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Ancient and modern

What would the Romans have made of the Budget?

16 March 2024

9:00 AM

16 March 2024

9:00 AM

Accounting systems have apparently existed since the Mesopotamian period (c. 5000 bc). But what about ‘budgets’?

Early Romans had no such concept because, in the absence of a welfare state, self-reliance was the order of the day. They did however pay an annual tax, fixed by the Senate and collected locally, to refund (for days lost on the farm) every Roman who was either fighting to defend Rome (and so his own property) or growing Roman power on campaign, conquering others for their land, their resources and their manpower.

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