Empire, Oil, and Disaster - blog about my new book

A religious sect getting more and more attention of the world. Jews in the Middle East already have problems with them. Coincidentally, a terrible terract happens in the largest city of the empire. The same religious sect is blamed for it. The year is 64 AD. The sect is Christians. The place is Rome of the emperor Nero.
Beware of September Ides!

Location: United States

Saturday, February 17, 2007

How often gladiators died on arena

Just yesterday, I found a very interesting article, which among other things had the following statement: "Roman scholar Georges Ville recently conducted a study of ancient writings which recorded arena deaths during a short period of the 1st Century AD. He discovered that, of the 200 gladiators involved in the documented fights, only 19 of them died."

Impressive, is it? We are accustomed to think about gladiators as a sort of Japanese komikadze, while instead it was definitely a high risk occupation, but hardly a higher risk than a soldier, probably not even close to that! Only 10%, 90% of gladiators successfully lived to the old years, probably already as free Roman citizens.


Slaves prices in Greece and Rome

Found an interesting information.

Prices on slaves in Greece in around 400-350 BC.

Uneducated slave~ 2 mins (1.5-2.5 mins)
Skilled slave3-4 mins
Slave overseer, "manager"5-6 mins
Slave with special skills and knowledge10-15 mins
Beautiful girls and dancers20-30 mins

Greek money:

6 obols=1 drahma
100 drahms=1 min
60 mins=1 talant

Now, Rome.
In Republic and early Empire uneducated slave was 400-500 denarii.
Late Empire (with almost no conquest and cheap source of slaves) 600-700 denarii
(the second price seems questionable, considering inflation)

Comparing with the Greek prices, we get:

Uneducated slave400-500 denarii
Skilled slave800-1000 denarii
Slave overseeer, "manager"1000-1500 denarii
Slave with special skills and knowledge2000-3000 denarii
Beautiful girls and dancers4000-6000 denarii

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

The price of slaves in Rome

Found such information for the time of Cato, but don't know how reliable it is...
  • The price of a slave is about a two-year wage of a free man of similar skills.
  • A free field worker had between 2/3 to 5/6 of a denarius per day, that is about 500-600 in two years.
  • An unskilled, 20 year old male slave was about 500 denarius.
  • Related: expected return of 6% (25 denarii per year) and writing off the salve in 20 years.
  • Keeping a slave was about 1/3 of the wage of a free worker, about 128 denarii per year for an unskilled field worker.
  • Cost of living at the time for a freeman laborer and his wife was about 300 denarii/year.

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