A tax paid to the emperor by all the Roman provinces. Originally it was a voluntary contribution toward the golden crown to be offered to those to whom a "triumph" was given, and to the emperors (compare Cicero, "In Pisonem," xxxvii.); but later it became a statutory tax. The emperors who displayed moderation in it—Augustus (compare Dio Cassius, book 51, p. 458, ed. Hanover, 1606), Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius—were much praised on that account by the Augustan historians.
The Romans also applied the term "Aurum Coronarium" to the yearly tribute paid by the Jews of Rome for the maintenance of the patriarchate. The name of the tribute was of itself objectionable to the Roman emperors, as implying regal rights in thepatriarch, and they sought in every way to prevent its payment: even Julian the Apostate, otherwise friendly to the Jews, asked the patriarch Julus to absolve the Roman Jews from paying it.
The Aurum Coronarium pressed heavily upon the Romans, and still more upon the Jews in Palestine, where the Roman functionaries could impose it arbitrarily. The Talmud relates that at the time of the patriarch Judah I. all the inhabitants of Tiberias fled in order to avoid the payment of this tax (B. B. 8a, where it is called ). See Apostolé.
- Zornius, Historia Fisci Judaici, pp. 408 et seq.;
- Codex Theodosius de Judœis, xvi. 8;
- Kubitschek, in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyklopädie, s.v.;
- Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, iv. 224.