a contrast, works like Barlow 1978, Harris 2006, and Kay 2014 propose that until the beginnings of the 1st century BCE, Roman bankers regularly engaged with members of the elite.

                      • Andreau, J. 1968. Banque grecque et banque romaine dans le théâtre de Plaute et de Térence. Mélanges de l’École française de Rome: Antiquité 80:461–526.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        This early article provides a socioeconomic analysis of the use of bankers in Roman comedy. The author discusses the Greek influences and the Roman contextualization of the plays to conclude that they reflected well-known contemporary activities familiar to the audience.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Coactores are only documented in the area of Rome and Ostia, which in the author’s opinion was due to the high concentration of financial and commercial activity in both cities. Andreau distinguishes Roman professional bankers from other categories of financiers, such as negotiantes or negotiatores and faeneratores. Many bankers were freedmen and some are attested as apparitores, magistrates’ officers. On the basis of the available evidence, the author sustains that the volume of businesses of professional Roman bankers remained generally low.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Andreau details here the techniques followed by professional assayers to verify the value of coins and their official status. One of the common practices was the weighting, which was done on a trutina or small balance.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Barlow, C. T. 1978. Bankers, moneylenders and interest rates in the Roman Republic. London: Univ. Microfilm International.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              Barlow does not clearly differentiate between the social categories of financiers and presents a homogeneous view of finance and financiers. He suggests that members of the elite might have resorted to deposit bankers.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Bogaert, R. 1994. Trapezitica Aegyptiaca. Recueil de recherches sur la banque en Égypte gréco-romaine. Papyrologica Florentina 25. Florence: Gonnelli.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This contribution shows that public banks (demosiai trapezai) in Roman Egypt coexisted with private bankers and were in charge of payments made by the state and of the collection of taxes.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Bürge, A. 1987. Fiktion und Wirklichkeit: soziale und rechtliche Strukturen des römischen Bankwesens. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte (Romanistische Abteilung) 104:465–558.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  This article provides a detailed insight into the legal aspects of banking agreements and contractual obligations, as well as into the social organization of banks.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Harris, W. V. 2006. A revisionist view of Roman money. Journal of Roman Studies 96:1–24.

                                    DOI: 10.3815/000000006784016215Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Harris considers that argentarii played a fundamental role in the creation of credit and money (pecunia) beyond the supply of bullion. He suggests an early relationship between bankers and elite members, and explains the possible collapse of private bankers at the beginning of the 1st century BCE on account of the increasing use by the elite of credit mechanisms like the delegatio debitoris and of moneylenders from higher social ranks.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Howgego, C. 1992. The supply and use of money in the Roman world, 200 B.C. to A.D. 300. Journal of Roman Studies 82:1–31.

                                      DOI: 10.2307/301282Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Howgego discusses here the connection between money supply and circulation and the mechanisms of credit. According to the author, commercial credit—especially short-termed—was practiced by different types of moneylenders and financiers, including professional bankers.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Kay, Ph. 2014. Rome’s economic revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

                                        DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681549.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Following Harris, the author argues that by the middle Republic bank deposits were socially transversal and played a relevant part in the significant jump of the Roman monetary economy. The author highlights the contrast between the economic flourishing of private bankers in the 2nd century BCE, and their possible collapse in the following century suggested by the lack of evidence.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Temin, P. 2013. The Roman market economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          The author disagrees with the differentiation of types of banks and bankers proposed by Andreau and Bürge, and believes that argentarius was a generic denomination that encompassed different functions and specializations, including that of nummularii and coactores.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          Private Bankers: Documents, and Sources

