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Rome's Economic Revolution$
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Philip Kay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681549.001.0001

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State Finance and the lex Sempronia de provincia Αsia

State Finance and the lex Sempronia de provincia Αsia

(p.59) 4 State Finance and the lex Sempronia de provincia Αsia
Rome's Economic Revolution

Philip Kay

Oxford University Press

By the last quarter of the second century bc, provincial taxation represented a larger proportion of the revenue coming into Rome. Taxes were already being levied in Sicily, Spain, and Macedonia; and, by 120 bc at the latest, the Romans were taxing their new province of Asia. This chapter argues that Appian was correct in his representation that no revenues were collected by the publicani in Asia until Gaius Gracchus brought in his lex Sempronia de provincia Asia. Gracchus’s introduction of the system of censoria locatio under this law was a forward-looking measure for ensuring that the revenues of Asia would be maximized and available to finance his economic programme. As such it was the first clearly identifiable attempt by an individual Roman magistrate to produce a systematic state budget in support of a massive programme of public expenditure.

Keywords:   taxes, taxation, province, Gracchus, Appian, publicani, censoria locatio, budget, Asia, expenditure

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