Cyborg IM1 wrote:
Now we are back to that old argument, how much do normal people make in Traveller? We know what spaceship crews make, but no one else...
I think we can avoid that problem in this case, because there are good sources
for the salaries in ancient Rome. In my view the problem here would be to decide
which period of the Roman Empire to use, because there were of course huge
differences over its long history.
Well, maybe not.
There are sources for some jobs at some points in Roman times, and for some places ... but there is nowhere near enough to give us a comprehensive picture (no, not even Diocletian's "Edict on Maxiimum Prices" ... there's real evidence to suggest it was obsolete the moment it was chiselled up).
And, unless you have an idea of what sort of prices things went for, the wages are meaningless anyway ... and we don't have a lot of evidence for comprehensive price lists such as, oh, say, a Roman equivalent of a Sears-Roebuck catalog.
Much academic powder has been burnt over the years about Roman wages, prices, and economics and the general consensus of the more reasonable academics seems to be along the lines of "nowhere near enough evidence to do anything more than the very broadest of broad generalisations" ... the powder being spilt, as often as not, over what counts as "very broad"
You could, dare I say it, check out "Orbis Mundi" or "Farm, Forge and Steam" (both, alas, by yours truly and available on RPGNow) which, in the first instance, try to make sense of wages and prices and society in the 15th century (Europe), and, in the latter case, tries to make some sense of how it all works together in ways that most generalist historians (and RPG writers
) often don't make much sense of
And, of course, though most people aren't aware of it (even historians, really), a lot of the assumptions about how Roman (or pre-modern in general) life was organised is a tissue of conjecture and guesswork piled on scattered, unrelated, often misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted facts of dubious relevance.
Like, for example, the general assumption in almost all RPGs that chunks of wood (bows and arrows) cost far more than chunks of metal (swords etc.), the exact reverse of economic and historical experience/reality
In general, you could throw something together that would probably not be too obviously broken and which would work within your (equally broken) assumptions, but it wouldn't be easy or quick.