                                          The available evidence on professional bankers in the Roman West consists of literary sources and, to a greater extent, of epigraphic material (Andreau 1987). Around one hundred inscriptions—provides valuable information on the social context and the geographical distribution of argentarii, nummularii, coactores and coactores argentarii between the 1st century BCE and the 3rd century CE. Legal literature, particularly the Digest, highlights specific functions of bankers as account-keepers. The most relevant documents concerning Roman banking are the 153 wax tablets found in the Pompeian house of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus in 1875. They were in the first place published by K. Zangemeister in Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL), shortly afterward analyzed by Mommsen 1877, and later thoroughly studied by Andreau (Andreau 1974). The tablets, in the form of triptychs, are records of operations dating from the 20s to the 60s. of the 1st century CE. According to Andreau, Iucundus was an argentarius, as the majority of the documents are receipts of payments made by Iucundus to sellers at auctions. A commission of the sale (merces) was deducted from the price as remuneration of the banker. Iucundus would have offered credit to buyers. Fifteen tablets from the archive deal also with tax allocations between Iucundus and the city of Pompeii. While Andreau considers this evidence not strictly related to Iucundus’s profession as banker, Rathbone and Temin 2008 suggest that the banker would have acted as financial intermediary between farmer and the city in public locationes. Other relevant testimonies concerning private banking are Egyptian papyri. The majority of these documents are diagraphai, acknowledgements of payments agreed by the bank and preserved by clients, as Bogaert (Bogaert 1994, Bogaert 2000) has demonstrated. They show that private bankers dealt strictly with practices related to the deposit of their clients and did not act as moneylenders (Lerouxel 2008).

                                          • Andreau, J. 1974. Les Affaires de Monsieur Jucundus. Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            The author shows the relatively modest figures of the credits granted by Iucundus and the auction sales in which he was involved.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Andreau’s assembly of available ancient evidence is stunning and demonstrates the need to approach the study of professional bankers from multiple perspectives: economic, social, legal, political. The quantitative evaluation of inscriptions and their distribution show that Roman banking was particularly intensive in the Italian peninsula: around 20 percent of these testimonies are attested outside Italy, while Rome and Ostia concentrated a significant number of them.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Bogaert, R. 1994. Trapezitica Aegyptiaca. Recueil de recherches sur la banque en Égypte gréco-romaine. Papyrologica Florentina 25. Florence: Gonnelli.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                The author notes that the most of existing papyrological documents attesting private banking in Egypt deal with practices linked to deposit accounts.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Bogaert, R. 2000. Les opérations des banques de l’Égypte romaine. Ancient Society 30:135–269.

                                                  DOI: 10.2143/AS.30.0.565562Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Bogaert reveals important quantitative data on Roman Egyptian banking. He has identified 298 papyri concerning banking, 90 percent of which concern activities linked with deposits.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Lerouxel, Fr. 2008. La banque privée romaine et le marché du crédit dans les tablettes de Murecine et les papyrus d’Égypte romaine. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 169–197. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    According to Lerouxel, the most common practice of private Egyptian bankers would have been the cashier service linked to clients’ deposits.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Mommsen, Th. 1877. Die pompeianischen Quittungstafeln des L. Caecilius Jucundus. Hermes 12:88–141 (= Gesammelte Schriften III, Berlin 1907:221–274).

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      In this early study, Mommsen connects the tablets of Iucundus with the lex metalli Vipascensis, which was discovered only one year later (1876). This regulation attests the participation of argentarii in the auctions celebrated within the imperial mining district of Vipasca.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Rathbone, D., and P. Temin. 2008. Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 371–419. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        The authors believe that the documents of the Iucundus archive, as happens with those of the Sulpicii, would have represented just a part of a larger bunch of accounts belonging to a large banking firm. In their view, Iucundus was a businessman as well as a banker, and while he also collected payments from contractors on behalf of the municipal authorities.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Private Bankers as Deposit Holders

