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PUBLICANI 100.00%
The Romans gave this name to those who did business with the State by becoming contractors for public buildings and for supplies, and to farmers of public lands, especially those who farmed the public taxes (vectigalia) for a certain time, on payment of a fixed sum. In Rome, as indeed throughout the ancient world (cp.TELONAe), the collection of taxes was made not by paid officials, but by farmers of taxes, who belonged to the equestrian order, as the senators were excluded from such business. The farmers of taxes, by the immense profits which they made, became a politically powerful class of capitalists. As the various taxes in the different provinces were let out as a whole by the censors, joint-stock companies were formed, societates publicanorum, whose members received a proportionate return for their invested capital. One member, the manceps, made a tender at the public auction, concluded the contract with the censors, and gave the necessary security. The duration of the contract was a lustrum, i.e. the period between one censorship and another, in imperial times always five years; it began on the 15th of March. The general superintendence was given to a magister societatis in Rome, who vacated office every year; the management of details was in the hands of numerous officials. According to the amount of the taxes farmed, the publicani received special names. The highest class, decumani, were the farmers of the decuma, the tenth part of the produce of the agricultural lands which had been taken from the old possessors. The pecuari or scripturarii, were the farmers of the scriptura, the tax levied for the use of the State pastures. The conductores portoriorum were the farmers of the portoria, the import and export dues, etc. In order to make the greatest possible gain, the publicani were guilty of the most grievous oppression of the provincials, whose only hope of relief lay in the governor, who was rarely able to help them for fear of these influential societies. Under the Empire the position of the provincials was improved; for the emperor, as the governor-in-chief of all the provinces, heard the final appeal in the case of any grievances. In imperial times, the decumani ceased to exist, and the letting out of taxes was entrusted to the official boards specially concerned with them.
 
PORTORIUM 33.12%
The custom levied by the Romans upon imports and exports; it was introduced as early as the time of the kings, and was generally leased to publicani (q.v.). In 60 B.C. it was abolished for Italy, but was re-introduced by Caesar for foreign goods, and after that time always continued to exist. Free and allied cities were, in earlier times, allowed to levy the customs for their own territory, but from these Romans were to be exempt. Under the emperors customs were levied not only at the frontier of the Empire, but also at the frontiers of the several provinces or of combinations of provinces united in one excise-district. Besides this the percentage levied on the purchasing price of articles was different in different districts. The export of many articles was forbidden, especially of corn, oil, wine, salt, iron, and gold.
 
TELONAE 23.90%

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Among the Athenians, these were the farmers of the taxes and imposts, which were not collected by State officers, but were sold at certain times by auction to the highest bidder. Smaller taxes were taken up by single persons who collected the money themselves. For larger taxes demanding a large capital, companies were often formed, represented by one person called the telonarches, who concluded the contract with the State. Sureties had also to be produced on this occasion. Such companies employed subordinate officers to collect the taxes. The payments were made by the farmers at certain periods at the senate-house, or bouleuterion, and one payment was usually made in advance when the contract was made. In default of payment, the farmer became atimos, and in certain circumstances might be imprisoned. If the debt was not paid by the expiration of the 9th prytaneia, it was doubled, and the property of the debtor and his sureties confiscated. The atimia descended to the children until the debt was paid. On the other hand, the farmer was protected by the State against fraud by severe laws. He was also exempt from military service, so that he might not be hindered in performing his duties. For the similar institution among the Romans, see PUBLICANI.
 
