You read that title right. Look at this goddamn thing:
If you look carefully, you'll see the human head-sized boner on the lower half of this crucifix.
We should have led with this, but you can relax: this isn't Jesus flashing his junk. It's actually the Greek god Hermes. So why does it look like a crucifix? Mostly due to laziness. When ancient Greeks first began making statues of their gods, they would just carve the head so that it was recognizable, and then put it on a pillar that matched the god's height. Later, this practice evolved to include portraits of historical figures, and by the time it reached Rome, busts were used to depict people in general. And though they were only busts, some sculptors just HAD to include the penis, even when it was pointless or completely insane. For example:
J. Paul Getty Museum
"I only had enough time to do the face and dick. Wait, you still want it?!" -- This artist.
Ancient Greeks never got around to fleshing out the arms of Hermes, but his erect dick had to be included because it represented "divinity." And while it's hard to judge history through the veil of our own perception, a man made entirely out of boner seems like a strange way to represent divinity.
Okay, so why the little arm-like stubs? Well, those are there to hang garlands. Because without the tiny nubs on the sides, what possible appendage could worshippers hang their garlands on? Oh. That's actually a good idea. But enough about Hermes' boner. The statues themselves, sometimes called "Herms," were used to mark crossroads, as Hermes was the god of journeys and helped bless travelers with safety. The placement of the statues may have evolved from the tradition of each traveler placing a stone on a heap at the crossroads for good luck.
The Herms became the center of controversy in Athens in 415 BC, when several of them were vandalized by "herm-choppers." And we know we said we were done talking about his boner, but guess which parts of Hermes got chopped off. Go on. Guess.
Laura H would like to thank Sam and Laura I for their gift of the British Museum Little Book of Erotica, without which she would never have heard of ass-curse stones. Follow her on Twitter.
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