Isidore-of-Seville's Classical Library presents

Procopius, The Secret History
Richard Atwater (trans.), Tim Spalding (ed.), with user-submitted commentary.

Next
Previous
Introduction
The Library

Commentary

No commentary has been posted.

Thus all the barbarians became masters of all the wealth of the Romans, either being presented with it by the Emperor, or by ravaging the Roman Empire, selling their prisoners for ransom, and bartering for truces. And the prophecy of the dream I mentioned above, came to pass in this visible reality.

[20] Debasing of the Quaestorship
He also had contrived other ways of plundering his subjects (which I will now describe as well as I can) by which he robbed them, not all at once, but little by little of their entire fortunes. First he appointed a new municipal magistrate, with the power to license shopkeepers to sell their wares at whatever prices they desired: for which privilege they paid an annual tax. Accordingly, people buying their provisions in these shops had to pay three times what the stuff was worth, and complainants had no redress, though great harm was thus done; for the magistrates saw to it that the imperial tax was fattened accordingly, which was to their advantage. Thus the government officials shared in this disgraceful business, while the shopkeepers, empowered to act illegally, cheated unbearably those who had to buy from them, not only by raising their prices many times over, as I have said, but by defrauding customers in other unheard-of ways.

Again he licensed many monopolies, as they are called; selling the freedom of his subjects to those who were willing to undertake this reprehensible traffic, after he had exacted his price for the privilege. To those who made this arrangement with him, he gave the power to manage the business however they pleased; and he sold this privilege openly, even to all the other magistrates. And since the Emperor always got his little share of the plundering, these officials and their subordinates in charge of the work, did their robbing with small anxiety.

Next
Previous
Introduction
The Library

Post commentary

Your name

(required)

Password or What entry begins the page on OCD2 p. 464?

(required)

Email

(required) Print email with your commentary Exclude email

Source's numerical reference
(not the html page #; the current engine doesn't use, but it will)

Subject/Reference
(name the subject or put quotes around the the 1-10 words you are commenting on)

About how far through the text above does your reference fall?

(0% start, 100% end)

Commentary
(please do not use any HTML tags apart from <b>,</b>,<i> and </i>)

Websites (optional)

Relevant website #1 title

Relevant website #1 description

Website #1 full URL

Relevant website #2 title

Relevant website #2 description

Website #2 full URL

Guide to Posting Commentary
Contributor Abbreviations

Design, textual changes and some commentary © 2001 Isidore-of-Seville.com. Email timspalding@mediaone.net.