Inflation and the Second Punic War

Een quadrigatus van voor de inflatie

A quadrigatus (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum)

The Dutch news website recently wrote the following as regards currency depreciation:

Consumers don’t lose any sleep over the daily news items that the euro has decreased in value again compared to the dollar or the pound. They don’t notice this at all. The shopping cart with their groceries is exactly as expensive now as it was before, and their salary is still worth the same as when the euro was stronger.

Currency depreciation would indeed be this simple if our economy was a closed system.

The Second Punic War

Sometimes, it is indeed this simple. An example is the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War. Rome had been attacked by the Carthaginian commander Hannibal and suffered a number of shocking defeats: in the Po Valley (218 BC), at Lake Trasimene (217), and at Cannae (216).

[Read more on the blog of Ancient Warfare.]


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