(ORDO NEWS) — Historians blushed when they deciphered ancient Roman graffiti carved into stone near Hadrian’s Wall.
An offensive comment written over 1,700 years ago was found near Hexham, Northumberland. It was inscribed with words about someone named Secundinus, and next to it was carved an imposing phallus, images of which were commonly used by the Romans as a symbol of good luck or fertility.
However, experts believe that its true meaning was very, very… uncultured.
Roman epigraphers recognized the message found at the Roman site of Vindolanda as a garbled version of the words Secundinus cacator, which translates into English as “Secundin is shit.” They believe that the phallic image next to him added “strength to the written insult”.
The stone, 40 cm wide and 15 cm high, was found by Dylan Herbert, a retired biochemist from South Wales. He made the discovery on May 19, towards the end of his second week of volunteer work at the dig.
“I’ve been clearing a lot of rubble all week, and to be honest, this stone got in my way, so I was glad when they told me that I could get it out of the trench.
From the back, it looked the same as all the other cobblestones, but when I turned it over, I was surprised to find a few clear letters. When we completely wiped off the dirt, the find delighted me, ”Herbert shared his emotions.
Experts believe that each carefully carved letter, which would have taken some time to complete, left “little doubt” in the depth of the scribe’s feeling.
A total of 13 phallus carvings have been found at this site, near Hexham, more than at any other site along Hadrian’s Wall, which runs across the north of England from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.
Contact us: [email protected]