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Regulating huge amounts

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Regulating huge sums in Rome
Regulating huge sums in Rome

In ancient Rome, giant and expensive properties were often bought. The question we still don’t know the answer to is how huge amounts were settled.

A great example is 62 BCE, when Cicero bought a huge and extremely expensive house from Marcus Crassus, on the prestigious Palatine – a hill on which later imperial palaces were located. The total amount of sales was 3.5 million sestertii or about 3.5 tons of silver. However, we do not have information as to how the above amount was settled with Crassus. It is hard to believe that Cicero would organize a group of slaves, who would transport huge amounts of coins to the seller.

It can be presumed that the payment was simply settled in the form of gold bars, which would require the transport of fewer wagons or simply forms of securities. The problem is, however, that we do not have much evidence of the existence of a more advanced Roman banking system or credit people.

  • Beard Mary, SPQR. Historia starożytnego Rzymu, Poznań 2016
  • Plutarch, Cicero

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