                                                        According to Bogaert 1968, Cohen 1992, and Andreau 1987, the fundamental function of Greek and Roman banks was to open and manage money deposits from clients. Several texts from the Digest describe these bank accounts as rationes. The operations, obligations, and overdrafts derived from them had to be registered by the banker in a codex. The records relating to a particular client, being publicly available, could be legally required, according to Verboven 2009. Deposits could be sealed or non-sealed (also called irregular). The former were returned untouched, while the later may have been reused and reinvested by the banker (Andreau 1999). They could be short- or long-term. Legal authors considered that deposits should not involve interest rates, as seen in Bürge 1987; a point Finley 1999 uses to argue underdevelopment in Roman banking. In Andreau’s view, however, remunerated deposits might have also existed, even if they were regarded as loans by Roman jurists. Petrucci 1991 integrates the account practices linked to bank deposits as essential traits of the mensa and of mensam exercere, a concept that, according to him, defined the banking enterprise. One of the services provided by bankers (argentarii and later nummularii) to their clients was the receptum argentarii, through which payments to third parties could be made on their behalf (Andreau 1999). Bankers also lent money and managed properties of clients. One of the key questions scholars have attempted to answer regards the level of complexity of banking businesses. Modern banking mechanisms like transmissible cheques are not attested in the ancient world, although non-transmissible ones seem to have been documented in Egypt (Bagnall and Bogaert 1975). Transfers between banks were possible, as they are attested in Egypt (Bogaert 1994), but we do not know if they could also be concluded between cities and different regions. Andreau 1999 sustains that Roman bankers operated locally and on a small scale and would have been rarely engaged in banking networks or long-distance operations. One of their essential functions as intermediaries would have been to bring together debtors and creditors and to reduce the risks attached to asymmetric information (Lerouxel 2016).

                                                        • Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. - IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          In La vie financière, Andreau demonstrates the central role played by deposit accounts in banking businesses.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Unlike Finley, the author defends that non-remunerated deposits could be attached to other forms of recompense for the client. In his view, deposits, personal, and local relationships played a fundamental part in the monetary economy and should not be regarded as a sign of archaism. Andreau explains also the functioning of the receptum, which bonded the banker with a third party, while it liberated the client from any obligation with the latter.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Bagnall, R. S., and R. Bogaert. 1975. Orders for payment from a banker’s archive: Papyri in the collection of the Florida State University. Ancient Society 6:79–108.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              The article examines a series of documents containing orders addressed to a banker to pay a sum to a third person.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Bogaert, R. 1968. Banques et banquiers dans les cités grecques. Leiden, The Netherlands: Sijthoff.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                A key contribution to understand the organization of private bankers in Greek cities and their main activities, based on deposit accounts.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Bogaert, R. 1994. Trapezitica Aegyptiaca. Recueil de recherches sur la banque en Égypte gréco-romaine. Papyrologica Florentina 25. Florence: Gonnelli.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  The author discusses the possibility of the existence of operations between non-associated banks. The evidence available is silent in this regard.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Bürge, A. 1987. Fiktion und Wirklichkeit: soziale und rechtliche Strukturen des römischen Bankwesens. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Romanistische Abteilung 104:465–558.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Bürge scrutinizes the content of several passages from the Digest that made clear that interest-bearing deposits should be considered as loans.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Cohen, E. 1992. Athenian economy and society: A banking perspective. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Cohen contextualizes the activities and environment of Athenian bankers and situates, as Bogaert does, the relationship with clients through deposit as the center of their activities.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Finley, M. I. 1999. The ancient economy. 3d ed. Sather Classical Lectures 43. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Finley’s classic work discusses the limitations of ancient banking and points at the lack of remunerated deposits suggested by the legal sources as a sign of archaism and a real obstacle for the development of Greek and Roman financial system.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Lerouxel, F. 2016. Le marché du crédit dans le monde romain. Rome: École française de Rome.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Lerouxel highlights the role of private banks in Egypt as institutions of financial information, and asserts that the banker facilitated contacts between creditors and debtors and created a space of trust that made operations more effective. Loans did generally function without the participation of bankers. They appear when amounts are considerable and involve big cities.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Petrucci, A. 1991. Mensam exercere: Studi sull’impresa finanziaria romana: (II secolo a.C.-metà del III secolo d.C.). Naples, Italy: Giovane.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            The author explores the concept of mensa as an enterprise defined by a series of operations that in his view were as a whole recognized as a cohesive legal category.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Verboven, K. 2009. Currency, bullion and accounts: Monetary modes in the Roman world. Revue Belge de Numismatique 155:91–124.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This article describes the different mechanisms (e.g., delayed and absentee payments, nomina transcripticia, delegatio debitoris, permutationes, etc,) that limited the use of cash in banking practice. The author considers nevertheless that the contribution of bankers to currency and monetary economy should not be overestimated.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              Private Bankers as Intermediaries at Auctions

