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Obscene graffiti of ancient Romans

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Phallus on the wall of the Colosseum
Phallus on the wall of the Colosseum

In 2013, during conservation work on the wall of the corridor at the Colosseum, scientists noticed a previously overlooked drawing of a phallus erection – dated to the third century CE. It turns out that ancient supporters inscribed such phalluses on the walls to ensure the success of their favorites, i.e. gladiators. What else did the Romans place on the walls?

Scientists have found similar dirty drawings and notes on the walls of in Pompeii and Herculaneum. They mention erotic matters as well as everyday life. Here are some of them:

  • Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The women did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, too few for such a stallion.
  • Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
  • Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they ever have before!
  • Theophilus, don’t perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog
  • Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here
  • Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates
  • I was fucking with the bartender
  • Secundus likes to screw boys
  • Phileros is a eunuch!
  • Cruel Lalagus, why do you not love me?
  • I made bread on April 19th
  • Gaius Sabinus says a fond hello to Statius. Traveler, you eat bread in Pompeii but you go to Nuceria to drink. At Nuceria, the drinking is better
  • Anyone who wants to defecate in this place is advised to move along. If you act contrary to this warning, you will have to pay a penalty. Children must pay [number missing] silver coins. Slaves will be beaten on their behinds.
  • Epaphra doesn’t play football well
  • You can ride your maid whenever you want. It’s your right
  • Pyrrhus to his colleague Chius: I grieve because I hear you have died; and so farewell
  • O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin
  • My lusty son, with how many women have you had sexual relations?
  • If anyone sits here, let him read this first of all: if anyone wants a screw, he should look for Attice; she costs 4 sestertii.
  • Samius to Cornelius: go hang yourself!
  • If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend
  • To the one defecating here. Beware of the curse. If you look down on this curse, may you have an angry Jupiter for an enemy
  • We have wet the bed, host. I confess we have done wrong. If you want to know why, there was no chamber pot
  • What a lot of tricks you use to deceive, innkeeper. You sell water but drink unmixed wine
  • The finance officer of the emperor Nero says the food here is poison
  • Gaius was here – the oldest graffiti, dated 78 BCE; found in Pompeii.
  • Vote for Isidorus for aedile, he licks cunts the best

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