1. The context of Rev 6 does not indicate a "present" (to the author)
scenario; it is imminent. This is true at least for Riders 2 and 4, who bring
universal war, famine, and disease. If that is the case, 6:6 indicates an
imminent shortage of basic supplies.
2. Rev 6:6 itself presents a parallelism. On the one hand, basic supplies
like wheat and barley are extremely expensive. Wine and oil, which were common
and seemingly basic (without oil one could not make bread), are out of the
question. So it seems to me that Domitian's edict (or otherwise) has little to
do with this verse.
Department of Religious Studies
Memphis TN 38112 USA