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Roman tombstone with humorous dialogue

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman tombstone with humorous dialogue
Roman tombstone with humorous dialogue

Interesting information was left by the Roman tombstone of Lucius Calidius Eroticus and his wife Fannia Voluptatis. The object was found in Isernia, in southern Italy, and dates back to the 1st-2nd century CE.

The tombstone inscription says:

Calidius Eroticus made [this monument] for himself and Fannia Voluptas while still alive.
– Innkeeper! Let’s work out the bill!
– You’ve had a sextarius of wine, and bread: one as. Relish, two asses.
– Okay.
– The girl, eight asses.
– That’s okay too.
– Hay for the mule, two asses.
– That bloody mule will be the ruin of me.

As the researchers note, it is possible that the tombstone also served as an advertisement for an inn and, as you can see, playful dialogue.
The male and female nicknames themselves are interesting. Acclaimed historian Mary Beard translates the nicknames Eroticus and Voluptatis as “Mr Hot Sex” and “Madame Gorgeous”.

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