shit

got nerd sniped.

I'm reading about ancient greek and roman coins.

I'm seriously considering buying a handful of 1700+ year old coins.

So lots of greek and roman coins are reasonably common and especially late era Roman Bronze coins are frequently available in "Very Fine" condition for $5-25.

$10ish for 1500-2000 year old coins seems absurd.

Like, I can think of way less worthwhile things to spend $10 on.

It's useless, but having a few thousand year old coins to keep, to copy, to give as gifts, that seems like a good use of a couple dozen bucks.

Someone asked (at least a little tongue in cheek) what the buying power of some of these old Roman coins would have been.

It's hard to say with any accuracy, but I found this article which gets in to some of the details: web.archive.org/web/2013021007

I'm mostly looking at coins from circa 300.

According to that article:

"By 305 AD a modius of wheat sold for between 2 and 10 nummi depending on location.

Around 320 AD we have a record of bread selling at Antioch for 2 nummi."

(A modius is 10 days of wheat, baked loaves were a luxury.)

It goes on to talk about prices for other goods, but basically by 320 or so, a Nummus was about a modern dollar.

Except, what even is a Nummus?

via wikipedia:

"Nummus is a Latin term meaning "coin", but used technically by modern writers for a range of low-value copper coins issued by the Roman and Byzantine empires during Late Antiquity.

The word was also used during the later years of the Roman Republic and the early Empire, either as a general word for a coin, or to describe the sestertius, which was the standard unit for keeping accounts."

see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nummus

and

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follis

and: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constant

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So, uhh, about a dollar? Unless it was a lot less? Except it might have also been more, and Roman people basically didn't buy any of the things we buy today, so apples to apples is impossible anyway.

condiments ancient and moder. 

@ajroach42 you could compare a bottle of ketchup to a jug of that weird gross fish paste the Romans used. That's probably almost comparable between Roman and US culture

condiments ancient and moder. 

@marie_joseph @ajroach42 Also, consider that the ancient Romans lived on street food so there's a basis for comparison there.

condiments ancient and moder. 

@marie_joseph @ajroach42 The Big Mac Index, but it's meat onna stick instead of burgers.

condiments ancient and moder. 

@Reinderdijkhuis @marie_joseph Ancient Romans *in Rome* lived on street food, at least.

@ajroach42 I wonder how many of the items in the Consumer Prices Index standard Basket of Goods (used for tracking inflation) are comparable: https://pastebin.com/3WvWLfsP (sourced from the 2021 XLSX file downloadable from here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/datasets/consumerpriceinflationbasketofgoodsandservices )?
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