Inopia in Mundō Romanō. Poverty in the Roman World

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1 Inopia in Mundō Romanō Poverty in the Roman World

2 Romans View of Poverty Seneca s Letter to Lucilius Ecce altera quaestio, quomodo hominibus sit utendum. Quid agimus? Quae damus praecepta? Ut pareamus sanguini humano? Quantulum est ei non nocere, cui debeas prodesse! Magna scilicet laus est, si homo mansuetus homini est. Praecipiemus, ut naufrago manum porrigat, erranti viam monstret, cum esuriente panem suum dividat? Quando omnia, quae praestanda ac vitanda sunt, dicam, cum possim breviter hanc illi formulam humani officii tradere: omne hoc, quod vides, quo divina atque humana conclusa sunt, unum est; membra sumus corporis magni. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC - AD 65) by P.P. Rubens (1615) Then comes the second problem, - how to deal with men. What is our purpose? What precepts do we offer? Should we bid them refrain from bloodshed? What a little thing it is not to harm one whom you ought to help! It is indeed worthy of great praise, when man treats man with kindness! Shall we advise stretching forth the hand to the shipwrecked sailor, or pointing out the way to the wanderer, or sharing a crust with the starving? Yes, if I can only tell you first everything which ought to be afforded or withheld; meantime, I can lay down for mankind a rule, in short compass, for our duties in human relationships: all that you behold, that which comprises both god and man, is one - we are the parts of one great body.

3 The Rylands Papyri At the University of Manchester Library John Rylands ( ) was an English entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He was the owner of the largest textile manufacturing company in the United Kingdom, and Manchester's first multi-millionaire. Enriqueta Augustina Rylands founded the John Rylands library, which opened to the public in 1900, in loving memory of her husband. The Rylands Papyri are a collection of thousands of papyrus fragments and documents from North Africa and Greece housed at the John Rylands University Library, Manchester, UK

4 Archive of Theophanes The Archive of a man named Theophanes was discovered by archaeologists in Hermopolis, Egypt Between the years AD, probably in the year 322 or 323, the scholastikos Theophanes travelled from Egypt to Antioch. He stayed for two and a half months in Antioch and then returned the way he had come. The Theophanes Archive contains 3 lists of the places he stopped at on the way, as well as a list of the provisions bought for his party at each place. The archive also contains various letters of introduction to highly placed officials in Antioch, a formal letter from his sons and their tutor, accounts for his estate at Hermopolis, as well as a list of the clothes and other equipment he took on his journey. The documents give details of every day's expenses, whether for food or lodging, but not for transport, nor are there any details of fodder or other provisions bought for horses or mules.

5 Palestine, during the 4th century AD

6 Ancient Currency 8 chalkoi = 1 obolus (approx. $4 USD) 6 oboloi = 1 drachma (approx. $25 USD) 100 drachmae = 1 mina (or mna) (approx. $2,500 USD) 60 minae = 1 Athenian Talent (Athenian standard) (approx. $150,000 USD)

7 P. Ryl. 629 Παῦνι α ἀναλώμ(α)τ(α) τιμ(ῆς) ψωμίων καθαρῶν (δραχμαὶ) ω κιβαρ(ίων) τοῖς παιδίοις (δραχμαὶ) Ασ τυρίου (δραχμαὶ) ρ ἐ [λ]αίας (δραχμαὶ) ρ τ [αρίχο]υ (δραχμαὶ) ρ [ ]ν (δραχμαὶ) ρ [ -ca.?- ] (δραχμαὶ) σ [ -ca.?- ] (δραχμαὶ) σ ς [ -ca.?- ] (δραχμὴ) α (δραχμαὶ) Αχ κα[ρυδίων] (δραχμαὶ) ρ [γ (ίνονται) τῆς ἡμέρ(ας)] (δραχμαὶ) Δχ [β] [ -ca.?- ] (δραχμαὶ) ω [κιβαρ(ίων) τοῖς π]αιδίοις (δραχμαὶ) Ασ κ ρ[έως λί(τραι)] δ (δραχμαὶ) Ασ ᾠῶ [ν -ca.?- ] (δραχμαὶ) υ τουρτίων [εἰς ἄ]ρ ι στο(ν) (δραχμαὶ) χ λουκανικ [ῶν] (δραχμαὶ) υ τυρίου (δραχμαὶ) σ ταρίχου (δραχμαὶ) ρ ἐλαις(*) (δραχμαὶ) ρ ὀψαριδ(ίου) (δραχμαὶ) τ καροιδ(*) [καὶ] σχαδ(*) εἰς ἄριστ(ον) (δραχμαὶ) σ λαχάν ω ν (δραχμαὶ) ρ ξύλων (δραχμαὶ) σ ἐλαίου κιβαρ (ίου) (δραχμαὶ) ψ οἴνου σπαθίου (δραχμαὶ) Βω κεμοραφάνου (δραχμαὶ) ρ καροιδίων(*) καὶ σχαδι(*) εἰς διπ(*) (δραχμαὶ) ρ κεφαλωτίων (δραχμαὶ) ρ γ(ίνεται) τῆς ἡμέρ(ας) (τάλαντον) α (δραχμαὶ) Γψ

