Spring Cleaning Inspiration from the Romans!

Some more non-Elite Latin from Brandon Conley

Spring is here, and with it comes the dreaded (but necessary) spring cleaning. It’s often difficult to rid the house of an item we no longer need or want, but remember, if it doesn’t “inspire joy,” consider recycling or donating it for someone else’s use. Need ideas for types of items to purge? Here’s some Roman stuff to get you started.

 

Personal accessories and fashion items. These have a tendency to accumulate and create clutter in drawers, chests, and cabinets. Sometimes they can wreak havoc on a foot when walking through the house at night.

  1. Gold Bracelet. AE 1994, 1098.
Bracelet
(Image Wikimedia)

UTERE FELIX DOMINA IULIANE

“Use (this) happily, Lady Juliana.”

(‘Utere Felix’ was a very popular phrase on jewelry, to the extent that abbreviations such as ‘UT FE’ were common)

 

  1. Lapis Stone. AE 2009, 991.

FELICITAS PUBLICA

“Public Happiness”

(A common phrase on coinage, but less so on jewelry)

 

  1. Gold Ring. CIL 3.12677

FIDEM D(OMINO) N(OSTRO) CONSTANTI AUGUSTO N(OVO) A(NNO)

“Trust in our Lord Constans Augustus, this new year.”

 

  1. Gold Button. AE 2003, 1456.
button
(Image Pegasus Online, 2004)

AMORE AMANTI S[I A]MAS PIGNVS

“With love, to (my) love. If you love (me), (this is) a pledge.”

 

  1. Silvered Fibula. CIL 13.10027
Fibula
(Image Pegasus Online, 2004)

QVOD / VIS EG/O VOLO

“What you want, I want.”

 

Dining and drinking wares. We’ve all heard “you have too many mugs” or “how do you have so much Tupperware?” Or, in my case, “what do the two of you need with that much silverware?”

  1. Glass. CIL 15.7010.

(POL)YCARPE BIBE (VIVE) FELIX

“Polycarpus, live happily”

 

  1. Glass Dish. CIL 15.7029.

HILARE

SEMPER

GAVDEAS

“May you always be joyfully happy.”

 

  1. Spoon. AE 1982, 670.

VIR BONE VIVAS

“Live (well), my good man.”

 

  1. Cup. AE 1981, 572b.

BIBE / ET PRO/PINA

“Take a drink and pass (me) on.”

Election Plate
(Image EDH)
  1. Election Plate. AE 1979, 0064.

M(ARCUS) CATO QUEI PETIT TRIBUN(AT)U(M) PLEBEI

“Marcus Cato, who is running for Tribune of the Plebs.”

(Go ahead, throw out those Gore vs. Bush 2000 bumper stickers.)

 

Furniture. That table that blocks half of the hallway and is only used for car keys? Time to donate it.

  1. Inscription on a Table. AE 1941, 0053.

M(ARCUS) CATO QUEI PETIT TRIBUN(AT)U(M) PLEBEI

“Marcus Cato, who is running for Tribune of the Plebs.”

(Go ahead, throw out those Gore vs. Bush 2000 bumper stickers.)

 

Furniture. That table that blocks half of the hallway and is only used for car keys? Time to donate it.

  1. Inscription on a Table. AE 1941, 0053.

Table Inscription

Quisquis amat d[ictis absentum rodere vitam,

hanc mensam in[dignam noverit esse sibi.

“Whoever loves to slander the lives of people absent with gossip, let them know this table isn’t worthy of them.”

 

  1. Table, Votive. AE 2007, 1471.

ἡ τράπεζα Μηνός / Πρωτίωνος εὐχή // Q(uintus) Volumnius / Protio / cenaculum / L(unae?) v(otum) s(olvit)

“This table belongs to Men, an offering of Protio. Quintus Volumnius Protio fulfills his vow to Luna, this dining room.”

 

  1. Chair. CIL 6.0061

Chair

[…]a Primigenia B(onae) D(eae) d(onum) d(edit)

“… Primigenia gave this gift to Bona Dea.”

 

Lamps. The days are getting longer. How much light do you really need, anyway?

  1. CIL 15.6752

BONO QUI EME(T)

“For the good (of the person) who buys (me).”

 

  1. CIL 15.6900

[C]LAUDIO NON SUM TUA

“I (am) for Claudius. I am not yours.”

 

  1. CIL 15.6903

cil.png

SOTAE SUM. NOLI ME TANGER(E)

“I am Sota’s. Don’t touch me.”

lamp.png

  1. Ex Oriente Lux: Roman Lamps from Slovenia (2012)

PANE VINV RADIC, PAUPERIS CENA

“Bread, wine, radishes, the meal of the poor.”

 

  1. CIL 11.6699

Lamp 2

ANNVM NOVM FAVSTVM FELICEM MIHI

“A happy and prosperous new year for me!”

 

Miscellaneous. Stuff that can be dangerous, off-putting to guests, aesthetically unpleasant, or ‘just a little much.’

  1. Shield. CIL 11.02088

DE DONIS DEI ET DOMNI PETRI UTERE FELIX CUM GAUDIO

“From the gifts of god and Lord Peter. Use well and with joy.”

  1. Broken Lead Pipe. AE 1993, 0437.

lead pipe

L(ucius) Titius Neptunalis plu(m)b(arius) con suo filio fecit.

“Lucius Titius Neptunalis, the pipemaker, made this with his son.”

 

3. Dice Box. AE 1989, 0562

Dice Box
Wikimedia

PICTOS

VICTOS

HOSTIS

DELETA

LVDITE

SECVRI

VTERE

 

FELIX

 

“The Picts are defeated, the enemy destroyed. Play safely. Use happily.”

(If you have this, feel free to gift it to me.)

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