The more things change, the more they stay the same. That seems to be the prevailing sentiment regarding drawing penises and insulting people. Thanks to a discovery at a recently undiscovered Roman fort, we know that not only were people compared to feces as a means of insult, also the name of the soldier being insulted. Probably not how the guy wanted to be remembered, but history is written by the victors. Or in this case, the angry person with a chisel.
The insult was carved into a stone that was uncovered in May in the ruins of a Roman fort found along what would have been the then northern edge of the Roman Empire. This would’ve been somewhere south of Scotland, in the northern-most part of England. The person who discovered the stone, Dylan Herbert, initially found it as an inconvenience that kept tripping him up. Once he received permission to remove it, he found two things engraved onto it.
One engraving was the a penis (testicles included), and the phrase “SECUNDINUS CACOR.” Cacor is believed to be a shortened form of “cacator,” with Secundinus being the name of the individual. What does that translate as? Well, basically, “Secundinus, the shitter.”
It’s believed that the etching on the rock would’ve been done around the third century AD. Hilariously enough, the depth of the carving indicates that whoever was doing it REALLY was passionate about their feelings for Secundinus. This wasn’t just like, a quick sketch of a penis. This is a deep engraving- you would’ve had to chisel away at this thing for a good bit to craft this. Makes you wonder how much of a good sport Secundinus would’ve been about this.
The depiction of penises in Roman engravings happened all the time. The a phallus is believed to signify things like power, fertility, and who knows what else. Both the Romans and the Greeks were obsessed with putting penii in various pieces of art. That’s partly what makes this discovery interesting. Combined with the description, this was obviously meant as an insult to Secundinus, and not a complimentary account of his manhood. It also makes it funnier.
This is obviously further evidence that the maturity level of men does not seem to have significantly increased over the centuries. Whatever you post online, stays online; whatever you carve in stone, stays in stone. Sorry Secundinus.