Before looking into this, I would have told you that one of the richest men in history was John Jacob Astor. He made his fortune in the fur trade in the early 1800s. But it turns out he was worth only $600 million in today's dollars. Bill Gates is worth $90 billion. Let's look at some guys who could buy and sell Bill Gates, with their wealth estimated in today's dollars.
Cosimo de Medici (1389-1464) $129 billion
William the Conquerer (1028-1087) $228 billion
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) $392 billion.
Mansa Musa, King of Timbuktu (1280-1337) $415 billion
Genghis Khan (1162-1227) $1 trillion
King Solomon (970 B.C.-931 B.C.) $2.2 trillion
August Caesar (63 B.C.-14 A.D.) $4.6 trillion
Emperor Shenzong (1048-1085) 30% of world GDP
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