Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Roman Imperial Trajan - Annona

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Antik Sikkeler

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Annona was the divine personification of the grain supply to the city of Rome, a creation of Imperial pseudo-religious propaganda, manifested in iconography and cult practice, but lacking in narrative mythology or a historical tradition of devotion.

The Roman government used the term Cura Annonae [care for the grain supply], in reference to the import and distribution of grain to the residents of the city of Rome. Rome imported most of the grain consumed by its urban population, estimated to number one million people by the second century AD. Most of this grain was distributed through commercial or non-subsidized channels, but a dole of subsidized or free grain, and later bread, was provided by the government to about 200,000 of the poorer residents of the city of Rome. It has been estimated that each year as much as 60,000,000 modii of grain [about 420,000 tonnes] reached the city, equivalent to approximately 1,200 large vessels containing 50,000 modii [about 350 tonnes] each.

The grain ships that sailed principally from Egypt and Africa, and the shipping lanes they travelled were therefore of strategic importance. Whoever controlled the grain supply had an important measure of control over the city of Rome, which was utterly reliant on regular imports. The depiction of Annona with a modius and grain ship on this coin is therefore closely associated with the principate, being one of the most ubiquitous and important manifestations of the emperor's power to care for his people. The date when the Cura Annonae ended is unknown, but it may have lasted even into the 6th century, by which time the population of Rome had greatly declined through famine, war and economic ruin to as little as 100,000. The great machinery of empire that had once spanned all of Europe and sustained the greatest city on earth had been effectively shattered by barbarian migration and subsequent warfare, and with the eventual disappearance of the great grain fleets it would not be until the sixteenth century that vessels of similar tonnages would ply the waters of the Mediterranean again.

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