Economy of the South-Kingdom


ESTIMATED POPULATION FIGURES

  1400 TA 1600 TA 1650 TA 1850 TA
Anórien 900 000 900 000 600 000 800 000
Ithilien 700 000 700 000 450 000 400 000
Lebennin 1 500 000 1 250 000 900 000 1 000 000
Belfalas 1 000 000 1 000 000 500 000 600 000
Lamedon 200 000 200 000 120 000 140 000
Anfalas 400 000 500 000 350 000 500 000
Calenardhon 250 000 250 000 100 000 150 000
Wold 50 000 50 000 30 000 20 000
Dor Rhûnen 200 000 200 000 100 000 50 000
Harondor 1 000 000 900 000 500 000 300 000
Total: 6 200 000 5 950 000 3 650 000 3 960 000
 
Nen Umbar 350 000 450 000 360 000 350 000
Annabrith 30 000 90 000 30 000 30 000
Glinfalas 80 000 200 000 100 000 100 000
Cuivierant 50 000 60 000 70 000 90 000
Harnen 300 000 400 000 200 000 400 000
Total: 810 000 1 100 000 760 000 970 000
Note: Demographic figures are based on calculations and thoughts by Jason Beresford and Gunnar Brolin, published in Other Hands 3 & 4.

GONDORIAN REVENUES AND BUDGET

Numbers in Gold Crowns (Erin).

1400 TA 1550 TA 1650 TA 1750 TA
Land & Head Taxes 2 500 000 1 500 000 800 000 1 450 000
Commerce & Other 500 000 200 000 100 000 200 000
Total Revenues 3 000 000 1 700 000 900 000 1 650 000
 
Payroll of Army 1 400 000 1 100 000 453 000 548 000
Other military costs 800 000 400 000 209 000 331 000
Bureaucracy 250 000 200 000 200 000 250 000
Largesse* 150 000 50 000 50 000 100 000
Total Expenditures 2 600 000 1 750 000 937 000 1 229 000
 
Surplus: +400 000 -50 000 -37 000 +421 999
Note: Largesse includes corn doles of Pelargir and Osgiliath, food subsidies and many public works. Fiscal deficit of 1550 was countered by large tribute extracted from Umbar and Harad. Post-plague Gondor quickly exhausted its silver reserves; any deficit was covered by monetary debasement, selling of goverment property and future revenues for cash. Surplus revenues in the late 18th century were mostly used for shipbuilding and strengthening of the gondorian war machine.

CURRENCY IN GONDOR


Royal currency was based on a gold Erin ("Crown"), struck at 36 to the pound (4.48 grs.) and 99.5% fine. Erin had developed into a very stable currency during the age of ship-kings, and it managed to retain its value in spite of several monetary crises during 15th-18th centuries. As military and diplomatic costs mushroomed, Dior Arandur Húrinion of Emyn Arnen, chosen as the King's Steward during Tarondor's era, devised ingenious means to stretch the supply of currency. Tarondor minted "light-weight" Gold Crowns at 98.5% fine, saving substantial sums of gold in the process. This minor debasement of 1% from the ideal standard did not weaken the valuation of Erin.

Silver prices, however, fluctuated wildly. Erin was originally divided into five Lothi and twenty ¼-ounce Celebarni ("Silver Royals"). Minting of Lothi was discontinued in 1450 to save silver, which was more commonly used in commerce than gold. Silver Royals fared better, but to keep sufficient number of precious metal in circulation after 1450, it was necessary to worsen the quality of Celebarn. Vinyarion issued 5% debased silver royals to pay his armies during Gondor-Harad War (1540-1551). King Tarondor, counceled by steward Dior Arandur, went farther. As the prices ballooned and the value of money deteriorated, more pure silver was hoarded to private caches. Hard and indecisive Third Umbarean War (1653-1666) hastened the pace, until Royals were only ½ silver and ½ copper. Older, pure silver Celebarni were redesignated as Miriani and rated sometimes as much as four new Royals.

Fractional currency consisted a single, tiny denomination called an Ela or farthing (a "mug" in Pelargirean slang, as it was the smallest piece of money needed to buy a drink). This coin, a wretched survivor of the numerous abortive currency reforms attempted during and after the Kin-Strife, was reckoned by a thousand to the Erin. In 1445 Castamir had quartered the weight of the Ela, but due to rampant inflation, its buying power soon reduced to nothing and quarter-elas were quickly forgotten.

In 1298 Minalcar recoined preceding bronze Tambs into single bronze pieces called Mina, struck at 36 to the pound and tariffed at 5 copper farthings so that the exchange was 1 ERIN = 210 MINA = 1050 copper farthings. The fractions of Half-Mina (2½ farthings) and Attaëla (2 farthings) were also minted. In 1412, Valacar doubled the weights of the Mina and its fractions; the new exchange was 1 ERIN = 105 MINA = 1050 copper farthings (½-Mina was now 5 farthings and Attaëla became Cantaëla). War and inflation in 1540-1551 compelled kings to lower the weight of the Mina and the exchange rate of 1 ERIN = 200 MINA = 1000 copper farthings was imposed in the Law.

