Cursing Senators Through the Ages

By: The Scribe on Monday, July 8, 2013

snakes-curses-2It’s not just senators in modern-day governments who appear to sit around and do nothing, angering taxpayers with their seeming lack of effort to do anything other than collect a paycheque.

No, in fact, senators throughout history have been the targets of angry citizens… such as the Roman senator Fistus. In ancient Rome, the senate was a very wealthy establishment, and for some time, held a considerable amount of power.

The Roman senator Fistus was likely an individual of great wealth, and perhaps due to some decision he made—or didn’t make?—he was cursed. Literally! A 1,600-year-old curse tablet, acquired by the Museo Arcaheological Civico di Bologna (Italy) in the late 19th century, was recently deciphered by Celia Sanchez Natalias of the University of Zaragoza.

Whoever wrote the curse definitely had no qualms about expressing their hatred for the senator. The Latin expression for “crush” is used four times in the curse:

“Crush, kill Fistus the senator … may Fistus dilute, languish, sink, and may all his limbs dissolve…”

It’s arguably worse than a present-day attack ad! And the wording is interestingly Greek in form.

The lead tablet containing the curse shows a depiction of the Greek goddess Hecate, who has serpents in her hair and an eight-pointed star covering her delicate lady parts.

Hecate is also directly invocated on the tablet… and sadly enough, we may never know if the senator got what the angry party believed he deserved!


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