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Historical "normal" dialogue

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So I saw the recordings of graffiti at Pompeii a while back and the really down-to-earth, relatable, understandable nature of it struck me as pretty interesting.

Does anyone know of any other "normal" historical text or writings? Like, stuff from the ancient past that captures day-to-day life and so forth? Records of mundane events, commentaries, graffiti, that sort of thing?

I'm not really sure if there's a term for what I'm looking for but I'll willing to check out anything neat you can think of. Thanks.
There's loads of this stuff, actually.

I remember reading that one of the oldest surviving written documents records a goat transaction or something, but I can't seem to find it right now.
Florilegium Urbanum has lots of great primary sources on this stuff. Lots of it pertains to buisness contractions in the Middle Ages that details otherwise simple, mundane transactions.

Check them here: http://users.trytel.com/~tristan/towns/florilegium/flor01.html
>On holy days, the schoolmasters assemble their students at the churches associated with the particular festival, for purposes of a training exercise. There the students debate, some using demonstrative rhetoric, others using dialectical logic. Yet others "hurtle enthymemes", while those who are more advanced employ syllogisms. Some undergo the debating exercise just to be put through their paces, it being like a wrestling match of the intellect; for others it is to help perfect their skills in determining the truth. The contrivances of sophists receive credit for the torrent and flow of their arguments. Others apply false logic. Occasionally some speakers strive to persuade by delivering rhetorical orations, taking care to observe the rules of their art and not to leave out anything related to them. Boys from different schools fling versified arguments against each other, disputing matters of grammatical principles or rules governing the use of the future or past tenses. There are those who make use of epigrams, rhymes, and metrical verse – types of sarcasm traditionally heard at street-corners; with "Fescennine License", they freely ridicule their associates, without naming names. They hurl "abuse and jibes"; with Socratic wit they take digs at the character flaws of their fellows, or even their elders, and "bite more keenly even than Theon's tooth" with their "bold dithyrambs". The audience being "ready to laugh their fill", "with wrinkling nose repeat the loud guffaw".

This is pretty cool, thanks!


Yeah, that'd be something I'm interested in. I like history's big events but the little things I think help me more in visualizing the world the events happened in, giving them more context and depth.
Plato, desu.
What about an ancient 4chan
Does one exist


Just like in the OP

Epistolae: Medieval Women's Letters

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, the travels and trades of a Roman Merchant in 100AD

The Sogdian Ancient letters

The Journey of Faxian, a Chinese monk, to India http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/faxian.html

While most people weren't exactly upper class/ well traveled monks/merchants this kind of gives us a commentary onto their roles in society.

Thanks, this stuff is pretty awesome.
Of course. The longer you go back, the harder it is to find. Also, Europeans recorded more "daily life" occurrences of themselves, simply because books were more widely popular

But we still have tons of descriptions from even pre 1000

I'm looking for raunchy stuff but those are alot of letters, man.
Don't we still have some Roman pornography that survived?
not ancient roman, but Luca Landucci's diary sounds interesting. He was a florentine who wrote from 1450 to 1516, which saw the personal rule of the medici family, then their fall in 1492, followed by a republic run by savonarola to 1498, followed by piero soderini as leader for life still 1512, then the reinstatement of medici rule, during which the the city basically became a vassal of the medici pope.

you can read it for free online:

also found John Stowe's Chronicle of London from 1598. here are some free online editions:


All of these are primary sources: http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook09.asp#Economic Life
Bumping with 3 of the ones I found most interesting.
>Antique Roman Dishes
>Slavery in the Roman Republic
>Accounts of Personal Religion
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