Aphrodisiacs and Anti-Aphrodisiacs:
THREE ESSAYS ON THE POWERS OF REPRODUCTION; WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF THE JUDICIAL "CONGRESS" AS PRACTISED IN FRANCE DURING THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. By JOHN DAVENPORT. Ubi stimulus, ibi fluxus. — Hippocrates. LONDON:
The reproductive powers of Nature were regarded by the nations of remote antiquity with an awe and reverence so great, as to form an object of worship, under a symbol, of all others the most significant,—the Phallus; and thus was founded a religion, of which the traces exist to this day, not in Asia only, but even in Europe itself.
That scarcely any notices of this worship should appear in modern works, except in the erudite pages of a few antiquarians may be accounted for by considering the difference of opinion between the ancients and the moderns as to what constitutes—modesty; the former being unable to see any moral turpitude in actions they regarded was the designs of nature, while the latter, by their over-strained notions of delicacy, render themselves, in some degree at least, obnoxious to the charge that, in proportion as manners becomes corrupt, language becomes more guarded,—modesty, when banished from the heart, taking refuge on the lips.
To supply, to some extent, this lacuna in our popular literature has been the object of the present work, in which, it is hoped, may be found much curious and interesting physiological information, interspersed with recherché and festivous anecdotes.
The text is illustrated by a few plates, drawn from antiquarian sources.
REMARKS UPON THE SYMBOLS OF THE REPRODUCTIVE POWERS.
From the investigations and researches of the learned, there appears to be no doubt but that the most ancient of all superstitions was that in which Nature was contemplated chiefly under the attribute or property of fecundity; the symbols of the reproductive power being those under which its prolific potencies were exhibited. It is not because modern fastidiousness affects to consider those symbols as indecent, and even obscene, that we should therefore suppose them to have been so regarded by the ancients: on the contrary, the view of them awakened no impure ideas in the minds of the latter, being regarded by them as the most sacred objects of worship. The ancients, indeed, did not look upon the pleasures of love with the same eye as the moderns do; the tender union of the sexes excited their veneration, because religion appeared to consecrate it, inasmuch as their mythology presented to them all Olympus as more occupied with amatory delights than with the government of the universe.
- Plate I
The reflecting men of those times, more simple, but, it must be confessed, more profound, than those of our own day, could not see any moral turpitude in actions regarded by them as the design of nature, and as the acme of felicity. For this reason it is that we find not only ancient writers expressing themselves freely upon subjects regarded by us as indecent, but even sculptors and painters equally unrestrained in this particular.
The statesman took advantage of these religious impressions: whatever tended to increase population being held in honour. Those images and Priapi so frequently found in the temples of the ancients, and even in their houses, and which we consider as objects of indecent lewdness, were, in their eyes, but so many sacred motives exciting them to propagate their species.
In order to represent by a physical object the reproductive power of the sun in spring-time, as well as the action of that power on all sentient beings, the ancients adopted that symbol of the male gender which the Greeks, who derive it from the Egyptians, called—Phallus.  This worship was so general as to have spread itself over a large portion of the habitable globe, for it flourished for many ages in Egypt and Syria, Persia, Asia Minor, Greece and Italy: it was, and still is, in vigour in India and many parts of Africa, and was even found in America on its discovery by the Spaniards. Thus Garcilaso de la Vega informs us  that, in the public squares of Panuco (a Mexican town), bas-reliefs were found which, like those of India, represented, in various ways the sexual union; while at Tlascala, another town of that country, the reproductive act was worshipped under the joint symbol of the generative organs, male and female.
A more surprising fact is, that this worship has, as will be shewn hereafter, been perpetuated to a very late date, among the Christians of Europe.
In its origin, the Phallus or emblem of the generative and procreative powers of nature appears to have been of a very simple and inoffensive character—although it was afterwards made subservient to the grossest and most superstitious purposes.
In India this worship is everywhere to be found accompanying the triune God, called by the Hindoos, Trimourti or Trinity, and the significant form of the single obelisk or pillar called the Linga or Lingham;  and it should be observed, in justice to the Hindoos that it is some comparative and negative praise to them, that this emblem, under which they express the elements and operations of nature is not externally indecorous. Unlike the abominable realities of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, we see this Indian phallic emblem in the Hindoo religious exhibitions, without offence, nor know, until information be extorted, that we are contemplating a symbol whose prototype is obscene. 
