It was a conspicuous portrayal of a dick, enormous and arching upwards. It cannot have had any practical

Value, but was meant as a phallic exhibit, a demonstration of power, a danger signal of exactly the same nature as
the helmets beaten into the shape of lion masks which appeared concurrently. The man in armour with his


Journal of Sport History, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter, 1985)

A Geometric bronze statue from Olympia. Nick Stournaras and Nick Corbetis, eds.,
Olympia 1971 amount 3. (Courtesy of Mike Roberts Colour Production).

cod-piece and the baboon demo his erect penis as an aggressive signal to other baboons to keep off aim at the
same effect" (p. 165). The author also notes that tendencies towards genital activity of an aggressive nature are
repressed in our current culture and that today's guys aren't aware of potentials like those openly
expressed in the Near East and--at least verbally--among the ancient Norsemen. This implies, based on the
author, that rational comprehension of the aggressive aspects of phallic symbolism is lost too; and this in turn

Signifies that understanding of the signal function of a phallic symbolism in dominance-submission routines has
vanished from the consciousness--notwithstanding that these patterns still remain unchanged and watchful of actions
below the threshold (p. 191).


Origin of Nudity in Greek Sports

A Proto-Attic Vase. Cecil Smith, "A Proto-Attic Vase," JHS 22 (1902) PI.11 a. (Courtesy
of the Society for the Promotion of Helenic Studies).

surprised to see in the province of Maabar, India that guys went to fight nude
with just a lance and a shield. In the Trichinopoly District of Bengal, when in
the rainy season tanks and rivers threaten to blow up their banks, guys stand
Nude on the embankments; and if an excessive amount of rain falls, nude guys point
firebrands at the skies, as in the case of rain-magic. This nudity is supposed to
"shock" the forces that sent the rain and cause its cessation. To a crude
warrior the phallus was an symbol of power having prophylactic virtue against
the assaults of the enemy. Roman soldiers marching into conflict taken phallic
symbols on their standards. The distinct state of the sexual organ of a fighter
engaged in deadly battle is a matter well understood in the Polynesian
24. H. Yule, Marco Polo (London, 1929), 2: 274,275,278. I. Wise, Notes on the Races, Castes and Trades
of Eastern Bengal (London, 1883). p. 369; W. Crooke, "Nudity in India in Custom and Rite," Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute 49 (1919): 248; George Ryley Scott, Phallic Worship (New Delhi, 1975). p, 109,
Gza Rohelm, Animism, Magic and the Divine King (London. 1972). p. 21. Also see W. G. Gudgeon, "Phallic
Symbol from Atiu Island," Journal of the Polynesian Society 13 (1904-1905): 193. Among the Kiwi Papuans of
British New Guinea the dick of a slain foe is cut off and dried. Before a fight a little bit of it mixed with banana
is given to the young warriors to make them stronger. [See Gunnar Landman, The Kiwai Papuons of British New
Guinea (London, 1927), p. 1281. Additionally see Rohelm, Animism. Magic and the Divine Kiq. p. 20.


Journal of Sport History, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter, 1985)

The apotropaic use of the phallus is certainly exposed in the Greek herms which
consisted of a square stone column surmounted by a man's bearded head and
bearing an erect phallus. They stood in front of houses as house- ,25 in the
Markets, at intersection26 and at the frontiers, constantly facing away from
the guarded premises. The same type of sculpture can be found in some present
cultures, for example on Borneo and Nias, Bali and the Nikobar Islands as items of
superstition against the spirits of the Dead.27
W. Burkert wrote on the meaning of the display of phallus:
I cannot find any actual explanation before ethology detected that there are species
of monkeys, living in groups, of whom the men act as guards: They sit up at the
outposts, facing outside and presenting their erect genital organ. This is an
"animal ritual" in the sense noted above: of sexual activity is

suspended for the benefit of communication; every person approaching from the
outside will find this group doesn't consist of weak wives and children,
but enjoys the full protection of masculinity.28

Scientists also observed that within a group of squirrel monkeys, one creature
25. The ongoing belief in the a