VECTIGALIA 15.91%
 
TAXES 14.81%

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In Athens, as in the free states of Greece generally, the citizens were freed from every personal tax; only for their slaves they had to pay the triobolon, a yearly poll-tax of three obols (4d.) for each. On the other hand, among the residents who were not citizens, the metoeci (q.v.) paid a yearly protection tax of twelve drachmae (8s.) for each independent man, and six drachmoe for every woman who managed her own house, and the freedmen paid the triobolon in addition. Besides this, all tradesmen who were not citizens had to pay a trade tax. (For extraordinary taxes on property see EISPHORA; for the more or less costly public services undertaken by wealthy citizens, see LEITOURGIA.) As indirect taxes may be mentioned: (1) the tax of 1 per cent. on the selling price paid at the sale of a piece of land. (2) The market tax, which was paid, partly at the gates, partly at the place of sale, by strangers and metoeci for the wares offered for sale in retail dealing; different articles were charged at different rates. (3) The tax on imports and exports, which was 2 per cent. on all imported or exported goods without distinction of kind. The State did not levy its dues and taxes itself, but caused them to be let out to individuals or companies by special officials, called the Poletoe (q.v.). (See TELONAe.) As at Athens, so under the Roman Republic, there was no direct taxation for citizens, except the property tax raised in extraordinary cases. (See TRIBUTUM.) The Roman citizen paid indirect taxes in the harbour tax (see PORTORIUM), and the tax introduced after 357 B.C. on the manumission of slaves at the rate of 5 per cent. of the value of the slave set free (vicesima manumissionis). Both taxes were let by the State to publicani (q.v.). Rome did not receive from her allies in Italy either direct or indirect taxes, apart from the obligations as to supplying soldiers and ships imposed on them by the alliance. After the right of citizenship was granted to them in 89 B.C. they were placed on the same footing as the citizens with respect to indirect taxes. But the provinces had to pay all the more to Rome, partly by direct, partly by indirect taxation. Yet, especially with regard to the former, there was no similarity of treatment, but every province had its own form of taxation, which, as a rule, was assimilated to the system existing in it at the time of its conquest. Some provinces paid a fixed yearly sum (see STIPENDIUM), which was raised by communal districts through the chief towns of each district, while others paid a certain quota of the varying produce of the cultivated land in the province (see DECUMA), which was farmed out to publicani. The provinces felt indirect taxation chiefly through the harbour tax, and indeed every province seems to have formed a separate fiscal district. Under the Empire it was only the indirect taxes that were at first made higher for the citizens, as Augustus added to the taxes on harbours and manumission the centesima rerum venalium, 1 per cent. on the price of articles sold at auctions; the quinta et vicesima mancipiorum, or 4 per cent. on the price of every slave bought, and the vicesima hereditatum et legatorum, of 5 per cent. on all inheritances above 100,000 sesterces, which did not fall to the nearest blood-relations, and on all legacies. The freedom of the citizens from direct taxation continued unimpaired, and when Caracalla, in 212 A.D., had granted to all free subjects of the Empire the right of citizenship, Italy, at least, maintained its freedom from taxation, until Diocletian (in 284) removed the last distinctions between the inhabitants of Italy and of other parts of the Empire, and introduced into Italy the same taxation as obtained in the provinces. It had in course of time been reduced to a more uniform system, on the basis of a general census of the Empire. The chief tax was the land tax (tributum soli), the total sum of which was promulgated every year by the emperor for the whole Empire, and divided amongst the provinces according to the number of taxable units (iuga or capita) which each province was set down as containing in the periodically revised registers. Connected with this tax in money were contributions in kind to the imperial stores for the army and the officials, who had a claim to them. The male and female population of the country not possessing land paid after a certain age (20-25 years) a poll tax (tributum capitis), the amount of which was fixed by imperial ordinance, and for women was about half the sum imposed on men. Citizens resident in towns, and not possessing land, paid a tax partly on their property, partly, as far as they happened to be engaged in a trade, on their working capital and on the trade itself. The taxes apportioned to each town with its districts were raised by tax collectors (exactores), but the decuriones, or members of the municipal senates (see MUNICIPIUM), were responsible for the amount and had to advance it themselves.
 
