A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)
(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.
I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool. But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.
After a super-quick search, I found at least one reference to the practice. It sounds like we’re not entirely sure what the stamp was for - my guess was that it was part of the regulation of weights and measures in the market, but economic history is about as far from my specialty as it gets. (So yeah, I too was thinking BREAD FRAUD. There actually WAS an elected office to deal with marketplace fraud, which totally happened.)
From Claire Holleran’s Shopping in Ancient Rome: The Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate: “The practice of stamping bread with names, known from the discovery of bread stamps and carbonized loaves at Pompeii and Herculaneum, is perhaps indicative of the practice of hiring space in bakers’ ovens, with the stamps intended to denote ownership of the bread.” (The argument being that many people would not have had the means to own/run ovens of their own and so they rented space in communal ovens.)
Oooh I am just cringing imagining what bread fraud could entail. No, really. I’m sure I read something somewhere about bakers ‘diluting’ flour with other substances that were not so nice… hm… can’t see to remember what period or region that was in reference to, though. Although, I mean, how does a stamp guarantee the flour wasn’t compromised? Unless it’s sort of like those Green Pass things at restaurants we have today LOL!
Some graffiti found in Pompeii’s ruins:
Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates.
I screwed the barmaid.
Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here.
- I screwed a lot of girls here.
- Sollemnes, you screw well!
- Theophilus, don’t perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog
Ides of March Special: Silver Denarius of Marcus Brutus, Macedonia, 43-42 BCE
This coin was struck in honour of Marcus Junius Brutus, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar. The reverse shows the cap of liberty given to freed slaves flanked by two daggers. This indicates Brutus’ intention of freeing Rome from Caesar’s imperial ambitions and the murder weapons employed to do so. Below is the day of the deed; EID.MAR, the ides of March.
Few coins capture a moment in history with such stark and brutal imagery. Brutus had carried out the attack with some fellow Roman Senators in 44 BC when Caesar had come unarmed to address the Senate on 15 March. This day was known to the Romans as the ides, or the middle day of the month and was recognised on a new calendar system that Caesar himself had established just two years before.
The assassins, or ‘freedom party’ as they regarded themselves, fled Rome to Macedonia to raise an army. However, they were defeated by Caesar’s allies led by Mark Antony and Octavian at the Battle of Philippi (42 BC). Brutus subsequently committed suicide.
The decision to flee east was probably influenced by the richness of the provinces of the eastern Roman Empire - raising an army was a very costly business. Supplies needed to be bought and soldiers needed wages. Amongst the coins the conspirators briefly struck to this end was this, the ‘Ides of March’ denarius.
P. Matyszak, Chronicle of the Roman Republi (London, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2005)
M.H. Crawford, Roman republican coinage (Cambridge University Press, 1974)
this scene is so great in explaining male sexuality in rome - roman men aren’t meant to be desired, because being desired is a passive state, which is why they can fuck pretty much whomever they want, as long as they are the penetrators (… lol) - while also being, like, the funniest scene in the show. it’s so hard to screencap, though, because it’s all in lyndsey marshal’s eyebrows as she takes vorenus’ measure, and kevin mckidd practically quivering in fear.
… and then shaking with lust ;)
Ancient Graffiti portrait of Roman Emperor Nero drawn between 37 A.D and 68 A.D.
This just amuses the everliving shit out of me.