The slavegirl of Pompeii
Curses and Smoke
Her name was Amica (loved girlfriend) and her name and footprint are embedded in a terra cotta tile alongside her girlfriend Detfri. The signed tile is a rare find, as Amica was a Roman slavegirl and not only her name, but a tangible imprint of her life, in the form of her footprint survives to this day.
Inscriptions and footprints—likely made with wooden shoes—on an ancient roof tile offer a glimpse into the Italic world. When the clay tiles were being made for the roof of a temple at the spectacular sanctuary at Pompeii, two slave girls apparently decided to have some fun. Across the bottom, one wrote in Latin: “Amica, the servant of Herennius, imprinted her mark when we laid out the tiles [to dry].” Her co-worker wrote the upper inscription in Oscan, the language spoken by Samnites and many other groups (it was once more common than Latin). Her words: “Detfri, the servant of Herennius Sattius, imprinted her mark with the sole of her shoes.” The tile was discovered while excavating the site in 2014.
I feel a strange sensation, touching her black skin, as we're tied together here in the Phoenician slave-merchants' ship that's carrying us over the rough seas towards our doom. She is smiling at me with her white teeth, speaking to me with words in an unknown language, she repeats: 'Amica, Amica!'.
Last edited by a moderator: