Grain in the days of Ancient Rome was a very precious source. Without grain Rome wouldn’t have grown to as strong and dominating as it did. Grain in Ancient Rome was used for eating and making into crops.
Without the grain supplies Romans would not be able to eat, and the Roman Armies would not have been able to eat and would surely be defeated by the opposing armies. The Bulk of the corn that Rome received came from neighbouring countries. These countries included Africa, Egypt, Sicily and Sardinia. Later on new sources came became available for Rome. The other sources include Moesia and Southern Gaul. There was a little problem with the grain supply, it was transport. Due to the day and age you could only transport using two methods, on land, and across the sea. Due to the distance Rome opted to transport across the sea more than on land. The problem Rome faced was the increasing number of pirates. Pirates would rob the barges and transporters for all their Grain. This was an expensive time for Romans. The Roman Senate decided to appoint someone to wipe out the pirates. This man was Pompey.
Pompey was appointed in 57BC. Pompey took his army and started at one end of the Mediterranean, and travelled to the other side. Along the way, the Roman army killed all pirates. The Pirate problem was wiped out and the Grain could be safely transported to Rome. Due to Pompey eliminating the pirates he was able to feed 486 000 Roman mouths. Pompey was a hero to the roman people. In 58BC free grain (later bread) to all Rome’s citizens took place. The result was a sharp increase in the arrival of rural poor into Rome, as well as the freeing of many slaves so that they too would qualify for the dole. By the time of Julius Caesar, about 320,000 people were receiving free grain, a number Caesar cut down to about 150,000. The distribution of free grain in Rome occurred until the end of the Empire. Baked bread replaced corn in the 3rd century Nevertheless, despite the free grain policy, most of Rome’s grain supply was distributed through the free market. There are two main reasons for this. First, the share of free grain was insufficient to live on. Second, grain was available only to adult male Roman citizens; this excluded the large number of women, children, slaves, immigrants, and other non-citizens living in Rome. Members of Government were also excluded from the dole for the most of the time.