Graffiti in the Athenian Agora
Like fragments of overheard conversations, the thousands of informal inscriptions scratched and painted on potsherds, tiles, and other objects give us a unique insight into the everyday life of the Athenian Agora. Some are marks of ownership, or the notes of merchants, but many are sexual innuendos, often accompanied by graphic illustrations. Using her wide contextual knowledge, the author suggests why these scraps of sentences were written, and what they can tell us about one of the first widely literate societies.
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abbreviated according alpha alphabet Ancient appears applied appropriate artist assertion Athenian Agora Athens beginning borrowed brother buildings capacity claim combination comparable contemporary contents continues dedicated drawing drawn early exhibits expressed figure fish fragment frequently give glaze graffito Greece Greek handle head Hermes hold honey HOUSE illustrated indiction inscribed inscription interpretation kind labeled lambda lamp later less letters marks means measurement Megarian notations owners ownership painted parallel perhaps period Phoenicians picture pitcher played popularity possible pots present presumably probably Property quantity recording reflect revised Roman scratched seems shapes sherd shoulder shrine side sigma someone standard sth century B.C. Stoa of Attalos stone suggest symbol TEMPLE Thamneus uncertain unclear vase vase-painting vessel Victories weight wine writer writing written wrote