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NEGOTIATO´RES (οἱ πραγματευόμενοι or Ε᾿ργαζόμενοι, C. I. G. 2053) signified specially during the later times of the Republic Roman citizens settled in the provinces, who lent money upon interest or bought up corn on speculation (Caes. Gal. 7.3), which they sent to Rome as well as to other places. Their chief business, however, was lending money upon interest as usurers; and hence we find the words negotia, negotiatio, and negotiari used in this sense. The negotiatores are distinguished from the publicani (Cic. Att. 2.1. 6, “malo negotiatoribus satis-facere, quam publicanis:” comp. Cic. Ver. 2.3, 7; pro Flacc. 16, 38; pro Leg. Manil. 7, 18), and from the mercatores (Cic. pro Planc. 26, 64, “negotiatoribus comis, mercatoribus justus” ). That the word negotiatores was, during the later times of the Republic, always used in the signification above given, is amply proved by Ernesti in the treatise quoted below, and is also sufficiently clear from the following passages:--Cic. pro Flacc. 29, 71; 37, 92;--Verr. 60, 137; ad Q. Fr. 1.1;--Hirt. B. Afr. 36. Hence the negotiatores in the provinces corresponded to the argentarii and feneratores at Rome; and accordingly we find Cicero giving the name of feneratores to certain persons at Rome, and afterwards calling the very same persons negotiatores when they are in the provinces (Cic. Att. 5.2. 1, 6.1-3). The negotiatores, like the publicani, belonged to the Equestrian order, but men of senatorial rank, though forbidden so to trade themselves, indirectly shared the gains, in return for their countenance and support. Cato the elder was a creditable exception to this, and exerted himself to protect the provincials (Liv. 32.27; Plut. Cat. 6); but to show the extent of the evil we need only cite the instance of M. Junius Brutus, who (acting of course through another, the negotiator Scaptius) lent money to the state of Salamis in Cyprus at 48 per cent.: Scaptius demanded 200 talents for 106 received, and, having obtained troops from Appius Claudius, proconsul of Cilicia, so maltreated the senate of Salamis that five senators died. Cicero, the next proconsul, had honesty enough to desire a moderate and just settlement of the debt, but lacked the resolution to enforce it. (Compare Ernesti, De Negotiatoribus, in his Opuscula Philologica; Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung, i.2 542.)

[W.S] [G.E.M]

hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 2.1.6
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.2.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.6.1
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 7.3
    • Cicero, For Flaccus, 29
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.2.7
    • Cicero, For Plancius, 26
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 27
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