Comes sacrarum largitionum
The comes sacrarum largitionum was one of the senior fiscal officials of the late Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire. Although it is first attested in 342/345, its creation must date to ca. 318, under Emperor Constantine the Great. The comes was the successor of the Principate-era rationalis, supervised those financial sectors that were left outside the purview of the praetorian prefects: the taxation of senators, the chrysargyron tax, customs duties, mines and state-run mills and textile factories; the comes controlled the emperor's private domains, but these passed under the control of the comes rerum privatarum by the end of the 4th century. He exercised some judicial functions related to taxation in his administrative courts in particular in matters of fiscal debt; the office of the comes declined in importance after the late 5th century after Emperor Anastasius I abolished the hated chrysargyron. He remained however one of the main fiscal ministers, controlling an array of bureaux and with an extensive staff detached to the provinces.
The last comes known. He was succeeded by the sakellarios and the logothetes tou genikou, who remained the chief fiscal ministers in the middle Byzantine period. Roman finance Bury, John B.. The Imperial Administrative System of the Ninth Century. With a Revised Text of the Kletorologion of Philotheos. Oxford University Publishing. Pp. 78ff. Cutler, Anthony. "Comes sacrarum largitionum". In Kazhdan, Alexander; the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. P. 486. ISBN 0-19-504652-8
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
The parakoimōmenos was a Byzantine court position reserved for eunuchs. The position's proximity to the emperors guaranteed its holders influence and power, many of them in the 9th and 10th centuries, functioned as the Byzantine Empire's chief ministers; the title was used anachronistically by various Byzantine writers for prominent eunuch court officials all the way back to Euphratas under Constantine the Great, the notorious Chrysaphius under Theodosius II, or an unnamed holder under Emperor Maurice. However, it was most created only in the 7th century, is first attested securely only under Leo IV the Khazar, when the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor records the existence of a "koubikoularios and parakoimomenos". In the beginning, it was a modest office, given to those koubikoularioi who were tasked with sleeping outside the emperor's chamber during the night as a security measure; as evidenced by seals from the 7th and 8th centuries, it was combined with other palace functions, such as the epi tēs trapezēs, its holders held lowly dignities such as ostiarios.
It is possible that in the cases where several co-emperors reigned at the same time, a parakoimōmenos would be assigned to each. From the mid-9th century, the office grew in importance, outstripping its nominal superior, the praipositos, until it came to be regarded as the highest post reserved for eunuchs, with its holders raised to the dignity of patrikios. Over the next two centuries, many of its holders were able to use their proximity to the imperial person to exercise considerable political influence; some of these men, were not eunuchs. During the reigns of weak or uninterested emperors, holders of the title parakoimōmenos, such as Samonas, Joseph Bringas and Basil Lekapenos, functioned as chief ministers, while Basil the Macedonian was able to use this position to usurp the throne from Michael III. By the 11th century, the parakoimōmenos had assumed most of the old administrative functions of the praipositos as well; the post continued to be important in the 11th century, but seems to have declined in the 12th, when it began to be awarded—possibly as a noble title rather than an active function—to non-eunuchs as well.
The post survived in the Empire of Nicaea and into the Palaiologan period, where it was divided in two: the parakoimōmenos tēs sphendonēs and the parakoimōmenos tou koitōnos. The parakoimōmenos tou koitōnos retained the duties of supervising the koitōn, assisted by the prokathēmenos tou koitōnos and commanding the chamberlains and pages, while the parakoimōmenos tēs sphendonēs, entrusted with keeping the sphendonē, the ring with the emperor's personal seal, used to seal his private correspondence to his family. In the absence of the prōtostratōr, they were charged with carrying the emperor's sword. At the same time, their holders ceased to be palace eunuchs, but were important noblemen and administrators; the two posts ranked 16th and 17th in the imperial hierarchy, according to the mid-14th century author pseudo-Kodinos, between the kouropalatēs and the logothetēs tou genikou. Their court costume consisted of a silk kabbadion tunic, a gold-embroidered skiadion hat, or a domed skaranikon covered in apricot-coloured silk with gold-wire decorations.
