Curses, Coincidence or Conscience


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The ‘curse of Pompeii’ is a story which tells us Mount Vesuvius’ eruption was the act of  Gods unleashing punishment after the Legionaries  destroyed holy buildings.

Back in October, (2015) we learned Massimo Osanna, the archaeological superintendent of Pompeii, had revealed that over a hundred people have returned relics that they stole when they visited the ancient Roman town, claiming they are cursed.

A man wrote from Latin America saying that he and his entire family had experienced “trauma after trauma” after he took a piece of stone from Pompeii.

One Canadian woman who had taken away a decorative terracotta tile while on her honeymoon during the 70’s wrote asking for forgiveness for “an error she made in her youth”.

“At a certain point, people started believing in this story again,” said Mr Osanna. “Even proper thieves have returned things to us.”

The story also added a more reasonable explanation – for the sceptics. ‘However, some plunderers are afflicted by guilt, rather than an ancient curse.’

But how many stinky fingers were skeptics before stealing the artifacts and are now believers?

Perhaps the man from Latin America hadn’t experienced many life traumas until later in life and the timing is just coincidental. We all have to experience trauma from time to time – life isn’t perfect and we can’t learn life lessons without them.

When we question the conscience of the stinky fingered thieves, we must also ask if they had a conscience when first taking the relics. Was there not a pang of guilt when they first slipped the relic into their pockets? If the thieves later felt a pang of regret, can we then assume the relic gifted the thieves with a conscience?

We can only hope that with Massimo Osanna’s new exhibit, which will display the letters of apologies asking for forgiveness, can answer these questions.

– altered by Hystoria




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1 Response to Curses, Coincidence or Conscience

  1. Pingback: Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer): the Inquisition’s guide to the diagnosis, behavior, trial, and punishment of witches. | Hystoria

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