Roman curse tablets

The Roman curse tablets are the personal and private prayers of 130 individuals inscribed on small sheets of lead or pewter.

Believed to range in date from the 2nd to the late 4th century AD, the tablets were rolled up and thrown into the Spring where the spirit of the goddess Sulis Minerva dwelt. They are mostly from people who had suffered an injustice, asking for wrongs to be put right and for revenge. The prayers reveal the anger felt by ordinary people at the loss of what seem to us like modest everyday items, but which were very important to people who at the time had few personal possessions.

In 2014, the curse tablets were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World UK register. They are the only objects from Roman Britain to receive this accolade. You can see some of the curse tablets on display in the Temple Worship area of the museum.


Back to top