It bore in front a glass image of the emperor standing in front, in the rear a similar image of him enthroned. The parakoimōmenos tēs sphendonēs was distinguished by his staff of office, of wood, with the topmost knob gilded, the next one covered in white-golden braid, the next again gilded, etc; the dikanikion of the parakoimōmenos tou koitōnos was similar, except that only the topmost knob was gilded, the others being all covered in white-golden braid. A number of seals mention a Theophylact, koubikoularios and strategos of Sicily; this would make Theophylact the first known holder. The first secure mention in the sources occurs, as mentioned above, in the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, where the koubikoularios and parakoimomenos Theophanes was among those members of the court dismissed for their iconodule sympathies under Leo IV; the next holder, the ostiarios Scholastikios, is only known under Theophilos. The patrikios Damian served Michael III until circa 865, was replaced by Michael's favourite, Basil the Macedonian.
After Basil's accession to co-emperor in 866, the office was occupied by a certain Rentakios until the murder of Michael III. Judging from his own experience that the office was too powerful and too close to the emperor, Basil I did not appoint a parakoimōmenos, his son and successor Leo VI revived the office in 907 for his favourite Samonas, who until was a prōtovestiarios. He held the post until his disgrace in summer 908, he was replaced by Constantine Barbaros, who held the office until circa 919 with the exception of the reign of Alexander, who installed the patrikios Barbatos in his stead. Romanos I Lekapenos named his trusted aide Theophanes as parakoimōmenos. Theophanes was retained by Constantine VII until 947. Lekapen
Bullion is gold, silver, or other precious metals in the form of bars, ingots, or specialized coins. Bullion is used for trade on a market; the word "bullion" comes from the old French word bouillon, which meant "boiling", was the term for the activity of a melting house. The value of bullion is determined by the value of its precious metals content, defined by its purity and mass. To assess the purity of gold bullion, the centuries-old technique of fire assay is still employed, together with modern spectroscopic instrumentation, to determine its quality to ensure the owner receives fair market value for it, it is weighed accurately. Retailers may sometimes market ingots and bars of base metals, such as copper and aluminium, as "bullion", but this is not a accepted definition; the specifications of bullion are regulated by market bodies or legislation. In the European Union, the minimum purity for gold bullion, treated as investment gold with regards to taxation, is 99.5% for gold bullion bars and 90% for bullion coins.
Investors may choose to purchase physical gold bullion for several reasons - to attempt to hedge against currency risks, inflation risks, geopolitical risks, or to add diversification to an investment portfolio. The London bullion market is an over-the-counter market for wholesale trading of silver; the London Bullion Market Association coordinates activities of its members and other participants in the London bullion market. The LBMA promotes quality standards for gold and silver bullion bars; the minimum acceptable fineness of the Good Delivery Bars is 99.5% for gold bars and 99.9% for silver bars. Bullion coins are contemporary precious metal coins minted by official agencies for investment purposes; some bullion coins have been used as currency throughout the 20th century, such as the Maria Theresa thaler and the Krugerrand. However, modern bullion coins do not enter common circulation despite having legal tender status and a nominal face value; some modern bullion coins are produced as both business strike and collectible proof and uncirculated versions, such as the gold and silver American eagle.
Business strikes are sold at prices commensurate with their precious metal content, whereas collectible versions are sold at a significant premium over their actual bullion value. In some cases, the grade and mintages of business strike coins can affect their value, so they are considered numismatic rather than bullion items. A range of professional market participants is active in the bullion markets, such as banks, fabricators and vault operators or transport companies, as well as brokers, they provide facilities for the refining, assaying, transporting and vaulting of gold and silver bullion. Besides the direct bullion market participants, other professional parties such as investment companies and jewelers use bullion in the context of products or services which they produce or offer to customers. For example, shares of the world’s largest gold exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Shares, represents ownership in vaulted gold bullion. Private individuals use bullion as an investment or potential store of value.
