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The Common People of Ancient Rome eBook

Frank Frost Abbott
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about The Common People of Ancient Rome.

Extracts from Diocletian’s List of Maximum Prices

I

In the tables given here the Latin and Greek names of the articles listed have been turned into English.  The present-day accepted measure of quantity—­for instance, the bushel or the quart—­has been substituted for the ancient unit, and the corresponding price for the modern unit of measure is given.  Thus barley was to be sold by the kastrensis modius (=181/2 quarts) at 100 denarii (=43.5 cents).  At this rate a bushel of barley would have brought 74.5 cents.  For convenience in reference the numbers of the chapters and of the items adopted in the text of Mommsen are used here.  Only selected articles are given.

    (Unit of Measure, the Bushel)

1       Wheat
2       Barley                                                  74.5 cents
3       Rye                                                     45     "
4       Millet, ground                                          74.5   "
6       Millet, whole                                           37     "
7       Spelt, hulled                                           74.5   "
8       Spelt, not hulled                                       22.5   "
9       Beans, ground                                           74.5   "
10      Beans, not ground                                       45     "
11      Lentils                                                 74.5   "
12-16   Peas, various sorts                                  45-74.5   "
17      Oats                                                    22.5   "
31      Poppy seeds                                          $1.12
34      Mustard                                              $1.12
35      Prepared mustard, quart                                  6     "

    II

    (Unit of Measure, the Quart)

1a      Wine from Picenum                                       22.5 cents
2       Wine from Tibur                                         22.5   "
7       Wine from Falernum                                      22.5   "
10      Wine of the country                                      6     "
11-12   Beer                                                     1.5-3 "

    III

(Unit of Measure, the Quart)

1a      Oil, first quality                                      30.3 cents
2       Oil, second quality                                     18     "
5       Vinegar                                                  4.3   "
8       Salt, bushel                                            74.5   "
10      Honey, best                                             30.3   "
11      Honey, second quality                                   15     "

    IV

    (Unit, Unless Otherwise Noted, Pound Avoirdupois)

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