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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter XII - The Management of Land and of Capital


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Page 25


The starting-point of the Roman moneyed economy was of course money-lending; and no branch of commercial industry was more zealously prosecuted by the Romans than the trade of the professional money-lender (-fenerator-) and of the money-dealer or banker (-argent arius-). The transference of the charge of the larger monetary transactions from the individual capitalists to the mediating banker, who receives and makes payments for his customers, invests and borrows money, and conducts their money dealings at home and abroad--which is the mark of a developed monetary economy--was already completely carried out in the time of Cato.

The bankers, however, were not only the cashiers of the rich in Rome, but everywhere insinuated themselves into minor branches of business and settled in ever-increasing numbers in the provinces and dependent states. Already throughout the whole range of the empire the business of making advances to those who wanted money began to be, so to speak, monopolized by the Romans.

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