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The Role of Accounting in Public Expenditure and Monetary Policy in the First Century AD Roman Empire

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David McCollum-Oldroyd


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Previous authors have argued that Roman coinage was used as an instrument of financial control rather than simply as a means for the state to make payments, without assessing the accounting implications. The article reviews the literary and epigraphic evidence of the public expenditure accounts surrounding the Roman monetary system in the first century AD. This area has been neglected by accounting historians. Although the scope of the accounts supports the proposition that they were used for financial control, the impetus for keeping those accounts originally came from the emperor's public expenditure commitments. This suggests that financial control may have been encouraged by the financial planning that arose out of the exigencies of funding public expenditure. In this way these two aspects of monetary policy can be reconciled.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Oldroyd D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Accounting Historians Journal

Year: 1995

Volume: 22

Issue: 2

Pages: 117-129

ISSN (print): 0148-4184

Publisher: Academy of Accounting Historians


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