                                                                              Auctions played a significant role in ancient Roman wholesale and retail markets. A great variety of goods were sold daily through this transfer system: from slaves to animals, from agricultural products to estates, furniture, and precious objects. This socially transversal sale-system characterized by its visibility has drawn above all the attention of Roman law historians, led by Talamanca 1954 and Thielmann 1961. Auctions were conducted by a public crier (praeco), who announced the bids and assigned the good to the best bidder (generally the highest), according to Rauh 1989. A Roman innovation regarding this prolific institution was the participation, at least from the 2nd century BCE, of argentarii as financial intermediaries at auction sales. They provided credit to purchasers and advanced the amount of the sale to sellers (Thomas 1957; Andreau 1974). The different contractual obligations set up between vendor, purchaser, and banker (Petrucci 2008), and the key role played by the latter contributed to dynamize these operations and to accelerate the circulation of money (Andreau 1999). Bankers, including money-receivers or coactores, were granted a perceptual commission of the sale, which included an indirect tax of 1 percent, the centesima rerum venalium, that fed the military treasure, Aerarium militare (García Morcillo 2008). This function is specifically attested in the tablets of Iucundus and the Lex Metalli Vipascensis (Thielmann 1961). Bankers also kept registers of the auctions (tabulae auctionariae or auctionales), which included the nature of the object(s) sold, its prices, and the name of sellers and purchasers. According to Lerouxel 2008, the irruption of bankers specialized in auction-sales reflected a period of prosperity of Roman finances and economy.

                                                                              • Andreau, J. 1974. Les Affaires de Monsieur Jucundus. Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                The author discloses the seventeen cases of loans advanced by the banker to purchasers at auctions and concludes that the commission retained by Iucundus would have included the 1 percent tax.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Andreau discusses the geographical distribution of attested coactores, mostly concentrated in the city of Rome and in Ostia, as well as the rise of coactores argentarii in the 1st century BCE as a result of the increasing participation of bankers at auctions.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    The Iuncudus archive and other evidence show that the loans advanced by bankers at auctions were short-term and did not exceed one year, which is an indicator of the relative low-risk of this operation. The function of bankers as intermediaries is attested until mid-3rd century CE, which suggests a collapse of this practice in connection with the “crisis of the 3rd century.”

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • García Morcillo, M. 2008. Auctions, bankers and public finances in the Roman world. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 257–275. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This article discusses the contribution of Roman bankers to the collection of the indirect taxes deducted from the price of the sale at auctions, the centesima auctionis or rerum venalium (1 percent) and the vicesima venalium mancipiorum (4 percent on sales of slaves). It contextualizes their creation as part of the fiscal reforms undertaken by Augustus and detects the export to Egypt of the role of coactores (komaktores) acting as receivers of the tax.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Lerouxel, Fr. 2008. La banque privée romaine et le marché du crédit dans les tablettes de Murecine et les papyrus d’Égypte romaine. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 169–197. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        The author brings attention to the fact that credit at auctions provided by private bankers was attested between the 1st century BCE and mid-3rd century CE, when bankers disappeared from records. Lerouxel highlights the importance of this function in the Roman economy.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Petrucci, A. 2008. Riesame del ruolo dei banchieri nelle auctiones private nel diritto classico romano. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 277–300. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Petrucci focuses on the legal arrangements and contractual relationships through stipulations and other mechanisms that arose from the financial intermediation of bankers at auctions. These operations separated, on the one hand, the obligations of the banker toward the vendor and, on the other, of the purchaser toward the vendor or dominus auctionis, which allowed the latter to claim for compensation in case of payment failure.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Rauh, N. 1989. Auctioneers and the Roman economy. Historia 38:451–471.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This article examines the social and economic status and the role of praecones as criers of public and private auctions, but also as apparitores of magistrates.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Talamanca, M. 1954. Contributi allo studio delle vendite all’asta nell mondo classico. Memorie dell’Accademia dei Lincei, serie VIII. 6. Rome: Academia Nazionale dei Lincei.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              In this fundamental work, Talamanca integrates Greek and Roman sources, including legal texts and papyri and offers a wide-ranging insight into auctions as characteristic and popular practices in the ancient world. One of the most relevant conclusions of this contribution is that bankers were not involved in the contracts of sales but just provided financial intermediation between the actors.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Thomas, J. A. C. 1957. The auction sale in Roman law. The Juridical Review 1:42–66.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Thomas analyzes the participation of argentarii in auctions and compares the differences between the irregular legal coverage of this practice and the heterogeneous information provided by literary and epigraphic sources.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Thielmann, G. 1961. Die römische Privatauktion, zugleich ein Beitrag zum römischen Bankierrecht. Berliner Juristische Abhandlungen 4. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  The author scrutinizes the content of the 2nd century CE Lex metalli Vipascensis, which regulated the private auctions linked with the exploitation of the mines within the imperial district of Vipasca (Ajustrel). Wells, slaves, donkeys and other items linked with the mines were here auctioned through an argentarius.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  Commercial Topography of Bankers

