Claudia Moser

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20052006 Forum on Word and Image

Claudia Moser

Classical Studies, Archaeology

College '06

The Phallus: An Apotropaic Symbol in Ancient Rome

The art and literature of the first-century A.D. Roman world are replete with exaggerated images of the phallus. Believed to protect against outside evil, images of the phallus adorned frescoes, amulets, statues, etchings, drinking cups, vases, and more. It was also discussed in literature, satire, elegy, and poetry. What was the public function of this most private symbol?