Romans were superstitious. That’s a fact, proved in ancient literature, but also buy the many archaeological finds : charms, amulets, paintings, tablets and many more. One item in particular was really popular: the “fascinus”, a divine phallus supposed to bring luck or at least keep away the “evil eye”. You could find them everywhere: at the entrance of a house, around the neck of a legionary, in the pocket of a young girl. It was not seen like an erotic object, not at all, just a lucky charm for protection and fertility, or, better put, an item of apotropaic magic, charged to keep away the evil eye.
FascinumThe Latin word “fascinum” comes from the verb “fascinare”, to cast a spell, and gave us the modern word “fascination”. It was common among Romans, but Greeks also had them: it was a symbol of Dionysus, used at that time for fertility rituals. For Romans, the phallic bird was more associated with Priapus, the well known god with a giant penis in permanent erection. The roman name equivalent for the Greek god Priapus was Mutunus Tutunus, known in Rome since the foundation of the City.
I had a lot of bad things these last months. Mainly with means of transportation, I don’t know why. So I did like our ancient ancestors, I bought a winged phallus, and I put it in my car! This fascinum will hopefully protect me from someone who wants me bad luck. We’ll see… In Pompeii, we could see a lot of them, I guess they weren’t strong enough. But their charms weren’t made by Erik König like mine! It’s an eagle with a phallic head and two phalli in his claws.