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Another mode of interpreting the symbol of Wheat and Barley.

It is possible that these allusions to wheat and barley may be understood of the remarkable supply of corn which took place in these times. For it may seem that this meaning also is included in those words: So it may have a reference to the abundance of grain, that provisions should be 85sold at a just price. “A measure of wheat for a penny:” i. e. Sell the daily allowance of wheat according to the daily price of labour, or the wages or rent, that they might not furnish to any one who required assistance, more daily food than was sufficient for his daily supply. So likewise, “three measures of barley for a penny,” may seem to relate to an equation of price, according to the quality of the commodity. If an interpretation of this sort should be satisfactory, the event will here also correspond exactly with it. Spartian says of Severus, “Though he found very little grain, he took such care, that when he departed this life, he left a seven years’ regular allowance to the Roman people, so that 70,000 bushels a day might be expended. He first bestowed on the people of Rome a gratuitous diurnal allowance of oil, but he left so much of it, that there was sufficient for five years, not only for the uses of the city, but of all Italy, which was in want of oil.” As if indeed he had intended to fulfil what is here added, καὶ τὸ ἔλαιον καὶ τὸν οἶνον μὴ ἀδικήσῃς, “And be not unjust as to the oil and wine.”

Lamprideus has similar remarks respecting Alexander. “He so assisted,” says he, “the provision of the Roman people, that when Heliogabalus had destroyed the grain, he in his turn replaced it out of his own revenue. The oil 86likewise,” said he, “which Severus had given to the people, and which Heliogabalus had diminished, he fully restored, and added oil for the lights of the baths1111Query, if this care were not intended by Providence for the supply of the Christians?—R. B. C..”


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