GRAFFITI LATINI POMPEII. Why not study ancient graffiti in Rome? Because it is a modern city…hard...
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of GRAFFITI LATINI POMPEII. Why not study ancient graffiti in Rome? Because it is a modern city…hard...
Why not study ancient graffiti in Rome?
Because it is a modern city…hard to date.
So we study remains of graffiti, now mostly gone, but previously preserved by the effects of the Vesuvius eruption.
What is graffiti?
My story… Now your turn…
Varia• Strom Thurman sniffs drainpipes.• Batman loves Robin.• Zeus loves Ganymede.• Shakespeare eats Bacon.• The difference b/w a firm & a cactus plant is that
the plant has pricks on the outside.• Mene, mene, teckel, upsharin…• Reiche leute kussen sich
arme leute bepissen sich• For a good time call...
graffiare = to scratch
Graffiti: inscriptions and figure drawings found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins
Usage of the word has evolved to include any
decorations (inscribed on any surface) that one
can regard as vandalism; or to cover pictures or
writing placed on surfaces, usually external walls
and sidewalks, without the permission of an owner.
Painted vs Scratched
dipinti V S graffitipainted scratchedplanned spontaneouslarge smallerconspicuous obscurepublic private
• Mostly men
• All classes, but probably moreso low(er) classes
• Prostitutes and their lovers
Types of Graffiti in Pompeii
• Electoral/On behalf of candidates• Advertisements (1/3)• Warnings/Curses• Notices/Local News/• Admirations/Boasts/Personals• Writing Practice • Pictoral• “hīc erat”
A caricature of a man scratched into a wall.
What does graffiti tell us?
• Literacy rate• Frequented roads• Social customs and activities• Pronunciation
• Origin of travelers• Gives us the individual tastes, passions,
and experiences of everyday people.
There is evidence of Pompeians’ ability to read
and write among classes of people
e.g. the 83 graffiti found at CIL IV, 4706-85 (a peristyle which had been undergoing remodeling at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius) were executed not only by the architect Crescens, but also by most of the members of the work crew for whom he served as foreman.
• The number of messages written on walls has given scholars the indication that certain roads were traveled more than others.
• This could also be connected to the amount of wall space available for messages…as well as the availability of roads at certain times of the day.
Map of Pompeii
Occurrence of messages Occurrences every 0-4 meters
Occurrences every 4-8 meters
• There are around 3000 electoral inscriptions in Pompeii and most of them can be dated to the city's final year of existence, given that it was customary to rub out the old inscriptions to make way for new ones.
Electoral GraffitiVia Consolare
A request to vote for two candidates for aedile, M. Cerrinius Vatia and A. Trebius Valente, who was elected in 71 A.D., again in 75 A.D. as candidate for the duumvirate. Other similar electoral messages with the same two candidates' names were found along Via del Foro.
Pompeian electoral graffiti
Fragment of a Roman wall painting containing an electoral inscription from the officina of Verecundus. Depicts Mercury with caduceus and petasus emerging from a little Etruscan-Italic temple. He holds a purse of money in his right hand. One inscription: "Holconium Priscum / IIvir(um) I(ure) d(icundo) d(dignum) r(ei) p(ublicae) o(ro) v(os) f(aciatis)" or "I ask you to elect Holconius Priscus as duovir. He is worthy of holding office." H 214 cm, W 88 cm.
• Outside the city?
• Funerary markers, tombs?
• Declarations of Love, hate, et cetera
• Food and Drink
• Facta, factura
The brothel at CIL VII, 12, 18-20 contains
over 120 graffiti, the authors of which
included the prostitutes as well as their
Amantes ut apes vitam mellitam exigunt.Vellem
Pompeii wall of a house, Region ICIL
Arma virvumque cano troianis primus ab oris
Quisquis amat. veniat. Veneri volo frangere costas
fustibus et lumbos debilitare deae.
Si potest illa mihi tenerum pertundere pectus
quit ego non possim caput illae frangere fuste? • -CIL IV, 1284.
Whoever loves, let him go. I want to break Venus's ribs
with a club and deform her hips.
If she can break my tender heart
why can't I hit her over the head with a club?
Amat qui scribet, pedicatur qui leget, qui opsultat prurit, paticus est qui praeterit. Ursi me comedant; et ego verpa qui lego
graffiti, exterior wall, Pompeii, circa 62-79 AD
• The gladiatorial academy at CIL IV, 4397 contained graffiti left by the gladiator Celadus Crescens (Suspirium puellarum Celadus thraex: "Celadus the Thracier makes the girls sigh.")
From the House of Obellius Firmus, Pompeii. Gladiator with shield and spear (photo and illustration).
Pacatus hic cum suismansit Pompeis. Pompeii, Amphitheater portico
CIL IV.8660Anthiocushic mansit cum suaCithera. Pompeii, Amphitheater portico
Nemo heic fuit
Errors in spelling and grammar in graffitiinform us of the degree of literacy of thegraffiti scrawlers and give clues as to thepronunciation of spoken Latin. • CIL IV, 7838: Vettium Firmum / aed[ilem] quactiliar[ii] [sic]
rog[ant]. • Here "qu" reflects the common
pronunciation of "co".
When we go…if we haven’t already
• Seek out graffiti that is now protected under plexi-glass covers
• Graffiti in the original sense of something “scratched” can be found in the most obscure places, but also out in the open
• Large or small, pictures or writing…
• Now some tests…
COMMUNEM NUMMUMCENSIO EST NAM NOSTER
MAGNAM HABET PECUNIAM
Nihil durare potest tempore perpetuoCum bene sol nituit, redditur oceanoDecrescit Phoebe, quae modo plena fuit,Ventorum feritas saepe fit aura levis.
• Bumper stickers
• “Designer” tags
• The “vent”
“Anonymous graffiti are generally written by repressed people, and their inscriptions are wish fulfillment and fantasy” Reisner
Our theme song for this “iter.”
Otiosis locus non est. Discede, Morator.