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The Roman Market Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147680

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147680.001.0001

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Financial Intermediation

Financial Intermediation

(p.157) Chapter 8 Financial Intermediation
The Roman Market Economy

Peter Temin

Princeton University Press

This chapter deals with the mobility of capital. Romans made many investments in agriculture, cities, and roads, all of which are capital. They accumulated the needed capital with the help of Roman banks, which were remarkably similar to the first modern commercial banks in eighteenth-century London. In order to evaluate the sophistication of the Roman financial market, the chapter inquires about the presence of credit intermediaries—institutions that mediated between borrowers and lenders, obviating direct contact between them. It then presents a theory of financial intermediation to describe the hierarchy of financial sources and its relation to the functioning of the economy as a whole. This facilitates an abstract evaluation of the Roman evidence, but not a historical one.

Keywords:   capital mobility, Roman banks, commercial banks, Roman financial market, credit intermediaries, financial intermediation, economy

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