Roman free food supply, abolishing tax and long war crippled the Civilization.

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Economics and Roman Era

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Mythical story behind Roman derivation is that there were Romulus and Remus sons of Rhea Silvia (sister of the king), were abandoned by the king Amulius to avoid claimant of kingdom.  The king ordered them to drawn in Tiber River but escaped the death plot. Both in wild were raised by wolf mother till they grew up, revenge in mind roused them to kill Amulius and restored reign to grandfather. Both founded new town where they were raised.  Soon both the brothers involved in quarrel and Remus was killed.  In 753BC Romulus became the first king and gave name of the town “Rome”. To populate his town he offered safe haven to escapees, slaves and refugees. His Rome was short of women so he resorted to abduction to populate. He waged war against many neighbouring regions and enslaved many. During his reign Rome began prospering through agriculture and crafts making. He led Rome rule for 36 years and died at the age of 54. This founder of Rome got status of Roman God after death. After his death 6 more kings ruled but in 535BC the last king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus’s reign was well known for ravaging neighbouring regions, cruelty and violent rule.  In 509BC strong rebellion against king abolished Monarchy rule.

After dismantling Monarchy system, the two consuls constituted Roman republic incorporating influential upper class, rich land owners, and plebeians. Initially the republic was in control of aristocrats who had monarchy background. However, overtime constitutional amendments revoked their influence. New republic systems promoted new generation of aristocracy who were rich influential and powerful to influence highest authority “the senate”, they were traders and rich upper class.  Though the senate was independent but not the senators, who were corrupt and made decisions favouring elite class and traders. In fact the foundation of the Republic was laid on the poverty and poor were buried under it. Rome’s 5% was privileged class, whereas, 95% lived in below poverty line. In addition, 30-40% slaves of total population were not treated as humans and lacked basics.  Republic or Democracy both have similar significance and are for the citizens and by the citizens. Republic or Democracy systems are as important as who represents, and how and who elects the representatives. These systems elevate worst of “capitalism” when senates are under influence of rich and aristocrats, thus rich become richer by neglecting downtrodden class. The capitalism is superb as far as investments are concerned, provided proper checks and balance done on them. The curse part is, in most democratic election process huge monetary fund is involved and raised from rich individuals or sectors. These categories invest on politician’s election in expectations of return.

The Italic Latin tribes inhabited in small town old Latium surrounded by Tiber river, were Indo-European tribes migrated during Bronze Age (1200-900BC). They began with traditional agriculture and live stock breeding; overtime liberated economy of Rome helped surging import and export trade. Romans produced mainly grains, grapes, olive, cheese, pottery and textiles. Olive oil and wines were the major exported commodities. Food grain they produced was not enough to feed population and the soldiers. The farmers were heavily taxed as a result the production did not improve, rather, farmers maintained primitive agricultural methods. Using slave labour was easier and cheaper than modernising cultivation. Many small farmers preferred becoming slaves to avoid paying heavy taxes. Romans did not have much difficulty establishing structure as religion, temples, republic and economic systems were inherited from Greece. Human and animal sacrifice, Mother Goddess, Positive Gods and Negative Gods prevailed throughout the history of all ancient civilizations. This signifies the uniformity among the humans in antiquity. The objective of temples in all civilizations was to unify and maintain discipline among inhabitants and collect taxes.  

Mysterious Blonde slaves from Germany and from different regions through trade routes found their way to Rome raised demand against supply. Empires economic policy was limited to only a few class, hence, the poverty was intense could result to revolt if free grain not distributed. It was a constant challenge for the emperor to feed population and soldiers, prompted import food grain from Egypt, Sicily, Tunisia and parts of Mediterranean, which was sent to Ostia for quality control and repacked for distribution to empire. Plainly speaking, the Roman colonies improved Rome’s economic growth.

Flourishing growth surged imports of luxury goods such as silk from China, cotton and spices from India, Ostrich and ivory products from Africa, Gold and silver from Spain and Africa to mint coins and make jewellery and mines in Britain produced tin for manufacturing weapons and Greece and North Italian mines provided marbles for its construction. During antiquity the piracy was more common. Rome had an added advantage of Navy and Army power for assured shipments, nevertheless, piracy often irritated them. In addition importers were wealthiest in Rome facilitated to undertake as third party exporters for more reliability. After importing they re-exported to colonies and Europe, Africa, and other continents. However, on exports of food grains and other essential commodities there was stringent law. Who did not follow faced severe penalty could reach to death. Roman rich aristocrats and financiers had investments especially in provinces on manufacturing, financing, ship building, and infrastructure, construction and banking. As the imports were more than the exports there might have been chances of trade deficit that they possibly reimburse after extra taxes on the colonies, else sought option of Gold or other precious metal transactions. We can find an example of trade with Ancient India resulting balance of payment problem for Rome. (How excessive Government killed ancient Rome – Bruce Bartlett)  - Economic policy in 3rd century BC shifted to more regimented manner especially, in Greece and Egypt, depriving individuals to make profit for own. Inflicting heavy taxes on traders and producers resulted heavy economic crisis in provinces. Roman dictators and imperials were warriors so the objective was to capture lands under them and levy tax.

