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Plate XXIII.


p. 49


Height, 5 inches.


THIS bronze seems to have been used as a lamp. A Hermes, with the petasus on his head, in a threatening attitude and with clenched fists, seems animated by a violent passion of anger or concupiscence. His tunic is raised by a phallus of gigantic proportions, terminating in the head of a he-goat.

The he-goat, of which the ancients had remarked the lasciviousness, was consecrated to Priapus.

This lamp is especially remarkable for a triple phallus attached to the posterior part of our Hermes.

Mercury (or Hermes) was one of the most immodest of the pagan gods. It was to him that Jupiter entrusted his amorous messages. He was in general the procurer of the gallant inhabitants of Olympus.

He had many temples, and his statue was rarely clad with any more decency than that of Priapus himself.

Next: Plate XXIV: Votive Phallus