Roman Money

What is a denarius worth?

  • A day’s wages for an unskilled laborer. 1, 2

So, let’s take that as minimum wage.

Minimum wage in MA was $7.50 an hour in 2007 and went up to $8.00 an hour at the start of 2008. 3 A modern work day is eight hours, but a Roman workday would have been longer.

  • One twenty-fifth of a daily wage in 296 CE 4

  • 25 lunches’ worth of bread 5

    White sandwich bread not on sale can be bought for $1.19 for 20 slices. How many slices should we assume for a lunch?

Roman bread, though, would have been more like a fancy artisan bread. How would this have changed the prices?)

  • 18 cents or a day’s wage in 1930. 6 $.18, would be worth $2.35, $1.95, $7.12, $9.15, $11.50, $28.90 7

  • $100 8

  • Ten dollars. 9

  • For conversions from post-Roman values you find, the Measuring Worth site is very useful.

  • Ancient Coins for Education list of prices and wages 10