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Published on : Jan 08, 2015
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Slide 2 - 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.
Slide 3 - Quo modo? dipinti graffiti painted scratched planned spontaneous large smaller conspicuous obscure public private
Slide 4 - Quis? Mostly men All classes, but probably moreso low(er) classes Travelers Children Prostitutes and their lovers
Slide 5 - Types of Graffiti in Pompeii Electoral/On behalf of candidates Advertisements (1/3) Warnings Curses Admirations/Boasts Writing Practice Pictoral “hīc erat”
Slide 6 - Pompeian electoral graffiti
Slide 7 - Electoral Graffiti 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.
Slide 8 - Pictoral graffiti: A caricature of a man scratched into a wall.
Slide 9 - What does graffiti tell us? Literacy rate Frequented roads Social customs and activities Pronunciation Origin of travelers Adds human element to ruins…
Slide 10 - Literacy 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.
Slide 11 - Frequented Roads The number of messages written on walls has given scholars the indication that certain roads were travelled 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.
Slide 12 - Frequented Roads Map of Pompeii Occurrence of messages Occurrences every 0-4 meters
Slide 13 - Occurrences every 4-8 meters
Slide 14 - Social Customs/Activities Warnings Declarations of Love, hate, et cetera Politics Thievery Food and Drink Schooling
Slide 15 - 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? Warning - Love
Slide 16 - Electoral Graffiti Via 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.
Slide 17 - 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.
Slide 18 - Activities The brothel at CIL VII, 12, 18-20 contains over 120 graffiti, the authors of which included the prostitutes as well as their clients.
Slide 19 - Entertainment 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.")
Slide 20 - From the House of Obellius Firmus, Pompeii. Gladiator with shield and spear (photo and illustration).
Slide 21 - Errors in spelling and grammar in graffiti inform us of the degree of literacy of the graffiti scrawlers and give clues as to the pronunciation of spoken Latin. CIL IV, 7838: Vettium Firmum / aed[ilem] quactiliar[ii] [sic] rog[ant]. Here "qu" reflects the common pronunciation of "co". Pronunciation
Slide 22 - When we go… Seek out graffiti that is now protected under plexiglass covers Graffiti in the original sense of something “scratched” can be found in the most obscure places
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Slide 25 - For practice…