- Plate II
Besides the Lingham, the equally significant Yoni or Cteis is to be seen, being the female organ of generation. It is sometimes single, often in conjunction, for the Indians, believing that the emblem of fecundity might be rendered more energetic by combining the organs of both sexes, did so unite them, giving to this double symbol the name of Pulleiar, confounded by some writers with the Lingham itself. This pulleiar is highly venerated by the sectarian worshippers of Siva (the third god of the Trimourti), who hang it round their neck, as a charm or amulet, or enclosing it in a small box, fasten it upon their arm. The Indians have also a little jewel called taly, worn, in like manner, by females round their necks as a charm. It is presented to them on their wedding day by their husbands, who receive it from the hands of the Brahmins. Upon these jewels is engraved the representation, either of the Lingham or of the Pulleiar. The following anecdote connected with this custom is given by M. Sonnerat. 
"A Capuchin missionary had a serious dispute with the Jesuits residing at Pondicherry, which was referred for decision to the judicial courts. The disciples of Loyola, who can be toleration itself when toleration furthers their crafty and ambitious views, had declined all interference with the above custom. M. Tournon, the Pope’s legate apostolic, who regarded the matter as one not to be trifled with, and with whom, moreover, the Jesuits were no favourites, strictly prohibited the taly, enjoining all female converts to substitute in its place either a cross or a medal of the Virgin. The Indian women, strongly attached to their ancient customs, refused obedience. The missionaries, apprehensive of losing the fruits of their zealous labours, and seeing the number of their neophytes daily diminishing, entered into a compromise by adopting a mezzo-termine with the females in question, and it was agreed that a Cross should be engraved upon the taly, an arrangement by which the symbol of Christian salvation was coupled with that of the male and female pudenda."
The deep and enthusiastic veneration felt by the Hindoos for this worship is naturally explained by their intense anxiety and desire for having children who might perform those ceremonies to their manes which they firmly and piously believe will have the effect of mitigating their punishment in the world to come. They worship the Lingham, therefore, for the sake of having progeny, and husbands, whose wives are barren, send them to adore that symbol, and, if report be true, the ladies take especial care not to disappoint the wish of their dear spouses.
It is probable that the introduction of this worship is due to the Indians who founded the sect of Siva, imagining, as they no doubt did, that the most effectual means of propagating it would be by presenting their deity under the form of that organ by which the reproduction of the human race is effected.
Nothing can be a greater proof of the high antiquity of the Indians than this worship, it being certain that the Egyptians did not establish it, as well as the dogma of the Metempsychosis, among themselves, until after they had travelled in India.
Phalli, usually in lead, have been even found in the river Rhône. These were most likely the signs and tokens belonging to some secret society probably of a licentious character. Similar ones are in the Forgeais collection, and were engraved in the Plombs Historiés of that antiquarian. 
- Plate III
- PHALLIC EMBLEM.
Found in the Rhone.
From the Forgeais Collection.
According to an ingenious writer,  who is of opinion that the Indians sent, at a very remote period, colonists to Ireland, the round towers, so numerous in that island, are no other than ancient Phallic temples erected in honour of the fructifying power of nature emanating, as it was supposed to do, from the sun, under the name of Sol, Phœbus, Apollo, Abad, or Budh. 
Alluding to these towers, Mr O’Brien observes, "the eastern votaries, suiting the action to the idea, and that their vivid imaginations might be still more enlivened by the very form of the temple, actually constructed its architecture after the model of the membrum virile, which, obscenity apart, is the divinity-formed and indispensable medium selected by God himself for human propagation and sexual prolificacy." There is every reason to believe that our May-pole is a relic of the ancient Phallic worship.
- Plate IVa
- ROUND TOWER AT KLONDALKIN,
- Plate IVb
- THREE HEADED OSIRIS
The manners of the ancient Hebrews seem to have differed little, if at all, in this respect, from those of the nations surrounding them: thus, David, dancing with all his might before the ark, lifted up his ephod and exhibited his nakedness to "the eyes of the handmaids of his servants." No blame is attached to the king for such gross indecency during a public and religious ceremony; while Michal, his wife, was punished with barrenness, for expressing her disapprobation of his conduct. 
