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The population of Ancient Rome

By studying hordes of ancient coins and census data, historians believe they have been able to determine the population size of the late Roman Empire.

According to the researchers, mapping out the times when the coins were buried is a good indirect method for measuring the intensity of internal warfare and unrest, and therefore a key indicator of population demographics.

“Hoards are an excellent indicator of internal turmoil,” Turchin said. “This is a general phenomenon, not just in Rome.”

The model the two developed using the coin distribution and less controversial census data from earlier periods suggests that the population of Rome did in fact decline after 100 B.C., suggesting the census did likely begin to include women and children and that Ancient Rome wasn’t substantially larger than historians had thought.

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