Banking system, well developed functioning in Greece before the conquest, was inherited by Romans. In 225BC Rome used first Gold Coin in response to devaluation of Silver Coins as a result of oversupply of silver from its colonies. Roman Gold coins remained dominant currency in Roman world. Development of coin money revolutionised banking systems as was easy to handle.  Under Augustus, coining silver and Gold was privilege though Senate was only responsible to make bronze coin. Wages in 301AD in the Roman Empire (Ancient Coins for education), however, the price of grain or others against coin money were based on demand and supply.  Most famous banks were on Delos where both the temple and private banks functioned. Argentarii the private bankers functioned as money changers, depositor and lender and Mensarii were the Government owned banks that accepted deposits and lent on interest to merchants. Mensarii used funds for Government projects also they were assigned to recover taxes. In normal course both functioned same way for depositing and lending loans. The objective of founding Mensarii was to wave loan or settlements of heavily debted plebeians and poor farmers. With the involvement of Augustus Caesar poor farmers pledged lands for interest free loans on repayment in 2-3 years. Argentarii banks also accepted deposits which were to be sealed and kept in physical possession, did not carry interest, and rather might have charged to keep wealth in safe custody. Private Banks were far ahead in growth and opened up their branches in many of occupied regions. These banks also financed colony farmers and merchants. Overseas transactions were done through bills of exchange (permutation) same way as Greeks did during their era.

Merchant vessels and maritime commerce reached at peak during Imperial reign. Sea transport was much better choice to the merchants as was cheaper than the road transports. They resorted to sea routes especially for heavy and bulky products, grains and for long distances. Encountering pirates was normal routine therefore; many rich merchants besides, carrying soldiers with ship as protection, they took maritime loan which was to be paid only when ship arrived at port. History of Insurance existed as early as 4000-3000BC, was known as bottomry contract (Britannica) Normally interest rates varied depending on the risk and transit time involved. 

For nearly 12 centuries of Roman existence shifted from monarchy to aristocratic republic then to autocratic imperialism. During the transition Rome expanded its territories by invasion and alliances. Roman Republic was never a full republic nor was abolished; rather it remained reliance on the dictators. 60BC Julius Caesar and Pompey formed political alliance to dominate Roman politics, got opposition from the senators. However, his conquest against Gaul and invasion on Britain gave him unmatched military power. After centralizing the bureaucracy claimed Dictatorship and began social and political reform including creating Julian calendar. Caesar after defeating Pharaoh established Cleopatra VII as Egypt ruler. Both lived together without marriage, as per Roman law it was adultery and child borne became political issue to Senate and the family. Her introduction to Caesar was dramatic (See the photos), she emerged from unfurled beautiful hand knotted carpet. 44BC Finally Julius Caesar got assassinated by rival senators Gaius Cassius and Marcus Brutus.  The invasions and extending boarders made Rome the largest and richest imperial. Cleopatra VII was not meant to be known as what we know about her, she was a scholar with knowledge of 9 languages and created libraries full of literary information. She was devoted, revitalized Egypt out of economic demise. She constructed marvellous monuments so Egypt could become symbol of great civilization. She was tough negotiator with Romans which relaxed moment of trade to other countries. 

In 30BC the Augustus defeated his rival Mark Antony in Egypt to establish as first emperor and led Egypt come in Roman province. Egypt was to serve as grain producer, whatever, produced was to give out on priority to Rome. Egypt was encouraged to privatize lands and manufacturing to promote production and tax collection. Privatisation was to liberate from dynastic rule so region and its population could directly serve to Roman benefit. Egypt being significant food supplier, Rome did not want to lose grip, thus for better control over trade routes added Judea, and neighbouring regions.  27-14BC Augustus continued reforms what was left behind by his uncle.

         Regulated distribution system of grains. The emperor spent from his fund to supply free food to nearly 200000 Romans. However, the target to feed was 350000 inhabitants.

         Abolished farming tax but did not last long as the provinces complained being heavily indebted. Both free food supply and abolishing tax resulted heavy toll on Roman fiscal situation. 

         Improved water system in Rome. Constructed monuments and temples. Improved Police and Fire brigade system more efficient.

