Posted by: lukelavan | March 23, 2011

Lurus, you shall die!

Cleaning the surface of the main Forum, a very special inscription was recovered in 2010. In scrawly handwriting, nothing less than death is wished to a person named Lurus. Such maledictions are also known from house walls in Pompeii. Remarkably, the curse formula here in Ostia is not incised into a house wall, but clearly visible to all pedestrians into the surface of a marble slab within the pavement of the Forum. But who was Lurus, then? The fact that no one seemed to be on his side to erase the malediction might indicate that Lurus was not one of the most popular inhabitants (or visitors) to Ostia. Maybe Lurus was a businessman and the graffito was drawn by a displeased client venting his anger. Unfortunately, such guesswork cannot be proven, yet, but we all are curious to find out, if any other similar inscriptions will appear.

Lena Kaumanns

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