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Pecuniary Assets

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Chapter Summary

The purpose of this chapter is twofold: first, to explore the possibility that some assets beyond coinage and bullion, since they were readily usable for transactions at least in some monetary zones, did function as money; and secondly, to identify those other assets which, while not rising to the status of money were so important in fulfilling certain monetary functions (e.g. means of payment) that they reduced the demand for coinage. The chapter focuses primarily on the role of assets as means of payment and stores of wealth since the bulk of the available evidence addresses these functions. The absence of any significant alternative to coinage in the fulfillment of these roles demonstrates the considerable level of monetization achieved by the Romans in the late Republic.

Keywords: BCE; bullion; Cato; Cicero; coinage; monetary zones; pecuniary assets; Romans



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