Haven’t you ever wondered why?
Ancient statues and small penises – who would have ever thought I would be writing about such a topic? But that’s exactly what I’m doing!
The inspiration for this article came after taking my little niece to a museum where they had art on display from the Greco-Roman period.
As we were admiring the physiques of the various sculptures, she tugged on my arm in the way that kids do. I knelt down to listen. It was then she giggly whispered something into my ear that kind of caught me off guard:
“Why do all of the male statues have small wee-wees?”
Her question made me burst out laughing. First, I was amused that a 7-year-old girl would wonder about such a thing. Second, I didn’t have a good answer.
If truth be told, I have always wondered about this myself. Maybe it's just a competitive guy thing – who knows? But one things for sure, it’s hard not to notice how incredibly small the penises are on some of those ancient statues.
Given my nieces question and my newfound curiosity, I set out to find the answers. It took some digging through scholarly books and journals but I think I found the basics of what's up (or shriveled, depending upon how you look at it)! 🙂
So for what it’s worth, here are 8 reasons why ancient statues have small penises that might surprise you!
While we may put a premium on gigantic shlongs, it’s wasn’t that way during the Hellenistic period, which spanned from 323 BC and ended around 31 BC.
According to the ancient scribes and online interviews with historians, men of the Greco-Roman world were often represented with smaller ding-a-lings as a sign of virility and masculinity.
We’ll talk more about the manliness part in just a bit.
Another reason many of the men sculpted during the classical period were shown with tiny ding dongs, such as Laocoon and His Sons, is because at that time, being smallish was a sign of reproductive wisdom.
In fact, throughout most of antiquity, having anything large was considered ugly and repulsive. Culturally, “big” men were thought of as useless buffoons. That likely isn’t the case today in a world where movies hold the title “XXL”.
Speaking of wisdom, ancient Greeks believed that smaller penises meant sperm had to travel less distance after insertion into a woman’s vagina.
On the surface, that kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? But modern science has debunked this believe.
That’s not to say that some cultures that pre-dating Greece’s Archaic period didn’t like guys with gigantic manhood. Check out this video on the history of the penis!
3. Sign of logic
Hand in hand with wisdom is logic – at least that’s how the ancients saw things. Apparently, if a man had a microscopic membrane, he was considered to have a logical mind.
Do you think Spock might disagree?
In any event, back during antiquity, having a cool head on your shoulders with the ability to make sound strategic decisions was paramount. That’s because for much of Greece’s early history, they were at war with Persia and other nearby nations.
4. Muscles more important
If you look closely at most of the statues from the Greek and Roman periods, notice that many of the guys are muscular and cut. There’s a reason for this.
Masculinity wasn’t viewed through a phallic lens but instead, a kaleidoscope of beef. In other words, men were considered manly if they had big upper bodies, buffed out biceps and massive legs.
Here is a quote from famous Greek playwright Aristophanes who summarized this attitude in his play, Clouds, where he writes:
“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)”
5. Balance and beauty
Statues of yesteryear largely focused on balance and beauty. Symmetry and grace were also emphasized. This was the idea behind Michelangelo’s David, a marble work of art created in 1501 that was sculpted to represent the perfect form of man.
When you think about it, your impressions of David might not be so memorable if Michelangelo had attached a Chris Evans sized beer can to his sculpture. OK, maybe you might have liked it but you get the point.
One of the things that makes ancient Greek and Roman statues so remarkable is the amount of detail we see. For example, Michelangelo spent hours shaping lines and muscles in David’s forehead.
This focus on the minutia – literally – extended itself to human emotions. Have you ever noticed that when you get anxious, afraid or angry, your manhood goes cold and shrivels up?
That’s because your heart is pumping all that blood to your vital organs – and away from your sausage.
Related: Why some guys have a curved penis?
This is what ancient sculptors tried to show when they shaped so many of these statues. In fact, science backs this up through research.
Here’s what the website, The Age had to say about a study conducted by Florence University on Michelangelo’s David:
“What the new study shows is that every anatomical detail – right down to the shaping of the muscles in his forehead – is consistent with the combined effects of fear, tension and aggression.”
7. Mental imagery
Do you like Greek mythology? I certainly do. One of my favorite stories is of Phaethon and the Sun Chariot. I won’t bore you with details except to say that if you have ever wondered why we have vast deserts filled with sand, the story of Phaethon offers a good metaphorical answer.
Simply put, when artists were commissioned to sculpt these works of art, they purposely tried to create dramatic imagery that mirrored the narrative of the person or story.
This is why we see a muscular representation of Phaethon flexing his biceps while guiding his sun chariot instead of a giant banana popping out from his cloak.
8. Never inflated
If you take a quick looksee at ancient Greek and Roman statues, many of them have flaccid penises. There’s a reason for this.
It's because the sculptors tried to capture the essence of the man and not his state of horniness. Now you know why they opted to shape the penises au natural.
When you think about it, had the ancient statue makers sculpted men with big, erect shlongs, they wouldn’t have been in keeping with customary beliefs of the time.
Famous Ancient Statues with Small Penises
There are far too many statues to list on this page of ancient statues with small penises. Here is a list of several famous ones!
- Artemision Bronze
- Ephebe of Antikythera
- Harmodius and Aristogeiton
- Dying Gaul
- The Discus Thrower
- The Riace bronzes
- Marble metope from the Parthenon
Myths Resulting from Small Penis Statues
Over the centuries, many myths about small penises have popped up as a result of the not so well endowed statues. Here are a few of them:
- Greek men have tiny ding dongs
- Italians are bigger than the Greeks
- Brown eyed Greeks were bigger than guys with blue eyes
- Muscular guys are overcompensating for being small
- Smaller guys are more intelligent
- Ancient civilization didn’t like body hair
So there you have it – 8 reasons why ancient statues have small penises. I’ll be sharing this with my niece once she gets a bit older!
As an aside, one can’t help but how wonder cultural depictions of men and their manhood today will be viewed centuries from now?
Will our premium on largeness be thought of as silly or will smallness be back in vogue?