Roman Street Signs

During the Imaging in Italy course I attended in Rome in October, 2003, I was much taken with the ancient signage I found all over – both the lettering and the language were charmingly antique.

Several were on the theme of “do not litter”, in this case “on pain of ten scudi (coins) each time”, by authority of “The President of the Streets”

street sign in Rome: No littering

– a grandiose title, in some cases further amplified with epithets like “illustrious” and “righteous”.

Rome street sign

Rome street sign

Rome street sign

Rome antique insurance sign

Rome antique insurance plaque

^ It appears that it was at some period customary to put a plate on your home indicating who insured it! Note that both of these logos are still familiar in the modern Italian insurance industry.

This plaque denotes one of the ancient quarters (rione) of the city, with its symbol, a gryphon.

Rione Parione

One thought on “Roman Street Signs

  1. Richard Davies

    Some old British buildings have similiar plaques fitted to show that they were insured.

    Some of the early insurance companies operated their own fire brigades, & they often had to check that a building was insured by their company before starting to put out the fire.

    This started to become common after the Great Fire Of London.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_insurance_marks

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