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Rome's Economic Revolution$
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Philip Kay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681549.001.0001

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Cashing in the Plunder

Cashing in the Plunder

(p.86) (p.87) 5 Cashing in the Plunder
Rome's Economic Revolution

Philip Kay

Oxford University Press

The silver coinage element of Rome’s money supply started to expand rapidly from the middle of the second century bc onwards. To some extent the enlarged coinage element of the money supply would have been used to (re)monetize Africa and to a lesser extent Spain. The evidence for the Italian countryside is limited, but it indicates that during the second century bc these rural areas were already at least partially monetized. There is no evidence for denarii being used to any significant extent in the East until after Sulla at the earliest. Assuming that the bulk of the increased supply of denarii was used in Italy and Sicily, the monetary impact of such an increase would normally be either to cause prices to rise or to increase the level of economic activity. But there is nothing to suggest anything other than a comparatively low level of inflation.

Keywords:   silver, coinage, money supply, monetize, Africa, Spain, rural, denarii, Sulla, inflation

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