8 The Archive of Theophanes P. Ryl. 629 On Pauni 2 : cost of fine loaves (800 dr) common loaves for the boys (1200 dr) meat, 4 lbs. (1200 dr) eggs (400 dr) tourtia for lunch (600 dr) sausages (400 dr) cheese (200 dr) pickled fish (100 dr) olives (100 dr) (fresh) fish (300 dr) nuts and dried figs for lunch (200 dr) green vegetables (100 dr) firewood (200 dr) ordinary olive oil (700 dr) a spathion of wine (2800 dr) kemoraphanos (100 dr) nuts and dried figs for dinner (100 dr) leeks (100 dr)

9 P. Ryl. 633 P. Ryl. 633 η εἰς Ἀβέλλα ἀψινθίου (δραχμαὶ) σ 0ψωμίου ἡμῖν εἰς ἄριστον (δραχμαὶ) σ κρέως προβατικο(ῦ) ὑικ(οῦ) (δραχμαὶ) ρ οἴνου εἰς ἄριστ(ον) (δραχμαὶ) σ ψωμίων κιβαρ(ίων) τοῖς παιδ(ίοις) (δραχμαὶ) ω τοῖς (αὐτοῖς) ὑ(πὲρ) οἴνου κα(ὶ) κοπάδ(ος) (δραχμαὶ) σ ἐν Ἀσκάλων ψωμίων καθαρ(ῶν) εἰς δεῖπ(νον)(*) (δραχμαὶ) τ σταφυλίων (δραχμαὶ) ρ σ ύ κ ω ν (δραχμαὶ) ρ δωράκια (δραχμαὶ) ρ μή λων (δραχμαὶ) ρ η σπουμι [ - ca.? - ] (δραχμαὶ) ρ πράσων (δραχμαὶ) ρ οἴνου σιραίου(*) (δραχμαὶ) υ δαμασκηνῶ [ν] (δραχμαὶ) τ δωράκια ἄλλα [κ]α τὰ [αἵ]ρεσιν (δραχμαὶ) ρ [οἴ]ν ο υ κιβαρ(ίου) (δραχμαὶ) φ [γ]άρος ξ (έστης) α (δραχμαὶ) σ ὄξος [(δραχμαὶ)] σ κολυκύνθ(ων) (δραχμαὶ) ρ κεμίων (δραχμαὶ) ρ ξύλων (δραχμαὶ) ρ ᾠῶ ν (δραχμαὶ) σ ἐξατιλίων (δραχμαὶ) υ γ(ίνονται) τῆς ἡμέρ(ας) (δραχμαὶ) Ϛυ(*)

10 The Archive of Theophanes at Abella vermouth (200 dr) loaves for us, for lunch (200 dr) pork meat (100 dr) wine, for lunch (200 dr) common loaves for the boys (800 dr) for the same, wine and a cut of meat (200 dr) at Ascalon fine loaves, for dinner (300 dr) grapes (100 dr) (fresh) figs (100 dr) peaches (100 dr) apples (100 dr) [...] leeks (100 dr) reduced wine (400 dr) plums (300 dr) more peaches, [by ch]oice (?)(100 dr) ordinary wine (500 dr) fish-sauce, one xestes (200 dr) vinegar (200 dr) gourds (100 dr) kemia (100 dr) firewood (100 dr) eggs (200 dr) exatilia (400 dr) Total for the day (6,300 dr)