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Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Monday, 16 April 2012 09:50 UK

Roman tombstones 'brilliantly chatty'

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The inscriptions on Roman tombstones give an interesting insight into the lives and thoughts of ordinary Romans.

Classicist Mary Beard, who is presenting a new BBC 2 series of Meet the Romans , told the Today programme that the "brilliantly chatty" tombstones were one of the best ways to find out about Romans' characters.

By way of example, she read out one on air: "Put on your party hat, drink down that wine and don't say no to sex with pretty girls cause you won't get it when you're dead."

Watch Mary's TV blog post Meet the Romans: and not just the toffs


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