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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 XI - The Old Republic and the New Monarchy


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Page 130

It is very probable however that he did not confine himself. to that injunction--which applied merely to Italy--of a maximum amount of sums to be lent, but also, especially with respect to the provinces, prescribed maximum rates for interest itself. The enactments-- that it was illegal to take higher interest than 1 per cent per month, or to take interest on arrears of interest, or in fine to make a judicial claim for arrears of interest to a greater amount than a sum equal to the capital--were, probably also after the Graeco-Egyptian model,(71) first introduced in the Roman empire by Lucius Lucullus for Asia Minor and retained there by his better successors; soon afterwards they were transferred to other provinces by edicts of the governors, and ultimately at least part of them was provided with the force of law in all provinces by a decree of the Roman senate of 704.

71. At least the latter rule occurs in the old Egyptian royal laws (Diodorus, i. 79). On the other hand the Solonian legislation knows no restrictions on interest, but on the contrary expressly allows interest to be fixed of any amount at pleasure.

The fact that these Lucullan enactments afterwards appear in all their compass as imperial law and have thus become the basis of the Roman and indeed of modern legislation as to interest, may also perhaps be traced back to an ordinance of Caesar.

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