Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire

Read the transcript of Professor Joseph Peden's 50-minute lecture "Inflation and the Fall of the Roman Empire," given at the Seminar on Money and Government in Houston, Texas, on October 27, 1984. From the lecture:
"If a city couldn't pay its costs or pay the salaries of its employees, it simply struck up some token coinage and issued that."

"The Roman people, the mass of the population, had but one wish after being captured by the barbarians: to never again fall under the rule of the Roman bureaucracy."

"Prices in this period [258 - 275 A.D.] rose in most parts of the empire by nearly 1,000 percent. The only people who were getting paid in gold were the barbarian troops hired by the emperors. The barbarians were so barbarous that they would only accept gold in payment for their services."

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