I am having trouble finding information on the quantities of looted and mined gold by the Roman Empire.

How much did they loot from the Dacians?

How much did they loot from the Jews?

And how much did they mine in Hispania and Dacia?

Can someone provide the top 5 (and quantities) in both looted and mined gold from conquered Roman provinces?


3 Answers 3


I'll only provide some data about the mined gold:

  1. 9 t p.a. "Production in Asturia, Callaecia, and Lusitania (all Iberian Peninsula) alone." (Pliny: Naturalis Historia, 33.21.78, in: Wilson 2002, p. 27)
  2. 190t during whole "Roman Time" in Northwest Spain (I didn't see a specific time range in the paper) (http://www.academia.edu/2105961/Tertiary_and_Quaternary_alluvial_gold_deposits_of_Northwest_Spain_and_Roman_mining_NW_of_Duero_and_Bierzo_Basins_)
  3. Duerna 3t p.a. (http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/articles/Edmondson_Mining_in_the_Later_Roman_Empire.pdf quotes Mines d'Or romaines d'Espange)

I wasn't able to find a ranking list or data about the now Balkans (though many references to it, there should be data about tat).


The gold of Tolosa was a treasure in a lake where the celts offered many of their warprizes.

However, in 105 BC, the proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul, Quintus Servilius Caepio, reported the discovery of the gold at Tolosa to the Senate, and was charged with sending the treasure back to Rome. Over 50,000 15 lb. bars of gold and 10,000 15 lb. bars of silver were found. The gold disappeared en route, with Strabo mentioning that "it was on account of laying hands on them that Caepio ended his life in misfortunes...". It was reported that the gold was stolen by a band of marauders, with many contemporaries and modern historians believing that Caepio himself had hired them.

that makes 750 000 roman pounds of gold *0.328.9= 246 675 kg or ~ 250 tons of gold!


But however, the account of Poseidonius is more plausible: for he says that the treasure that was found in Tolosa amounted to about fifteen thousand talents (part of it in sacred lakes), unwrought, that is, merely gold and silver bullion

not sure how much that is in kg.


The answer to your question is that these respective quantities are not known.

Modern post-colonial historians routinely speak of how Britain, France, Belgium and other colonial powers looted their colonies by extracting their mineral resources. From this perspective the border between "looting" and "mining" does actually become rather fluid.

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