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The vast majority of people who lived in the
ancient world were very poor. However, there were a number of men, who were unbelievably rich and are among the wealthiest people who ever lived. They were mainly rulers who gained their wealth through war, conquest, and the enslavement of the defeated. Unlike today, when rich entrepreneurs and business people dominate the rich last in western countries, in the ancient world, the rich were nearly always, rulers or members of the elite. Here is a list of some of the Classical World’s, richest individuals. There are no reliable records of the wealth of these individuals and there is some controversy among historians as to how to measure a person’s net worth in the Graeco-Roman era. However, it is possible to estimate the Ancient World’s wealthiest using documentary evidence and estimates of how much a state’s resources they managed.
[[File: Rich one.png |200px|thumb|left|A bust of Alexander the Great]]
==Alexander the Great==
Alexander III, king of Macedonia (356-323 BC), was perhaps the greatest military commander of all time. He inherited a powerful army from his father Phillip II and a number of gold mines. Alexander was a wealthy monarch even before he set off on his conquests, from his revenues from the mines, which were worked by slaves. They proved to be crucial to his ability to wage war. Alexander campaigned in the Balkans and later Greece to secure his position. Then he launched an invasion of the Persian Empire, then the most powerful state in the world. In 333 BC he defeated a large Persian army at the River Gracus, then he moved inland and inflicted a historic defeat on Darius, the Persian Empire, at Issus (330 BC). As he entered the Persian Empire he seized many treasures, which was the custom of war at the time. It also appears that many cities and local rulers were forced to pay the Macedonian army. Alexander had a great many expenses and the costs of maintaining his army were prohibitive. One of his major sources of revenue was selling captives into slavery. In the Ancient World, there were no rules of war and the conqueror could do as he pleased with the conquered. One scholar has recorded some two dozen instances when the Macedonian Conqueror sold huge numbers of people into slavery. After the siege of Gaza, he sold the entire population into slavery. In 335 BC, the victor of Issus ‘’auctioned 30,000 Greek captives for 25 tons of silver’’<ref>Holt, Frank Lee. The treasures of Alexander the Great: how one man's wealth shaped the world (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016), p 119</ref>. Alexander also collected a large amount of treasure from Egypt. When he finally defeated the Persians’, he seized the Emperor’s treasury. Moreover, the land that was conquered by Alexander became part of his private estate and he could dispose of it as he wished. It is estimated that the Macedonian king controlled a sizeable portion of the World’s GDP during his reign. One modern historian reckons that he earned 17,000,000 pounds of silver during his years of conquest <ref>Holt, p 145</ref>. However, he was a notorious spendthrift and once bought a dog for almost 100 pounds of silver. Moreover, much of his wealth was misappropriated or wasted. Alexander by the time of his death in Babylon in 330 BC was almost certainly the richest man alive.