maritime loans

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Were a distinct category of credit throughout antiquity. To pay for a cargo, a merchant or shipowner borrowed money for the duration of the voyage. Loan and interest were repaid out of proceeds of sale of the cargo only on condition that the ship returned safely; loss was otherwise borne by the lender. High risks justified high interest. As a guarantee against fraud, cargo and even the ship itself would be offered as security. Lenders tended to be those with experience of sea‐trading. The importance of maritime loans in Athens' trade is indicated by their forming the substance of forensic speeches.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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