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(from the Latin pecus, “cattle”), in ancient Rome, property set aside by the head of a family for use by members of the household (sons, slaves). A peculium could include shops, stores, plots of land with livestock and implements, and slaves, who from the third century B.C. often also received their own peculia. Originally peculia were given mainly to urban slave artisans, to slaves who administered their master’s villa or managed his commercial affairs, and sometimes to shepherds. From the second century B.C. slave farmers were also given peculia. Slaves were obliged to pay their masters a part of the income derived from peculia. The allotment of peculia led to a differentiation among slaves, some of whom came to occupy a position close to that of free property owners and colons.


Shtaerman, E. M. Rastsvet rabovladel’cheskikh otnoshenii v Rimskoi respublike. Moscow, 1964.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Edmund Pendleton, "I cannot doubt any attachment to his country in any man who has his family and peculium in it .