This funny graffito from the Villa of the Mysteries near Pompeii provides a vivid glimpse to everyday life in the 1st century AD. Inscribed in the atrium of the villa, a place where patrons used to receive their guests, the sketch depicts a bald, rather comical male figure with a big nose and pointy chin. The inscription at the top reads “Rufus est.”
Was someone making fun of a certain Rufus or were they celebrating him given that he appears to have a crown on his head? Could it be that Rufus was the head of the household? Perhaps a magistrate? Whatever the case may be, the discovery of this graffito reminds us of the thrill of archaeology allowing us to feel a bit closer to the ancient Romans.
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