Given the glorification of the male phallus in ancient times, haven’t you ever thought that maybe the old statues should have had…bigger wieners?
Don’t be shy, we know you’ve wondered about this before. And we’ve got the answer right here.
By “old statues’, you’re probably talking about ancient Greek and Roman statues. Let’s start this with the Greek statues, because they were the statues that started European small-penis statue trend.
There are two main reasons why ancient Greek statues aren’t gifted down there:
First off, they’re flaccid, and meant to imitate their similarly flaccid real-life counterparts. Therefore, they aren’t as small as real penises are – try comparing and seeing it for yourself.
But second – and more importantly – cultural values about what made a man manly back then were completely different from what we consider now. While people nowadays see big penises as strong and masculine, most evidence points to the fact that small penises were originally considered better than big ones.
Historians, such as Kenneth Dover in his book Greek Homosexuality, suggest that small penises were more culturally preferable because larger ones were associated with very specific and negative characteristics, such as foolishness, unattractiveness, and lust. Ancient Greek sculptures with huge dongs do exist, but they often portray undesirable mythological creatures.
(Photo credit: deadwoodantiques.com)
Satyrs, for example, are carved with big penises to emphasize their inclination to lust as followers of Dionysus, the god of pleasure and wine.
We also have Priapus, who was a Greek fertility god cursed with impotence, a permanent erection, foul-mindedness and ugliness by Hera. The poor fellow was so despised by the other gods he was actually thrown off of Mount Olympus.
The ideal Greek man was logical, intelligent and authoritative. While he may have gotten a lot of action, this was unrelated to his penis size, and his small penis allowed him to remain cool, logical and in control.
This belief is written out in one of the Greek playwright Aristophanes’ plays, entitled Clouds:
“If you do these things I tell you, and bend your efforts to them, you will always have a shining breast, a bright skin, big shoulders, a minute tongue, a big rump and a small prick. But if you follow the practices of today, for a start you’ll have a pale skin, small shoulders, a skinny chest, a big tongue, a small rump, a big prick and a long-winded decree.” (Lines 1010 – 1019, emphasis mine)
In addition to this, ancient Greek sculptures are defined by their balance and idealism. Thus, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be too hung, since this would be considered amusing or grotesque.
While Ancient Romans might have been more accepting of large penises, their sculptures still continued the trend of small penises. Later, in Renaissance art, the sculptors were really deeply influenced by ancient Greek art and their small penis size.
A world-renowned example of a small penis is Michelangelo’s David (1501 – 04), a Renaissance sculpture from Florence, Italy. Apart from the Greek influence, there’s another interesting theory behind why David’s penis is so small. In 2005, two Florentine doctors published a paper hypothesizing that his penis was shriveled and shrunken with dear. If you view the statue from the front, David’s face does look frightened and concerned, because of his impending fight against Goliath the giant. The doctors believe that Michelangelo sculpted every detail in the statue’s body to be consistent with signs of fear and tension – including the genitals.
The Greeks and their sculptures have been ridiculously influential for all sculptural representations of the male physique in European art, so in truth there’s not much of a mystery behind why small-penised statues have been the norm throughout most of Western art history. It also shows that our fixation with penis size has always been there – it’s just evolved over time.