                                                                                                  Roman professional bankers are usually linked to commercial areas, markets, and harbors. Andreau 1987a has collected and studied all epigraphic documents mentioning bankers. The unequal distribution of the available evidence makes it difficult, however, to assess their ubiquity in urban areas in Italy and the provinces, according to Rathbone and Temin 2008. In the city of Rome, only nine from twenty-six attested funerary inscriptions of argentarii mention their location, which included commercial places like the Forum Esquilinum, the area of the temple of Castor, the Forum Vinarium, and the Macellum Magnum (Andreau 1987b). Authors such as de Ligt 1993, Lo Cascio 2000, and more recently Holleran 2012 have studied the close connections between bankers and retail markets and fairs. The funerary monument of the argentarius L. Calpurnius Daphnus, linked with the Neronian Macellum Magnum, a gigantic food-market located on the Caelian Hill, depicts the deceased banker in the center of the image, holding a fish and a codex of tablets in his hands and flanked by two basket carriers. The scene clearly points out at his prestigious role as financial intermediary at fish auctions. Funerary reliefs tend to present bankers at the counters of their tabernae, while they count and weigh coins or write records on the tablets. Andreau 2000 and Storchi Marino 2000 have shown the links between bankers (e.g., Iucundus), and periodic markets, such as the nundinae, which took place every seven or eight days in Italian towns. As the Sulpiciii tablets show, Camodeca 1999 (cited under The Financial Activities of the Sulpicii), the nundinae of Pompeii and Puteoli were the days in which auctions used to take place.

