Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Graffiti" from Pompeii

Ancient Pompeiian graffiti caricature of a politician.

Here are some of the inscriptions found in Pompeii ( I want to warn you; some of these are considered inappropriate or vulgar).

Comments due by Monday 10/15.


Luke said...

I wonder if this graffiti is some of the oldest discovered in the world. From this site there's a scripture saying that the man with the large nose was found at the House of the Citharist. the site also has many other references to where graffiti in Pompeii was found.
Also, Graffiti preserved at Pompeii has allowed archaeologists insight into the daily lives of people living during the first century. The graffiti ranges from political & love messages to magic charms. Archaeologists have also used ancient graffiti to study shifts in languages. It is hard to believe that people living centuries ago did the same "art work" we do today. Here's a question, was graffiti "legal" back then? Also, who considers graffiti to be a work of art? I say so.

luke said...

Ok so I feel dumb now, the site I found is the same site you posted for us Ms. Smith. btw does this count as my 2nd post by any chance?

bigbadteacher said...

lol, no no no...! :-)

artperson said...

Yeah thats crazy that people were desacrating their town "back in the day". It must have taken forever to uncover a whole city like Pompei? I think its fascinating though, because so much of the city and the artworks were preserved with the eruption of Vesuvius.

charlie said...

It seems that even thought the times have changed dramatically over the years, people's behavior has stayd the same. The graffiti of Pompeii just goes to show that even back in ancient times people still had the urge to cause mischief. I think it is awesome that a city like Pompeii was preserved so well. Without the eruption covering Pompeii we would not know some of the things about the ancient world that we do now.

retroclide said...

Personally, I love reading bathroom graffiti. There is nothing better than the random musings, social observations and political views that one finds written on a bathroom wall. If you're ever in Bloomington, check out Nick's English Hut. It's a tradition to write on the stalls in the men and women's room. Graffiti can be some of the best commentary on society and politics. Other times, it's just plain funny.

livefish said...

Wow. It's really crazy how time changes but the people don't. I wouldn't really say that this word's were art but maybe they were more of a record of history...a form of poetry for some of them perhaps. I just think it strange that we do the same thing today...history once again repeating itself...though it's a bit of a downer cause you would think we would be more intellegent or something! :o)

I've both seen and heard this alot over the years. I really like it and really believe in it. :o)Just maybe not the perish part. :o)

V.1.26 (House of Caecilius Iucundus); 4091: Whoever loves, let him flourish. Let him perish who knows not love. Let him perish twice over whoever forbids love.

nwalker said...

People back then expressed their thoughts in the same sense that we do today. Back then they used graffiti but today we use the media to say obnoxious things on how we feel.

Luis said...

didn't knew graffiti was so ancient, incredible how back in those eras graffiti could be represented, now not much have changed, just wonder if graffiti back then was considered as art by some or was all of its kind illegal.

this reminds me new graffiti and some that has been used for years, like the graffiti of the politic with the big nose, but this graffiti turned into art and then into a symbol since is based on one of the greatest revolutionist that Latino America had and that last week just was the 40th anniversary since his death, Ernesto "Che" Guevara

exquisitedesign said...

I was amazed at how many things were preserved from the volcano, including the graffiti. I don't think our tour guide pointed out any of it to us on our trip, but it is fascinating how people of that time expressed themselves as we do today. The stuff I saw in Pompeii was more of pottery, a cast molding of a dog, mosaic flooring with color still intact, and many other neat things. I wish I would have been able to read some of the things people had to say. Pompeii is kind of secured so it can not be destroyed so to say, but I do question how many of the writings and drawings we see were created within the past 30 years or so....?

kaitlin said...

I was a bit surprised that these kinds of things were written on the walls. It really shouldn't surprise me too much though. I guess people are people and that they really aren't all that different today than they would have been back then. It's just really strange to think of those kinds of things as being done when it seems like they should have been more proper in certain ways. I guess they were a pretty roudy bunch of people.

tnap said...

These are so funny!! A lot of the posts remind me of the PostSecret books. For who ever doesn't know, PostSecret is an organization that people send their secrets to. They write them on a post card and a lot of them get published in these books. The Pompeii Graffitti reminds me of those books because a lot of the writings are secrets that someone just wanted to get off their chest. For example, "Vibius Restitutus slept here alone and missed his darling Urbana." I think some people were just bored though-- "Secundus says hello to his friends."

Marc said...

These are rather amusing, especially the depiction of the politician. I can think of the the wall behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park as an example where many Red Sox players have signed throughout the years. This bit of graffiti has come to add even more to this historic field.

jpayne said...

It's crazy to think that back then graffiti was pretty much just as popular as it is today! I also wonder if it may have been a form of them communicating with each other about different things that were going on. Kind of like how we have TV commercials today. Or maybe it was just them lashing out how they felt. Either way, although it seems like a destruction to property, I like some of the graffiti!

daddytobe58 said...

It must have been crazy to find the city Pompeii and then discover graffiti on their structures and like there is today in the common world. People today and then are almost the same as to when it comes to defacing property with graffiti

James A. said...

It's amazing to think that we do basically the same things as people from ancient times, especially graffiti. Most of the graffiti found today (and now apperantly way back then) is just vulgar language with no real personal expression (saying "John sucks.... is not a form of personal expression) or even shows an ounce of artistic ability.

aydin1107 said...

I would have to agree that graffiti has been around a long time, and I didn't know it's that ancient. But as for it being art, I used to know some graffiti artists from my home town. They could write things and draw in a way I could only imagine. They had this event called Sribblejam, where people came and put graffiti on their part. Then this was judged over the weekend. It was actually pretty amazing. Some of the stuff was so detailed. After seeing things like that I can't really say that graffiti isn't art, but I can say you shouldn't go spraypaint up someone else's building spraypaint your own I guess.

cdalton6 said...

as retroclide said I also love to read bathroom graffiti it's fun to see what people have to say or what they want me to do.....not that I call those numbers mind you! But it's funny that back in these days people would write how they also felt on the walls of their cities....crazy!

bigbadteacher said...

This post has been graded.

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