In ancient Roman religion and magic, fascinus was the embodiment of the divine phallus. It has been noted by Augustine that the phallic image was carried in annual processions at the Festival of Father Liber, the Roman God identified with Dionysus, to protect fields from magic curses.
These pendants were worn protectively by all sorts of people, as a symbol of luck, fertility, health and for their apotropaic functions. These pendants were worn protectively by all sorts of people, especially young children according to Varro and Pliny the Elder as it was thought to ward off the evil eye from children and conquering generals. Although there are few images of people wearing a phallic charm, the practice of hanging a phallic charm around a baby’s neck has been recorded. Some types of charm were thought to be worn pointing outwards in the direction of travel in order to face any bad luck or danger before it could affect the wearer.
For more information on apotropaic amulets please see our blog post: Apotropaic Art: Amulets and Phallic Pendants in Ancient Cultures