                                                                                                  • Andreau, J. 1987a. La vie financière dans le monde romain. Les metiers de manieurs d’argent (IVe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Andreau’s chapters on the geographic distribution of bankers is exhaustive and provides valuable ideas on the attachment of these professionals to markets and well-frequented areas of urban centers.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Andreau, J. 1987b. L’espace de la vie financière à Rome. In L’Urbs. Espace urbain et histoire (Ier siècle av.J.-C.-IIIème siécle après J.-C.). Actes du colloque international organisé par le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Rome, 8–12 mai 1985). Collection de l’École française de Rome 98, 157–174. Rome: École française de Rome.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      In this article, Andreau studies the topographic distribution of bankers and banking activity in the city of Rome. The author discusses the socioeconomic contextualization of literary and epigraphic evidence and proposes an interesting hypothesis about the progressive decentralization of commercial and financial activities in the Urbs, from the Republican Forum to the districts.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Andreau, J. 2000. Ler marchés hebdomadaires du Latium et de Campanie au Ier siècle ap. J.-C. In Mercati permanenti e mercati periodici nel mondo romano. Atti degli Incontri Capresi di Storia dell’Economia Antica (Capri, 1997). Edited by E. Lo Cascio, 69–81. Pragmateiai 2. Bari, Italy: Edipuglia.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        This article is devoted to the role of the weekly markets or nundinae as days chosen not only for the celebration of auctions, but also for payments and transactions concluded with the intermediation of bankers.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Holleran, Cl. 2012. Shopping in ancient Rome: The retail trade in the late Republic and the Principate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698219.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          An accurate and well-documented study of Roman retail trade, including auctions and financial intermediation, mostly focused on occupations, activities and archaeological remains from the cities of Rome, Ostia, and Pompeii.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Ligt, L. De. 1993. Fairs and markets in the Roman Empire: Economic and social aspects of periodic trade in pre-industrial society. Amsterdam: Gieben.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            A wide-ranging monograph devoted to temporary markets and fairs both in the Eastern and Western provinces. De Ligt draws particular attention to interconnectivity and makes a convincing use of cross-temporal comparative material.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Lo Cascio, E., ed. 2000. Mercati permanenti e mercati periodici nel mondo romano. Atti degli Incontri capresi di storia dell’economia antica (Capri 13–15 ottobre 1997). Pragmateiai 2. Bari, Italy: Edipuglia.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This collective volume addresses several relevant questions on the relationships between markets, actors, and the role of institutions. Banking and financial intermediation emerge as a significant engine of commercialization. The role of the networks of nundinae and the intercity relationships is particularly highlighted.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Rathbone, D., and P. Temin. 2008. Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 371–419. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                The authors discuss the question of the proliferation of professional bankers in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. They estimate that there would have been at least a thousand banks in Rome and Italy in this period. This hypothetical calculation raises potential objections on account of the fact that the vast majority of available testimonies have been found in Rome and in Ostia.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Storchi Marino, A. 2000. Reti interregionali integrate e circuiti di mercato periodico negli indices nundinarii del Lazio e della Campania. In Mercati permanenti e mercati periodici nel mondo romano. Atti degli Incontri Capresi di Storia dell’Economia Antica (Capri, 1997). Edited by E. Lo Cascio, 93–130. Pragmateiai 2. Bari, Italy: Edipuglia.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  In this contribution, Storchi Marino attempts to reconstruct the networks of markets in the towns recorded by the indices nundinarii from Latium and Campania. These were commercial calendars issuing merchants, vendors, purchasers, and financial intermediaries.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  Financial Intermediation and the Credit Market in the Roman World

                                                                                                                  Scholars often address the question of the types, variety, and impact of financial activities beyond the specialized functions attributed to private bankers. In the Roman world, anyone could borrow and lend money. The term faenerator designated men who specialized in interest-bearing loans. Verboven 2008 considers that many of these businessmen provided professional credit intermediation and contributed positively to the economy. Among moneylenders, there were also members of the elite. Verboven 2002 and Ioannatou 2006 have extensively researched the business activities and the financial practices linked to members of the equestrian and senatorial aristocracy at the end of the Republic. Some powerful faeneratores that interacted with the elite are attested in the Ciceronian corpus, such as Cluvius and Vestorius who, based in the harbor town Puteoli, acted as financial intermediaries, but also lent money to cities in Asia (Andreau 1999). Another well-known example of financier is the case of the knight C. Rabirius Postumus, who was a credit intermediary. According to Verboven 2008, these non-professional businessmen did not compose a cohesive group. The volume of business moved by these entrepreneurs was very different from the activities of professional bankers. These financial activities and their use of systems of credit through written mechanisms of accounting encouraged monetization and seem to have been complementary to the practices and functions of professional bankers, according to Von Reden 2012 and Temin 2004. The possibility that financial intermediaries and moneylenders could open accounts is a topic keenly debated. Andreau 1999 and Verboven 2008 exclude this possibility. Rathbone and Temin 2008 challenge this view by insisting on the monetary sophistication of the systems of credit beyond deposit banking. Besides social categorizations and comparative analyses on the volume of businesses, the question of the capacity of Roman financial services and instruments to boost the monetary economy remains a crucial one, according to Lerouxel 2012–2014.

