How much would Lot's wife been worth (as salt)?

Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,011
MD, USA
Just to nitpick, no, Roman soldiers were NOT paid in salt. Ever. The word "salaria" was an extra allowance FOR salt, and I'm pretty sure it was not a regular part of their pay. Also, the Via Salaria predates Rome--the site where that very ancient trade route crossed the Tiber was what made Rome a strategic location. Having found those two serious errors in that article, I stopped reading before getting to their documentation for salt being "worth its weight in gold", but suffice to say that I'm dubious. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely an important commodity and often expensive! Just trying not to get lost in the hype...

Matthew
 

Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,011
MD, USA
Am I missing something? That passage says nothing about paying soldiers in salt, only a vague reference to "salarium" being derived from military *honors*, not pay. And that's assuming that Pliny isn't simply in error--we know he gets things wrong sometimes. The footnote is interesting, but of course it's just another modern conclusion, and again does NOT say that any soldiers or officers were paid in salt. In fact it rather implies the opposite, saying that "silver" is understood.

Matthew