Closely connected with this was the immeasurable field of enterprise.
The system of transacting business through mediate agency pervaded the
whole dealings of Rome. The state took the lead by letting all its
more complicated revenues and all contracts for furnishing supplies
and executing buildings to capitalists, or associations of
capitalists, for a fixed sum to be given or received.
persons also uniformly contracted for whatever admitted of being done
by contract--for buildings, for the ingathering of the harvest,(15)
and even for the partition of an inheritance among the heirs or the
winding up of a bankrupt estate; in which case the contractor--usually
a banker--received the whole assets, and engaged on the other hand to
settle the liabilities in full or up to a certain percentage and to
pay the balance as the circumstances required.