I shall cover you, but charging me sesterces
Is like sparing your roofing of a shingle.
Pliny the Younger, for example, complains that Nicomedia had spent 3 million sesterces
on an aqueduct which was not completed yet (Ibid 35).
With gladiator munera, scenic ludi and circus games, the patron commissioned statues for the astronomic sum of 400,000 sesterces
, nearly ten times the annual amount spent on philanthropic enterprises by the local curia in a North-African city of average size (see Duncan-Jones 1974, 107-110 and 215-217).
This led to the former Roman Praetor being forced to pay 45 million sesterces
to the Sicilians in retribution for the artistic riches plundered from their public monuments and temples.
He played dice with four hundred thousand sesterces
Caesar reports that Scaeva's valiant service saved the fort; the grateful general rewarded his faithful soldier with 200,000 sesterces
and promoted him from eighth rank to first centurionate (Civil War 3.53).
THE HIGHEST PAID SPORTSMAN OF ALL TIME THE illiterate Romano-Hispanic Gaius Appuleius Diocles won 1,462 chariot races and is said to have retired at the age of 42 with winnings totalling 35,863,120 Roman sesterces
- enough money to buy grain for the entire city of Rome for a year.
The Spanish ace pocketed 35,863,120 sesterces
- around [euro]12billion in modern money - by the age of 42.
Octavien, emerveille, acheta vingt mille sesterces
Four hundred sesterces
Gracchus gives as dowry to a horn-player (or perhaps he played a 'straight instrument').
As Pliny wrote in the first century: "Not a year passed in which India did not take 50 million sesterces
away from Rome." That trade imbalance implied a continuous drain on gold and silver coin, causing shortages of these metals in Rome.
For the most irresponsible act of treasure-eating bravado we must look not to India, but to Egypt and the night when Cleopatra took a pearl worth ten million sesterces
(about $C 35 million today) and dropped it into a bowl of wine vinegar.