                                                                                                                  • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    The author insists on the idea that non-sealed deposits of money were exclusively held by professional bankers, even if members of the elite practiced sophisticated financial mechanisms, such as permutationes. Beyond elite members, Andreau considers affairistes or “entrepreneurs” as businessmen and moneylenders that did not belong to the aristocratic circles but had close relationships with them.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Hollander, D. 2007. Money in the late Roman Republic. Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 29. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004156494.i-196Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A valuable work on the uses of coinage and its evolution at the end of the Republic. Hollander addresses here debates such as the increase of monetization and the creation of standards of value. A significant part of the book is dedicated to financial instruments that contributed to the system, such as permutationes and nomina.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Ioannatou, M. 2006. Affaires d’argent dans la correspondance de Cicéron, L’Aristocratie sénatoriale face à ses dettes. Paris: De Boccard.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        This book scrutinizes the complex financial instruments and agreements attested in the Ciceronian correspondence, which were supported by solid networks of social relationships that facilitated economic information.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Lerouxel, Fr. 2012–2014. Le marché du crédit privé, la bibliothèque des acquêts et les tâches publiques en Égypte romaine. Annales 67:943–976.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          The article focuses on the credit economy and the use of institutions to palliate the asymmetric information that affected money transactions and trust. One of these institutions was, in Egypt, the Library of acquisitions (bibliothêkê enktêseôn), which provided information on the security supplied by the borrower. The author shows that this system had a positive impact on the monetization of transactions from the end of the 1st century CE.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Lo Cascio, E., ed. 2003. Credito e moneta nel mondo romano: Atti degli Incontri capresi di storia dell’economia antica (Capri 12–14 ottobre 2000). Pragmateiai 8. Bari, Italy: Edipuglia.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            This collective work proposes a re-examination of the relationship between credit and monetization in relation to the Roman economy, the problem of liquidity and bullion supply, and the role of the state.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Rathbone, D., and P. Temin. 2008. Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 371–419. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              The authors support the idea that the activities of Roman bankers transcended the limited economic function traditionally attributed to them. They argue that the system of accounting used by bankers and moneylenders, which included entries of transfers (nomen transcripticium), witness statements (testationes), and the use of kalendaria, made it possible to create systems of credit without cash being involved in the operations.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Temin, P. 2004. Financial intermediation in the early Roman Empire. Journal of Economic History 64.3: 705–733.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0022050704002943Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                The article identifies and discusses Roman financial structures and mechanisms and concludes that the sophistication of bank accounts and of the credit system could be compared with that of the most advanced modern preindustrial societies.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Verboven, K. 2002. The economy of friends: Economic aspects of amicitia and patronage in the late Republic. Collection Latomus 269. Brussels: Latomus.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Verboven discusses here importance of social relationships and networks in the construction of information economies that enabled financial affairs in which the elite participated.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Verboven, K. 2008. Faeneratores, negotiators and financial intermediation in the Roman world (Late Republic and early Empire). In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 211–230. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    In the author’s view, even if faeneratores did not hold accounts or represented a cohesive social group, they fulfilled an important role as credit intermediaries at different levels, including productive loans.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Von Reden, S. 2012. Money and finances. In The Cambridge companion to the Roman economy. Edited by W. Scheidel, 266–286. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CCO9781139030199.017Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This article analyzes different forms of financial intermediation and highlights the importance of mechanisms that contributed to monetary circulation, such as nomina, delegationes, transcriptiones, and permutationes.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      The Financial Activities of the Sulpicii

                                                                                                                                      The archive of the Sulpicii consists of a collection of wax tablets found in 1959 in a house in the area of Murecine, near Pompeii. The Sulpicii were a group of financers from Puteoli. The documents attest operations from 26 CE to 61 CE, just before the earthquake of 62 CE. The tablets record commercial loans agreed by the Sulpicii, as well as sales at auction of pledged items, including slaves and grain, that were given to them by borrowers as securities for credits. The documents also show that members of the senatorial elite invested money through the Sulpicii. The documents and agreements concluded by the Sulpicii show a considerable volume of business, as has been pointed out by Gröschler 2008 and Petrucci 2016. The tablets have been accurately edited by Camodeca 1999, who considers that the Sulpicii were professional bankers. He is followed by Rathbone and Temin 2008. Gröschler highlights the use of typical banking mechanisms in the tablets. Andreau 1999 puts forward the idea that they might have been instead faeneratores and not bankers, as no deposit activity seems to be deducted from the available documents. Verboven 2003 and Verboven 2008 reinforces this argument and consider that the profitability of the businesses of the Sulpicii points also in this direction. In this regard, see also Lerouxel 2008 and Lerouxel 2016.