Gold bullion and silver bullion are the most important forms of physical precious metals investments. Bullion investments can be considered as insurance against inflation or economic turmoil and may not entail direct counterparty risk. Compared to numismatic coins, bullion bars or bullion coins can be purchased and traded at lower margins and their trading prices are closer to the values of the contained precious metals. Bullionism List of bullion dealers
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth from an ore body, vein, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package, of economic interest to the miner. Ores recovered by mining include metals, oil shale, limestone, dimension stone, rock salt, potash and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or feasibly created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or water. Mining of stones and metal has been a human activity since pre-historic times. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, final reclamation of the land after the mine is closed. De Re Metallica, Georgius Agricola, 1550, Book I, Para. 1Mining operations create a negative environmental impact, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed.
Hence, most of the world's nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has long been a concern as well, modern practices have improved safety in mines. Levels of metals recycling are low. Unless future end-of-life recycling rates are stepped up, some rare metals may become unavailable for use in a variety of consumer products. Due to the low recycling rates, some landfills now contain higher concentrations of metal than mines themselves. Since the beginning of civilization, people have used stone and metals found close to the Earth's surface; these were used to make early weapons. Flint mines have been found in chalk areas where seams of the stone were followed underground by shafts and galleries; the mines at Grimes Graves and Krzemionki are famous, like most other flint mines, are Neolithic in origin. Other hard rocks mined or collected for axes included the greenstone of the Langdale axe industry based in the English Lake District; the oldest-known mine on archaeological record is the Ngwenya Mine in Swaziland, which radiocarbon dating shows to be about 43,000 years old.
At this site Paleolithic humans mined hematite to make the red pigment ochre. Mines of a similar age in Hungary are believed to be sites where Neanderthals may have mined flint for weapons and tools. Ancient Egyptians mined malachite at Maadi. At first, Egyptians used the bright green malachite stones for ornamentations and pottery. Between 2613 and 2494 BC, large building projects required expeditions abroad to the area of Wadi Maghareh in order to secure minerals and other resources not available in Egypt itself. Quarries for turquoise and copper were found at Wadi Hammamat, Tura and various other Nubian sites on the Sinai Peninsula and at Timna. Mining in Egypt occurred in the earliest dynasties; the gold mines of Nubia were among the largest and most extensive of any in Ancient Egypt. These mines are described by the Greek author Diodorus Siculus, who mentions fire-setting as one method used to break down the hard rock holding the gold. One of the complexes is shown in one of the earliest known maps.
The miners crushed the ore and ground it to a fine powder before washing the powder for the gold dust. Mining in Europe has a long history. Examples include the silver mines of Laurium. Although they had over 20,000 slaves working them, their technology was identical to their Bronze Age predecessors. At other mines, such as on the island of Thassos, marble was quarried by the Parians after they arrived in the 7th century BC; the marble was shipped away and was found by archaeologists to have been used in buildings including the tomb of Amphipolis. Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, captured the gold mines of Mount Pangeo in 357 BC to fund his military campaigns, he captured gold mines in Thrace for minting coinage producing 26 tons per year. However, it was the Romans who developed large scale mining methods the use of large volumes of water brought to the minehead by numerous aqueducts; the water was used for a variety of purposes, including removing overburden and rock debris, called hydraulic mining, as well as washing comminuted, or crushed and driving simple machinery.
