Wednesday 13 May 2009

Recent articles: Pompeii, Graffiti, and Vespasian

Two recent articles on Pompeian matters-

     Rebecca R. Benefiel, “Amianth, a ball-game, and making one’s mark,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 167 (2008), 193-200.
     Discusses the ancient interest in writing graffiti through study of a message in the basilica of Pompeii that refers to a group of friends playing ball (CIL IV.1936). Additions to the message show others not only joining in the ball-game (the graffito records their positions in the game), but also an interest in participating in the act of writing the text and wanting to be represented on the wall. One of the players, Amianthus, scrawled his name in seven different places throughout the building, suggesting an even greater desire to make his mark. Often abbreviating his name, his messages also possibly point to the ancient use of nicknames.

Another interesting article appears in the catalogue for the Divus Vespasianus show at Rome:
     Fabrizio Pesando. 2009. “Prima della catastrofe: Vespasiano e le città vesuviane,” in: Divus Vespasianus. Il bimillenario dei Flavi, ed. F. Coarelli, Electa, 378-385.

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