Greek God Priapus – Protector of Fertility

Greek God Priapus – Protector of Fertility

Greek God Priapus was a fertility god, the protector of livestock, gardens and male genitalia. He is usually depicted with an oversized, permanent erection. People set up primitive statues of the god in vegetable plots to promote fertility. The added benefit was that these statues could also act as scarecrows.

According to the legends, Hera cursed Priapus with impotence and ugliness while he was still in Aprodite’s womb. This was her revenge for hero Paris daring to chose Aphrodite as more beautiful than Hera. Once born, the other gods refused to allow him to live on Mount Olympus. They threw him down to Earth, leaving him on a hillside. Some shepherds eventually found him and brought him up.

For this reason, people worship him as a god of land fertility and crops. He protected trees, plants, gardens as well as livestock. In addition to being the protector of male genitalia. Greek God Priapus stands out through his manhood which is always erect. This gave rise to the medical term priapism. You can imagine how popular he was in Roman erotic art and in Latin literature.

Greek God Priapus – Protector of FertilityGreek God Priapus - Protector of Fertility

Priapus joined Pan and the satyrs as a spirit of fertility and growth. However, he was always frustrated by the fact that he was impotent. Another story tells how he attempted to rape the goddess  Hestia. However, the braying of a donkey caused him to lose his erection at the critical moment. This is when Hestia awoke and ran away. This episode made Priapus have a long-lasting hatred towards donkeys. Therefore, the ones that worshiped Priapus sacrificed them in his honor.

Another account tells us how he pursued the nymph Lotis until the gods took mercy on her. To help her escape, they transformed her into a Lotus flower. Therefore, this guy was not a very respectable figure, from what I gather.

He also became the patron god of merchant sailing. He was the one that protected and guided them through rough seas. It was common for merchants to carry a Priapus figure or a phallus on their ships as protection.

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