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September 17, 2020

Ancient Romans Carried Flying Penis Amulets to Ward Off Evil

One theory is that those scenes that show sexual activity have an apotropaic power, because they make you laugh so that wards off the evil eye. This claim came from a 2011 discovery by amateur archaeologists in Britain. Among the trove of ancient Roman artifacts included a pornographic knife handle and these winged penises carved from animal bone.

Amulets and wind chimes shaped like flying penises have been found by plenty of archaeologists down the years at archaeological sites stretching from Italy to Israel.

It’s thought that young Roman boys wore them around their necks to broadcast their social status, such as whether or not they were slaves. Parents believed the amulets would keep children safe due to their links to the god Fascinus. This was important because child mortality was high across the empire, with up to half of all Roman kids dying before the age of five, according to a Columbia University study.

It was understandable, therefore, that mothers turned to “divine” objects to protect their youngsters, even if those objects were shaped like a sex organ.


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