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p982 Quinquagesima

Unsigned article on p982 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

QUINQUAGESIMA, the fiftieth or a tax of two per cent. upon the value of all slaves that were sold, was instituted by Augustus according to Dion Cassius (LV.31). Tacitus (XIII.51), however, mentions the twenty-fifth or a tax of four per cent. upon the sale of slaves in the time of Nero: if both passages are correct, this tax must have been increased after the time of Augustus, probably by Caligula, who, we are told by Suetonius (in vita, c40), introduced many new taxes (Burmann, de Vectig. p69, &c.).

We are also told by Tacitus (XIII.51) that Nero abolished the Quinquagesima; this must have been a different tax from the above-mentioned one, and may have been similar to the Quinquagesima mentioned by Cicero (c. Verr. III.49) in connection with the Aratores of Sicily.

A duty of two per cent. was levied at Athens upon exports and imports. [Pentecoste.]


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