This example attests the great respect entertained by the Hebrews for the organs of generation;  but we have a further proof of this reverence for them in the fact that, when taking a solemn oath, they placed their hand upon them in token of its inviolability: When Abraham, addressing "his oldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had," is made to say, "Put I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I will make thee swear, by the Lord, the God of Heaven, and the God of the earth that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son, of the daughters of the Canaanites:"  and when Jacob, at the point of death, "called his son Joseph, and said unto him, "If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt,"  the Hebrew text has been incorrectly translated in both these instances; for, according to learned commentators, it is not the thigh, but the phallus that is meant; such tact having, in the opinion of the Rabbins, been introduced for the purpose of doing honour to circumcision.
This custom obtains in Egypt, even in our own day, for many travellers assert that the Arabs, when desirous of saluting or making a promise with great solemnity, place their hand upon the part in question. A case in point is related in a letter of the Ad jutant-General Julian to a member of the Institute of Egypt. . An Egyptian, who had been arrested as a spy, and brought before the general, finding that all his asservations of innocence could not be understood "leva sa chemise bleue, et prenant son phallus à la poignée, resta un moment dans l’attitude théatrale d’un dieu jurant par le Styx. Sa physionomie semblait me dire: Après la serment terrible que je fais pour vous prouver mon innocence, osez-vous en douter? Son geste me rappela que du tems d’Abraham on jurait vérité en portant la main aux organes de la génération." The vast antiquity of this custom among the ancient Egyptians is proved by figure 2, Plate IV. This figure, which is copied from Caylus, Vol. VI., Plate I., figure 4, represents Osiris grasping his phallus while taking an oath.
A custom greatly resembling this manner of swearing existed also in the north of Europe, as is proved by an ancient law still extant: thus, one of the articles of the Welsh laws enacted by Hoel the Good, provides that, in cases of rape, if the woman wishes to prosecute the offender, she must, when swearing to the identity of the criminal, lay her right hand upon the relics of the saints and grasp with her left one, the peccant member of the party accused. 
It may be mentioned, en passant, that the low Irish in Dublin, and the London costermongers, often make use of an expression which, whether connected or not with the custom above noted, offers for our consideration a curious coincidence at least. If extra force is to accompany an assertion, it is very common for the vulgar to say in conclusion: "S’elp my taters!" or "So help me testes"—equal to saying, "I swear by my member." That the word "taters" is a corruption of, and vulgarism for, "testes" we see very readily in the expression "strain my taters"—i.e., to pass urine or make water.
The Greeks had consecrated the same symbols of universal fecundity in their mysteries, the phallus and the cteis being publicly exhibited in the sanctuary of Eleusis. The membrum virile or active principle of generation was carried to the temple of Bacchus and there crowned with a garland by one of the most respectable matrons of the town or city. The Egyptian Osiris, and the female pudenda, or symbol of the passive principle of generation were, in like manner, carried in procession to the temple of Libera or Proserpine.
The worship of Priapus among the Romans was derived from the Egyptians, who, under the form of Apis, the sacred Bull, worshipped the generative power of nature; and, as the syllable pri or pre signifies, in the Oriental tongue, principle, production, or natural or original source, the word Priapus may be translated principle of production or of fecundation of Apis. The same symbol also bore among the Romans the names of Tutunus, Mutinus, and Fascinum. Among the many places where this divinity was worshipped, Lampsacus,  in Asia Minor, was the most noted on account of the obscene rites there practised. The Priapi were of different forms; some having only a human head and the Phallus; some with the head of Pan or of a faun—that is, with the head and ears of a goat.  Others, with their indecent attribute, were placed in the public roads, and were then confounded with the divinities Mercury and Terminus, who presided over boundaries. Scaliger says that he saw at Rome, in the palace of a cardinal,  a similar statue, whose phallus had served as a sign post.  All the human part of these Priapi were invariably painted red. 
