Lead Curse Tablet

Contributed by Letchworth Museum

The lead tablet reads: 'VECTVS QVOMODO SANIES SIGNEFICATVR TACITA DEFICTA' (Tacita - or whatever she is known as - is cursed to be like rancid pus). To increase its power it has been written backwards and the tablet pierced with iron nails to fix the spell, and lead wire to deprive the victim of power. The curse was part of a burial group. It is thought that it was regarded as a prayer to the gods of the underworld, so was put in a tomb as a way of reaching them. Through it, we hear the voice of an ordinary person living in a Roman town in a Roman province.

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early 2nd century AD


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