The “fascinus” of ancient Rome: the phallus-shaped amulet that protected against the evil eye.
one of the great bugaboos of ancient Rome was thefascinus , theevil eye , aevil influencewhich was believed to be conveyed in words, with particular gestures or simply with onelook . It was the so-calledoculus malignus , "evil eye", exact ancient correspondence of the term "evil eye": it was thought that there were people with deformed or enchanting eyes, capable of casting evil spells just by looking at a person.
Thefascinusit could have many effects, even fatal ones (sudden deaths were also attributed to the evil eye, and in addition to explaining the onset of illnesses it was also called into question to justify poor harvests, deaths of livestock, accidents to one's home), and it could affect everyone, but a category particularly subject to negative influences was considered to be that ofchildren.
More generally, there were many ways to escape thefascinusor to push him away. From the already mentioned rituals we moved on to simpler practices, such asapotropaic, superstitious, conjuring gestures (some very ancient gestures still survive today: think of thegesture of the horns ), but the distraction of the evil gaze was particularly widespread throughamulets : the most widespread of these was the amuletphallic shape , considered a very powerful means to ward off thefascinus(so much so that the amulets in the shape of phalluses were known by the same term: that is, the amulet was also calledfascinus ).
Sorry, there are no products in this collection
Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.
Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device