Come, visit Rome as it once was.
January 24, 2008 9:17 PM   Subscribe

In my quest to fulfill a jones for antiquity, I came across some Roman Numismatics. There are many great photos of Roman artifacts to be found here. Monetary, military, scroll down, click and scroll some more. It's almost as if ancient Rome has come back to life. (Some art is NSFW)
posted by snsranch (2 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Rome had some pretty awesome graffiti, too. Here are actual Latin phrases found carved into ancient Roman settlement walls (via Wikipedia):

The first known example of "modern style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). Local guides say it is an advertisement for prostitution. [Ed. note: Well, of course...] Located near a mosaic and stone walkway, the graffiti shows a handprint that vaguely resembles a heart, along with a footprint and a number. This is believed to indicate that a brothel was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.

It continues:

* * *

The eruption of Vesuvius preserved graffiti carved on the walls of Pompeii, including everyday Latin insults, magic, love declarations, alphabets, political consigns, and quotations from famous literature, offering us a direct insight into ancient Roman street life.

In an ancient variant on the "for a good time..." theme, an inscription gives the address of one Novellia Primigenia of Nuceria, apparently a great beauty and subject of constant inquiry; an illustration of a phallus was accompanied by the text,
mansueta tene: "Handle with care".

Ancient Roman graffiti also suggests that love was the object of scorn:

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?

Whoever loves, go to hell. 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?
-CIL IV, 1284.

* * *

ΣCCE ΣMO, I say.

Also: crude political caricatures!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:29 PM on January 24, 2008

thanks sns, this is fabulous.
posted by nicolin at 2:07 AM on January 25, 2008

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