The consensus view that all Roman money consisted of coins has been undermined in recent times and should be discarded. The inhabitants of the Roman Empire frequently and on a significant scale made payments by means of credit-money, creating a ‘multiplier effect’, which meant that in high classical times the Roman economy was not constricted, as is often supposed, by an inelastic money-supply. Yet the monetary system was not modern; rather it had its counterparts in such economies as those of seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century Britain.
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