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Power and Public Finance at Rome, 264-49 BCE$
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James Tan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190639570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190639570.001.0001

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Rich Rome, Poor State

Rich Rome, Poor State

(p.3) 1. Rich Rome, Poor State
Power and Public Finance at Rome, 264-49 BCE

James Tan

Oxford University Press

Rome grew richer and its governmental challenges grew more impressive, yet there was remarkably little growth in state capacity. A detailed survey of public and private wealth reveals that the treasury and the various branches of the state enjoyed very little expansion despite the extraordinary growth in private riches. This chapter explores the growth in the worth of private individuals, and gauges the relative stagnation of state capacity by examining the budget, the services of the state and the pattern of investment in urban infrastructure. Rome’s particular form of imperial exploitation was focused on enriching the elite, not enriching the public.

Keywords:   state, Rome, aristocracy, imperialism, treasury, tributum

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