Black Money Business Jobs : Ancient financial terms


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2011

Under the Merovingians and Carolingians, the fisc (from Latin fiscus, whence we derive "fiscal") applied to the royal demesne which paid taxes, entirely in kind, from which the royal household was meant to be supported, though it rarely was. Though their personal territory was at first enormous, the Merovingian kings, faced with stiff resistance to taxation from their Frankish and Gallo-Roman subjects and ill-served by their illiterate peers, relied on constant conquests to renew the fisc which they were in the habit of granting away, to ensure continued fidelity among their followers. Once fresh Frankish conquests were no longer forthcoming, constant redivision of the "fisc" among male heirs reduced Merovingian kingship to a cluster of competitive kinglets subsisting on inadequate resources. Annual contributions in kind, of grain, produce, fodder, was unwieldy to transport and not easily convertible, so the restless habit of Merovingian kings moving from stronghold to stronghold, was constantly encouraged.


Fiscus, from which comes the English term fiscal, was the name of the personal treasury of the emperors of Rome. The word is literally translated as "basket" or "purse" and was used to describe those forms of revenue collected from the provinces (specifically the imperial provinces), which were then granted to the emperor. Its existence pointed to the division of power in the early era of the Empire between the imperial court and the Senate. In subsequent years, as the emperors assumed greater control over the finances of the Roman world, the size of the fiscus was increased.
Juvenal satirized the entire treasury by writing that a turbot of great size caught in the Adriatic had to be sent to Rome as part of Domitian's fiscus.
The head of the fiscus in the first years was the rationalis, originally a freedman due to Augustus' desire to place the office in the hands of a servant free of the class demands of the traditional society. In succeeding years the corruption and reputation of the freedman forced new and more reliable administrators. From the time of Hadrian (117-138), any rationalis hailed from the Equestrian Order (equites) and remained so through the chaos of the 3rd century and into the age of Diocletian.

Etymology of the term fiscal


1550s, originally, "to appropriate for the treasury," from L. confiscatus, pp. of confiscare, from com- "together" (see com-) + fiscus "public treasury," lit. "money basket." Related: Confiscated; confiscating.

1560s, "pertaining to public revenue," from M.Fr. fiscal, from L.L. fiscalis "of or belonging to the state treasury," from L. fiscus "treasury," originally "purse, basket made of twigs (in which money was kept)," of unknown origin. The general sense of "financial" (1865, Amer.Eng.) was abstracted from phrases like fiscal calendar, fiscal year. Related: Fiscally.


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2011

A treasury is either
  • A government department related to finance and taxation.
  • A place where currency or precious items (gold, diamonds, etc.) is/are kept.
The term 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 almost 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 head of a treasury is typically known as a treasurer. This position may not necessarily have the final control over the actions of the treasury, particularly if they are not an elected representative.
The adjective for a treasury is normally "treasurial". The adjective "tresorial" can also be used, but this normally means pertaining to a treasurer.

Etymology of the term treasury

late 13c., "room for treasure," from O.Fr. tresorie (11c.), from tresor (see treasure). Meaning "department of state that controls public revenue" is recorded from late 14c.

1823, "treasury, storehouse," from L. thesaurus "treasury, treasure," from Gk. thesauros "a treasure, treasury, storehouse, chest," from root of tithenai "to put, to place." The meaning "encyclopedia filled with information" is from 1840, but existed earlier as thesaurarie (1590s), used as a title by early dictionary compilers. Meaning "collection of words arranged according to sense" is first attested 1852 in Roget's title. Thesaur is attested in M.E. with the meaning "treasure" (15c.-16c.).

treasure (n.)
mid-12c., from O.Fr. tresor "treasury, treasure" (11c.), from Gallo-Romance *tresaurus, from L. thesaurus "treasury, treasure" (cf. Sp., It. tesoro), from Gk. thesauros "store, treasure, treasure house" (see thesaurus). Replaced O.E. goldhord. General sense of "anything valued" is recorded from c.1200. The verb is attested from late 14c. Treasure hunt is first recorded 1913. For treasure trove, see trove.

"treasury," 1690s, from M.L. bursaria "treasurer's room" (see bursar).


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2011
Etymology of bursar

"treasury," 1690s, from M.L. bursaria "treasurer's room" (see bursar).

"treasurer of a college," 1580s, from Anglo-L. burser "treasurer" (13c.), from M.L. bursarius "purse-bearer," from bursa (see purse).

1520s, disbourse, from O.Fr. desbourser (13c.) "extract (money) from a purse, spend (money)," from des- (see dis-) + bourse "purse" (see bursar). Related: Disbursed; disbursing.

Etymology of bourse

"stock exchange," 1570s, burse, from O.Fr. borse "money bag, purse" (12c.), from M.L. bursa "a bag" (see purse). Fr. spelling and modern sense of "exchange for merchants" is first recorded 1845, from the name of the Paris stock exchange. The term originated because in 13c. Bruges the sign of a purse (or perhaps three purses), hung on the front of the house where merchants met.

