- Dec 2011
- Late Cretaceous
It looks like one ass wasn't worth very much, but I guess it was better than a half ass. Though in Roman Republic times a half ass was probably better than none.
around 140BC the value of the Ass changed to 16 ass = 4 sesterces = 1 denarius.
The sestersius rather than the denarius seems to be the currency used to value property, eg Crassus was said to have estates worth 200 million sesterces.
Useful little link with tables of wages and prices at various times during the Republic and Empire:
Roman Economy - Prices & Cost in Ancient Rome
Crassus's wealth is estimated by Pliny at approximately 200 million sestertii. Plutarch, in his "Life of Crassus," says the wealth of Crassus increased from less than 300 talents at first to 7,100 talents. This represented 229 tonnes of gold, or about 7.4 million troy ounces, worth about $9 billion US dollars today, accounted right before his Parthian expedition, most of which Plutarch declares Crassus got "by fire and war, making the public calamities his greatest source of revenue."