Someone Has Translated Pompeii Graffiti and It’s Awesome

Frank Diego
Dec 20, 2016 · 3 min read

A closer look at graffiti from the ruins of Pompeii shows that humans have not evolved much over time.

I love history.

To be clear, I love history as a hobby. Similar to how someone would love the guitar without wanting to be a rock star.

So I tend to keep tabs on a bunch of history items — subreddits, History Channel accounts on social, Historic Photos, etc. — merely because I know that on a boring day of scrolling through my feeds, there’s at least a chance I may walk away learning something for the day; provided that something isn’t the new-found knowledge of a friend’s dating life or what another friend had for dinner.

With that, I’m excited to share something I stumbled across on Reddit the other day.

According to a professor’s studies, he has translated areas of graffiti throughout the city of Pompeii.

I had the pleasure of visiting Pompeii and The Herculaneum two summers ago. I recall seeing some graffiti — mainly the ones depicted by pictures — but failed to see any translations of other marks. After reading some of the below, I can now see why.

This revelation really makes you wonder how our generation will be remembered. Obviously a bunch of these transcriptions were placed there without the foresight of it potentially being shared on a glowing box interconnected with various other glowing boxes throughout the world. It’s safe to say that 2016 American architecture, should we all disappear tomorrow, would provide nothing more than various pictures of misshapen dicks and a healthy dose of “INSERT NAME sucks APPENDAGE.”

And so, I share some of my personal favorite finds from historic Pompeii:


It’s Rome, after all, so there’s no shortage of, um, intimacy:

“Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!”

Restitutus says: “Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates”.

At Nuceria, look for Novellia Primigenia near the Roman gate in the prostitute’s district.

I screwed the barmaid

I screwed a lot of girls here.

On June 15th, Hermeros screwed here with Phileterus and Caphisus.

Sollemnes, you screw well!

The nobles:

Gaius Valerius Venustus, soldier of the 1st praetorian cohort, in the century of Rufus, screwer of women

And there’s some old poop jokes too:

To the one defecating here. Beware of the curse. If you look down on this curse, may you have an angry Jupiter for an enemy

Lesbianus, you defecate and you write, ‘Hello, everyone!’

Defecator, may everything turn out okay so that you can leave this place

Calling out your friends:

Theophilus, don’t perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog

The occasional sweet and sentimental:

If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend

I don’t want to sell my husband, not for all the gold in the world

Love dictates to me as I write and Cupid shows me the way, but may I die if god should wish me to go on without you

Old Roman Jerry Springer-esque content:

Atimetus got me pregnant

The really long-winded jokes:

Hedone says, “You can get a drink here for only one coin. You can drink better wine for two coins. You can drink Falernian for four coins.”

And whole lot more. Check them out for yourself.

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