                                                                                                                                      • Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and business in the Roman world. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Andreau notes that the commercial loans in which the Sulpicii were involved surpassed the amounts detected in the contemporary tablets of the banker Iucundus. The author underlines that they acted as sellers of pledged goods at auction-sales, and not as financial intermediaries, as was usual in the case of argentarii and does not identify any operations typical of bank accounts.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Camodeca, G. 1999. Tabulae Pompeianae Sulpiciorum. Edizione critica dell’archivio puteolano dei Sulpicii. 2 vols. Vetera 12. Rome: Quasar.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          A fundamental work that provides not only an accurate commented edition of the tablets but a valuable socioeconomic interpretation and historical contextualization of the businesses of the Sulpicii in the harbor city of Puteoli and in relation to other Campanian documents.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Gröschler, P. 2008. Die Mittel der Kreditsicherung in den tabulae ceratae. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 301–319. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            The author explores here high specialization of the Sulpicii in monetary credits and their flexible use as security instruments. These practices would have been similar to those typically concluded by bankers.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Lerouxel, Fr. 2008. La banque privée romaine et le marché du crédit dans les tablettes de Murecine et les papyrus d’Égypte romaine. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 169–197. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              The author discusses the close link between the credit market and the auction sales of pledged goods. Following Andreau and Verboven, Lerouxel also believes that the Sulpicii were foremost specialist moneylenders and that the nature and amount of their credit activity would have been significant. None of the texts shows these financers in typical positions of argentarii or coactores.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Lerouxel, F. 2016. Le marché du crédit dans le monde romain. Rome: École française de Rome.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                The archive from Puteoli provides evidence of professional financiers specialized in moneylending. Lerouxel underlines their active role in financial intermediation, which had a relevant impact on the monetary economy of the harbor city of Puteoli and its interregional and maritime enterprises.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Petrucci, A. 2016. Banchieri e vendite all’asta private tra tarda Repubblica e Principato. In Special issue: L’economia delle passioni. Etica, diritto e mercato finanziario tra antico e moderno. Edited by M. Frunzio. Cultura giuridica e diritto vivente 1–14.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  According to Petrucci, regardless their specific professional categorization, as bankers or moneylenders, the Sulpicii fulfilled juridical roles that met those typical of professional bankers.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Rathbone, D., and P. Temin. 2008. Financial intermediation in first-century AD Rome and eighteenth-century England. In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 371–419. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    The authors follow the hypothesis that the Sulpicii were professional bankers who held deposits for their clients. These functions included their role as creditors. These accounts are in the authors’ view suggested by mandata (authorizations on behalf of clients), by documents that attest paper transactions into and out of the clients’ accounts, and by the apochae (receipts) that might have been related with paper transactions between clients of the bank.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Temin, P. 2013. The Roman market economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Temin asserts that the Sulpicii archive provides the only evidence for the involvement of banks in uadimonia, mutual sureties offered at a hearing by the parties to a legal dispute.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Verboven, K. 2003. The Sulpicii from Puteoli, Argentarii or Faeneratores? In Hommages à Carl Deroux III. Histoire et épigraphie, droit. Edited by P. Defosse, 429–445. Collection Latomus 270. Brussels: Latomus.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        The author discusses here the main arguments and evidence about the professional category of the Sulpicii. In his view, we do not have solid arguments to deduce that the Sulpicii had deposit accounts with their clients or that they would have acted as bankers instead of as sellers in the auctions of pledged goods recorded in the tablets.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Verboven, K. 2008. Faeneratores, negotiatores and financial intermediation in the Roman world (late Republic and early Empire). In Pistoi dia tèn technèn: Bankers, loans, and archives in the ancient world: Studies in honour of Raymond Bogaert. Edited by K. Verboven, K. Vandorpe, and V. Chankowski, 211–230. Studia Hellenistica 44. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Verboven argues that credit intermediaries and moneylenders like the Sulpicii did not normally accept deposits as this was not a very profitable financial instrument for individuals or for societates specialized in commercially orientated enterprises.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          back to top

                                                                                                                                                          Article

                                                                                                                                                          Up

                                                                                                                                                          Down