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Somebody got some poor customer service

They’ve unearthed a 2,300-year-old year old curse under the floor of the Athenian agora. It was a ceramic jar filled with the skull and lower leg bones of a young chicken. It was pierced by an iron nail (more of an iron spike, if you ask me).

On the outside – written by two different hands – were the names of as many as 55 people (a lot of the writing was worn away) and words that may mean “we bind.”

That’s when the Gregorian chants started.

Okay, Gregorian chants are not really appropriate for ancient Greek curses, but I haven’t seen many horror movies about ancient Greeks. “We bind” kind of creeps me out, for some reason.

Anyway, because it was under the marketplace, leading speculation is that these two were in a lawsuit with the names on the jar, probably craftsmen. Apparently, trials were common in Athens at the time and a bit of a spectator sport.

I have to think our legal system would only be improved by the addition of nail and chicken bone curses.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: June 3, 2021, 8:55 pm

Okay, I’m twisted. I read young CHILDREN instead of young chicken.

Must be my Aztec genes.

Comment from BJM
Time: June 3, 2021, 11:02 pm

IIRC Ancient Greek juries/citizens voted by dropping a white stone or black stone into a designated pot (don’t know which color was yea or nay).

Maybe this is connected with a verdict gone wrong…or as a sacrifice for one that went well. Although the words “We bind” prolly aren’t what one says when you win the verdict.

Comment from BJM
Time: June 3, 2021, 11:21 pm

@Stoaty BTW Bettany Hughes wrote an excellent book on Athens’s golden age; “The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life.”

Twenty-five centuries on we’re still looking.

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