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From the Latin fascinum.



fascinum (plural fascina)

  1. An ivory phallus used in certain ancient erotic rites.
    • 1955: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
      Here are some brides of ten compelled to seat themselves on the fascinum, the virile ivory in the temples of classical scholarship.
    • 1988: Leonard R. N. Ashley, The Amazing World of Superstition, Prophecy, Luck, Magic & Witchcraft, page 107 (Random House Value Publishing; ISBN 0517665662, 9780517665664)
      Today people use a four-leaf clover, the pompom from a European sailor’s hat, the fascinum (winged phallus, some of which were found in the ruins of Pompeii and seemed to have done little good there), and so on.


Alternative forms[edit]


Unknown; compare Ancient Greek βάσκανος (báskanos, sorcerer), possibly from the same European substrate language.



fascinum n (genitive fascinī); second declension

  1. An evil spell; witchcraft.
  2. A penis, especially that of a human.
  3. An artificial phallus, such as those inserted into statuary.
  4. A dildo.
  5. (by extension) A phallus-shaped amulet worn around the neck as a preventive against witchcraft.
  6. (by extension) A kind of seashell.


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative fascinum fascina
genitive fascinī fascinōrum
dative fascinō fascinīs
accusative fascinum fascina
ablative fascinō fascinīs
vocative fascinum fascina

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • fascinum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • fascinum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • fascinum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • fascinum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • fascinum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  • R. Bracht Branham & Daniel Kinney, Petronius "Satyrica": A New Translation, page 147, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996