When I think about Roman tax collectors, I admit that most of what I know has been gleaned from the Gospel passages dealing with them, LOL.
But did you know that tax collectors in Roman days would collect all the taxes in baskets woven from rushes? The Latin word for this basket was fiscus.
See where I’m going with this? Yep. Quite a lot of English words dealing with money have the -fisc root in there, the most obvious one being fiscal. I had no idea that it was because of the basket used to collect tax money!
Even more interesting is that it’s the same root in confiscate. Because, of course, if you didn’t pay those taxes, the government agents had every legal right to confiscate your money. Our English word does come directly from the Latin. It was used in English strictly for seizures of property of criminals, which would go into the treasury, until the 1800s, when it took on a broader sense of any seizing, whether by authority or as if by one.
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