Trapezitae

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Trapezitae

 

money changers in ancient Greece, who appeared in the sixth century B.C.Trapezitae primarily exchanged, stored, and transferred money, but they also advised generally on all money matters. In addition, they granted loans—at high interest rates, ranging from 10 or 12 percent to 36 percent—accepting as security a borrower’s personal property or other real estate. Trapezitae were usually metics, emancipated slaves, or slaves. Wealthy temples, such as those of Thebes, Delos, and Ephesus, served as banks (trapezae). In Egypt during the Hellenistic period, when a system of state banking was created, trapezitae became state functionaries. Roman money changers were called argentari and nummulari.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.