Read the Curse

The curse inscribed on this tablet in ancient times was translated from Latin to English in John G. Gager‘s Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World.  (New York: Oxford University Press 1992: pp. 240-242.)  Here is the text cursing Plotius, slave of Avonia:

Fox's 1911 transcription of the text.

“Good and beautiful Proserpina, wife of Pluto, or Salvia, if you prefer that I call you so, snatch away the health, the body, the complexion, the strength, and the faculties of Plotius. Hand him over to Pluto, your husband. May he not be able to escape this (curse) by his wits. Hand him over to fevers—quartan, tertian, and daily—so that they wrestle and struggle with him. Let them overcome him to the point where they snatch away his soul. Thus I give over to you this victim, O Proserpina or Acherusia if you prefer that I call you so. Summon for me the triple headed hound to snatch away the heart of Plotius. Promise that you will give him three victims (gifts)—dates, figs, and a black pig—if he completes this before the month of March. These I will offer you, Proserpina Salvia, when you complete this in an orderly fashion. I give over to you the head of Plotius, the slave/son of Avonia. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the head of Plotius. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the forehead of Plotius. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the eyebrows of Plotius. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the eyelids of Plotius. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the pupils of Plotius. Proserpina Salvia, I give over to you the nostrils, lips, ears, nose, tongue, and teeth of Plotius, so that he may not be able to say what is causing him pain; the neck, shoulders, arms, and fingers, so that he may not be able to aid himself in any way; his breast, liver, heart,and lungs, so that he may not be able to discover the source of his pain; his intestines, stomach, navel, and sides, so that he may not be able to sleep; his shoulder blades, so that he may not be able to sleep soundly; his “sacred organ” so that he may not be able to urinate; his rump, anus, thighs, knees, shanks, shins, feet, ankles, heels, toes, and toenails, so that he may not be able to stand by his own strength. No matter what he may have written, great or small, just as he has written a proper spell and commissioned it (against me), so I hand over and consign Plotius to you, so that you may take care of him by the month of February. Let him perish miserably. Let him leave life miserably. Let him be destroyed miserably. Take care of him so that he may not see another month.”