/pub"li keuhn/, n.
1. Chiefly Brit. a person who owns or manages a tavern; the keeper of a pub.
2. Rom. Hist. a person who collected public taxes.
3. any collector of taxes, tolls, tribute, or the like.
[1150-1200; ME < L publicanus. See PUBLIC, -AN]

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▪ Roman contractor
Latin  Publicanus,  plural  Publicani,  

      ancient Roman public contractor, who erected or maintained public buildings, supplied armies overseas, or collected certain taxes, particularly those supplying fluctuating amounts of revenue to the state (e.g., tithes and customs). The system for letting contracts was well established by the 3rd century BC: at Rome they were normally let for five years at auctions by the censor; in Sicily they were annually let by the governor. In order to have sufficient security, publicans formed partnerships and companies (societates publicanorum) under officials known as magisters, at Rome. The publicans, primarily members of the equestrian (eques) order (equites), gained significant power in the provinces and in Rome when equestrians became jurors in the court of extortion, which investigated the activities of provincial governors (122 BC). Under the early empire (after 27 BC) the publicans' business was curtailed; they were more tightly controlled, and the government forced them to accept unprofitable contracts. The system fell into disuse in the late empire.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Publican — • A member or employee of the Roman financial companies who collected the taxes. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Publican     Publican      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • publican — PUBLICÁN, publicani, s.m. Persoană care strângea impozitele la romani. – Din lat. publicanus. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 24.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  publicán s. m. (sil. bli ), pl. publicáni Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic … …   Dicționar Român

  • Publican — Pub li*can, n. [L. publicanus: cf. F. publicain. See {Public}.] 1. (Rom. Antiq.) A farmer of the taxes and public revenues; hence, a collector of toll or tribute. The inferior officers of this class were often oppressive in their exactions, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • publican — (n.) c.1200, tax gatherer, from O.Fr. publician (12c.), from L. publicanus a tax collector, originally an adjective, pertaining to public revenue, from publicum public revenue, noun use of neuter of publicus (see PUBLIC (Cf. public)). Original… …   Etymology dictionary

  • publican — ► NOUN 1) Brit. a person who owns or manages a pub. 2) Austral. a person who owns or manages a hotel. 3) (in ancient Roman and biblical times) a tax collector. ORIGIN Latin publicanus, from publicum public revenue …   English terms dictionary

  • publican — [pub′li kən] n. [ME < L publicanus < publicus: see PUBLIC] 1. in ancient Rome, a collector of public revenues, tolls, etc. 2. Brit. a saloonkeeper; innkeeper …   English World dictionary

  • Publican — In antiquity, publicans (Latin publicanus (singular); publicani (plural)) were public contractors, in which role they often supplied the Roman legions and military, managed the collection of port duties, and oversaw public building projects. In… …   Wikipedia

  • publican — UK [ˈpʌblɪkən] / US noun [countable] Word forms publican : singular publican plural publicans British someone who owns or manages a pub …   English dictionary

  • publican — noun a) the landlord of a public house I went into a public ouse to get a pint o beer, b) a tax collector in ancient Rome The publican e up an sez, We serve no red coats here …   Wiktionary

  • publican — [12] The modern use of publican for ‘innkeeper’ dates from the early 18th century, and presumably arose from an association with public house. Its original meaning was ‘tax collector’. It comes via Old French publicain from Latin pūblicānus… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • publican — [[t]pʌ̱blɪkən[/t]] publicans N COUNT A publican is a person who owns or manages a pub. [BRIT, FORMAL] Syn: landlady, landlord …   English dictionary

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