Negotiators, merchants and

Negotiators, merchants and street vendors to trade the Romans knew two types of business: negotiators (negotiator, businessmen) and the merchants. The bankers were partly negotiatores because they lent money on interest. Also bought and sold commodities traded in bulk or wholesale goods. In some cases argentarii were seen as a subset of the negotiatores and other distinct groups. The argentarii acted as agents in public or private auctions, kept deposits of money for individuals, cashed checks (prescriptio) and currency exchange. They kept strict tabulae books, which were considered as legal evidence in trials. The argentarii sometimes did the same work as the mensarii, public bankers who were appointed by the state. The mercatores were usually commoners or freemen. Were present in all markets in the open or covered shops, manning stalls or hawking goods along the roads.Also present were about Roman military camps during the campaigns, where they sold food and clothing to the soldiers and paid cash for any booty from military activities. Jewish sources, about the third century C., we have some information on Roman Palestine. There the hawkers (Rochel) took spices and perfumes to the rural population. This suggests that the economic benefits of the rule came at least the upper levels of the peasantry.

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