What can be said about the state budget (aerarium + fiscus + a.militare + etc) spending of the Roman Empire at the time of Augustus, say 14 A.D.? Can it be estimated in sesterces?

1 Answer 1


One caveat to trying to do this would be that Rome didn't exactly operate a modern capitalist society. For example, all the excess grain harvested in North Africa (including the Nile valley) was simply put on ships and given out to the public in Rome.

  • 1
    I am okay with estimates in pounds of grain, liters of oil and ounces of gold.
    – user904
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 16:02
  • Another thing to note was that often times, soldiers (and probably other people) weren't paid in money(like sesterces), many times they were paid in salt because it was so valuable at the time.
    – rm5248
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 15:44
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    It would suck if they were paid in salt when it was raining...
    – Russell
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 1:55
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    The wikipedia article on Roman empire has an estimate of GDP in sesterces and wheat equivalent, btw.
    – user904
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 15:01
  • on Roman economy, I mean, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_economy
    – user904
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 18:59

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