Another of my favourite Roman inscriptions, which I have mentioned before and talked about at Bard, is what may be the tombstone of a couple, known for business purposes (one presumes) as Calidius Eroticus and Fannia Voluptas. All those names are individually well attested at Rome, but together they roughly equal Mr Hot Sex and Mrs Gorgeous (though Fannia in Latin does not mean what you might imagine). So it seems highly unlikely that they were the names the couple were born with, but the one’s they took to brand their bar or cheap lodging house.
And that’s rather confirmed by the little scene played out underneath the names. It’s a dialogue between an inn-keeper (Calidius?) and a customer who is asking to settle up his bill. The inn-keeper goes through everything his client has had… bread, dips etc. Then he comes to the 8 asses for ‘the girl’ (an as was pretty much the ancient equivalent of a penny), and hay for the mule at 2 asses. ‘Blimey’, says the customer, ‘that mule will be the ruin of me’.