Whenever we think about money the visuals to our mind are different compared to the Roman civilization, centuries ago. Years before, during Roman times, it was not gold or silver that was granted as salary to their employees and soldiers. They were times when salary was paid in salts instead of money, gold coins, or silver.
People at that time had their businesses in exchanges of goods and salt. It is easy to understand the value of salt which stood to be costlier than gold and silver. May it was the reason that the price of salt that salary word was inspired from the word salt.
Why was salt so expensive in Roman Times?
Salt was expensive at the Roman time which was difficult for the people to afford for themselves. But, it is an essential part of food that was hard to acquire. Salt provided to the soldiers as the availability of salts was less in the world. The production of salt was limited and the trading was also vigorous. So, it was becoming strenuous for the common people to have salt for their food and cooking.
The real use and taste of salt were known to the people when they started using it for their food. This was another reason salt was paid in salaries rather than gold sometimes. The value of tasty food and health benefits became important over earning gold or silver. The lack of availability was due to less exposure to the salt mine.
Roman times was the period when they were there were slaves brought from parts of the world. It was the time when they were sold in exchange for salt. The essence of salt was excessively increasing that was reducing the importance of human at that time. Rich or high-status people were able to purchase or afford salt.
Salt Mine In Europe when salary was paid by salt
During Roman times, the salt in Europe was in Bulgaria. It was the first salt mine that supplied salt. It became the top trading center for traders. Napoleon was on his way with his soldiers while many of them fell ill and died due to a lack of salt or trace minerals such as chlorides, potassium, sodium, and iodine in their body. The value of salt was not compared to gold or silver but it was connected to the better health of the forces of the Roman soldiers and people.
Employers and soldiers were paid money but apart from it, they were partially given salt to avoid dehydration in their body. On contrary the approach to the mines of the salt was limited. It was the reason that by selling the salts to other parts of the country the Roman civilization was able to build a planned city.
One of the popular salt-producing areas was in Halle, the Saxony Anhalt of 1670. Even now the value of salt remains the same though in less quantity. There is no replacement of salt, while in the time of the Roman times there was a lack of salt mines, unlike today. This is the reason salt was paid as a salary to the soldiers instead of gold.