Medicus invidiae

The Fascina of Poetovio and Their Use

Authors

  • Andrej Preložnik University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.24.2.85-110

Keywords:

phallus, amulet, evil eye, envy, Roman Age, archaeology, Ptuj

Abstract

Fascinum, the magical phallus, is the most common device for averting the evil eye and envy, and as such it occurs in a variety of forms. This may also be observed in Ptuj (ancient Poetovio), where the fascinum may be encountered in various renditions and combinations – from amulets and jewelry to pictorial representation on practical objects and statues. The phalli on such objects guarded a variety of persons, things, and places: children, horses and vehicles, seals or sealed contents, practical objects, habitations and their inhabitants, workshops and their products, space and community. As personal protection, they take the form of amulets, which could be pendants in their own right, figures within an object, or parts of a cluster (crepundia). Of the materials used for their production, Ptuj has so far yielded those which were certainly (gold, amber) or probably (faience) credited with special powers. Judging by the grave contexts, they were worn in Poetovio primarily by children. The rest of the many-shaped Ptuj amulets, which may be associated with the protection of a horse, a cart, or a space, are made of bronze. The phallus is also used to decorate two bronze objects intended for practical use: in those cases it represents an additional precaution. The stone monuments with a phallus represent the syncretism of Terminus and Priapus. While the herm and the two reliefs differ in style, the phallus depicted always represents vital energy and fertility, as well as a protective force guarding a certain boundary or area and driving away all forms of malevolence, including envious people. The ceramic statuette belongs among the images which protected through their grotesque and phallic qualities those estates and crafts which were particularly vulnerable. The broken-off ceramic phallus may have belonged to a similar statuette: both objects were found on the site of a pottery workshop. The bowl with a phallus has so far defied a definite interpretation, but there, too, the phallus seems to be at least partly apotropaic.

The origins of the objects are as varied as the objects themselves. While some of them must have been crafted by local craftsmen, there are also noticeably exotic products hailing from Italy and Aquileia (amber amulets, a winged pendant), from the eastern Mediterranean (faience), or from the western provinces (a seal box). They may be dated between the 1st and 3rd centuries. More narrowly delimited are the amulets in clusters, which are typical of the 1st or early 2nd centuries; the same applies to the pendants from horse gear and the winged tintinnabulum.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Abramić, Mihovil. Poetovio, vodnik po muzeju in stavbnih ostankih rimskega mesta. Ptuj: Muzejsko društvo, 1925.

Abramić, Mihovil. »Archäologische Funde in Pettau.« Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien 17, Beiblatt (1914): 87–150.

Brandt, Elfriede, Antje Krung, Wendula Gercke in Evamaria Schmidt. Antike Gemmen in Deutschen Sammlungen. Band 1, Staatliche Münzsammlung München. Teil 3, Gemmen und Glaspasten der römischen Kaiserzeit sowie Nachträge. München: Prestel, 1972.

Bratanič, Rudolf. »Nove najdbe iz Ptuja.« Arheološki vestnik 5.2 (1954): 361–376.

Breščak, Danilo. Antično bronasto posodje Slovenije. Situla 22.1. Ljubljana: Narodni muzej, 1982.

Brives, Anne-Laure. »Une inhumation d’enfant privilégiée du Centre-Ouest de la Gaule: la sépulture 343 de la nécropole des Dunes à Poitiers (Vienne).« Antiquités nationales 39 (2008): 161–171.

Calvi, Marina Carina. Le ambre romane di Aquileia. Aquileia: Associazione nazionale per Aquileia, 2005.

Chinelli, Rita. »Gegen den Bösen Blick... – Ein Goldamulett aus Wien 1, Am Hof.« Fundort Wien: Berichte zur Archäologie 13 (2010): 76–103.

Cianfriglia, Laura in Alessio De Cristofaro. »I crepundia dalla Tomba 37 della necropoli di Castel Malnome: usi funerari e rituali magici.« V: Contesti magici = Contextos mágicos, ur. Marina Piranomonte in Francisco Marco Simón, 233–245. Rim: De Luca, 2012.

