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How much is a million gold dragon worth?


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How much is a million gold dragon worth in terms of how much food(bushels of wheat,sheep,cows.......) could be bought,how many men could be armed,paid,supplied with a million gold dragons,how many large  castles/fortress could build,how large of a navy could you build?

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32 minutes ago, Mrstrategy said:

How much is a million gold dragon worth in terms of how much food(bushels of wheat,sheep,cows.......) could be bought,how many men could be armed,paid,supplied with a million gold dragons,how many large  castles/fortress could build,how large of a navy could you build?

I will try to answer, but keep in mind that this is all based on actual history. With Martin not giving crap about logistics, reality, or really anything except psychology, politics and cynicism, situation in Westeros could be very different.

Generally, a peasant plot would have produced income of 5% of its value: so assuming a peasant plot is generally 1 lbs of gold, this means that 20 plots are necessary to produce value of 1 lbs of gold per year, or else that income is 5 gold coins per year per 1 lbs of value of land.

To support a knight, you needed 15 - 30 peasant households, or maybe some 20 lbs of gold on average. A light cavalryman would require 10 lbs of gold in land value and thus 10 households for support, while a knight in 15th century might require as much as 36 households for support.

Of course, if you are going for mercenaries, they are lot more expensive. Wage for a heavy cavalryman (man-at-arms) in the Black Army of Matthias Corvinus was 60 florins per year, and light cavalryman was 40 florins per year. A heavily-armed infantryman would have required 36 florins per year.

Now I will make assumptions that 1) wages take up roughly half the sum while the other half goes for logistics, and that 2) there is a typical proportion of 15% heavy cavalry, 15% light cavalry and 70% infantry. So a unit of 1 000 men would have 150 heavy cavalry, 150 light cavalry and 700 infantry, and wage would be 40 000 florins (or gold dragons) per year. Assuming total costs of 100 000 gold coins per year, this means that a million gold dragons could supply a normal Westerosi army of 10 000 men for a year.

A galley might cost 250 lbs to build - but with Westerosi galleys being enormous, 1 000 lbs is a more likely figure. This means (using Byzantine coinage) some 72 000 gold coins per ship. So a million gold dragons would allow you to build (but not actually use) a total of 12 - 14 galleys. If you wanted to actually use the blasted things, then you can cut this number to a half or maybe a quarter at best.

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6 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Martin tends to pull numbers out at random when it comes to economics, demographics and the such. The only truly correct answer would be a million gold dragons will buy whatever the plot needs it to.

This

 

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On 8/8/2021 at 11:49 AM, Mrstrategy said:

How much is a million gold dragon worth in terms of how much food(bushels of wheat,sheep,cows.......) could be bought,how many men could be armed,paid,supplied with a million gold dragons,how many large  castles/fortress could build,how large of a navy could you build?

Rosey's maidenhead at the Quill and Tankard was for sale at 1 golden dragon.

Brienne gives the innkeep a silver stag and gets three huge horse steaks, fried onions in bacon grease, stale oatcakes, ale and cider. Then she paid three gold dragons and a skiff for a lumbering plowhorse, a half-blind old white gelding and a dappled grey palding, but these are the only horses around and its wartime.

In King's Landing before the Tyrells opened the Rose Road, a melon cost six coppers, a bushel of corn went for a silver stag, and a side of beef or six piglets sold for a dragon, but these are all inflated prices.

Saladhor Saan charges Stannis 30,000 dragons per month, although he still hasn't gotten a dime.

Chett charged a penny for 12 leeches.

About a hundred years earlier, a full set of plate armor cost about four dragons. Dunk sold his palfrey for 750 stags.

So like always, the value of money rises and falls over time and according to circumstances. Only kings and lords had the means to build castles and ships and outfit armies, so it wasn't cheap.

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On 8/8/2021 at 12:17 PM, Lord Lannister said:

Martin tends to pull numbers out at random when it comes to economics, demographics and the such. The only truly correct answer would be a million gold dragons will buy whatever the plot needs it to.

