Monday, June 5, 2017

The oldest political curse on record

It's addressed to a Senator:
At a time when black magic was relatively common, two curses involving snakes were cast, one targeting a senator and the other an animal doctor, says a Spanish researcher who has just deciphered the 1,600-year-old curses.
Both curses feature a depiction of a deity, possibly the Greek goddess Hekate, with serpents coming out of her hair, possibly meant to strike at the victims. Both curses contain Greek invocations similar to examples known to call upon Hekate.
The two curses, mainly written in Latin and inscribed on thin lead tablets, would have been created by two different people late in the life of the Roman Empire.
I believe that it was Will Rodgers who said that one day a year should be open season on Senators.  It doesn't seem that much has changed that way in 1,600 years.
One of the curses targets a Roman senator named Fistus and appears to be the only known example of a cursed senator.
I can't find any information on the good Senator - by his time the Senate was purely a ceremonial body, and had been for over a century.  Basically, he was in an exclusive Drone's Club.

2 comments:

juvat said...

I thought you were going to say it was directed at Senator......Clinton!

Michael Egan said...

And I always thought it was: "May you live in interesting times."