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Document Details :

Title: Staging Power and Authority at Roman Auctions
Author(s): GARCIA MORCILLO, Marta
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 38    Date: 2008   
Pages: 153-181
DOI: 10.2143/AS.38.0.2033274

Abstract :
Roman sources report the frequent employ of auctions in patrimonial and commercial contexts. The available testimonies make it possible to reconstruct some of the legal and financial mechanisms attached to this economic practice. They provide significant information on the goods sold, on their sellers, purchasers or intermediaries and their socio-economic contexts. On account of the effectiveness and transparency attributed to this sale-system, public authorities also made regular use of it in transfers of goods and services. Auctions were further resorted to as instruments of power. Besides military sales related to war-booty or political proceedings attached to the proscription of citizens and the confiscation of their patrimonies, voluntary auctions held by rulers and emperors emerge as recurrent short-term financial solutions and public stages of propaganda and political messages.

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