On January 8, 57 AD, Tibullus, a freed slave in London, promised to repay 105 denarii, a hefty sum, to another freed slave named Gratus. Meanwhile, one friend admonished another that he’s lent too much money and is being gossiped about. And a merchant was making a desperate plea for repayment of debts owed to him.
We know all this, thanks to an archeological treasure recently unearthed, as reported by Atlas Obscura: over 400 writing tablets that document financial transactions that are the oldest handwritten documents discovered in England.
Notekeeping, the Roman Way
As befits a business people, Romans founded London around 40 AD in order to facilitate commerce. And commerce means records. When recording something for posterity, the Romans used
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