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Nude Figures and Erotic Images on Ancient Coins
The ancients had a grand appreciation for the beauty of the human body and a rather bawdy view of sexuality.
|From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.|
"The Worship of the Generative Powers" by Thomas Wright (1866) discusses phallic worship, which appears to have flourished across the Empire, especially at Nemausus, modern Nimes in the south of France. At Nemausus the symbols of this worship appeared in bizarre fanciful sculptures on the walls of its amphitheater and on other buildings. An engraving from Wright's book, shown here, depicts a Roman bas relief found on a monument at Nimes, on which a penis forms the tail of a crested bird that sits upon a nest of egg-like vulvas. This amulet is likely related to worship at Nemausus.