The Ancient History of Money

The same happened both in Ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. Although fiat currencies didn’t exist at the time, the principle is the same. The greater the amount of currency circulating, the higher the prices of goods and services will rise. Roman coins became smaller and smaller to increase the amount of circulating coins and these were even clipped off as a tax when people needed to enter a government building. These clippings were then melted down and used to make more coins, also often mixed with less valuable metals. Eventually, the Romans faced the same destiny as the Greeks did: inflation came in and their empire collapsed.