Although it is unquestionably erotic, this heavy bronze phallus probably served a ritual function. In the classical world, cults of male fertility gods like the Syrian Elagabulus were an accepted part of daily life. The phallus was also seen as a good luck charm, thought to avert the evil eye. There is something powerfully symbolic about this object. Taken out of the context of mere anatomy, it appears forceful, primal, older than time itself.