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QUADRAGE´SIMA (1.) The fortieth part of the imported goods, or 2 1/2 per cent., was the amount of the portorium in some provinces [PORTORIUM]. Separate stationes fisci seem to have looked after this tax in each province, under the Empire (see Wilmanns, Exemp. Inscr. Lat. 1397, 1398; and see STATIONES FISCI).

(2.) Quadragesima litium (Suet. Cal. 40); a tax imposed by Caligula of the fortieth part of the value of all property about which there was a lawsuit.

In what sense does Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 13.51) mean that Nero abolished quadragesima? Not (1), for that tax is heard of later (see Symmachus, Ep. 5.62; and perhaps Suet. Vesp. 1); nor (2), because Claudius had already abolished the new taxes of Caligula (D. C. 60.4; though many persons think that the quadragesima litium was not abolished before Galba's principate), and also because a quadragesima litium could not well be farmed, whereas the context shows that the tax spoken of by Tacitus was farmed. It is therefore probable that Tacitus is speaking of charges otherwise unknown to us and (as alia, &c. in the passage would show) illegal.


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