King Telumehtar and his steward Malandil Maratarion of Emyn Arnen initiated a complete reform of the monetary system in 1830. Most of the golden Erin had by then disappeared into hoards, so a new silver standard was formed to handle Gondor's dwindling internal and external trade. Castar was new one ounce silver piece, quartered to four Tharni. They were all struck from pure silver and retained their value far to the third millennium.

Note on Umbar: Númenorean coins were minted during the Ancient Realm. In 1050-1448 standard Gondorean currency was used. After 1450, rebel lords minted coins with old gondorian casts bearing the head of Castamir, last king of Gondor they acknowledged. This tradition was however discontinued in 1470 by the Oligarchs in the Regency Council. In 1470-1810 umbarean standard currency was ½-ounce besant (from sindarin word besain, "bread-giver"), which was minted from gold-silver alloy.

EXCHANGE RATES (Numbers show relative values)

Ship-Kings
Malanor 20 000
Erin 4 000
Loth 800
Celebarn 200
Tamb 20
Bernhar 8
Ela 2
During Kin-Strife
Malanor 42 000
Gold Crown (Erin) 4 200
Loth 840
Silver Royal (Celebarn) 210
Mina 40
Half-Mina 20
Cantaëla 4
Farthing (Ela) 1
Post-Plague
Malanor 40 000
Gold Crown (Erin) 3 960
Mirian 200 +
Silver Royal (Celebarn) 100
Mina 20
Attaëla 8
Farthing (Ela) 4
Foreign Currencies
Arnorian Crown (gold) 2 000
Arnorian Half-Crown (silver) 1 000
Arnorian Shilling (silver) 200
Arnorian Half-Shilling (silver) 100
Arnorian Fourpence (copper) 16
Arnorian Pence (copper) 4
Arnorian Halfpenny (copper) 2
Umbarean Besant (alloy) 2 000
Bozisha-Dar Crescent (silver) 150
Bozisha-Dar Dinar (copper) 1
Tûl Isra Tal (gold) 64 000
Tûl Harar Kesh (gold) 8 000
Sîrayn Saris (silver) 100
Sîrayn Sort (bronze) 10
Sîrayn Garn (copper) 1
Khazad-Dûm Kibil (silver) 1 600

AVERAGE WAGES IN GONDOR (1650 TA)

General labour Wage / time
Unskilled worker 4 bp / day
Farm labourer 4 bp / day + maintenance
Lime burner 5 bp / day + maintenance
Mule driver 3 bp / day + maintenance
Common whore ~20 cp / customer, 4-6 gp annual
Indentured servant 6 bp / day + maintenance
Skilled labour Wage / time
Barber 10 cp / customer
Furniture maker 18 gp annual
Skiller carpenter 16 gp annual
Artisan, novice 11 gp annual
Artisan, apprentice

18 gp annual

Artisan, master 50 gp annual
Courier 4 cp / mile
Stone mason ½ sp / day + maintenance
Figure painter 1½ sp / day + maintenance
Wool weaver 1 ¾ sp / cloak
Paver or mosaics worker 6 bp / day + maintenance
Shipwright 6 bp / day + maintenance
Wagonsmith 5 bp / day + maintenance
Wall painter 7 bp / day + maintenance
Professionals Wage / time
Physician 100 gp annual
Advocate ~300 gp worth of bribes annual
Courtisan ~80 gp worth of gifts annual
Goverment official 73 gp annual
Teacher 28 sp / pupil + maintenance
Military professions Wage / time
Footsoldier, territorial 6-9 gp annual, rations + land grant
Footsoldier, Dagarim Aran 10 gp annual, rations + land grant
Sailor 10 gp annual + provisions
City guard 7 gp annual
Horseman, territorial 29 gp annual, inc. horse
Roechbin (heavy cavalry) 36 gp annual, inc. horse
Royal guard 20 gp annual, rations
- Quinquennial donatives: 72 sp every five years
Land grants upon honourable discharge:
- Footsoldier plot worth of 64 gp
- Cavalry plot worth of 128 gp
Turmahîr (Lieutenant) 54 gp annual
Autherdir (Captain) 250 gp annual
Herdir (Tribune) 300 gp annual
Condir (Banneret) 108 gp annual
Berthir (Prefect) 3 200 gp annual
Skipper ~73 gp annual
Marine Captain 200 gp annual

Note: Military salaries were paid as fixed prices in Silver Royals and thus started to deteriorate during the 16th and 17th centuries. By 1660s, footsoldier's salary of 200 royals had less than half the buying power it had in the 1450s. This problem was dealth with by providing food, uniforms and weapons as payments in kind (earlier, soldiers were responsible for paying their supplies out of their pay), but this left soldiers at the mercy of the official issue for the quality of items, and removed any possibility of supplementing pay by beingcareful or frugal with the official issue.



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