Fascinum: To ward off the evil eye

Romans were superstitious, as evidenced in ancient literature and by the many archaeological finds: charms, amulets, paintings, tablets, and many more. One item in particular was really popular was the “fascinus”, a divine phallus supposed to bring luck or at least keep away the “evil eye”. You could find them everywhere including at the entrance of a house, around the neck of a legionary, or in the pocket of a young girl. It was not seen like an erotic object, but rather a lucky charm for protection and fertility, charged to keep away the evil eye.

I am creating a collection of FASCINUM for display at the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Festival (KASF) in March 2019. Here I will post pictures of extant pieces, as well as my own artwork representating this aspect of Roman culture.

Exemplars:

 

My Art:

 

More Reading:

Winged Phallus

Rome’s fascination with fascinum

Ward off sickness with flying penis

Encyclopedia Mythica: Fascinus

The fascinating origin of the word ‘fascinating’

 

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