Pompeii Graffiti: The Artistic Language of Ancient Pompeii

Pompeii GraffitiPompeii, the Roman city near Naples, is one of the most amazing archeological sites in the world. Preserved by the molten lava when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., Pompeii is an accidental monument to daily life at the turn of the millennium.

I only recently learned that in addition to buildings galore, another slice of ancient life exists in Pompeii. Pompeii Graffiti! Isn’t that cool? And it took the same form as contemporary bathroom wall scrawlings, with insults and proclamations of love and some get-down nasty. Check out some of these graffiti comments, from this cool website on Pompeiana.org. This one sums it up: O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin.

Last year, the Smithsonian Magazine’s website ran a fascinating article, by Kristin Ohlson, about an American scholar named Rebecca Benefiel researching the graffiti of Pompeii. Be sure to check out the photos. And when you get to Pompeii, don’t forget to check out the graffiti.

Yours in discovering Italy,

Barbara Fellini

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Post By Priscila Siano (251 Posts)

+Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 23, 2011 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    Ancient graffiti – who knew? Thanks for posting about this, because you never think of the ancients as doing these modern-day type things. And I read Kris' Smithsonian story last year with interest. Fascinating stuff.

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