Ever so generous, the ancient Romans left future history buffs all manner of Latin-inscribed relics to fawn over, from massive stadiums and temples to milestones, tombs, tableware, and coins. For most of us, the letters and numbers appear jumbled or coded, but Roman inscribers actually adhered to standardized abbreviations and grammatical rules easily understood by illiterate and scholarly Romans alike. All of which allows the messages to be translated by contemporary experts like Dirk Booms, curator of Roman Archaeology at the British Museum, and the author of this superb guide to understanding ancient Roman scripts.
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