And to think he showed disdain at Aragorn's tax policy.

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On 8/8/2021 at 7:32 PM, Aldarion said:

I will try to answer, but keep in mind that this is all based on actual history. With Martin not giving crap about logistics, reality, or really anything except psychology, politics and cynicism, situation in Westeros could be very different.

Generally, a peasant plot would have produced income of 5% of its value: so assuming a peasant plot is generally 1 lbs of gold, this means that 20 plots are necessary to produce value of 1 lbs of gold per year, or else that income is 5 gold coins per year per 1 lbs of value of land.

To support a knight, you needed 15 - 30 peasant households, or maybe some 20 lbs of gold on average. A light cavalryman would require 10 lbs of gold in land value and thus 10 households for support, while a knight in 15th century might require as much as 36 households for support.

Of course, if you are going for mercenaries, they are lot more expensive. Wage for a heavy cavalryman (man-at-arms) in the Black Army of Matthias Corvinus was 60 florins per year, and light cavalryman was 40 florins per year. A heavily-armed infantryman would have required 36 florins per year.

Now I will make assumptions that 1) wages take up roughly half the sum while the other half goes for logistics, and that 2) there is a typical proportion of 15% heavy cavalry, 15% light cavalry and 70% infantry. So a unit of 1 000 men would have 150 heavy cavalry, 150 light cavalry and 700 infantry, and wage would be 40 000 florins (or gold dragons) per year. Assuming total costs of 100 000 gold coins per year, this means that a million gold dragons could supply a normal Westerosi army of 10 000 men for a year.

A galley might cost 250 lbs to build - but with Westerosi galleys being enormous, 1 000 lbs is a more likely figure. This means (using Byzantine coinage) some 72 000 gold coins per ship. So a million gold dragons would allow you to build (but not actually use) a total of 12 - 14 galleys. If you wanted to actually use the blasted things, then you can cut this number to a half or maybe a quarter at best.

You are assuming a gold dragon in westeros is the same value as a real world florin, however Martin's description of the gold dragons makes it clear they are quit size-bale coins much bigger then real world coins.

Rough estimate is that they are twice the size of a florin so your numbers on a westerosi army are off by that amount, so a million dragons will pay for 20000 men if not more.

As for ships, with a florin having 54 grains of pure gold and 1 lbs of gold being 7000 grains of gold, going with your 1000 lbs per ship is roughly 129630 florins so about half that in gold dragons so 64815 gold dragons that means a million dragons would build you about 15 or 16 ships.

Of course in truth it buys you as much as Martin wants people to be able to buy with it.

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2 hours ago, direpupy said:

You are assuming a gold dragon in westeros is the same value as a real world florin, however Martin's description of the gold dragons makes it clear they are quit size-bale coins much bigger then real world coins.

 

Yeah, I guess I missed that. And it is a problem in and by itself, because when you had large gold denomination, it was almost always paired up with a much smaller golden coin. Hungary was, in fact, an exception in having a single silver and a single gold coin type - and one fixed at 100 silver coins to a gold coin.

 

Anyway, I did find this:

http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/pdf/EconomyArticle.pdf

Edited by Aldarion
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7 hours ago, Aldarion said:

Yeah, I guess I missed that. And it is a problem in and by itself, because when you had large gold denomination, it was almost always paired up with a much smaller golden coin. Hungary was, in fact, an exception in having a single silver and a single gold coin type - and one fixed at 100 silver coins to a gold coin.

 

Anyway, I did find this:

http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/pdf/EconomyArticle.pdf

Interesting artical i had not seen that one before thenks for sharing it.

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22 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

And to think he showed disdain at Aragorn's tax policy.

That was kinda weird. It never was that big of a deal to me. Reading about demographics, economics and the such would just get boring to me. The story and characters were what hooked me. The world building was secondary. 

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