When Octavius (later renamed Augustus) beat Marc Anthony and Cleopatra and took Egypt for his own, he shipped the vast stores of bullion back to Rome, constituting a tremendous increase in Rome's money supply.
Consequently, the interest fell from 12% to 4%. Much of the money was used to purchase farm land for retiring Roman soldiers. Not surprisingly, land values doubled.
Everitt, Anthony. Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. Chapter 15. Page 194 of paperback. 2007. Random House.
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