When furnished with arms, which he was when representing Terminus, Priapus held in one hand a reaping hook, and, like Osiris, grasped with the other the characteristic feature of his divinity, which was always of a monstrous size and in a state of energy.
In the towns, Priapus had public chapels, whither such devotees as were suffering from maladies connected with his attributes repaired for the purpose of offering to him ex-votos representing the parts afflicted; these ex-votos being sometimes paintings and, at others, little figures made of wax or of wood, and occasionally, even of marble.
Females as superstitious, as they were lascivious, might be seen offering in public to Priapus, as many garlands as they had had lovers. These they would hang upon the enormous phallus of the idol, which was often hidden from sight by the number suspended by only one woman.
Others offered to the god as many phalli, made of the wood of the willow tree, as they had vanquished men in a single night.
St. Augustine informs us that it was considered by the Roman ladies as a very proper and pious custom to require young brides to seat themselves upon the monstrous and obscene member of Priapus: and Lactantius says, "Shall I speak of that Mutinus, upon the extremity of which brides are accustomed to seat themselves in order that the god may appear to have been the first to receive the sacrifice of their modesty?" 
These facts prove that the worship of Priapus had greatly degenerated with the Romans, since, losing sight altogether of the object typified, they attach themselves to the symbol alone, in which they could see only what was indecent; and hence religion became a pretext for libertinism. 
Respected so long as the Roman manners preserved their pristine simplicity, but degraded  and vilified in proportion as the morals of that people became corrupted, the very sanctuary itself of Priapus failed to protect him from obloquy and ridicule. Christian writers added their indignant invectives to the biting sarcasms of the poets, and the worship of Priapus would have been annihilated had not superstition and the force of habit, that most indestructible of all human affections, come to the rescue. These two powerful levers of mankind triumphed over reason and Christianity, and succeeded, notwithstanding the strenuous and continued efforts of the latter, in maintaining in some degree the worship of that filthy deity; for the Christian priests, while opposing à l’outrance, the superstitions and impure practices already adverted to, did not so do, as regarded the other customs equally repugnant to decency and true religion. Less austere to these, and consulting their own interests, they turned to their profit the ancient worship established by the Romans and strengthened by habit: they appropriated to themselves what they could not destroy, and, in order to attract to their side the votaries of Priapus, they made a Christian of him.
But besides the Lingham of the Indians, the Phallus of the Greeks, and the Priapus of the Romans, the Cross (T), although generally thought to be exclusively emblematical of eternal life, has also an account of its fancied similarity to the membrum virile, been considered by many as typical of the reproductive powers of nature. It was known as such to the Indians, being as common in their country as in Egypt or in Europe.  "Let not the piety of the Catholic Christian," says the Rev. Mr. Maurice, "be offended at the preceding assertion that the Cross was one of the most usual symbols among the hieroglyphics of Egypt and India. Equally honoured in the Gentile and the world, this Christian emblem of universal nature, of that world to whose four corners its diverging radii pointed, decorated the hands of most of the sculptured images in the former country (Egypt), and the latter (India) stamped its form upon the most majestic of the shrines of their deities."
- Plate V
- SYMBOLIC CROSSES.
It is well known that the cross was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as the emblem of fruitfulness. Thus the Rev. Mr. Maurice describes a statue bearing a kind, of cross in its hand as the symbol of fertility, or, in other words, of the procreative and generative powers.  The cross T so common upon Egyptian monuments was known to the Buddhists and to the Lama of Thibet 700 years before Christ. The Lama takes his name from the Lamah, which is an object of profound veneration with his followers: "Cequi est remarquable," says M. Avril, "c’est que le grand prêtre des Tartares porte le nom de Lama, qui, en langue Tartare, désigne la Croix, et les Bogdoi qui conquirent la Chine en 1664, et qui sont soumis au Dulai-Lama dans les choses de la religion, ont toujours des croix sur eux, qu’ils appalent lamas." 
