Comparing U.S. income inequality to Ancient Rome

To determine the size of the Roman economy and the distribution of income, historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen pored over papyri ledgers, previous scholarly estimates, imperial edicts, and Biblical passages.

Their target was the state of the economy when the empire was at its population zenith, around 150 C.E. Schiedel and Friesen estimate that the top 1 percent of Roman society controlled 16 percent of the wealth, less than half of what America’s top 1 percent control.

http://persquaremile.com/2011/12/16/income-inequality-in-the-roman-empire/

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