An Ancient Roman Love Triangle
On occasion, the wall of a caupona could serve as a sort of "message board," as shown by this intriguing set of texts from Caupona I.10.3 in Pompeii. An arguement between Severus and Successus -- two men competing for the affections of a barmaid named Iris -- is inscribed on the left wall of the tavern's entryway. One can imagine each man coming back to this spot to check what the other had written and leave a response. The texts read as follows:
--Successus the weaver loves a barmaid named Iris who does not care about him. And the more he begs, the less she cares. A rival wrote this. Keep well!
--You who are bursting with jealousy, don't dare to harry someone who is more attractive than you, one who is robust and capable of crime.
--I've said it, I've written it. You love Iris, who does not care about you. To Successus, as .... Severus.