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His liberality, however, to all ranks of people, was excessive. He made up to several senators the estate required by law to qualify them for that dignity; relieving likewise such men of consular rank as were poor, with a yearly allowance of five hundred thousand sesterces;1 and rebuilt, in a better manner than before, several cities in different parts of the empire, which had been damaged by earthquakes or fires.
1 The sesterce being worth about two-pence half-penny of English money, the salary of a Roman senator was, in round numbers, five thousand pounds a year; and that of a professor, as stated in the succeeding chapter, one thousand pounds. From this scale, similar calculations may easily be made of the sums occurring in Suetonius's statements from time to time. There appears to be some mistake in the sum stated in c. xvi. just before, as the amount seems fabulous, whether it represented the floating debt, or the annual revenue, of the empire.
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