The mutilation of the Herms

Herms1, stone posts with sculpted sets of erect male organs and a bust of the god Hermes, were placed throughout the city as protectors against infertility and bad luck. A Herm stood at nearly every street intersection, for example, because crossings were, symbolically at least, zones of special danger. The vandals outraged the public by knocking off the statues' phalluses.

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