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Etruscan statue of Priapus
Nocturnal sacrifice to Priapus. A man sacrifices a pig (bottom left) to be cured of his impotence (fresco from the Mystery Villa in Pompeii )

Priapus ( Greek  Πρίαπος , Latinized Priapus ), son of Dionysus and Aphrodite , in which was Greek mythology, a god of fertility . He appeared as a protector of cattle (sheep and goats), bees, fish and fruits.


According to Greek mythology , Aphrodite had a love affair with Dionysus . She gave birth to Priapus in the coastal region of Abarnis near Lampsakos . Because of Hera's magical powers , he was misshapen. Aphrodite therefore denied her son and abandoned him.

A local cult , initially limited to Lampsakos and the Dardanelles , then spread over the Greek and soon over the Roman world: the first fruits of the field and garden were offered to him. Priapus' statues, equipped with a huge phallus , mostly made of wood and painted red, were supposed to guarantee a rich harvest in orchards and vineyards as a lucky charm. You should act like a scarecrow and scare away thieves.

Poems about God are called Priapeen . In the Latin literature that became known Satire I, 8 of Horace . Two Priapus fragments are incorrectly ascribed to Catullus ; the two Priapeen of Tibull not from his hand.

The Roman counterpart to Priapus is Mutunus Tutunus .

If a man suffers from a permanent, permanent erection of his penis, this clinical picture is called medically today priapism , named after Priapus. The Priapus worms were also named after Priapus.

See also


in alphabetical order by authors / editors

Web links

Commons : Priapus  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Scholion zu Apollonios von Rhodos , Argonautika 1, 932 f .; Etymologicum magnum , s. Abarnida ; Stephanos of Byzantium , s. Abarnos .