Sometimes, when you’re just casually doing historical and mythological research, you stumble upon things you kind of wish you didn’t know. Fascinum (pictured above) were charms or carvings of the divine, erect phallus created by Romans to invoke the blessings of the deity Fascinus and the generative male force. They were also a good way to bless and counter invidia, which is basically the Roman version of the evil eye. All that is well and good, but Wikipedia also specifically notes that, “When a general celebrated a triumph, the Vestals hung an effigy of the fascinus on the underside of his chariot to protect him from invidia.”
Yes, that’s right. Fascinums served as the pagan Roman version of truck nuts. Excuse me, truck nutz.
Is this a bizarre mythological case of convergent evolution? The world is a strange place.