WHY ARE BRITISH CURSES SO CONCERNED WITH PROPERTY? The wikipedia entry says that: “All but one of the 130 Bath curse tablets concern the restitution of stolen goods….The complained of thefts are generally of personal possessions from the baths such as jewellery, gemstones, money, household goods and especially clothing.” Bronwen Riley notes that curse tablets are found all over the empire, but “no other province has quite such an obsession with cursing people over theft and property rights” rather than love rivals or chariot teams.

I think that there is a simple explanation for the apparent obsession with property rights.There were apparently lots of thefts of clothes at public baths (it would seem to be a rather low-risk crime unless a goddess intervened). The shrine at the public bath was the appropriate place to seek intervention from the goddess. The curse tablets for affairs of the heart would go to some other location or locations which have not yet been found.

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