In 41/40 BC, the Romans were at war – with one another.
At the town of Perusia, forces loyal to Mark Antony found themselves besieged by the troops of Octavian, the young man who went on to become the Emperor Augustus.
Around the modern town, archaeologists have found large metal bullets from Roman slingshots, used in the siege. Many of them were decorated with images or text, as messages to the enemy. Some name the intended target, and some tell the unlucky recipient who sent it.
AshLI’s Jane Masséglia and Hannah Cornwell take a closer look at one example, which is now on display in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
So, for a Roman soldier, owning the bullet with your name on might not have been such a strange idea after all: