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against judicial decisions, administrative ordinances (solely on the appeal of the person concerned); also against decrees of the senate and motions in the popular assembly. The later species of intercessio early became a special right of the tribunes (q.v.).
Intercidona. The name given by the Italian tribes to one of the three divinities who, during child-bed, protected mother and child from being tormented by the wood-god Silvanus. (See picdmnus.)
Interdictio Aquae et Ignis. The Koman term for exclusion from the common use of fire and water, which were the symbols of the community. (Sec exilium.)
Interest (Gr. Kkoi; Lat./e«as or usura), In Greece the rate of interest on invested capital was not restricted by law, but was left entirely to arrangement between the parties concerned. The average rate, compared with that usually given at the present da}r, was very high, far higher than the rent either of nouses or land. This is partly explained by the proportionately greater scarcity of ready money, and by the fact that it was difficult to accumulate a large amount of capital.
In the time of Demosthenes 12 per cent, was regarded as a rather low rate of interest, and higher rates, up to 18 per lent., were quite common. In bottomry the ordinary rate of interest at Athens was 20 per cent. In the event of failure in the payment of interest due, compound interest was charged. In the computation of interest two different methods were employed. It was usual to specify either the sum to be paid by the month on every mina (equal in intrinsic value of silver to £3 6s. Sd.), or the fraction of the principal which was annually paid as interest. Capital therefore was said to be invested at a drachma, if for every mina (100 drachma) there was paid interest at the rate of one drachma, i.e. one per cent, monthly, and consequently 12 per cent, per annum. Or again, if 12^ per cent, yearly interest was to be paid, the capital was said to be invested at " one-eighth." In most cases the interest appears to have been paid monthly, and on the last day of the month ; but payment by the year was not unknown. In bottomry the interest was according to the terms of the contract.
In Borne, as at Athens, the rate of interest was originally unrestricted, and it was not until after hard struggles that, by the laws of the Twelve Tables, a regular yearly rate of interest at one-twelfth of the capital, or
stj per cent., was established. But this and subsequent legal limitations were all the less effectual for putting down usury, because they were valid in the case of Roman citizens only, and not in that of foreigners. Usury was accordingly practised under the name of foreigners up to the end of the 2nd century B.C., when the laws against it were extended so as to include aliens. Through intercourse with Asia and Greece, a change in the payment of interest was gradually introduced, which in the first half of the 1st century B.C. was generally adopted. Capital was no longer lent by the year, but by the month, and monthly interest was paid, on the first day of each month; notice of intention to call in the loan was given on the Ides (the 13th or 15th day of the month), and reimbursement took place on the first day of the following month. The regular rate of interest with this reckoning was 1 per cent, monthly, or 12 per cent, per annum. The accumulation of large fortunes in Rome at the end of the Republic considerably lessened the rate of interest on safe investments. The chief field for usury was then the provinces, whose inhabitants were compelled by the exorbitant imposts to be continually raising loans at any price, The custom, long permitted, of adding the year's unpaid interest to the principal, was first forbidden by the later Roman law. Justinian permanently fixed the rate of interest in ordinary investments at 6 per cent., in commercial enterprises at 8 per cent., and in bottomry, in which it had previously been unlimited on account of the risk incurred by the stock on long voyages, at 12 per cent.
Internundlimm. The Roman week. (See nundin/e and calendar.)
Interreges. The name given by the Romans to the senators who, between the death of one king and the election of another, held regal authority, during the interregnum, for successive periods of five days each. One of these interreges had to conduct the election itself. Even under the Republic an interrex was nominated by the senate to hold the comltla for the election of consuls, whenever the consuls had died, or resigned, or if the election had not been completed by the end of the year. If five days did not suffice, the retiring inter-rex named another to succeed him.
fnuus. See fadnus.