The Romans used hydraulic mining methods on a large scale to prospect for the veins of ore a now-obsolete form of mining known as hushing. They built numerous aqueducts to supply water to the minehead. There, the water stored in large tanks; when a full tank was opened, the flood of water sluiced away the overburden to expose the bedrock underneath and any gold veins. The rock was worked upon by fire-setting to heat the rock, which would be quenched with a stream of water; the resulting thermal shock cracked the rock, enabling it to be removed by further streams of water from the overhead tanks. The Roman miners used similar methods to work cassiterite deposits in Cornwall and lead ore in the Pennines; the methods had been developed by the Romans in Spain in 25 AD to exploit large alluvial gold deposits, the largest site being at Las Medulas, where seven long aqueducts tapped local rivers and sluiced the deposits. Spain was one of the most important mining regions, but all regions of the Roman Empire were exploited.
In Great Britain the natives had mined minerals for millennia, but after the Roman conquest, the scale of the operations increased as the Romans needed Britannia's resources gold, silver
A treasury is either A government department related to finance and taxation. A place or Schatzkammer where currency or precious items like gold, diamonds etc. are kept. The head of a treasury is known as a treasurer; this position may not have the final control over the actions of the treasury if they are not an elected representative. The adjective for a treasury is treasurial; the adjective "tresorial" can be used, but this means pertaining to a treasurer. The earliest found artefacts made of silver and gold are from Lake Varna in Bulgaria dated 4250–4000 BC, the earliest of copper are dated 9000–7000 BC.... And there was silver weighing many thousands of talents and all the royal treasure amounting to a great sum... The term treasury was first used in Classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or many similar buildings erected in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states to impress others during the ancient Olympic Games.
In Ancient Greece treasuries were always physically incorporated within religious buildings such as temples, thus making state funds sacrosanct and adding moral constraints to the penal ones to those who would have access to these funds. The sovereigns' treasury within the palace in ancient Jerusalem, is considered to be similar in nature to the temple treasury; the temple treasury of the settlement had appointed officials and functioned akin to a bank.... in fact in every city there are banking places for the holy money... In excavations of Persepolis a text containing information pertaining to the activities of a temple treasury were discovered dated to the fifth century BC; the texts written in the Elamite language name the treasurer as ganzabara The ancient Roman word aerarium signified the treasury of the Senate, fiscus was used to indicate the imperial treasury used by Caesar. In the United Kingdom, Her Majesty's Treasury is overseen by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the traditional honorary title of First Lord of the Treasury is held by the Prime Minister.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs administers the taxation system. In the United States, the Treasurer reports to an executive-appointed Secretary of the Treasury; the IRS is the revenue agency of the US Department of the Treasury. In many other countries, the treasury is called the "ministry of finance" and the head is known as the finance minister. Examples include the Bahamas, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Japan, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe. In some other countries, a "Treasury" will exist alongside a separate "Ministry of Finance", with divided functions; the State Treasury in Polish law represents the Polish state acting in the field of civil law relations in which it is treated as equal partner to private entities. It can be represented by various officials or institutions depending on circumstances and has its own ministry, the Ministry of State Treasury, it was created in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1590, when the public treasury was split from the Royal Treasury.
The government of Ukraine includes the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of State Treasury. It was the same in Italy before the creation of the united Ministry of Economy. In the Australian federal government a treasurer and a finance minister co-exist; the Department of the Treasury is responsible for drafting the government budget, economic policy, some market regulation and revenue policy. The Finance Minister, who manages the Department of Finance and Deregulation, is responsible for budget management, government expenditure and market deregulation
Aqueduct (water supply)
An aqueduct is a watercourse constructed to carry water from a source to a distribution point far away. In modern engineering, the term aqueduct is used for any system of pipes, canals and other structures used for this purpose; the term aqueduct often refers to a bridge on an artificial watercourse. The word is derived from ducere. Aqueducts were used in ancient Greece, ancient Egypt, ancient Rome. In modern times, the largest aqueducts of all have been built in the United States to supply the country's biggest cities; the simplest aqueducts are small ditches cut into the earth. Much larger channels may be used in modern aqueducts. Aqueducts sometimes run for all of their path through tunnels constructed underground. Modern aqueducts may use pipelines. Agricultural societies have constructed aqueducts to irrigate crops and supply large cities with drinking water. Although associated with the Romans, aqueducts were devised much earlier in Greece and the Near East and Indian subcontinent, where peoples such as the Egyptians and Harappans built sophisticated irrigation systems.
