Graffiti from Pompeii - for Benjamin

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Hi guys!

I'm looking for some Pompeiian graffiti to use in my first-year Latin tutorial this week, and this thread looks like it'll be a great resource -- thanks to all who contributed!

Also, I'm looking for a "comic strip" graffito that I saw somewhere on LatinD quite a while ago. It showed two guys playing dice, arguing about the result (with one claiming the other cheated), and the tavern-keeper telling them to take it outside. Can anyone point me to this?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's the ninth picture rather than the seventh, though. Either I miscounted back then or two pictures have been added since.
 

Rafael87

New Member
O utinam liceat collo complexa tenere
Braciola et teneris oscula ferre labelis
I nunc, ventis tua gaudia, pupula, crede
Crede mihi, levis est natura virorum
Saepe ego cu media vigilare perdita nocte
Haec mecum meditas: multos Fortuna quos supstulit alte
Hos modo proiectos praecipitesque premit.
Sic Venus ut subito coiunxit corpora amantum
Dividit lux et se... (undeciphered words)
(From a woman to a woman)
This reading, "(From a woman to a woman)", is very controversial. Another interpretation (also controversial) is that this is a woman addressing herself: in the first line, she's merely lamenting the absence of a lover - a male lover, as is clear from her lamentation over men's "shallow" nature (others have translated it as "fleety" or "fickle").

VI.13.19 (House of Sextus Pompeius Axiochus and Julia Helena; left of the door); 4485: Hectice, baby, Mercator says hello to you.
Hectice pupe, vale Mercator tibi dicit.
http://archive.org/stream/inscriptionespar42zang#page/534/mode/2up/search/mercator

This is a romantic salutation between two males. "Hectice" is the accusative form of Hecticus. When translating a Latin proper noun to English, it is recommended its nominative form be used.

Iatacus cum Nicephora lusit.
Iatacus played with Nicephora.
http://archive.org/stream/inscriptionespar42zang#page/554/mode/2upr

It's Nicephoro - again, a male. We can only guess what ludo/"to play" means here, but in poetry it often has an erotic connotation.

VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1882: The one who buggers a fire burns his penis.
Accensum qui pedicat urit mentulam.
http://archive.org/stream/inscriptionespar42zang#page/776/mode/2up/search/mentulam
"Fire" is an unlikely translation of accensum. Elsewhere, it has been translated as "the angry one" or "the horny one" (burning is a frequent metaphor for sexual desire in ancient poetry). Accensum could also be an official's title. In any case, it's clearly a male, and some believe this is a reference to STI infection through anal sex with a certain guy.

VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1816: Epaphra, you are bald!
Epaphra glaber es.
I have a suspicion they don't necessarily speak about the head.
http://www.noctes-gallicanae.fr/Pompeii/Basilique.htm

It very likely isn't. There are better words for "bald". Glaber is a common homoerotic compliment paid to young men who lack beards or ass hair. Craig Williams says: "...more generally, the adjective glaber (“hairless”) was used to describe young men, usually slaves, who were considered sexually attractive because of their smoothness, whether natural or artificially attained by depilation."

Some other Pompeian homoerotic graffiti (translations found on Antonio Varone's 2003 book or other sources):

- Sabine calos Hermeros te amat ("Sabinus, you beauty, Hermeros loves you").

- Hysocryse puer Natalis verpa te salutat ("Hisocriso boy, Natalis's dick salutes you").

- Det mihi Damoeta felicior quam Phasiphae. Haec omnia scripsit Zosimus ("Let Damoetas give (it) to me and he will be happier than Pasiphae. All this is written by Zosimus").

- Caesius Fidelis amat Mecone Nucerinum ("Caesius Fidelis loves Meco the Nucerian".)

- Dolete puellae. Vos mentula desuerit, dolete puellae. Pedicare volo. Cunne superbe vale! ("Cry, girls. My penis has given you up. [Now] I want to fuck ass. Goodbye, arrogant vagina!" It's clear from the part where he says "My penis has given you up" that he's not talking of avoiding vaginal sex only, but straight sex as a whole.)

- Secundus pedicavd pueros lucleutis(?). ("Secundus buggers boys...?" It is unclear what the last word means - according to some, it's lugentis, which could emphasize either the beauty of the young men, or their virginity, ie, their pain being buggered).

- Nyphe fututa, Amomus fututa, Perinnis fututu ("Nyphe (sic) screwed, Amomus screwed, Perinnis screwed." Most believe "fututu" in the end meant fututus, but JN Adams speculated it could also be fututa, in which case Perinnis, which is a gender neutral name, should be a girl in this case. However, the name Amomus could only be male and the second fututa should therefore be an error).

- Fonticulus Pisciculo suo plurima salut ("Little fount warmly salutes his little fish." Most sources consider this a homoerotic salutation, but Varone thinks it's from a woman to a man. It's impossible to know.)

- Menander bellis moribus aeris ass II ("Menander of good manners is available for two as").

- Felix felat as I ("Felix sucks dick for one as").

- Secundus felator rarus ("Secundus, a cocksucker of rare skill.")
 
