Third Seal - Black Horse
Seal - God's Judgement on the Pagan Rome (Dragon)
Revelation 6:5 - When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
Revelation 6:6 - And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.
The black horse represents the despair and gloom of the Roman people, as they were taxed excessively to pay for all of the civil wars, which caused a major economic depression. If citizens couldn’t pay their taxes in coinage, they were allowed to pay with the equivalency of wheat or barley.
Jeremiah 4:20 - Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
Jeremiah 4:28 - For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Jeremiah 8:21 - For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Lamentations 4:8 - Now their appearance is blacker than soot; They go unrecognized in the streets; Their skin clings to their bones, It has become as dry as wood.
Nahum 2:10 - She (Nineveh) is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
Ezekiel 4:10 - And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it.
Ezekiel 4:11 - You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink.
Ezekiel 4:16 - Moreover He said to me, Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread
Ezekiel 4:17 - that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity.
Leviticus 26:26 - When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
This was a period of financial oppression imposed on Roman citizens, created by heavy taxation from the emperors. Taxes could be paid in grain, oil, and wine. The economy suffered greatly during that epoch. The massive military expenditures caused a devaluation of Roman coins.
Internally, the empire faced hyperinflation caused by years of coinage devaluation. This had started earlier under the Severan emperors who enlarged the army by one quarter. As each of the short-lived emperors took power, they needed ways to raise money quickly to pay the military by inflating the coinage.
This resulted in runaway rises in prices, and by the time Diocletian came to power, the old coinage of the Roman Empire had nearly collapsed. The currency had almost no value by the end of the third century, and trade was carried out without retail coinage.
The agricultural industry was ruined under this heavy taxation, which lead to famine. People moved away from the farmlands into the cities, where they would suffer from the famine.