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The Demand For Roman Money

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Chapter Summary

Coins competed with bullion, financial instruments and other forms of pecunia which could in certain circumstances perform monetary functions. The supply of coinage grew dramatically in the late Republic. Demand theory posits that money is just one of many forms in which wealth can be held and that an individual’s demand for money will depend on the utility and potential returns offered by a range of assets. At Rome and in other urban areas the demand for money for transactions must have been quite high relative to rural demand. Governmental transactions demand probably also rose dramatically in the late Republic, with payments in coin assuming a larger proportion of total expenses. On the whole, therefore, it is unlikely that the growth of banking and related professions in the late Republic did much to reduce the demand for coinage outside of the realm of traders and the elite.

Keywords: coinage; demand theory; governmental transactions; late Republic; pecunia; Roman money

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