16 And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of men (not mindful of their high status).
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why make ye trial of me, ye hypocrites?
19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a denarius.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
22 And when they heard it, they marvelled, and left him, and went away.
In Palestine Herod was a client king supported by the Romans. He was kept for his skill in delivering monies to Rome and supporting the Roman taxation of the Jewish people.
Roman Historian Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56-117) gave us a record of how much a Roman soldier on the German front was paid per day in 14 AD. He was writing about the Roman army in a summer camp on the banks of the Rhine River in 14 AD. Augustus had just died and Tiberius had been proclaimed emperor. The Roman soldiers were grumbling in their tents about bad working conditions and low pay. Tacitus wrote of the supposed speech by an aged veteran soldier of those days:
"We have blundered enough by our tameness for so many years, in
having to endure thirty or forty campaigns till we grow old, most of us
with bodies maimed by wounds. Even dismissal is not the end of our
service, but quartered under a legion's standard we toil through the
same hardships under another title. If a soldier survives so many risks,
he is still dragged into remote regions where, under the name of lands,
he receives soaking swamps or mountainous wastes. Assuredly,
military service itself is
burdensome and unprofitable; ten as a day (5/8 denarius) is the value
set on life and limb; out of this, clothing, arms, tents, as well
as the mercy of centurions and exemptions from duty have to be
purchased. But indeed of floggings and wounds, of hard winters,
wearisome summers, of terrible war, or barren peace, there is no end.
Our only relief can come from military life being entered on under fixed
conditions, from receiving each the pay of a denarius, and from the
sixteenth year terminating our service. We must be retained no longer
under a standard, but in the same camp a compensation in money must be
paid us. Do the praetorian
cohorts, which have just got their two denarii per man, and which after
sixteen years are restored to their homes, encounter more perils?
We do not disparage the guards of the capital; still, here amid
barbarous tribes we have to face the enemy from our tents."
(Cornelius Tacitus - The Annals of Imperial Rome) http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.1.i.html (public domain).