Roman-style aqueducts were used as early as the 7th century BC, when the Assyrians built an 80 km long limestone aqueduct, which included a 10 m high section to cross a 300 m wide valley, to carry water to their capital city, Nineveh. The Indian subcontinent is believed to have some of the earliest aqueducts. Evidence can be found at the sites of Karnataka; the massive aqueducts near river Tungabhadra supplying irrigation water were once 15 miles long. The waterways supplied water to royal bath tubs. In Oman from the Iron Age, in Salut and other sites, a system of underground aqueducts called falaj or qanāts were constructed, a series of well-like vertical shafts, connected by sloping horizontal tunnels. There are three types of falaj: Daudi with underground aqueducts Ghaili requiring a dam to collect the water Aini whose source is a water springThese enabled large scale agriculture to flourish in a dry land environment. In Persia from early times a system of underground aqueducts called qanāts were constructed, a series of well-like vertical shafts, connected by sloping tunnels.
This technique: taps into subterranean water in a manner that delivers water to the surface without need for pumping. The water drains relying on gravity, with the destination lower than the source, an upland aquifer. Allows water to be transported long distances in hot dry climates without losing a large proportion of the source water to seepage and evaporation. Throughout Petra, the Nabataean engineers took advantage of every natural spring and every winter downpour to channel water where it was needed, they constructed aqueducts and piping systems that allowed water to flow across mountains, through gorges and into the temples and gardens of Petra's citizens. Walking through the Siq, one can spot the remains of channels that directed water to the city center, as well as durable retention dams that kept powerful flood waters at bay. On the island of Samos, the Tunnel of Eupalinos was built during the reign of Polycrates, it is considered an underground aqueduct and brought fresh water to Pythagoreion for a thousand years.
Roman aqueducts were built in all parts of the Roman Empire, from Germany to Africa, in the city of Rome, where they totaled over 415 kilometres. The aqueducts supplied fresh water to public baths and for drinking water, in large cities across the empire, set a standard of engineering, not surpassed for more than a thousand years. Bridges, built in stone with multiple arches, were a distinctive feature of Roman aqueducts and hence the term aqueduct is applied to a bridge for carrying water. Near the Peruvian town of Nazca, an ancient pre-Columbian system of aqueducts called Puquios were built and are still in use today, they were made of intricately placed stones, a construction material used by the Nazca culture. The time period in which they were constructed is still debated, but some evidence supports circa A. D. 540–552, in response to drought periods in the region. The Guayabo National Monument of Costa Rica, a park covering the largest archaeological site in the country, contains a system of aqueducts.
The complex network of uncovered and covered aqueducts still functions well. The aqueducts are constructed from rounded river stones, which are made of volcanic rock; the civilization that constructed the aqueduct system remains a mystery to archaeologists. When Europeans saw the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán, early in the 16th century, the city was watered by two aqueducts. One of these, Chapultepec Aqueduct, built circa 1420, was rebuilt by the Spanish three hundred years later. Tracing part of its path over now-gone Lake Texcoco, only a fragment remains in Mexico City today. Extensive usage of elaborate aqueducts have been found to have been used in ancient Sri Lanka; the best example is the Yoda Ela or Jaya Ganga, an 87 kilometres long water canal carrying excess water between two artificial reservoirs with a gradient of 10 to 20 cm per kilometer during the fifth century AD. However, the ancient engineering methods in calculating the exact elevation between the two reservoirs and the exact gradient of the canal to such fine precision had been lost with the fall of the civilization in 13th Century.
In modern times, the largest aqueducts of all have been built in the United States to supply the country's biggest cities. The Catskill Aqueduct carries