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On Humanity, Chapter 6

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Chapter Summary

Credit was a structural feature of the Roman economy, extending through every segment of society and supporting all manner of personal, commercial, and political undertakings. Abusive lending and excessive debtmust have been routine, or at least they are routinely cited by ancient historians as leading causes of social tension. That lending without interest is taken up by three different Pentateuchal sources serves as an indication of its importance in Judaism, though in explaining how the practice ought to be observed they vary in such particulars as the status of the prospective borrower, the types of items involved, the motivation of the lender to participate, and the terms used to describe the transaction itself.

Keywords:interest; lending; Roman economy



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