1520s, disbourse, from O.Fr. desbourser (13c.) "extract (money) from a purse, spend (money)," from des- (see dis-) + bourse "purse" (see bursar). Related: Disbursed; disbursing.

purse (n.)
O.E. pursa "little bag made of leather," from M.L. bursa "purse" (cf. O.Fr. borse, 12c., Fr. bourse), from L.L., variant of byrsa "hide," from Gk. byrsa "hide, leather." Change of b- to p- perhaps by infl. of O.E. pusa, O.N. posi "bag." Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested from 1955. Meaning "sum of money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1640s. The verb, "draw together and wrinkle" (as the strings of a money bag) is first recorded c.1600. Related: Pursed; pursing. Purse-strings, figurative for "control of money," is from early 15c. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1540s). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" is also behind purse-net (c.1400).

Etymology of budget

early 15c., "leather pouch," from M.Fr. bougette, dim. of O.Fr. bouge "leather bag, wallet, pouch," from L. bulga "leather bag," of Gaulish origin (cf. O.Ir. bolg "bag," Bret. bolc'h "flax pod"), from PIE *bhelgh- (see belly). Modern financial meaning (1733) is from notion of treasury minister keeping his fiscal plans in a wallet. The verb in this sense is from 1884. Another 18c. transferred sense was to "a bundle of news," hence the use of the word as the title of some newspapers.

bulge (n.)
c.1200, from O.Fr. bouge "wallet, pouch, leather bag" (see budget). Sense of "swelling" is first recorded 1620s. The verb is first recorded 1670s. Related: Bulged; bulging. Bilge (q.v.) may be a nautical variant.

1510s, "lowest internal part of a ship," also "the foulness which collects there," variant of bulge "ship's hull," also "leather bag," from O.N.Fr. boulge "leather sack," from L.L. bulga "leather sack," apparently from Gaulish bulga (see budget).


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2011

In medieval finance, a gage could come in two forms: a mort-gage or a vif-gage. When the owner of property needed liquid resources, they could exchange their property, as a surety, for 'cash.' Since the gage was typically a piece of property which generated revenue (i.e. a farm which produced crops, a mill which processed food, a pasture that provided milk or wool, etc.), the creditor received the benefits of the land. Under the terms of a vifgage, these benefits reduced the amount the borrower owed, while under a mortgage they did not. This meant that if the property was prosperous enough, or the loan small enough, a property in vifgage could pay off the debt itself. On the other hand, with a mortgage, the benefits of the property constituted interest on the loan, which made it a form of usury. This meant that mortgages were seen as immoral/illegal among Catholic theologians.

Etymology of gage

gage (v.)
see gauge. "The spelling variants gauge and gage have existed since the first recorded uses in Middle English, though in American English gage is found exclusively in technical uses" [Barnhart]. Related: Gaged; gaging.

gage (n.)
"pledge," c.1300, from O.Fr. gage "pledge (of battle), security, guarantee" (11c.), from Frank. *wadja-, from P.Gmc. *wadi- (see wed). It. gaggio, Sp., Port. gage are French loan-words. The verb is late 15c., from Fr. gager. Related: Gaged, gaging.

early 15c., "to pledge," from M.Fr. engagier, from O.Fr. en gage "under pledge," from en "make" + gage "pledge," through Frankish from P.Gmc. *wadiare "pledge" (showing the common evolution of Germanic -w- to French -g-; cf. Guillaume from Wilhelm). Meaning "attract the attention of" is from 1640s; that of "employ" is from 1640s, from notion of "binding as by a pledge." Specific sense of "promise to marry" is 1610s (implied in engaged).

wage (v.)
early 14c., "to pledge, deposit as a pledge," from O.N.Fr. wagier (O.Fr. gagier), from wage (see wage (n.)). Meaning "to carry on" (of war, etc.) is attested from mid-15c., probably from earlier sense of "to offer as a gage of battle" (early 15c.).

mortgage (n.)
late 14c., from O.Fr. morgage (13c.), mort gaige, lit. "dead pledge" (replaced in modern Fr. by hypothèque), from mort "dead" + gage "pledge;" so called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails. O.Fr. mort is from V.L. *mortus "dead," from L. mortuus, pp. of mori "to die" (see mortal). The verb is first attested late 15c.


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2011

Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem.[1] An individual, community, region or country that possesses an abundance of such possessions or resources is known as wealthy.
The concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, especially development economics, yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent and there is no universally agreed upon definition. Generally, economists define wealth as "anything of value" which captures both the subjective nature of the idea and the idea that it is not a fixed or static concept. Various definitions and concepts of wealth have been asserted by various individuals and in different contexts.[2] Defining wealth can be a normative process with various ethical implications, since often wealth maximization is seen as a goal or is thought to be a normative principle of its own.


The term weal may refer to:

Etymology of wealth

mid-13c., "happiness," also "prosperity in abundance of possessions or riches," from M.E. wele "well-being" (see weal (1)) on analogy of health.

wealthy (adj.)
late 14c., from wealth + -y (2). Meaning "wealthy persons collectively" is from late 14c.

late 15c., "public welfare, general good," from common (adj.) + wealth; meaning "the state" is attested from 1510s; applied specifically to the government of England in the period 1649-1660.

"well-being," O.E. wela "wealth," in late O.E. also "welfare, well-being," from W.Gmc. *welon, from PIE base *wel- "to wish, will" (see will (v.)). Related to well (adv.).

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