- Dolete puellae. Vos mentula desuerit, dolete puellae. Pedicare volo. Cunne superbe vale! ("Cry, girls. My penis has given you up. [Now] I want to fuck ass. Goodbye, arrogant vagina!" It's clear from the part where he says "My penis has given you up" that he's not talking of avoiding vaginal sex only, but straight sex as a whole.)

MGTOW.
 

Serenus

legātus armisonus
O utinam liceat collo complexa tenere
Braciola et teneris oscula ferre labelis
I nunc, ventis tua gaudia, pupula, crede
Crede mihi, levis est natura virorum
Saepe ego cu media vigilare perdita nocte
Haec mecum meditas: multos Fortuna quos supstulit alte
Hos modo proiectos praecipitesque premit.
Sic Venus ut subito coiunxit corpora amantum
Dividit lux et se...
(undeciphered words)
(From a woman to a woman)
Oh I wish I could hold you with my arms around your neck and give kisses to your soft lips! Go now, entrust your joys to the winds, little girl. Believe me, shallow is the nature of men. Often, as I stayed awake in despair in the middle of the night, contemplating these things in my mind: many whom Fortune raised high, then she crushes them, thrown away head foremost. Thus, as soon as Venus united the bodies of the lovers, does sunlight separate them and...
http://archive.org/stream/inscriptionespar42zang#page/588/mode/2up

A somewhat close transcription (with interpuncts omitted, macrons added, line endings of the poem (not the inscription) marked as "//", and the caesuras of the lines that are similar to elegiac pentametres marked with "/"):
Ō utinam liceat collō complexa tenēre // brāciola, et tenerīs /
ōscula ferre labellīs. // Ī nunc. Ventīs tua gaudia, pūpula, crēde. //
Crēde mihī, levis est nātūra virōrum. // Saepe ego cu(m) mediā
vigilārem perdita nocte, // haec mēcum meditā(n)s: //
"multōs Fortūnā quōs supstulit altē, // hōs modo prōiectōs subitō /
praecipitēsque premit; // sīc Venus ut subitō coniunxit
corpora amantum, // dīvīdit lūx, et sē-
*pariēs quid ama-*

The last line is written by a different person (different handwriting), and is a partial quote of Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.73-75):

"Invide" dīcēbant "pariēs, quid amantibus obstās?
Quantum‿erat, ut sinerēs tōtō nōs corpore iungī
aut, hoc sī nimium‿est, vel ad ōscula danda patērēs?..."

They said, 'You envious wall, why do you obstruct us lovers? How much [of a price or time] was it so that you'd let our whole bodies unite, or, if this was too much, so that you'd open [for us] to give [each other] kisses?'

The metre is pretty whack. It looks like the structure is one hexametre followed by three pentametres (elegiac or dactylic), but the lines don't fully work:

Ō utinam liceat collō complexa tenēre (dactylic hexametre)
 brāciola, et tenerīs / ōscula ferre labellīs. (elegiac pentametre? but ending in spondee so with one extra syllable)
 Ī nunc. - Ventīs tua gaudia pūpula, crēde. (perhaps a dactylic pentametre with one extra syllable)
 Crēde mihī, levis est nātūra virōrum. (dactylic pentametre)

Saepe ego cu(m) mediā vigilārem perdita nocte, (dactylic hexametre)
 haec mēcum meditā(n)s: (half of a regular elegiac pentametre)
 multōs Fortūnā quōs supstulit altē, (dactylic pentametre)
 hōs modo prōiectōs subitō / praecipitēsque premit. (similar to an elegiac pentametre but with one extra foot)

Sīc Venus ut subitō coniunxit corpora amantum, (dactylic hexametre)
dīvīdit lūx, et sē-
*pariēs quid ama-*
 
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Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Restitutus has deceived many girls./Restitutus multas decepit saepe puellas.
Ah, well: מַה־שֶּֽׁהָיָה֙ ה֣וּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶ֔ה וּמַה־שֶׁנַּֽעֲשָׂ֔ה ה֖וּא שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂ֑ה וְאֵ֥ין כָּל־חָדָ֖שׁ תַּ֥חַת הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ׃
Kind of gives you a feeling of security in this ever-changing world, eh?
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris

A somewhat close transcription (with interpuncts omitted, macrons added, line endings of the poem (not the inscription) marked as "//", and the caesuras of the lines that are similar to elegiac pentametres marked with "/"):
Ō utinam liceat collō complexa tenēre // brāciola, et tenerīs /
ōscula ferre labellīs. // Ī nunc. Ventīs tua gaudia, pūpula, crēde. //
Crēde mihī, levis est nātūra virōrum. // Saepe ego cu(m) mediā
vigilārem perdita nocte, // haec mēcum meditā(n)s: //
"multōs Fortūnā quōs supstulit altē, // hōs modo prōiectōs subitō /
praecipitēsque premit; // sīc Venus ut subitō coniunxit
corpora amantum, // dīvīdit lūx, et sē-
*pariēs quid ama-*

The last line is written by a different person (different handwriting), and is a partial quote of Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.73-75):
It shows it's a different handwriting... (Or could the person have been drunk while writing? :think: )
 

scrabulista

Consul
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Copia is accusative here. Final m was often omitted in inscriptions.

Facilis is nominative, referring to the subject.

Very literally it's something like "(while being) easy [be easy, and] make availability for me".
 
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