PROVINCIA 8.79%

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A territory acquired by the Romans outside the limits of Italy, subject to the payment of taxes and administered by a governor. Under the Republic, the organiza- tion of a conquered lands a province was managed by the conquering general, with the advice of a commission of ten senators, who were nominated by the Senate and received their instructions from that body. The previous administration was altered as little as possible, so far as it was not in conflict with the interests of Rome. The lex provincioe thus established fixed for the future the form of government. The first provinces were Sicily (from 241 B.C) and Sardinia with Corsica (from 231). Their number rose under the Republic to fifteen, i.e. (besides the two already mentioned), the two provinces of Spain (Ulterior and Citerior), Illyria, Macedonia, Achaia, Asia Minor, the two Gauls (Transalpina and Cisalpina), Bithynia, Cyrene and Crete, Cilicia, Syria. Their governors were either propraetors (at first praetors) or proconsuls. The Senate decided which provinces were to be consular, which praetorian; and the consuls and praetors had their respective provinces assigned to them by lot. In the case of the consuls this was done immediately after their election; in the case of the praetors, after their actual accession to office. When their year's office was completed, they proceeded as proclonsuls and propraetors to their provinces, and stayed there a year until they were relieved by their successors, unless, as frequently happened, it proved necessary to prolong their imperium.</sense> It was towards the end of the Republic (52 B.C.), that it became a rule that no consul or praetor should be allowed to be governor of a province until five years after he had ceased to hold his office. The Senate also settled for every governor his supply of money, troops, ships, and subordinates. These last included one or more legati, a quoestor, and a numerous staff. In the governor's hands was concentrated the entire administrative power over the province. He commanded the garrison troops, he had the right of raising a levy of Roman citizens and provincials alike, and of making requisitions to obtain the means for war. He also possessed jurisdiction in criminal and civil cases, in the former, with power of life and death, except that Roman citizens had right of appeal (provocatio). While it was carefully prescribed how much the governors could require from the provincials for the support of their person and attendants, their powers made it possible for them to enrich themselves by all manner of extortion, and this became the rule to a most extraordinary extent. Against such oppression the provincials had no protection, so long as the governor's office lasted. It was only on its termination that they could in earlier times lay a complaint before the Senate, which seldom led to anything; while, after 149 B.C., they had open to them the procedure of bringing a charge of extortion, which was attended with great difficulty and expense. (See REPETUNDARUM CRIMEN.) These extortions were repeated anew year after year, together with the exorbitant demands of the tax-collectors (see PUBLICANI); and the governors, when invoked against them, in spite of their authority, rarely ventured to interpose, from fear of the equestrian plutocracy. The result was, that, at the end of the Republic, the provinces were in absolute poverty. A real improvement in their condition was brought about by the regulations enforced under the Empire, when some provinces attained a high pitch of prosperity. In 27 B.C. Augustus divided the then existing provinces into imperial and senatorial. He entrusted ten, in a state of complete tranquillity, to the Senate; viz. Africa, Asia Minor, Achaia, Illyria or Dalmatia, Macedonia, Sicily, Crete with Cyrene, Bithynia, Sardinia, and South Spain. He took into his own hands the twelve which still required military occupation. These were: North Spain, Lusitania, the four provinces of Gaul (Narbonensis, Lugdunensis or Celtica, Aquitania, and Belgica), Upper and Lower Germany, Syria, Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt. Changes were made in this partition later on; but the provinces acquired after 27 B.C. fell to the emperor. For the senatorial provinces the governors were appointed on the whole in the ancient manner, i.e. by the lot, and for one year; but with this difference, that five, and afterwards ten to thirteen, years had to elapse after the consulship or praetorship before past consuls or past praetors proceeded to their provinces. The former received the provinces which were from the very first called consular, viz. Asia and Africa, the latter the others, which were praetorian; but both sets of governors alike were styled proconsuls, and were attended by the same retinue as heretofore. The imperial provinces, which became three times as numerous by the time of Trajan, were governed by the emperor himself through deputies whose continuance in office depended on the will of the emperor who appointed them. These deputies, according to the importance of the province, were either of consular or praetorian rank, legati Augusti pro proetore (see LEGATI), or procuratores (q.v.). Egypt alone, which was governed as an imperial domain, was under a proefectus(q.v.). The financial administration of the senatorial provinces was managed by quaestors; that of the imperial, by procurators, who also collected in the senatorial provinces the revenues directly due to the emperor. Augustus established a fixed stipend for all officers outside Rome, and thus afforded a real relief to the oppressed provincials. Considerable alleviation was also secured for them by the limitation to the employment of State tax-collectors. The same result was promoted by the longer continuance of the administration in the imperial provinces, and the greater facilities granted for bringing an indictment, by means of a regular procedure before the Senate. Moreover the emperor, after the proconsular power over all provinces had been conferred on Augustus, 23 B.C., ranked as the highest authority over all the governors, and heard complaints as well as appeals.
 
