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Lucius Cecilus Iucundus

(? - c. 62 CE)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Lucius Cecilus Iukundus
Author: shakko | Under the Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.
A bronze bust found in the House of Cecilus Iukundus may show Lucius Cecilus Jukundus or one of the household members.

Lucius Caecilius Iucundus was a Roman banker who lived in Pompeii in the years 20-62 CE. His house (the House of Cecilus Iukundus) has partially survived to our times; and was partially destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE

The banker’s house is known for its beauty and amazing find. On the upper floor of the house, in a wooden box, documents were found in 1875, which were scratched into a layer of wax covering a wooden tablet measuring approximately 10 by 12 cm. Over the centuries, the wax disappeared from the tablets, but the inscriptions remained more or less visible. A metal stylus was used for writing, which, having cut through the wax, also marked the wood. All but one document records financial transactions between 27 and 62 CE. These documents are a huge database of information about the daily life of the Romans.

Scientists on the basis of the accounts deduce that the Pompeian banker was born at the end of the reign of Emperor Octavian Augustus around 14 CE, presumably the son of the liberator Lucius Cecilius Felix, who was also a banker (this is evidenced by a bill from 15 CE). By the age of fifty-some, Jukundus was a well-placed banker for whom many freedmen and slaves did business such as: signing receipts in which sellers officially confirmed that Jukundus had paid them the sum owed; or collecting payments from customers. Many Pompeian patrician names appear on his payrolls, proving that Jukundus offered services to high society as well. We know that the banker even travelled to Nuceria to help Publius Alfenus Varus – the senior centurion of the Praetorian Guard – resell the slaves bought at auction.

Iukundus was the type of banker who was called – argentarius. He was a combination of an auctioneer, broker and lender. Not only did he collect a commission from the sellers, but he also lent money at interest to buyers to enable them to buy the product.

Iukundus had at least two sons: Caecilius Iucundus Metellus and Quintus Caecilius Iucundus.

Wax tablets found in his home suggest that Iukundus died in the earthquake on February 5, 62 CE; the last records are a few days before the cataclysm.

Sources
  • Beard Mary, Pompeje. Życie rzymskiego miasta, Poznań 2010
  • Niczyporuk Piotr, Bankierzy i operacje bankierskie w starożytnym Rzymie

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