In the Roman world "Tin" was effectively
the "King of Commodities". This essential commodity was crucially
important to every day life. It was most
prominently used in the production of the alloy "Bronze" which was
widely utilized throughout the empire in most metal applications including
arms and amour. In one way or another, everyone living throughout the Empire were consumers of tin; they made up the "demand"
side of the tin market. Another crucial secondary commodity of the era was
"Lead" which was used in the Roman water and aqueduct systems. The
primary source of supply of these two important metals was Britannia (Britain).
Various historical documents record an exceedingly
powerful and influential man. In parts of Britannia and in secular British
histories he was identified as "Joseph of Glastonbury", but our
character "Joseph" is better known from the Biblical scriptural
accounts where he is called "Joseph of Arimathea".
In yet other Roman accounts, particularly from
Jerusalem, he was referred to as "Nobilis Decurio" signifying his power and influence. The
Latin Vulgate gospels call him simply "Decurio",
a name that was reserved for a minister or official of mines, while the
fuller title "Nobilis Decurio"
inferred that he had also earned a place of "nobility" in Roman
culture, usually considered impossible for a non
So influential was this "Joseph" that he
had the power to request an immediate audience with the Roman Governor,
Pontius Pilate, and make the controversial demand for the body of Jesus
Christ after the crucifixion, a request that Pilate quickly granted. Even the
all-powerful Jewish religious Sadducees dared not oppose Joseph openly.
Joseph had the body of Christ moved to his private sepulcher in inner
Jerusalem, again confirming his immense wealth and influence. From all
reports, this Joseph was a man of refinement, education and talent.
Importantly though, Joseph was no slouch when it
came to business and investing. He is well recorded in the numerous
historical accounts, as being the man that owned the majority interest in the
vast tin and lead mines of Britain, and controller of the huge tin and lead
trade into ancient Rome. Joseph of Arimathea
controlled the "production" of these 2 vitally important and
When you own the production of a strategic asset,
your real wealth compounds and grows. It is inferred by several historians
that Joseph ended up controlling the largest private shipping fleet in the
ancient Roman world. (1)
But what does Joseph and the tin mines of ancient
Britannia have to do with our guest's question? Joseph of Arimathea
did what many thousands of other successful and influential men and women
investors have done over the millennia.
1) Joseph owned and invested in tangible assets
2) These tangible assets "produced" something of value
3) This "production" was a "product of the earth" and an
4) This essential commodity was critically important in the day-to-day life
of his times
5) He controlled the markets and eventually the transportation of this
Anglo Far-East Company