Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Graffiti at Pompeii

Ancient graffiti in Pompeii, in the style typical for a political campaign.
(Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Flickr)

The writings on the walls of Pompeii bear a resemblance to graffiti scrawled on walls for  millennia. The oldest known graffiti at Pompeii is an ancient "Kilroy was here". Or, more precisely, “Gaius Pumidius Diphilus was here,” along with a time stamp, which historians have dated to October 3, 78 B.C.

"There are declarations of love (“Health to you, Victoria, and wherever you are may you sneeze sweetly.”); insults (“Sanius to Cornelius: Go hang yourself!”); and remembrances (“Pyrrhus to his chum Chias: I’m sorry to hear you are dead, and so, goodbye!”). There are also billboard-esque painted inscriptions that included political campaign messages, advertisements for Gladiatorial games, and other public notices—like the equivalent of a giant flyer for a lost horse."
Read more about Pompeii's graffiti and the ancient origins of social media.

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