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[An edict published by the Emperor Diocletian about 303 A.D., directing those engaged in the sale of provisions not to exceed certain fixed prices in times of scarcity. It is preserved in an inscription in Greek and Latin on the outer wall of the cella of a temple at Stratonicea (Eski-hissar) in Caria. It states the price of many varieties of provisions, and these inform us of their relative value at the time. The provisions specified include not only the ordinary food of the people, but also a number of articles of luxury. Thus mention is made of several kinds of honey, of hams, sausages, salt and fresh-water fish, asparagus and beans, and even pernae Menapicae (Westphalian hams). At the time when the edict was published the denarius was obviously much reduced in value, that coin appearing as the equivalent of a single oyster. The inscription was first copied by Sherard in 1709; it has been elaborately edited by M. Waddington, with new fragments and a commentary, 1864; and by Mommsen in the third volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latindrum. Portions of the Greek copy and the Latin preamble were found at Plataea in 1888-9 during the explorations of the American School of Classical Archaeology. In 1890, during the excavations of the British School of Archaeology, several hundred lines of the Greek version of the decree were discovered at Megalopolis, including a list of pigments with their prices. It has been edited anew by Mommsen and Blumner, 1893. - J. E. S.]
Type: Standard
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