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Romans Used to Ward Off Sickness With Flying Penis Amulets
17-03-2020, 06:18 AM
Post: #1
Romans Used to Ward Off Sickness With Flying Penis Amulets
CENTURIES AGO, BEFORE MODERN MEDICINE, in a time when humans fought disease and sickness in more, uh, mystical ways, ancient Romans centered on a solution that today might get you reported, or at least looked at askance: amulets for you and your children shaped like giant penises. The amulets—and also, frequently, wind chimes—were shaped like a fascinum, or a divine penis, to ward off disease and the evil eye.

But they were used for more than that, too, as ancient Roman boys also wore the amulets, called bullae, to indicate their social status (like whether they were slaves or free boys), while young girls had a similar counterpart. In order to increase the efficacy of a bulla or another adornment, such as a kid’s ring, they were crafted into the shape of, or adorned with, giant penises.

“The sexual energy of the phallus was tied directly to its power in reproduction,” according to classicist Anthony Philip Corbeill. The fertile power of a phallus, it was thought, would keep them safe.

This was important, primarily because in the Roman world, children were exceptionally vulnerable to sickness, with up to half of all Roman children dying before the age of five, according to the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Which made it understandable, then, that mothers resorted to magical methods to protect their offspring.
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