Phallic Antiquities & Sexuality in Ancient Art

Phallic imagery can be found in the ancient art of many cultures. In ancient Egypt the anthropomorphic god Min was represented holding his erect penis in his left hand while his right hand is raised and holds a flail, a symbol of authority. As the principle deity of sexuality and virility, his worship may have been associated with orgiastic rites. In Ancient Greece several traditions of phallic deities and rituals existed, some of which continued into Roman times. The amuletic use of phallic imagery is well exhibited by the Romans with their use of amulets pendants of Fascinus the phallic deity. As well as the embodiment of generative masculine power, the Fascinus amulet, often a winged penis, is also associated with the protective aspects common to deities of fertility. Thought to have been worn by babies or children to ward off the evil eye, associated imagery often shows the Fascinus penis ejaculating towards a disembodied eye.