Legionaries from 3rd century CE | Illustration by Johnny Shumate
Third century CE it was a time of a mighty crisis of the Roman Empire. The crisis of the 3rd century historians also call “the age of anarchy”; “transition period”, “era of soldiers-emperors” and “military monarchy”. The need to defend the borders against the invasions of the Germanic tribes and the Persian army forced the emperors to over-expand their army, the cost of which increased and the Roman economy was unable to bear them.
The supply system, the emperors imposed huge fiscal burdens on the population and supplemented the shortages in the treasury by the so-called “spoiling the coin”, ie putting into circulation a coin which, instead of precious metals, contained a large admixture of base metals.
The “spoilage of the coin” led to hyperinflation, which was tried to be contained by the tools of the command economy. Roman Empire between 200 and 280 CE has hit dramatically high inflation. The wheat bale then increased from 16 to 120,000 drachmas.
The Sydney Morning Herald, "Rome—Places to See", 28 Listopada 2008
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