ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing on the Wall: The Intrigue of the Pompeii Graffiti

Updated on June 25, 2016
Tourists walk along a street in the ruined city.
Tourists walk along a street in the ruined city.

In 79 AD, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying two cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii under ash. 2000 Pompeii residents died.

15 centuries later, Pompeii was unearthed from underneath over four metres of ash. Left behind was a frozen snapshot in time: bodies and objects had been perfectly preserved by the ash. An incredible discovery, it was even more interesting when graffiti was discovered around the city, illustrating the fact that these were just normal people, like us. This article explores the graffiti found around Pompeii. Some of it’s romantic. Some humorous. Other bits should be written on bathroom walls, if you know what I mean.

How many times have you seen graffiti around declaring so-and-so was here? This graffiti is particularly special because it’s so similar to something that would be said now.



“We two dear men, friends forever, were here. If you want to know our names, they are Gaius and Aulus.”


“Daphnus was here with his Felicla.”
I can't count the number of times I've read "(insert name) was here". For me, reading things like this emphasises the fact that they were real people. When they are so long gone, it is easy to forget and think of them as nothing but statistics.

“Aufidius was here. Goodbye”

“Figulus loves Idaia”

“Rufus loves Cornelia Hele”
Once again, very similar to stuff that would be said nowadays.

“If anyone sits here, let him read this first of all: if anyone wants a screw, he should look for Attice; she costs 4 sestertii.”
See what I mean about bathroom walls?

“Lovers are like bees in that they live a honeyed life”
This nugget of wisdom was found in a bar.

“On April 19th, I made bread”
A bit of a dull diary entry, possibly, but one nevertheless. Found written in the gladiator barracks.

“Atimetus got me pregnant”

“I don’t want to sell my husband, not for all the gold in the world”

“A copper pot went missing from my shop. Anyone who returns it to me will be given 65 bronze coins (sestertii). 20 more will be given for information leading to the capture of the thief.”

”Methe, slave of Cominia, from Atella, loves Chrestus. May Pompeian Venus be dear to both of them and may they always live in harmony.”

“Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they every have before!”

“Take hold of your servant girl whenever you want to; it’s your right”

“The man I am having dinner with is a barbarian.”
Sounds like a text message I got from a friend last week.

“O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin.”

“Once you are dead, you are nothing”

And finally:

“If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend”
My personal favourite. Because it’s so sweet. Venus is the goddess of beauty, so the man who wrote this was saying his girlfriend was the goddess of beauty.



There is much more graffiti than this, I have just chosen what I believe to be the best to compile into this article. The Pompeiian graffiti humanises these people that are long gone, and without these shreds of their personality would just be names or statistics, and for that reason should be considered very important historically.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      People in some ways never change. Thoroughly enjoyed reading these DK. Your comments below added to the article in a pleasing way too. In a constructive and friendly way I'd only recommend fleshing out your beginning text just a little. Welcome to HubPages! Up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)