chapter  Chapter 6
11 Pages

Debt and politics in Ancient Rome

WithMuhammet Sait Bozik, Halil Tunalı, Murat Ustaoğlu

Interest issue has been on the agenda of religions and political authorities in all parts of history. Ancient Rome has also experienced problems associated with the repercussions of the practice of usury and interest. Worsening income inequality, the excessively high interest rates and the social splits along wealth status caused by interest-bearing debt transactions are to cite a few of these problems. The debt slavery, a problem often caused by excessive use of interest in commercial activities, has become a huge issue in the Roman society; and the aristocrats and the nobles who become richer out of interest activities lead to serious moral problems in the society and the state administration. Social order is disrupted, and Rome collapses due to the consequences of these problems, leaving a feudal system behind. Roman Empire thus plays a role in Europe’s transition to a dark age.