Credit and Banking

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The title of this chapter implies that Roman financial life resembled modern practicein two important respects: firstly, that one of the core activities of the Roman bankingsector was to provide credit to its customers; and, secondly, that in the Roman world,just as in modern economic life, most financial credit was created by, or advancedvia banks. In recent decades, these assumptions have been scrutinised by scholarsinvestigating the literary, legal, and documentary record from the Roman world. Infact, when it comes to studying the Roman economy, credit and banking are twothemes which do not entirely overlap. The Roman economy was based heavily onagriculture, and credit was often advanced also in a non-monetary form. Within themonetised economy, a significant portion of Roman credit affairs was conducted with-out the involvement of the banking sector (compare chap. 19 by Eich). It relied onsocial networks and was based on family, patronage, instrumental friendship (amici-tia), and obligations between members of religious and professional associations (col-legia). A variety of financial specialists existed, belonging to different strata of society,with bankers forming a specific category within a much larger group
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbuch Antike Wirtschaft
EditorsSitta von Reden, Kai Ruffing
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherDe Gruyter Oldenbourg
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9783110570410
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameHandbücher zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte


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