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01 June 2016 @ 12:44 pm
Latin from (Roman) London  

The texts – written on Roman wooden writing tablets and found deeply buried in waterlogged ground just 400 metres east of St Paul’s Cathedral – have given the first ever relatively detailed series of brief written accounts of what London was like in the first forty years of its existence.


Virtually all the early Londoners and other British-based Romans mentioned in the newly studied documents are individuals who were previously unknown to history.

And then there's this fascinating oath, which I had never heard before:

In another document a man seems to be desperately pleading for his business associate to send through some urgently needed funds. “I ask you, by bread and salt, that you send as soon as possible the 26 denarii in Victoriati [older coins with higher silver content] and the 10 denarii of [the man] Paterio.”

The author of the piece writes that this most likely means "by our friendship" - I suppose because you'd share those things with friends, like the etymological origins of the word "companion"?
Enlevé: vegetable gardenenleve on June 3rd, 2016 11:03 am (UTC)
Bread, salt and water are traditional symbols of hospitality, of the essentials of life, and of common humanity. I don't know enough about Roman London to know if it's a similar thing, but here are a few links that mention bread, salt, and water:


I have heard of the custom, but I haven't heard it in the context of being used as an oath before, or as a reason for sending money.

Maybe it's like a lot of Quebec oaths and swearwords where the most offensive ones are the names of holy things.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on June 6th, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links! I think, in context, it would be like a Shakespeare character saying "As you love me, send me the money" - trying to urge the other person in the name of friendship.