Graffiti from the Roman Empire
Discover Magazine recently published an article, “Vox Populi“, which details a 150 year old project in Germany to catalog Roman graffiti.
More than 180,000 of these inscriptions are now cataloged in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, a mammoth scientific database maintained by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The Corpus throws open a large window on Roman society and reveals the ragged edges of ordinary life—from the grief of parents over the loss of a child to the prices prostitutes charged clients.
Such notions that romantic love did not exist until recent times are supposedly debunked by the grafiti, according to Discover.
Unfortunately, the database is not available online. According to its Wikipedia entry, it can be purchased for only £28,000.