COMMERCE 4.59%

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Greece. In the Homeric poems the Greeks are not represented as a people with a spontaneous inclination to commerce. Indeed, the position of the oldest Greek cities, far away from the sea, sufficiently shows that their founders can have had no idea of trade as a means of getting wealth. Greek navigation in ancient times was almost exclusively subservient to war and piracy, to which, for a long time, no stigma was attached in public opinion. And the trade carried on with Greece by the Asiatics, especially the Phoenicians, who then ruled the Greek seas, can hardly have been very active. The Greeks, having no agricultural or industrial produce to offer, could not have tempted many foreigners to deal with them. But in the centuries succeeding the Homeric age, the commerce of Greece was revolutionized. The islands, especially Aegina and Euboea, were foremost in commercial undertakings; the only continental town which was at all successful in this way being Corinth, which was favoured by its incomparable position. It was the foundation of the Hellenic colonies in Asia Minor that first occasioned the free development of Greek trade. The exertions of the Ionians were mainly instrumental in creating two things indispensable to its success, namely, commercial activity, excited by contact with the ancient industries of the East, and a maritime power in the proper sense, which made it possible to oust the Phoenicians from the naval supremacy which they had so long maintained. This new commercial activity necessitated a larger use of the precious metals, and the establishment of a gold and silver coinage, which the Ionians were the first among the Greeks to adopt. This proved a powerful stimulus to the development of commerce, or rather it was the very condition of its existence. Miletus took the first place among the trading colonies. The influence of these cities upon their mother country was so strong that even the Dorians gradually lost their national and characteristic dislike of trade and commerce, and threw themselves actively into their pursuit. Down to the 6th century B.C., Greek commerce had extended itself to the coasts of the Mediterranean and the inland seas connected with it, especially towards the East. It was not until a later time that Athens joined the circle of commercial cities. Even in Solon's time the Athenians had lived mainly by agriculture and cattle-breeding, and it was only with the growth of the democratic constitution that their commercial intercourse with the other cities became at all considerable. The Persian wars, and her position as head of the naval confederacy, raised Athens to the position of the first maritime power in Greece. Under the administration of Pericles she became the centre of all Hellenic activity, not only in art and science, but in trade. It was only Corinth and Corcyra whose western trade enabled them to maintain a prominent position by the side of Athens. The Greeks of Asia Minor completely lost their commercial position after their conquest by the Persians. The naval supremacy of Athens, and with it its commerce, was completely annihilated by the Peloponnesian war. It was a long time before the Athenians succeeded in breaking down the maritime power of Sparta which that war had established. Having done so, they recovered, but only for a short time, a position of prominence not at all equal to their former supremacy by sea. The victory of the Macedonian power entirely destroyed the political and commercial importance of Athens, whose trade now fell behind that of other cities. The place of Athens, as the first maritime and commercial power, was taken by the city of Rhodes, founded in 408 B.C. By the second half of the 4th century B.C. the trade of Rhodes had extended itself over the whole known world, and its maritime law was universally observed until a much later period. After the destruction of Corinth in the middle of the 2nd century B.C. the island of Delos enjoyed a brief but brilliant period of prosperity. Among the commercial cities of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, Alexandria in Egypt took the first place, and rose indeed to be the centre of European and Eastern trade. It was mainly through Alexandria that intercourse was kept up between Greece and the Eastern countries opened up by the campaigns of Alexander the Great. One of the most important routes followed by Grecian traffic was that leading to the Black Sea, the coasts of which were fringed with Greek colonies. Besides Byzantium and Sinope, the chief commercial centres in this region were Olbia, Panticapaeum, Phanagoria, and Phasis, from which trade-routes penetrated far into the barbarian countries of the interior. Other main routes led by Chios and Lesbos to the coasts of Asia Minor and by the Cyclades to that part of the Asiatic coast where lay the great cities of Samos, Ephesus, and Miletus. Hence they continued to Egypt and Cyrene, by Rhodes and Cyprus and the coast of Phoenicia. But in