Corti, Carla. »Il fascinum e l’amuletum. Tracce di pratiche magico-religiose in alcuni insediamenti rurali del Modenese e del Reggiano.« Pagani e Cristiani. Forme e attestazioni di religiosità del mondo antico in Emilia 1 (2001): 69–85.

Dasen, Véronique. »Les amulettes d’enfants dans le monde gréco-romain.« Latomus 62.2 (2003): 275–289.

Dasen, Véronique. »Probaskania: amulets and magic in antiquity.« V: The Materiality of Magic. Morphomata 20, ur. Dietrich Boschung in Jan Bremmer, 177–204. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2015. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783846757253_010

Deschler-Erb, Eckhard in Dragan Božič. »A Late Republican Bone Pendant from the Münsterhügel in Basel (CH).« Instrumentum 15 (2002): 39–41.

Dövener, Franziska. »Zwei außergewöhnliche Keramikgefäße aus dem Vicus von Mamer-Bertrange.« Empreintes 4 (2011): 42–49.

Dunbabin, Katherine M. C. in M. Dickie. »Invidia rumpantur pectora.« Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 26 (1983): 7–37.

Elliott, John H. Beware Evil Eye: The Evil Eye in the Bible and the Ancient World. Vol. 2: Greece and Rome. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2016.

Elworthy, Frederick Thomas. The Evil Eye: An Account of this Ancient and Widespread Superstition. London: John Murray, 1895.

Engemann, Josef. »Zur Verbreitung magischer Übelabwehr in der nichtchristlichen und christlichen Spätantike.« Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 18 (1975): 22–48.

Eterović Borzić, Anamarija in Bersilav Štefanac, Antičko staklo: Katalog stalnog postava Muzeja antičkog stakla u Zadru. Zadar: Muzej antičkog stakla, 2021.

Furger, Alex R., Maya Wartmann in Emilie Riha. Die römischen Siegelkapseln aus Augusta Raurica. Forschungen in Augst 44. Augst: Römermuseum, 2009.

Gagetti, Elisabeta. »locum in deliciis ... sucina optinent. Le ambre di Aquileia e di Spalato.« V: Le regioni di Aquileia e Spalato in epoca romana, ur. Maurizio Buora, 135–161. Udine: Fondazione Cassamarca, 2007.

Harl, Friederike in Ortolf Harl. Ubi erat lupa. Podatkovna baza. http://lupa.at/

Hoffiller, Viktor in Balduin Saria. Antike Inscriften aus Jugoslavien (AIJ) Zagreb: Narodne novine, 1938.

Humer, Franz in Gabrielle Kremer, ur. Götterbilder – Menschenbilder: Religion und Kulte in Carnuntum. Wien: Amt der NÖ Landesregierung, Abt. Kultur und Wissenschaft, 2011.

Istenič, Janka. Poetovio, zahodna grobišča I, II: grobne celote iz Deželnega muzeja Joanneuma v Gradcu. Katalogi in monografije 32, 33. Ljubljana: Narodni muzej Slovenije, 1999–2000.

Jahn, Otto. »Über den Aberglauben des bösen Blicks bei den Alten.« Berichte über die Verhandlungen der Königlich Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Leipzig (1855): 28–110.

Katalog Schloss Eggenberg. Schild von Steier 22. Graz: Universalmuseum Joanneum, 2009.

Kaufmann-Heinimann, Annemarie. Augst und das Gebiet der Colonia Augusta Raurica. Die römischen Bronzen der Schweiz 1. Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1977.

Kovač, Damir in Remza Koščević. Falusom protiv uroka. Zagreb: Muzej grada Zagreba, 2003.

Kühlborn, Johann – Sebastian. Anreppen, Stadt Delbrück, Kreis Paderborn. Römerlager in Westfalen 4. Münster: Altertumskommission für Westfalen, 2009.

Lubšina Tušek, Marija. »Hajdina, prazgodovinski in rimski arheološki kompleks.« Zavod za varstvo naravne in kulturne dediščine Maribor, letno poročilo 1999 (2001):, 280–284.

Mardešić, Jagoda. »Jantar.« V: Longae Salonae, ur. Emilio Marin, 175-200. Split: Arheološki muzej, 2002.

Mikl Curk, Iva. Poetovio I. Katalogi in monografije 13. Ljubljana: Narodni muzej, 1976.

