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Nothing new under the sun

I’m currently reading a book, Three Stones Make a Wall, by an archaeologist named Eric Cline. It’s basically a history of archaeology, and would otherwise be of no interest on a political blog, except that he passes on some information that shows that there’s nothing new under the sun, and that the Karl Rove’s of the world have been with us always.

He describes the findings in Pompeii, and writes:

There were also hundreds of campaign notices. Among the more interesting endorsements is one that says, “I ask you to elect Marcus Cerrinius Vatia to the aedelship. All the late-night drinkers support him.” Another, apparently for the same man, says, “The petty thieves support Vatia for the aedileship.” We’ll never know whether he won.

Cline is probably a good archeologist, but his grasp of politics is clearly wanting. Poor Vatia was probably not looking for endorsements from the late-night drinkers or the petty thieves. Query whether his opponent put these notices up, or some foreign country hacking the Facebook of its day. As likely as not, Vatia’s opponent was pledging to make Pompeii great again.

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