Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze phallic amulet

Period:
Imperial
Date:
1st century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
L. 1 11/16 in. (4.3 cm.)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Gift of A. Hyatt Mayor, 1960
Accession Number:
60.117.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
Phallic emblems are found on a wide range of Roman objects, from amulets to frescoes to mosaics to lamps. They were symbols intended to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. As the ancient author Pliny attests, even babies and soldiers wore such charms to invite divine protection.
Said to be from Italica (near modern Seville, southern Spain)

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