         Select group of 3000 men stationed all over Italy as his personal guard. Later others too followed.

         For better and efficient Governance he divided provinces in two classes, older provinces remained under Senate and new provinces he kept under his control.

         Caesar Augustus ordered to carry census of Roman world population. Each five year male member of the family had to register for the census declaring family, children, wife, income status, slavery, employers their freedmen and all got them and their dependant registered. [“Luke 2:1-7 – In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman World. Everyone went to their town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in the cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”] Failing to participate in census meant saviour punishment drove entire population to register. The decree was economic and social revolution, slaves and downtrodden got identification.  

Hebrew Tribes (JEWS) was significant in the entire Roman Civilization as “one man” from this community rose and made Romans to kneel down that transformed future world order. During antiquity world over these people including women and kids were bought and sold; the slave trade was regular practice from Mesopotamia to Roman era.  In the entire history of Judea, exodus and slavery took place constantly. Hebrew race was most oppressed slaves in all the civilizations; however, overtime they became most powerful financiers and traders.  Hebrews came from Ur with father Abraham in circa 2000BC. According to Biblical story [Genesis 11-31 - Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there].  Later they moved to Canaan (area approximately modern Israel and West Bank), the land he found to be of his taste. Began agriculture, animal breeding, pottery making, and traded with neighbouring nations. Trade and foreign relationship flourished but did not last long (Genesis 12-10) - Canaan fertile land began to dry and famine engulfed all over, as a result Abraham with all his people moved to Egypt. They continued living in Egypt as slaves for over centuries after Abraham’s demise. As a saviour for the slaves, one man rose as revolutionist who was “MosesExodus-3. Moses argued with Pharaoh for release of slaves and to allow freedom Exodus- 5 to them.  When Egypt suffered epidemic plague, Moses succeeded to influence release of Hebrew slaves and led them to Canaan where they settled. While returning from Egypt they gathered technology (Exodus 31) through their work experience in agriculture, stone cutting, garments, furnishing, incense, crafting gold, silver, bronze, wood, and iron (Exodus 32:4). Installing vast experience into practice resulted high growth in trade within and overseas. But did not last long, approximately 1300 or 1200BC Philistine (“Plesheth” the sea people from Crete island from Aegean area) invaded. As a result political and economical disarray lasted until they realized to have strong leader “David” to take over. King David ruled for about 40 years from approximately 1010-970BC united all 12 Hebrew tribes together and won battles.

[“The Judea (Mathew 24:16-18)”] King Solomon became king approximately 967BC extended his rule form Euphrates river in North to Egypt in South. He inherited the kingdom from his father King David, although he faced opposition from his rivals but cleared all the obstacles. During his reign Israel’s prospects was at peak soon famed his wealth, construction of holy temple in Jerusalem, trade relationship and justice system in neighbouring nations. The Sheba was among the closest trade partner. After his demise in 930BC the kingdom was divided in north as Israel with capital in Samaria and in south as Judah with capital in Jerusalem and remained separate states for over 200 years. These states never survived long as a result of weak and corrupt Governance. In 722BC Assyrians invaded Israel and disintegrated all the tribes in small settlements spread over the entire Arabian Peninsula. After failing to invade Egypt by Babylonia, Judah refused paying tribute.  In 597BC invaded and appointed representing king who would take care of Babylonia. However, Judah in secret association with Egypt revolted that resulted reinvasion in 589BC Judah’s capital destroying the temple and the city. Took its people captive and moved to Babylonia as slaves. Babylonia located them in one place and retained their religion and identity intact.  Jews got their identity when returned free after Cyrus II the King of Persia in 539-538BC invaded Babylonia and freed Jews to resettle in their city.  Israel and Judea were same before division of kingdom in to two. However, in later stage are known in one identity as “Jews”. The strength of tolerance and ability to sustain they got from the Hebrew bible inscriptions.

At the time of sufferings Religion takes momentum to give strength. Jews temple laws and Roman bureaucratic prejudice became unpredictable infuriating Jews community overall fuelling to revolt. Jews were buried under heavy taxes, inflicting poverty and within Jews rivalries. Jews long wanted a Messiah to emerge and release from the persecution. 6BC when bright glowing star appeared in the sky, Jesus was born. After baptising by John Baptist in Jordon River, Jesus realized the purpose of his existence which gave strength to oppose persisting Jews and Roman religion and sacrificing rituals. He opening challenged the systems when arrived in Jerusalem fuelled the empire and Jews King. Jesus preaching established religion of new world order “Christianity” became threat to Romans and Jews who called him militant. In 1st century AD the cross and the pain he suffered during crucifixion roused people’s emotions thrived widespread campaign of Christianity.