travelling to these parts from the Peloponnesus, they generally sailed by way of Crete, which had been long celebrated for its maritime enterprise. Round the promontory of Malea, the southernmost point of the Peloponnese, and by Corcyra, they sailed northwards to the coasts of the Adriatic, or westward to Italy and Sicily Regular traffic beyond Sicily was rendered impossible by the jealousy of the Carthaginians and Etruscans, who were masters of the commerce in this region, and whose place was afterwards taken there by the Romans. A considerable land-traffic was carried on by the colonies with barbarians of the interior. But in Greece, Proper the mountainous nature of the country and the absence of navigable rivers were unfavourable to communication by land, and the land-traffic accordingly was entirely thrown into the shade by the maritime trade. The only opportunity for commerce by land on a large scale was afforded by the great national festivals, which brought together great crowds of people from every part of Greece, and secured them a safe conduct (see EKECHEIRIA). In this way these festivals exactly corresponded to our trade fairs. The exports of Greece consisted mainly in wine, oil, and manufactured goods, especially pottery and metal wares. The imports included the necessaries of life, of which Greece itself, with its dense population, artificially increased by slavery, did not produce a sufficient quantity. The staple was wheat, which was imported in large quantities from the coasts of the Black Sea, Egypt, and Sicily. Next came wood for houses and for ships, and raw materials of all kind for manufacture. The foreign manufactures imported were mostly objects of luxury. Finally we should mention the large number of imported slaves. Comparing the circumstances of the ancient Greek maritime commerce with those of modern trade, we may observe that the ancients were much hampered by having no commission agencies and no system of exchange. The proprietor of the cargo sailed with it, or sent a representative with full powers. No transaction was carried on without payment in ready money, which was often rendered difficult by the existence of different systems of coinage. With uncivilized tribes, notably those on the Black Sea, a system of barter long maintained itself. As no goods could be bought without cash payments, and men of property generally preferred to lend out their capital to borrowers at high interest, a system of bottomry was extensively developed in Greek maritime trade. The creditor usually took care in lending the capital necessary for loading the ship, to secure a lien on the ship, or the cargo, or both. With this he undertook the risks of the business, charging interest at a very high rate, generally 20 to 30 per cent. The written contract contained other specifications as to the ship and the rate of interest, for the breach of which certain customary penalties were fixed. These had reference to the destination of the ship, and, generally speaking, to the route and the time to be occupied, to the character and value of the wares, and to the repayment of the loan; the latter to determine whether it should be made on the ship's arriving at its destination, or on its return home. In the first case the creditor would often sail with the ship, if he had no representative on the spot or at the port for which she was bound. At Athens, and no doubt in other cities, the interests of the creditor were protected by a strict code of laws. Fraudulent appropriation of a deposit was punishable with death; dilatoriness in payment with imprisonment. The creditor was allowed to seize not only the security, but the whole property of the debtor. In other respects Athenian legislation secured several advantages to traders, Commercial cases only came before the law courts in winter, when navigation was impossible, and they had to be decided within a month. In ordinary cases of debt the creditor could only seize on the debtor's property; but in commercial cases he was liable to e imprisoned if condemned to payment. In other matters aliens had to be represented in court by a citizen; in commercial cases they could appear in person. It was the duty of the Thesmothetae to see to the preparation of these cases. The trial was carried on and the verdict given by a special tribunal, the Nautodicae (see NAUTODICAe). Merchants could easily obtain the considerable privilege of exemption from military service, though they were not legally entitled to it. In general it may be said that the Greek states, in consideration of the importance of trade, went very far in providing for its interests. They did their best to secure its safety and independence by force of arms, and concluded treaties with the same end in view. This is especially true of those agreements which regulated the legal relations of the citizens of the two states in their intercourse with each other, and prescribed the forms to be observed by the citizens of one state when bringing suits against those of another. The institution of