Cane and eroticism


Symbols and phallophoria

from ancient world to middle-age

The relation between the phallic symbol and the cane is obvious. The definition given by the Larousse of the word "phallus" (in Larousse du XXème siècle, 1929) shed light on a side of the history of its symbolics:

symbole phallique et serpent

PHALLUS [fal-lyss] n. m. (; gr. phallos).

The term phallus refers to the erect male penis.
Antiq. Representation of the male organ, that was solemnly carried in ancient feasts.
- By extens. The male organ of copulation (`member' is a euphemism).
- Bot. Genus of fungi having the cap or pileus hanging free around the stem.
Etymology Via Latin, and Greek fa????, from Indo-European *bhl--no-, from root *bhel- "to inflate, swell"; compare Old Norse boli = "bull", Old English bulluc = "bullock", Greek fa??? = "whale".

- ENCYCL. HIST. relig. In anthropology, phallicism or phallic worship refers to the ritual adoration of the human penis, or the "phallus". Elements of phallicism have been found in many cultures, including Ancient Greece, certain Hindu sects in India and in Sumer. In traditional Greek mythology, Hermes was considered to be a phallic deity associated with male fertility prior to being the messenger god.

Membre viril

His offspring Pan was often portrayed as having a constant erection. Priapus was a Greek god of fertility whose symbol was an exaggerated phallus. The son of Aphrodite and either Dionysos or Adonis, he was the protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens, and male genitalia. His name is the origin of the medical term "priapism".

Mi homme mi organe vue dosMi homme mi organe vue face

Wax seal in ivory, Europe 19th Century, height 8cm, phallic head; the shape of the nose must be noticed .

Everywhere the "phallus" was considered as a sign of protection: it was represented on the frontage of the houses. Ancient Romans wore phallic jewelry as talismans against the evil eye. Those superstitions remained till the middle-age, and the "phallus" is represented in the sculptures of the frontage of the churches during the XIII and XIV centuries.

Poignée en forme de vergePoignée arrondie en forme de verge Organe masculin


Popular art sculptures or walking sticks wore by dandies, these cane specimen give an undisputable testimony of the maestria of their authors and probably wouldn't have detract from the phallophoria processions.

See also: The interesting Wikipedia English definition of the word "Phallus". The article "The Ivied Rod: Gender and the Phallus in Dionysian Religion" by Delia Morgan, May 2000


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