Majority of population in Rome and its provinces were poor and downtrodden. The preaching of Jesus became inspiration, the depth of attachment gave momentum to movement that Romans and Jews priest did not expect. People who were against too became the followers. Saint Paul known as the persecutor of Christians was born in Jews family and his real name was Saul. On the way to Damascus revelation of Jesus influenced to spread Christianity to tens of thousands of miles reaching from Egypt and Asia Minor to Rome and Europe. Bible inscriptions guided to respect Debtors, poor and slaves. In ancient world slaves were bought and sold like commodities, however, in modern world it is sin. Bible was first step recognising slave as human. New Testament became holy book of Christians and began to follow inscriptions was one of the reasons exasperating Romans. During evolution they were easy targets to Romans, sacrificed lives until Christianity touched soul of humans. Only by admiration, new religion could penetrate hearts of people for establishing new world order. Finally achieved reorganisation in 313AD when Constantine Emperor adopted Christianity, since then Christianity became accepted region in Rome. Christianity managed to overhaul corrupt Jewish religion and brutal Roman regime.

Military and economic disaster and loss of grandsons  clouded last days of Augustus and died 19th August 14AD. After him Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius continued their reign but Claudius (41-54AD) brought social order by bringing law to protect sick slaves and increased women privileges and added territories.

After the death of Claudius, Nero (54-68AD) at the age of 17, with his mother Agrippina’s help took control on empire. However, Agrippina lost her dominance after Nero rejected her association and sent to separate house or killed. In the history he was known for insane. Nevertheless, it may be inaccurate blaming his behaviour as he was an economist who in order to improve fiscal situation, instead of overtaxing people chose to debase the currency by reducing size and content of Gold aureus,  silver denarius and Copper and bronze sesterce. He was friendly with the lower class gained popularity in senate. His constant effort was to retain dominance in the provinces as they were the resource for Rome.

         His influence in justice system reduced advocate fees, and restricted levying excessive bail and fees. 

         Limiting corruption, supporting poor by subsidy and low interest rates, allowing tax exemption on imports of essential food.

In many occasions he went opposite to the senate that did not bring cordial relationship for example he gave freedom to Southern Greece (Achaea), while weak Greece did not want freedom and wanted to remain under Nero tax free and protection. Nero was pro people and supported many developmental programs trade routes, developed tourism through monuments, theatres and festival games. Pro people was a measure Rome to grow as they major population could involve in economic activities to surge economy. His reign was at the time when Rome was in fiscal imbalance and high trade deficit. That further drove up in 64AD when Rome was on fire destroying cities and the population. He did not like behaviour of 3000 Roman Christians inhabiting exasperated him to avenge and executed 300 of them.  Nero began reconstructing absorbed exorbitant amount resulting fiscal crisis, persuaded to levy heavy taxes from inhabitants and the provinces, resulting rebellion in Gaul, Spain, Britain, Judea and within. Economic fall resulted political fall throughout remaining Roman Era. 5 known good emperors ruled were 96 - 98 Nerva, 98 - 117 Trajan, 117 - 138 Hadrian, 138 - 161 Antoninus Pius, 161 - 180 Marcus Aurelius, 177/180 - 192 Commodus. Long war and escalated cost of maintaining Army, unmanaged Government expenses resulting high fiscal deficit, corruption, altogether took heavy toll on Economy that reflected through uprising and chaos.   


Economics and Athens Civilization

Be Cautious: Above information about economics are only basics based on my assumptions, may not be correct so use only if your teachers are satisfied. For history I referred Wikipedia and other sources whose links are cited.

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Best education is to gain positive knowledge to survive and perform. When in the education, seeking highest marks becomes priority the objective is only how to get best percentage by hook or crook. Is this not the guidelines for children to become selfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadashivan’s quotes

"Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go."— Katharine Weber

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child labour photos, rural poverty photos, urban poverty photos, Ignoring rural development, Economics AND Management, Why women are poor and oppressed? TRADE & POVERTY relation, What is "BEHAVIOR", What is environment? Emotion is a reaction to the influence, What is culture? Africa to Indus-Valley (Dravidian,) Africa to Indus-Valley (Vedic Age), What is religion and how did it exist, What is civilization?, "ART" is reflection of identity!!! "Stress", "LOVE" is SUBMISSION to the ATTRACTION!!! THE COMMON LANGUAGES, Learning the skill to survive is "EDUCATION" !!! Evolution is a process for suitability !!!! Sex & Attraction, enjoy tribal dance click photos, Urbanization and the Future World, movies - videos, Handmade rugs/ carpets process photographs, social study books, SOCIAL STUDY TRAVEL LINKS.