Tag: History

A Peak At The Fascinum

The fascinum (or phallus or Divine Penis) was a cult like object. It was used to ward off evil (the evil eye) and for protection, versus something sexual as one may think. It was celebrated, worshiped, and its likeness was used in celebrations. It has been found depicted on rings, pendants, wind chimes, and buildings (often thought to be brothels but more likely to protect the residents of the home). Carvings were also found in places of possible danger such as on street corners and bridges. They were also placed on the front of carriages and possibly worn by soldiers for presumably the same reason. Rings and pendants were worn by boys (sometimes even bestowed on them at birth) to protect their health and virility. Overall, the fascinum, when worn especially, was believed to be a powerful form of apotropaic magic. Given its prevalence it was obviously an important part of Roman society. It can be surmised that the reason it has been omitted from modern literature is due to its modern taboo nature. Luckily its importance and meaning can be found in cultural, religious, and archaeological finds. So, if you’re worried about the evil eye…

Sex Workers in Ancient Rome

To discuss sex workers in Ancient Rome is to part with our ideas and ideals of the modern view of sex work and sex. For in Ancient Rome, sex work was a vital part of both the economy and the social structure. It was an accepted, and considered necessary, part of society, and every gender could be found in the profession. With that being said, many sources cite women (likely cis women as we have little evidence of sex workers outside the cis male/female binary) were in the majority. Regardless of gender, sex workers — especially with Rome being a patriarchal society with a strong emphasis on the masculine — it was the “receiver” that was considered the weaker, lesser, and/or more effeminate of the participants. Cis women, within the strict gender roles, were naturally assumed as thus. 

Researching Sex Workers

Here are some resources on the various areas and types of historical sex work. I suggest picking one area that interests you as it can be a bit overwhelming. These resources were collected by the Knowne World Courtesans.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén