By Professor Henrik Mouritsen
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Additional info for Elections, Magistrates, and Municipal Elite: Studies in Pompeian Epigraphy
Franktin seems to believe that all overlays, with a single exception, were produced by the superimposition of an inscription from a later year over one dating to an earlier one. e. during the same yearand that the two candidates are thus contemporaneous. But I see no reason in principle why this should not have occurred; the requests , admittedly few, not to spoil the notices would suggest that it could. 171 Where the chronology is based on only a few overlays- which is not unusual- consideration ought to be given to the feasibility of the candidates having stood in the same year despite the overlays.
31 111. Programmata recentiora The Pompeian electoral inscriptions , also called programmata , are, as mentioned above, a unique type of inscription within Latin epigraphy, occurring only in Pompeii. From Iiterary and epigraphical sources, 11 5 however, we know that they also existed elsewhere, and the isolated occurrence in Pompeii must thus be regarded merely as a reflection of the quite extraordinary conditions of preservation which characterize this site. The electoral notices are painted , and therefore ephemeral, inscriptions placed on the outer walls of houses in support of one or more candidates in connection with the annual election of new officials.
The most likely scenario for the inscriptions' preservation and dating can thus be presented as follows. The earliest electoral inscriptions found on the hause walls date to c. 50 AD , but from the entire period from th en until 62, only a few inscriptions have been preserved. arge proportion must naturally have disappeared during the earthquake , but this does not seem tobe the only explanation for the low survival rate. There are thus very poorly documented candidates even after 62 AD. In fact , the ordinary decay and overpainting of the inscriptions usually prevented them from surviving for more than c.