The fascinus or fascinum was the personification of the divine phallus in Ancient Roman culture. The word can refer to either the deity himself (Fascinus), or to phallus images and amulets, and interestingly also to the spells that were used to invoke his divine protection. Phallic appliqués in ancient Rome were talismans used to ward off the evil eye. This kind of sorcery was thought to ward off primarily envy (invidia) that was targeted against the fertility of animal, crop and person. As the ancient author Pliny attests, even babies and soldiers wore such charms to invite divine protection.
Roman Phallic Applique
An Ancient Roman cast bronze crescent suspension element with phallus and testicles at the bottom and mirrored side decorations with small holes for attachment, integral oval-shaped suspension ring above. An item like this might have been attached to a domestic item, perhaps a piece of furniture.
Condition: Very fine, with dark green patination and encrustations over the whole.