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guy

Importance of Egypt to Roman Economy

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I found this interesting and entertaining video on the importance of Egypt on ancient Rome, especially as a conduit for trade (thus, a source of revenue), as well as a rich supply of Egyptian grains and other local products.

Not mentioned in this fascinating video was that the Egyptian economy was a closed one (coins did not circulate into or out of Egypt.  Its coins, therefore, did not compete with circulating gold and silver coins from the rest of the Empire. According to Kenneth Harl, in his book Coinage in the Roman Economy, Egypt could create the world's first successful fiduciary currency. (Fiduciary currency cannot be redeemed for a monetary reserve of a precious metal such as gold or silver. This is similar to paper currency or modern coinage.) This allowed for a stable economic system not nearly as devastated by the frequent devaluations of the coinage elsewhere in the empire.

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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