Roman 'Cursing' Tablets

Found by Gary Foulger

By Janet Penn

These are very rare and were found by Gary recently around Canvey.

‘Curse tablets’ are small sheets of lead, inscribed with messages from individuals seeking to make gods and spirits act on their behalf and influence the behaviour of others against their will. The motives are usually malign and their expression violent, for example to wreck an opponent’s chariot in the circus, to compel a person to submit to sex or to take revenge on a thief. Letters and lines written back to front, magical ‘gibberish’ and arcane words and symbols often lend the texts additional power to persuade. In places where supernatural agents could be contacted, thrown into sacred pools at temples, interred with the dead or hidden by the turning post at the circus, these tablets have survived to be found by archaeologists.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Roman 'Cursing' Tablets' page

Gary Foulger

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Roman 'Cursing' Tablets' page

Gary Foulger

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Roman 'Cursing' Tablets' page

Gary Foulger

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Roman 'Cursing' Tablets' page

Gary Foulger

This page was added by Janet Penn on 05/08/2019.

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