By Steven Saville – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
In 262 AD, plans were being put in place to celebrate the “decennalia” (10 years on the throne) of Roman emperor Gallienus. The following excerpt from the fourth book in Harry Sidebottom’s “Warrior of Rome” series is part of a discussion between Gallienus and his senior advisors regarding how an appropriately-grandiose “decennalia” would be funded:
“The a Rationibus, in charge of the finances of the imperium, did not hesitate. “Celebrating your maiestas is without price and, as you know, Dominus, plans are in place to debase the precious metal in the coinage again. It will be a few months before the merchants catch up.””
In the end Gallienus decides to pay for the celebrations using direct theft (by confiscating and then selling the estates of his enemies and those of their families), but the final sentence of the above excerpt from a work of historical fiction reveals more knowledge of how monetary inflation works than is found in the writings of most Keynesian economists.