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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines legal and epigraphic sources devoted to the renting of mass housing in Rome and the other major cities of the Empire. Building on the pioneering work by Frier in 1980, it argues that the legal sources reveal a sophisticated system of subletting that was developed to accommodate the upper-class owners of these properties and left the daily management of them in the hands of venture capitalists. This was done not only to relieve these individuals of the stigma associated with commerce, but also to spread the financial risk of urban property investment among both owners and venture capitalists.

Keywords: letting and hiring, locatio conductio, subletting, insula, cenaculum

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