A fascinum discovered in Colonia Aurelia Apulensis.Oculus malignus and the apothropaic role of phallic amulets
Autor: Anca Timofan
The use of phallic amulets, to be carried on the person as preservatives against the Evil Eye and other noxious influences, was very common in Antiquity. The ancient Roman was ever fearful of the Evil Eye (oculus malignus) and the injury that it might work on his person or property.
Protection against evils was sought throught magical use of amulets (amuletum). Pendants in the form of a single phallus were found in most of the provinces of the Roman Empire.
A similar type of amulet called fascinum, was discovered in 2007 inside of a roman private building in Colonia Aurelia Apulensis (Partoş, Alba Iulia) as the result of a rescue excavation. This phallic amulet was made of bronze and it’s dated in the third century AD.
The fascinum was supposed to possess magical influences which not only acted upon others but defended those who were under its protection.
The worship of generative powers witch is concentrated upon the representation of the phallus continued to exist in the Middle Ages.
Even in modern times, the use of amulets as a believe in the Evil Eye’s malefic powers is still present as a popular superstition, filled with irrational connotations.