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This Is Why Ancient Statues Always Have Small Penises

History lesson for the curious
by Khatrina Bonagua | Sep 8, 2016
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We know what you're thinking while looking at statues during a rare visit to the museum with your girl: Big heroes. Great physique. Really small d*cks!

This noticeable feature, in fact, is true of almost all the most popular sculptures of ancient figures in the world. Also, quite obvious is how these hotshot heroes of ancient times seemed perfectly content with the weapon they were packing down there. Just look at how proudly they posed.

Michelangelo's David

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If you're that curious, art historian Ellen Oredsson has finally answered one of the most mind-boggling questions in the world: Why do all these statues have small penises?

"Firstly, they're flaccid," she says in her blog, How To Talk About Art History. "If you compare their size to most flaccid male penises, they are actually not significantly smaller than real-life penises tend to be."

She adds that small penises were viewed more positively in Ancient Greece than their mammoth counterparts. "Cultural values about male beauty were completely different back then. Today, big penises are seen as valuable and manly, but back then, most evidence points to the fact that small penises were considered better than big ones."


Oredsson further explains that "classical Greek sculpture has been hugely influential for all sculptural representations of the male body in European art, so it’s no wonder that small-penised statues have been the norm throughout most of Western art history. It also shows that our obsession with penis size has always been there, it’s just changed slightly.”

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Historians also say that large penises were then associated with very specific negative characteristics: foolishness, lust, and ugliness. That's why there are only a few ancient Greek sculptures that display enormous schlongs.


Greek statue of a satyr, Athens Archeological Museum

Satyrs were mythological creatures known to be loyal to Dionysus, the god of pleasure and wine.

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A Greek figure of Priapus

Priapus, the Greek god of fertility, was cursed with permanent erection, impotence, ugliness, and foul-mindedness by the goddess of women and marriage, Hera. He was so despised by the other gods that he was thrown off Mount Olympus.

According Oredsson, large penises in ancient Greek art and literature were associated with lascivious men, or the animal-like satyrs. Meanwhile, the ideal Greek man was viewed as rational, intelligent, and authoritative. "He may still have had a lot of sex, but this was unrelated to his penis size, and his small penis allowed him to remain coolly logical," she writes.

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