Graffiti from the walls of Pompeii

by Caleb Reading

Here’s the source of the quotes, and the comments in brackets are mine.  Anyone who’s been in a public men’s bathroom knows how little we’ve changed over the years.  Here are some of my favorites (among the work safe ones):

“I screwed the barmaid”

“Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The women did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, too few for such a stallion.”

“I made bread” [this is the ancient equivalent of]

“On April 20th, I gave a cloak to be washed. On May 7th, a headband. On May 8th, two tunics” [Yeah, great, but did you make bread?]

“Hectice, baby, Mercator says hello to you”

“I have buggered men”

“If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend”

“It took 640 paces to walk back and forth between here and there ten times” [Then you made bread?]

“Atimetus got me pregnant”

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

“Secundus likes to screw boys.”

“I screwed a lot of girls here.”

“Sollemnes, you screw well!”

“Secundus says hello to his friends.” [the boys?]

“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.”

“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.”

“Epaphra, you are bald!”

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

“Phileros is a eunuch!”

“The man I am having dinner with is a barbarian.”

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