This paper asks how much money Republican aristocrats could make from agriculture and approaches the question from the perspective of supply rather than demand. Potential growers of wheat, wine, and grain were so numerous in second- and first-century B.C. Italy that its urban population could not have provided a market large enough to enable each of them to derive a substantial income from meeting its demand for staple foods. Agriculture is not likely to have furnished the economic foundation for most senators' lavish life-styles. Instead, money-lending and other commercial activities were where the profits were, while prestige and similar non-economic factors guided their decisions about investments in land.