The Appian Way

Next time you go for a stroll along the Appian Way, take a pair of shears with you. Then, if you happen to encounter a hairy slave hurrying along, you can seize him and chop off his hair with the shears. When his bare scalp is revealed you will be able to read the secret message tattooed upon his bonce, previously hidden by his luxuriant bouffant. The message will be intended for a distant military general or potentate. Commit it to memory. You are now in possession of important and privileged information, and knowledge is power.

Continue along the Appian Way until you reach the the encampment of the general or the palace of the potentate. Being neither hairy, nor a slave, nobody will suspect you of being the carrier of the secret information. You can use this to your advantage in all sorts of ways.

Next week, in Hints And Tips For Ancient Romans, we will look at how you can influence the prognostications of a haruspex by tampering with the hot entrails of a freshly-slaughtered chicken.

2 thoughts on “The Appian Way

  1. Can you give us some idea of the percentage of hairy slaves carrying concealed messages? I don’t want to be standing out in the sun all day shaving slaves unless I can be sure of success.

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