An Old Street Sign

Here is an interesting Roman street sign that dates back to the year 1733 – August 14, to be exact. That is, before the founding of the United States of America. It is engraved in marble, naturally.

Back in the day when everyone wasn't always in a hurry and they had time to stop and read verbose street signs.

Back in the day when everyone wasn’t always in a hurry and they had time to stop and read verbose street signs….

My translation of the charming, old-fashioned Italian:

IT IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED FOR ANY PERSON WHOSOEVER TO DISCARD REFUSE OF ANY SORT, MUCH LESS ALLOW IT TO BE DISCARDED OR BE BROUGHT NEAR, AROUND, OR EVEN UNDERNEATH THIS ARCHWAY, UNDER PENALTY OF A FINE OF 25 SCUDI*, A THIRD OF WHICH WILL BE GIVEN TO THE ACCUSER (WHO WILL BE KEPT SECRET), AND OTHER PENALTIES, EVEN CORPORAL ONES. THE FATHER WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PECUNIARY PENALTY OF HIS CHILDREN AND THE MASTER FOR HIS MAIDSERVANTS’ AND MENSERVANTS’. IN CONFORMITY WITH THE EDICT OF THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PRESIDENT OF THE STREETS, PUBLISHED AUGUST 14, 1733.

*The “scudo” (plural “scudi”) was the unit of currency used in the Papal States until 1866.

As you can see from the general condition of the area around the sign, and the graffiti on it, it is no longer heeded! Also, the position of “President of the Streets” seemingly no longer exists as such, but given the condition of things around here, I’d say it should be brought back…

O tempora, O mores!

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One Response to An Old Street Sign

  1. Charlotte says:

    Wow. All that to say “Don’t mess with Texas” or Rome, I guess.

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