The letter Tau T, being the last one of the ancient alphabets, was made to typify, not only the end, boundary, or terminus of districts, but also the generative power of the eternal transmigratory life, and was used indiscriminately with the Phallus; it was, in fact, the Phallus.  Speaking of this emblem, Payne Knight observes: "One of the most remarkable of those symbols of generation is a cross in the form of the letter T, which thus served as the emblem of creation and generation before the church adopted it as the sign of salvation, a lucky coincidence of ideas which, without doubt, facilitated the reception of it among the faithful."  And again, "the male organs of generation are sometimes represented by signs of the same sort, which might properly be called symbols of symbols. One of the most remarkable of these is the Cross in the form of the letter T, which thus served as the emblem of creation and generation." 
The famous Crux ansata  which may be seen on all the monuments of Egypt is what is alluded to by the Prophet Ezekiel,  and is affirmed by the learned L. A. Crozius to be nothing else than the triple Phallus mentioned by Plutarch. 
We shall now proceed to notice a few of the traces of the phallic worship as were still to be found lingering in some parts of Europe so late as the 18th century, a tenacity of existence by no means surprising if it be considered that of all the human affections none is more dangerous to oppose, none more difficult to eradicate, than habit. Accordingly it will be found that the above superstition has maintained itself in countries where Christianity was already established, and that, bidding defiance to the severe precepts of that pure faith, it successfully resisted for at least seventeen centuries every effort made to extirpate it by the Christian clergy backed by the civil power. Its triumph was, however, by no means complete, for this worship was constrained to yield to circumstances and to use a disguise by adopting the forms and designations peculiar to Christianity, a mask which on the other hand, favoured not a little, its preservation.
Hence it was that the names of certain legendary saints were given to the ancient God of Lampsacus,  the said names having some relation either to the act over which that deity presided, or to his most prominent attributes.
The first bishop of Lyon was honoured throughout Provence, Languedoc, and the Lyonnais as a saint, and as his name happened to be Pothin, Photin, or Fotin, commonly pronounced by the low orders Foutin, these people, who are very apt to judge of the nature of things by the sound of the words by which they are designated, thought St. Foutin worthy of replacing Saint Priapus, and accordingly conferred upon him the prerogatives of his predecessor.
Saint Foutin de Varailles had particular reverence paid to him in Provence, nor is this to be wondered at, since the power was attributed to him of rendering barren women fruitful, stimulating flagging husbands, and curing their secret maladies. It was consequently the custom to lay upon his altar, as was formerly done on that of the god Priapus, small votive offerings, made of wax, and representing the weak or otherwise afflicted parts. Sanci says, "To this saint are offered waxen models of the pudenda of both sexes. They are strewn in great numbers over the floor of the chapel, and should a gust of wind cause them to rustle against one another, it occasioned a serious interruption to the devotions paid to the saint. I was very much scandalized," continues he, "when, passing through the town, I found the name of Foutin very common among the men. My landlord’s daughter had for godmother a young lady whose name was Foutine."
The same saint was similarly honoured at Embrun. When the Protestants took that town in 1585, they found, among the relics of the principal church, the Phallus of St. Foutin. The devotees of that town, in imitation of pagan ones, made libations to this obscene idol. They poured wine over the extremity of the Phallus, which was dyed red by it. This wine being afterwards collected and allowed to turn sour, was called the holy vinegar, and, according to the author from whom this account is taken,  was applied by women to a most extraordinary purpose; but what that purpose was we are not informed, and therefore can only guess it.
At Orange there was also a phallus much venerated by the inhabitants of that town. Larger than the one at Embrun, it was, moreover, covered with leather, and furnished with its appendages. When, in 1562, the protestants destroyed the church of St. Eutropius, in this town, they seized the enormous Phallus and burned it in the market place. Similar Phalli were to be found at Poligny, Vendre in the Bourbonnais, and at Auxerre.
The inhabitants of Puy-en-Velay even to this day speak of their St. Foustin who, in times not far remote from our own, was invoked by barren women who, under the idea of giving greater efficacy to their prayers, scraped the phallus of the saint, and, mixing the particles so abraded in water, devoutly swallowed them, in the hope of thereby being rendered fruitful.
It is no doubt to one of these phallic saints that Count de Gebelin refers when, speaking of the goat Mendés, he says: "I have read somewhere that in the south of France there existed not long ago a custom resembling the one mentioned; the women of that part of the country devoutly frequented a temple containing a statue of the saint, and which statue they embraced, expecting that their barrenness would be removed by the operation. 
