A.D. 79 Pompeii

This was apparently traced but has since been lost to the elements after exposure subsequent to the archaeological dig. This is a charcoal graffiti on a wall in Pompeii from A.D. 79.


This isn’t surprising since St Paul mentions being in a city 30 miles away.

Holy Bible (Douay Rheims)
Acts 28:13‘From thence, compassing by the shore, we came to Rhegium: and after one day, the south wind blowing, we came the second day to Puteoli;’


What does it say? I can make out the word Christians. But that is not the exact Latin spelling.

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Ancient Rome was big on graffiti and making flyers. It is such a wealth of history.

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I dont think anyone is sure exactly what it says. The word before it looks similar to the latin verb to do with listening. I saw some claim the gibberish around it was a transliteration of aramaic using latin letters but i have no idea

The graffiti is incomplete due to water damage: only the right-most characters are visible on the top three lines. And, like most handwritten ancient inscriptions, it also has dreadfully inconsistent handwriting.

I’ve read of some attempts to reconstruct this inscription. One scholar wrote that the last line might read: bovios audi[t] christianos sevos osores “Bovius is listening to Christians, (who are) cruel haters”. Not a very nice thing to say, but such were Romans in the 1st century AD.

There is an interesting inscription preserved in another Pompeian house where someone prior to the eruption scratched the words “Sodom” and “Gomorrah” likely in disapproval of the hedonistic practices that were commonplace in the city.

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As the graffito was completed erased by rain in the 1860s, the photo above must be an artist’s reconstruction. A good article covering it is at http://www.jjmjs.org/uploads/1/1/9/0/11908749/wayment_and_grey_jesus_followers_in_pompeii.pdf.


Which form of Latin are we referring to?

Classical? Vulgar? Eccesiastical aka Church Liturgical?

Classical, iirc it is christiani or christianus. Not for sure about ecclesiastical latin (well not 100% sure about classical).

With the asummption the person writing on the wall was good at speling.

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