There’s a lot of ruin in a currency

There’s a lot of ruin in a currency

The Roman empire is probably more famous for debasing its money than for amassing it. Here we look at the rise and fall of sound money in Ancient Rome. There are many parallels with today. The geology of central Italy is not particularly abundant in gold and silver, and it was only after Rome began expanding beyond central Italy in the third century BC that it started using the two metals. 

Commodity money tends to be determined by the resources available. Bronze (made of copper and tin) is abundant in the area, and bronze in the form of weights – known as aes rude, often as heavy as 11 ounces (300 grams) – was the early currency of choice. 

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