CLOSE
Flickr user Roller Coaster Philosophy
Flickr user Roller Coaster Philosophy

11 Colorful Phrases From Ancient Roman Graffiti

Flickr user Roller Coaster Philosophy
Flickr user Roller Coaster Philosophy

When the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were suddenly consumed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E., many of their buildings were so intimately preserved that modern archaeologists can even read the graffiti scribbled onto their ancient walls. See if any of these remind you of a twenty-first century bathroom.

1. “Philiros spado.”

"Phileros is a eunuch."

2. Lucius Pinxit.”

"Lucius wrote this."

3. “Apollinaris, medicus Titi Imperatoris hic cacavit bene.”

“Apollinaris, doctor to the emperor Titus, had a good crap here.” In Latin profanity, “cacatne” pertained to defecation.

4. “Oppi, emboliari, fur, furuncle.”

“Oppius, you’re a clown, a thief, and a cheap crook.”

5. “Miximus in lecto. Faetor, peccavimus, hospes. Si dices: quare? Nulla matella fuit.”

“We have wet the bed. I admit, we were wrong, my host. If you ask ‘why?’ There was no chamber pot.” Found inside an inn.

6. “Virgula Tertio su: Indecens es.”

“Virgula to Teritus: You are a nasty boy.”

7. “Epaphra, glaber es.”

"Epaphra, you are bald."

8. “Talia te fallant utinam medacia, copo: tu vedes acuam et bibes ipse merum.”

“If only similar swindling would dupe you, innkeeper: you sell water, and drink the undiluted wine yourself.”

9. “Vatuan aediles furunculi rog.”

“The petty thieves request the election of Vatia as adele.” In ancient Pompeii, an “adele” was an elected official who supervised markets and local police, among other things.

10. “Suspirium puellam Celadus thraex.”

“Celadus makes the girls moan.”

11. “Admiror, O paries, te non cecidisse, qui tot scriptorium taedia sustineas.”

“I wonder, O wall, that you have not yet collapsed, so many writers’ clichés do you bear.” This phrase seems to have been a popular one, as slightly different versions of it appear in multiple locations throughout Pompeii’s ruins.

In the interest of avoiding hardcore lewdness and profanity, I’ve omitted some of the truly vulgar defacements. For some firmly NSFW examples, do go here.

These quotes were were recorded in a comprehensive, multi-volume collection of Latin inscriptions called Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, which was first published in in 1857. Image credit: Flickr user Roller Coaster Philosophy.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
video
What Koalas and Humans Have in Common
5664632945001

There's something strange about koala fingerprints. Read more bizarre koala facts here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
fun
Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
iStock
iStock

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios