#4. The Cerne Abbas Giant
Ancient peoples liked to modify the landscape of the Earth. Stonehenge, those Easter Island heads and the Nazca Lines in Peru all come to mind, with an air of mystery and subtle dignity that has managed to survive hundreds of years of civilization. And then there's this:
The Cerne Abbas Giant, a huge etching in Southern England, isn't exactly subtle. Its giant thunderous erection is right there in your face, sprawled across the English countryside. At first it seems like this is probably some ancient pagan fertility symbol, dating back to a time when huge boners weren't automatically hilarious.
That was a really, really long time ago.
However, it turns out that there's no written mention of the giant prior to the 17th century, which has led some scholars to believe that it's actually an in-your-face cartoon of Oliver Cromwell.
That shut him up.
People weren't exactly the biggest fans of the aggressive Cromwell back then, and since he was called "England's Hercules," and Hercules used to be represented with a club, there's a pretty good possibility that this is the case. And what better way to insult him than by carving a picture of him as a naked crazy barbarian with comically huge nipples and a giant boner pointed straight up at his face? Although we question the decision to make fun of a guy with a drawing that he would only be able to see while flying a helicopter, something which many scholars agree did not exist back then.
#3. Roman Graffiti
Ancient Rome has left us with some of the most wonderful and majestic ruins in the world. When we think of Rome, we think of the grandeur of the Coliseum, the birth of a judicial and political system that is still the wellspring for most institutions in the Western world and Russell Crowe fighting a giant in a baby mask and his pet tiger.
If this is history, we want to go back in time right now.
What we don't generally think of is graffiti and gay jokes.
However, we definitely should, because not only did the Romans like to graffiti their majestic buildings like truck stop bathrooms, but they also did so in the most childish ways possible. We've become aware of this ancient phenomenon mostly through the excavation of Pompeii, but it's fairly safe to assume that graffiti showed up pretty much everywhere. And what those ancient bastards wrote wasn't exactly Plato's Apology.
Outside the wall of a brothel, one guy scribbled:
Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men's behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
Experts consider this the greatest way to come out of the closet outside of gay sex on the moon.
On the other hand, a guy named Salvius apparently couldn't wait for his friend Amplicatus to make a similar declaration, so he did it for him:
Amplicatus, I know that Icarus is buggering you. Salvius wrote this.
But really, who wasn't Icarus buggering?
The ancient Romans also used their public wall space to make questionable statements about the amount of women they'd had sex with, much like the modern-day meatballs that troll around Hooters in collared shirts with dragons on 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.
Although we're concerned about Floronius' phrasing. The way he writes it sounds like he was some kind of rape ninja that "only" managed to claim six victims before being chased away into the night.
#2. The Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo, one of the most famous artists ever, painted and sculpted a shitload of dicks in his lifetime, though most of them weren't meant to be funny.
Most of them.
He literally smothered the roof of the Sistine Chapel with penises, something that didn't sit well with Biagio da Cesena, who was the Pope's Master of Ceremonies. Biagio was something of a religious purist (which is understandable, given his job and all) and he was offended by the fact that the Sistine Chapel had naked people frolicking all over the damn place, going so far as to say that that the fresco was more suited to a brothel.
A ... specialty brothel.
Michelangelo, who was stressed enough already, decided that Biagio da Cesena could go fuck himself to death and incorporated him into the Chapel's paintings.
That's Biagio on the right.
As an epic "screw you," Michelangelo painted Biagio as Minos, the judge of the underworld. That would already be pretty bad, since Minos is a demon and Biagio da Cesena was a cardinal, but as you can see, Michelangelo also decided to paint a snake biting him in the dick. And in case the meaning wasn't sufficiently clear, he gave him the ears of a jackass.
#1. Greeks and Romans Add Insult to Injury
The sling was a ubiquitous weapon in antiquity, both because it was cheap to manufacture and because it was incredibly effective. Most sling bullets were manufactured out of lead, which, being quite soft, lent itself to being easily inscribed with a sharp knife. Now any of you who have read Homer might expect the bullets to be inscribed with heartfelt prayers to the Gods and noble speeches on war, and yes, you're right, some of them were.
This one just says, "Continued on next rock."
Most, on the other hand, weren't quite so poetically minded. Thus we have bullets cropping up all over Greece and Italy bearing inscriptions from the relatively tame "Take that," "This belongs to you" and "Eat this," all the way to "I hope this hits you in the dick" and "Fuck you." So, once your friends were done digging the lead bullet out of your skull, they could all have a laugh at the charming wit of whoever put it there.
"Flavius, let me borrow one of your bullets. They're hilarious."
Some messages were even more topical, such as one from the siege of Perusia, Italy (around 30 B.C.). The Perusians were being systematically starved, but they were trying their best to act like everything was fine, hoping the besieging army would get discouraged. A bullet recovered from the ruins reads "Esureis et me celas," which essentially means, "I know you're starving, dipshit."
To pour extra salt in the wound, the bullets were shaped like animal crackers.
For more modern ideas that were here before us, check out 11 Modern Technologies That Are Way Older Than You Think and 6 Depraved Sexual Fetishes That Are Older Than You Think.
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