My question is simple, "what was the value of a thousand talents in Roman Palestine about AD 33?"
Assuming Roman measurements used between 200 BC to 64 AD:
- 32,745.26415 Kilos of silver
- € 21,739,908.32 / US$ 22,824,431.47
- 1 Kilo: € 663.91 / US$ 697.03 (2022-06-18)
When not explicidly stated otherwise, Talent and Minae were based on silver and not gold.
Supposedly a gold Talent was equal to 4 silver Talents. (I found only one source that made this claim)
It is my impression that a thousand talents would have been a vast amount of wealth for that time. Is that correct?
Marcus Licinius Crassus (political and financial patron of Julius Caesar) was considered one of the most wealthiest persons in Roman history with 7100 talents when he died in 53BC.
That would be 232,491.375465 Kilos of silver (or € 154,353,349.08 / US$ 162,053,463.44) based on the Roman measurements of the time.
The Ancient Drachma / Minae / Talent
The ancient monetary system was based on silver as the coinage metal and a mass unit talent (first introduced in Mesopotamia), which was divided into 60 minaes. Some cities minted 100 silver drachmas from a minae, others 50 staters.
- 1 Drachma
- 1 Minae = 100 Drachma
- 1 Talent = 60 Minae = 6000 Drachma
Denarius / Libra / Mina / Talent (Roman)
- 211 BC to 200 BC
- denarius 1/72 silver (4.5479534 g)
- libra = 72 denarii (327.4526415 g)
- mina = 100 denarii (454.79534 g)
- talent = 6000 denarii (27287.7204 g)
- 200 BC to 64 AD
- denarius 1/84 silver (3.8982457 g)
- libra = 84 denarii (327.4526415 g)
- 96 Roman Drachme (each 3.4109650156g)
- mina = 112 denarii (436.603522g)
- talent = 100 libra = 8400 denarii (32745.26415g)
Note: 6165 Paris grains = libra (heavy libra)
A Roman talent (divided into 100 librae) was 1+⅓ Attic talents,