Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and Michael Crawford
Andrew Dominic Edwards Lewis
Aerarii, payers, were a class of Roman citizens who had incurred the *censors' condemnation for some moral or other misbehaviour. They were required to pay the poll-tax (*tributum) at a higher rate than other citizens. The origin of the class is obscure. Mommsen argued that a payer was originally one who had no landed property and was therefore disqualified from certain public rights such as voting and military service but had to pay the poll-tax in proportion to his means.
Aes, bronze, also more loosely copper or brass, hence (a) money, coinage, pay, period for which pay is due, campaign; (b) document on bronze. The earliest Roman monetary system involved the weighing out of bronze by the pound or its fractions (see
John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Antony Spawforth
D. W. R. Ridgway
Imperial Rome was by far the largest city of its time, and feeding its populace—about one million according to most estimates—required an ever-watchful eye on the part of the authorities. The system supplying Rome, the armies, and some other cities with grain and other foodstuffs came to be known as the annona. The Roman authorities began to intervene directly in the food supply of the city of Rome in the mid-Republican period. A momentous step in this development was the introduction of the grain distribution (frumentatio) by C. Sempronius Gracchus in 123
The annona was the imperial service responsible for overseeing the supply of key food items to the city of Rome and the army. Primarily concerned with grain, the service became increasingly involved in the provisioning of other commodities, such as olive oil, wine, and pork. By the end of the 3rd century, the annona was a complex machinery involving private and public agents in different parts of the empire, overseen by the prefect of the annona, based in Rome. The operation of this system is documented in literary texts, administrative documents such as papyri and writing tablets, inscriptions, and a rich archaeological record, in Rome and in the provinces. However, the precise working of the system and the degree to which it was controlled by the Roman state remain open to debate. The annona was also involved in the supply of the army, especially with regards to provisions brought from distant producing centres. During the later empire, the system became more centralised, being overseen by the praetorian prefecture.