Caerleon Amphitheatre and the Caerleon Curse
During excavations of Caerleon's Amphitheatre in 1926 this strange lead tablet was discovered in the debris of the northern half of the arena. Approximately 10 cm square, it was pierced with two nail holes for attachment. The inscription reads:
'Lady Nemesis, I give thee a cloak and a pair of boots; let him who took them not redeem them (unless) with his own blood.'
It seems that the writer is saying to the goddess Nemesis: 'I make you a present of the cloak and boots stolen from me and you can obtain them by seeing that the thief is killed in the arena, or let him redeem them by getting well wounded.'
The writer may not have known who stole his cloak and boots. Or maybe he does not have the courage to recover his own property, so he asks for the goddess to arrange for the death or injury of the thief in return for his (stolen) possessions - this salves his conscience. In either case, he has done his best!