Note 164
From Chapter 44 of the Decline & Fall

Primo xii. Tabulis sancitum est ne quis unciario foenore amplius exerceret, (Tacitus Annals vi. 16.)

Pour peu (says Montesquieu, Esprit des Loix , l. xxii. 22) qu'on soit verse dans l'histoire de Rome, on verra qu'une pareille loi ne devoit pas etre l'ouvrage des decemvirs.

Was Tacitus ignorant — or stupid? But the wiser and more virtuous patricians might sacrifice their avarice to their ambition, and might attempt to check the odious practice by such interest as no lender would accept, and such penalties as no debtor would incur.

By the Rev. H. H. Milman: The real nature of the foenus unciarium has been proved; it amounted in a year of twelve months to ten per cent. See, in the Magazine for Civil Law , by M. Hugo, vol. v. p. 180, 184, an article of M. Schrader, following up the conjectures of Niebuhr, Hist. Rom. tom. ii. p. 431. Compare a very clear account of this question in the appendix to Mr. Travers Twiss's Epitome of Niebuhr , vol. ii. p. 257.

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