Large landlords are usually represented by ministri, or factors, who direct agricultural operations and manage the estates, but the estate is often let to a middleman, or mercante di campagna.
Squarcione, whose original vocation was tailoring, appears to have had a remarkable enthusiasm for ancient art, and a proportionate faculty for acting, with profit to himself and others, as a sort of artistic middleman; his own performances as a painter were merely mediocre.
The tendency to eliminate the middleman has not only brought a good many manufacturers into direct relation with the shopkeeper, but in some exceptional cases the manufacturer, adopting some system of broadcast advertisement and postal delivery, has dealt with the consumer.
Tzibos took advantage of the extreme poverty of the Lazi to create a Roman monopoly by which he became a middleman for all the trade both export and import.
Sometimes the poor cut out the middleman of government entirely.