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News Link • Greece

This ancient city would still be among the wealthiest in the world today

• by Simon Black

A talent was a common unit of measurement in the ancient world, especially for gold and silver.

And, based on today's precious metals prices and the traditional gold/silver ratio (14:1) used by the ancient Greeks, 9700 talents is equivalent to about $700 million today.

At the time, Athens boasted a population of around 43,000 citizens and 28,500 foreign residents… so on a "per capita" basis, the ancient Athenian surplus amounted to just under $10,000 per person in today's money.

If you compare this figure to our modern world, it's pretty extraordinary.

Modern China, despite all of its incredible wealth and savings, has a total surplus that amounts to less than $1,200 per person.

The United States doesn't even have a surplus.

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