Modena dalle origini all‘anno Mille : studi di archeologia e storia. Modena: Panini, 1988.

Musco, Stefano, Lorenzo Petrassi in Stefano Pracchia, ur. Luoghi e paesaggi archeologici del suburbio orientale di Roma. Roma: Baioni Stampa, 2011.

Parker, Adam. »A Marble Relief of the ‘All-Suffering Eye’ in Woburn Abbey.« Lucerna 58 (2020): 6–9.

Pfahl, Stefan. »Die römischen Gesichtsgefäße von Nida-Heddernheim.« Xantener Ber. 13 (2003): 173-196.

Pichlerová, Magda. Gerulata Rusovce: rimske pohrebisko II. Bratislava: Osveta, 1981.

Schmidtová, Jaroslava in Matej Ruttkay. »Das langobardische Gräberfeld von Bratislava–Rusovce.« V: Kulturwandel in Mitteleuropa. Langobarden–Awaren–Slawen. Kolloquien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte 11., ur. Jan Bemann in Michael Schmauder, 377–398. Bonn: 2008.

Seligmann, Siegfried. Der böse Blick und Verwandtes. Berlin: Hermann Barsdorf, 1910.

Спасић-Ђурић, Драгана. »Фалички мотиви из Виминацијума.« Гласник Српског археолошког друштва 24 (2008): 121–174.

Спасић-Ђурић, Драгана. »Крепундије (crepundiae) iз Виминацијума.« Зборник Народног mузеја - Археологија XXV–1 (2021): 201–237.

Tušek, Ivan. »Arheološka zaščitna izkopavanja na prizidku h ginekološko porodnem oddelku Splošne bolnišnice dr. Jožeta Potrča na Ptuju v letih 1989 do 1991.« V: Zbornik Splošne bolnišnice dr. Jožeta Potrča Ptuj, 55–72. Ptuj: Splošna bolnišnica dr. Jožeta Potrča.

Vass Lóránt. »Is that not Charming? Fascinum in Aquincum – Protection against Evil Eye. Phallic Amulets ina Roman City.« Budapest Régiségei 49 (2016): 63–87.

Vomer Gojkovič, Mojca. »Življenje v rimski lončarsko-opekarski delavnici.« V: Zbornik Splošne bolnišnice dr. Jožeta Potrča Ptuj 1874-2004, 81–91. Ptuj: Splošna bolnišnica dr. Jožeta Potrča.

Vomer Gojkovič, Mojca. »Obrazne posode iz Petovione.« Histria antiqua 19 (2010): 221-–232.

Vomer Gojkovič, Mojca in Ivan Žižek, Rimski vsakdan v Petovioni. Ptuj: Pokrajinski muzej Ptuj, 2008.

Whitmore, Alicia. »Fascinating Fascina: Apotropaic Magic and How to Wear a Penis.« V: What Shall I Say of Clothes? Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Dress in Antiquity, ur. Megan Cifarelli in Laura Gawlinski, 47–65. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2017.

Whitmore, Alicia. »Phallic Magic: A Cross Cultural Approach to Roman Phallic Small Finds.« V: Material Approaches to Roman Magic : Occult Objects and Supernatural Substances, ur. Adam Parker in Stuart McKie, 17–31. Oxford: Oxbow, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dnfj.6

Whitmore, Alissa. »Egyptian faience flaccid phallus pendants in the Mediterranean, Near East, and Black Sea regions.« V: Un-Roman Sex: Gender, Sexuality, and Lovemaking in the Roman Provinces and Frontiers, ur. Tatiana Ivleva in Rob Collins, 310–345. London: Routledge, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315269894-10

Zaninović, Joško. »Privjesci s rimske ikonjaničke opreme iz Burnuma.« Histria Antiqua 18/2 (2009): 283–290. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15291/archeo.945

Published

30. 12. 2022

Issue

Section

I. “We Have Bound Hostile Tongues ”: Superstition and Witchcraft in Antiquity

How to Cite

Preložnik, Andrej. 2022. “Medicus Invidiae: The Fascina of Poetovio and Their Use”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 24 (2): 85-110. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.24.2.85-110.

Most read articles by the same author(s)