This is the worship of the reproductive powers, the sexual appointments revered as the emblems of the Creator. The one male, the active creative power; the other the female or passive power; ideas which were represented by various emblems in different countries. {9}

These emblems were of a pure and sacred character, and used at a time when the prophets and priests spoke plain speech, understood by a rude and primitive people; although doubtless by the common people the emblems were worshipped themselves, even as at the present day in Roman Catholic countries the more ignorant, in many cases, actually worship the images and pictures themselves, while to the higher and more intelligent minds they are only symbols of a hidden object of worship. In the same manner, the concealed meaning or hidden truth was to the ignorant and rude people of early times entirely unknown, while the priests and the more learned kept studiously concealed the meaning of the ceremonies and symbols. Thus, the primitive idea became mixed with profligate, debased ceremonies, and lascivious rites, which in time caused the more pure part of the worship to be forgotten. But Phallicism is not to be judged from these sacred orgies, any more than Christianity from the religious excitement and wild excesses of a few Christian sects during the Middle Ages.

In a work on the “Worship of the Generative Powers during the Middle Ages,” the writer traces the superstition westward, and gives an account of its prevalence throughout Southern and Western Europe during that period.

The worship was very prevalent in Italy, and was invariably carried by the Romans into the countries they conquered, where they introduced their own institutions and forms of worship. Accordingly, in Britain have been found numerous relics and remains; and many of our ancient customs are traced to a Phallic origin. “When we cross over to Britain,” says the writer, “we find this worship established no less firmly and extensively in that island; statuettes of Priapus, Phallic bronzes, {10} pottery covered with obscene pictures, are found wherever there are any extensive remains of Roman occupation, as our antiquaries know well. The numerous Phallic figures in bronze found in England are perfectly identical in character with those that occur in France and Italy.”

All antiquaries of any experience know the great number of obscene subjects which are met with among the fine red pottery which is termed Samian ware, found so abundantly in all Roman sites in our island. “They represent erotic scenes, in every sense of the word, with figures of Priapus and Phallic emblems.”

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