‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier

Secundinus, the s***ter 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian's Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier

‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier

The graffiti was found at Vindolanda, a Roman fort in Northumberland

The stone features a carving of a phallus measuring 15.7 x 6 inches

Also features SECVNDINVS CACOR, which translates to Secundinus, the s***ter

n most classrooms across the UK, it’s likely you’ll find rude graffiti scrawled on the desks.

Now, a new discovery at Hadrian’s Wall suggests these types of cheeky scribblings date back thousands of years.

Researchers have discovered a large phallus and an inscription which brands a Roman soldier called Secundinus a ‘s***ter’ at the historic site, dating back 1,700 years.

‘Its author clearly had a big problem with Secundinus and was confident enough to announce their thoughts publicly on a stone,’ said Dr Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations and CEO of the Vindolanda Trust.

‘I have no doubt that Secundinus would have been less than amused to see this when he was wandering around the site over 1,700 years ago.’

The graffiti was uncovered at Vindolanda, a picturesque fort and settlement in the Northumberland countryside, which is part of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.

‘It comes from a secure context below a 4th century cavalry barracks, discarded into a long trench filled with rubble,’ a spokesperson said.

This isn’t the first time quirky scribbling have been found at Vindolanda – previously, archaeologists found a handwritten birthday invitation where one woman invited her ‘dearest sister’ to join her.

The latest discovery was made by Dylan Herbert, a retired biochemist from South Wales, who was volunteering with the Vindolanda Trust.

‘I’d been removing a lot of rubble all week and to be honest this stone had been getting in my way, I was glad when I was told I could take it out of the trench,’ Mr Herbert said.

‘It looked from the back like all the others, a very ordinary stone, but when I turned it over, I was startled to see some clear letters.

‘Only after we removed the mud did I realise the full extent of what I’d uncovered, and I was absolutely delighted.’

The stone features a carving of a phallus measuring 15.7 x 6 inches, along with the words SECVNDINVS CACOR.

Dr Alexander Meyer, Dr Alex Mullen and Dr Roger Tomlin, specialists in Roman epigraphy, recognised these words as a mangled version of ‘Secundinus cacator’.

This translates to ‘Secundinus, the s***ter’, according to the experts.

‘The recovery of an inscription, a direct message from the past, is always a great event on a Roman excavation, but this one really raised our eyebrows when we deciphered the message on the stone,’ Dr Birley said.

Engraving of phalluses are not uncommon on Hadrian’s Wall, with a total of 13 now found at the historic site.

While the symbol is usually seen as an image of strength and virility, that’s likely not the case with this new finding.

In this case, the author has ‘cleverly taken its meaning and subverted it to their own aims,’ according to the researchers.

‘This fabulous bit of social commentary from the ancient past will amuse visitors for many years to come,’ they said in a release.

‘It reminds us that while the Roman army could be extremely brutal, especially to the native population, they were not immune to hurling insults at each other.’

Source: daily mail

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‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier

One thought on “‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier

  • 4 June 2022 at 21:23
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    Perhaps this inscription might better be translated as “Secundinus the Penis Pooper” and was not intended as an insult at all. It might have even been carved by Secundinus himself in secret. Could this be an early statement of gay pride? I can’t believe that so much effort would be put into a childish insult. It looks like a work of deeper passion.

    Reply

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