Graffiti from Pompeii Graffiti is found in public places and consists of writings and drawings that can range anywhere from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, including the time of ancient Rome in the town of Pompeii. The graffiti of Pompeii was preserved by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and was later found on the walls of the houses and buildings following excavation.
The graffiti found in ancient Rome suggests what life was like for the people living in Pompeii and differs in many ways from the graffiti than can be found in modern day American cities Modern day graffiti has somewhat of a bad reputation and in most cases, is viewed by people in a negative way. When many of us think of graffiti, we usually think of the act of vandalism or destruction of property. However, the practice of modern day graffiti is considered to be a form of art as long as it is done legally.
In Ancient Rome, graffiti was a respected form of writing with a more sophisticated meaning, not the kind of defacement that we often see on train cars or bathroom stalls. In Pompeii, graffiti was a common social practice and was widespread throughout their society. It was never thought of as a criminal act. The graffiti found on the walls of buildings in Pompeii reveals some similarities between the people of ancient Rome and the people of today. In Pompeii, graffiti was used for advertising and displaying information to the public. For example, writings were used to display the schedule and announcements of the market place.
Politicians also used graffiti to advertise for elections. Today, we use bulletin boards, posters, flyers, newspaper articles, the internet etc. in a similar way to advertise and publicly display information. All of these advertisements suggest that the people of today’s society and the people of Pompeii are similar because both have an economy with supply and demand as well as some form of government with politicians. Another similarity found in the graffiti from Pompeii is the list of stolen items with rewards to those who return the items and reveal the thief.
This suggests that the people of Pompeii had some sort of legal system as do the people of today. The graffiti from Pompeii also suggests some differences between the people of ancient Rome and the people of today. For example, an advertisement with a list of gladiators scheduled to fight was found written on a wall in Pompeii. We do not have these types of gladiator fights in our society today. Some of the graffiti also describes the people of Pompeii owning slaves. Although slavery was something that was practiced in more recent years, it has since been abolished and is no longer a part of our society today.
The graffiti found in Pompeii suggests many things about the people that lived there. Some used graffiti for writing messages to one another and to make certain announcements. Others used graffiti to express their emotions through art and poetry. In most cases today, graffiti is considered to be a criminal act or an act of rebellion. It is only considered to be a form of art if it is practiced legally. If modern day graffiti was to be preserved and then found thousands of years from now, it would not give an account of what life was like for our society as the graffiti from Pompeii did for the society of ancient Rome.