25. Some of the Roman Phallic God is Still With Us Today
The most famous Roman maiden supposedly impregnated by Fascinus was Ocrisia, the mother of Rome’s sixth king, Servius Tullius. Ocrisia was a foreign noblewoman captured in war, and made a slave in the household of Rome’s king Tarquinius. As the legend went, Ocrisia was a virgin, and one day, while performing the sacred rites of the Vestal Virgins, a disembodied winged male part flew in and impregnated her. The result was Servius Tullius, who was raised in the royal household. Although a slave, he so impressed King Tarquinius that he eventually freed him and gave him his daughter’s hand in marriage. After Tarquinius’ death, he was succeeded on the throne by Servius, his son in law and son of the divine flying phallus.
Fascinus’ name gave rise to the Latin verb “fascinare“, which means the power to use the Fascinus in order entrance or cast a spell, since the flying god was supposed to have such ability. The romance that surrounded Fascinus and his worship went into decline with the rise of Christianity, and eventually vanished, along with the rest of antiquity’s pagan pantheon. Nonetheless, a trace of Fascinus is still with us today: the etymology of the modern English word “fascinate” traces back to the Latin word “fascinare“, and the Ancient Roman flying god of male anatomy.