In the neighbourhood of Brest stood the chapel of the famous Saint Guignole, or Guingalais, whose Phallic symbol consisted of a long wooden beam which passed right through the body of the saint, and the fore-part of which was strikingly characteristic. The devotees of this place, like those of Puy-en-Velay, most devoutly rasped the extremity of this miraculous symbol for the purpose of drinking the scrapings mixed with water as an antidote against sterility, and when by the frequent repetition of this operation, the beam was worn away, a blow with a mallet in the rear of the saint propelled it immediately in front. Thus, although it was being continually scraped, it appeared never to diminish, a miracle due exclusively to the mallet.
Antwerp was the Lampsacus of Belgium, Priapus being the tutelary god of that city. Ters was the name given to him by the inhabitants who held this divinity in the greatest veneration. Females were accustomed to invoke him on the most trivial occasions, a custom which Goropius informs us continued as late as the 16th century. 
So inveterate was this superstition that Godefrey de Bouillon, marquis of that city, the illustrious leader of the first crusade, in order to eradicate it, or to replace it by the ceremonies of the Christian church, sent to Antwerp, from Jerusalem, as a present of inestimable value, the foreskin of Jesus Christ.  This precious relic, however, found but little favour with the Belgian ladies, and utterly failed to supersede their beloved Fascinum. 
In the kingdom of Naples, in the town of Trani, the capital of the province of that name, there was carried in procession, during the Carnival, an old wooden statue representing an entire Priapus, in the ancient proportions; that is to say, that the distinguishing characteristic of that god was very disproportioned to the rest of the idol’s body, reaching, as it did, to the height of his chin. The people called this figure il Santo Membro, the holy member. This ancient ceremony, evidently a remains of the feasts of Bacchus, called by the Greeks Dyonysiacs, and by the Romans Liberalia, existed as late as the commencement of the 18th century, when it was abolished by Joseph Davanzati, archbishop of that town.
Sir W. Hamilton’s account of the worship paid to St. Cosmo and St. Damianus is very curious. "On the 27th September, at Isernia, one of the most ancient cities of the kingdom of Naples, situated in the province called the Contado di Molise, and adjoining the Aruzzo, an annual fair is held which lasts three days. On one of the days of the fair the relics of Sts. Cosmo and Damianus are exposed. In the city and at the fair, ex-votos of wax representing the male parts of generation, of various dimensions, sometimes even of the length of a palm, are publicly exposed for sale. There was also waxen vows that represent other parts of the body mixed with them, but of those there are few in comparison of the number of the Priapi.
- Plate VI
The distributors of these vows carry a basket full of them in one hand, and hold a plate in the other, to receive the money, crying out, "Saints Cosmo and Damianus!" If you ask the price of one, the answer is, "più ci metti, più meriti;" the more you give, the more the merit. The vows are chiefly presented by the female sex, and they are seldom such as represent legs, arms, &c., but most commonly the male parts of generation. The person who was at the féte, in the year 1780, and who gave me this account (the authenticity of which has since been confirmed to me by the governer of Isernia) told me also that he heard a woman say, at the time she presented a vow, "Santo Cosmo, benedetto, cosi lo voglio." Blessed St. Cosmo, "let it be like this!" The vow is never presented without being accompanied by a piece of money, and is always kissed by the devotee at the moment of presentation. 
But, as might naturally be expected, this does not suffice to fructify barren women; and consequently another ceremony, one which is doubtless more efficacious, was required.
The parties who resort to this fair, slept for two nights, some in the church of the Capuchian friars and the others in that of the Cordeliers, and when these two churchs were found to be insufficient to contain the whole of such devotees, the church of the Hermitage of St. Cosmo received the surplus.
In the three edifices, the women were during the two nights, separated from the men, the latter lying under the vestibule, and the women, in the church, these, whether in the church of the Capuchins or in that of the Cordeliers, were under the protection of the Father guardian, the vicar, and a monk of merit. In the hermitage, it was the hermit himself who watched over them.
From this it may easily be imagined how the miracle was effected without troubling Saint Cosmo and Saint Damianus at all, in the matter, as well as that the virtue, possessed by those two saints was extended even to young maidens and widows.