proxeni, corresponding to that of the modern consuls, was of immense benefit to the trading community. The Greek governments did a great deal in the way of constructing harbours, warehouses, and buildings for exchange in the neighbourhood of the harbours. The superintendence of the harbour traffic, like that of the market traffic, was entrusted to special government officials; in Athens, for instance, to the ten overseers of the Emporium (see AGORANOMI). The Athenians had also a special board, called metronomi, to see that the weights and measures were correct. It was only in exceptional cases that the freedom of trade was interfered with by monopolies, nor was it usual to lay prohibitions upon imports. Prohibitions of exportation were, however, much commoner. In many states, as e.g. in Macedonia, it was forbidden to export building materials, especially wood for ship-building; and no grain might be exported from Attica. Again, no Athenian merchant was permitted to carry corn to any harbour but that of Athens; no citizen or resident alien could lend money on the security of ships carrying corn to any place but Athens. Even foreigners who came with corn into the harbour of Athens were compelled to deposit two-thirds of it for sale there. To prevent excessive profits being realized in the corn trade, it was made a capital offense for any private citizen to, buy up more than 50 bushels at a time, or sell it at a profit of more than an obolos a bushel. The corn trade was under the superintendence of a board called sitophylakes. In the prevailing activity of commerce, the tolls on exports and imports were a plentiful source of revenue to the Greek government. In Greek society petty trading was thought a vulgar and sordid pursuit, and was left to the poorer citizens and resident aliens. In Athens the class of resident aliens included a great number of the larger dealers; for the wealthier and more respectable citizens liked lending their capital to others engaged in trade better than engaging in trade themselves. Italy. In Italy an active commerce was early carried on at sea by the Etruscans, the other Italian peoples taking only a passive part in it. But Rome, from a very early time, became the commercial centre of Middle Italy. It was situated on a river deep enough to admit large vessels, the upper course and tributaries of which were also navigable. Its position was much improved by the harbour at the colony of Ostia, said to have been constructed under king Ancus Martius. So long as the Etruscans and Carthaginians and (as in later times) the Greek cities of Southern Italy and Sicily, like Tarentum and Syracuse, ruled the sea, the maritime power and commerce of Rome were restricted within very narrow limits. Even as late as the middle of the 4th century B.C. the traffic of Rome was confined to Sardinia, Sicily and Africa. But, with the extension of the Roman power, Roman commerce assumed wider dimensions. At the end of the republican period Roman ships were on every sea, and there was a flourishing interior trade in Italy and all the provinces. Wherever there was a navigable river it was used for communication with the happiest results. After the second Punic War, Rome gradually acquired the character of a great commercial city, where the products of the whole world, natural and industrial, found a market. The most considerable import was corn, and this at all periods of Roman history (see ANNONA). The chief exports of Italy were wine and oil, to which we must add, after the development of Italian industry, manufactured goods. The trading harbour of Rome was Puteoli (Pozzuoli), on the Bay of Naples, while Ostia was used mainly by corn-ships. Petty dealing was regarded unfavourably by the Romans as by the Greeks; but trade on a large scale was thought quite respectable, though in older times members of the senate were not allowed to engage in it. Most of the larger undertakings at Rome were in the bands of joint-stock companies (see PUBLICANI), the existence of which made it possible for small capitalists to share in the profits and risks of commerce. It was indeed an old maxim of business men at Rome that it was better to have small shares in a number of speculations than to speculate independently. The corn trade, in particular, was in the hands of these companies. The government allowed them to transport corn from Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, Africa, and Egypt to Rome; whole fleets of vessels, constructed for the purpose, being appointed to this service. Foreign trade was subjected to a number of restrictions. The exportation of certain products was absolutely prohibited; for instance, iron, whether unwrought or manufactured, arms, coin, salt, and gold; and duties were levied on all imports. There were also numerous restrictions on trade in the interior, as each province formed a unit of taxation, in which toll had to be paid on entering or leaving it. Among the state monopolies, the most important was that of salt.
 
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