Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Priapus and Lotis



Here we have a very old erotic painting depicting the God Priapus and the nymph Lotis.  It was found on a wall in Pompei (destroyed in AD 79), so is around two thousand years old. 

Lotis, the daughter of Neptune, was attending a festival to Liber (the God of wine and viticulture) when she fell asleep (too much wine, no doubt).  A nearby donkey brayed, woke her up and she discovered Priapus trying to rape her.  Here the artist has depicted her just as she discovers the ever erect Priapus making a grab for her.

There are two versions of her fate: in the first, the donkey's noise enables her to escape but in the other, caught in Priapus clutches, she calls to the Gods for help who turn her into a Lotus tree.  This frustrates Priapus but must have been rather dismal for Lotis. She may have preferred a fate worse than death. 

More about Priapus soon.

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