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Financial Instruments

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how and to what extent the Romans used financial instruments (syngraphae, partes, nomina and permutationes) and institutions. These other forms of pecunia and ways of using money, by providing alternatives to coinage, limited Roman demand for coinage. The chapter examines the different kinds of financial transactions for which we have evidence and the terminology of such transactions in order to demonstrate that the Romans employed some forms of money or 'near money' which were, strictly speaking, intrinsically valueless (partes and syngraphae) or indeed purely notional (permutationes and nomina). When used, such instruments and institutions, though indicative of a highly monetized society, effectively reduced the demand for coinage. A transaction accomplished with nomina could be quick and easy but did not require the presence of any cash.

Keywords: coinage; financial instruments; nomina; partes; pecunia; permutationes; Roman demand; syngraphae



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