Shut phimosis in the priapus fresco from pompeii

Francesco M. Galassi, Stefano Galassi

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most famous pictorial representations of the Greco-Roman god Priapus is the magnificent fresco in the House of the Vettii, in Pompeii, which shows the rustic fertility deity in the act of weighing his enormously engorged penis (Fig. 1). It is striking to note that the disproportionate virile member is distinctively characterized by a patent phimosis, more specifically a shut phimosis. Phimosis is defined as the inability to retract the prepuce covering the glans, and before the introduction of topical corticosteroids as an alternative therapeutical strategy, it was treated only by means of circumcision or prepuceplasty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1521-1522
Number of pages2
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Priapus
  • phimosis
  • prepuce
  • glans
  • prepuceplasty


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