Min

Min the penis god

 

 

Min the Masturbator

Min the Masturbator, an Egyptian god with his hand firmly on his penis

The Egyptians had a God who loved to flaunt his penis. He was called Min. Not only did he love to show his penis, he also loved to masturbate. He was Min the Masturbator.

This is the best known statue of Min, and it is to be found in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. It is a very early statue, dated well before the pyramids between 3000 and 3500 BC and it is a very large statue indeed it is probably the first large Egyptian statue. It was found at Koptos, a town some 30 miles North of Luxor, and was one of the leading towns in predynastic Egypt.

Here we see his arm stretching down to his penis marked by the hole into which originally a penis – probably wooden — would have been fitted. But note that unlike the later examples of Min, he has a good set of balls.

 

 

 

Ashmolean Min with head DSC_3317

Statue of the fertility god, Min, from Koptos, his arm masturbating his penis, presumably represented by a wooden carving fitting into the hole.

There are in fact two statues of Min that were discovered.  This other one has a head, and at the Ashmolean, the head has been reconstructed in position.

I am always rather surprised how few cultures celebrate male nudity and in particular the male penis. Women may go naked and in many cultures, female nudity even if slightly naughty is nevertheless accepted by most people – particularly men.

Men are treated differently. In our own culture, male nudity is considered unacceptable and in particular the male penis is something that should definitely not be shown in public. Even those who are sexually emancipated rarely celebrate the male penis.

It is therefore a great delight to find that the Egyptians actually had a god who celebrated the male penis.

 

 

 

 

 

Min Ashmolean bas relief 315

This limestone relief was found by Petrie at Koptos, near Abydos, and is one of the few representations of Min with his penis nearly intact. He is shown as a god with the tall headdress, and a flail by his right arm  which was used for threshing the harvest,  showing that he was a god of fertility. Note the overgrown lettuces at the bottom left corner: lettuces were a representation of the semen, the product of Min’s erect penis. It dates to the Middle Kingdom, around 1630 BC.

There is another carving of Min at the Ashmolean, also from Koptos, from the same excavations carried out by Flinders Petrie in the 1890s. This is some 2000 years later, but though the tip of his penis has been lost, it shows Min in what became the classic position, with right arm raised, and carrying a flail with which to thresh the grain for the harvest, for Min was a God of fertility. He wore a tall double hat, and behind him we can see some lettuces which were considered to represent male sperm and was possibly an aphrodisiac.

Such statues have inevitably become a target for the fanatics of the later religions, both Christianity and Moslem, so all too frequently, the knob has been knocked off. Indeed in the bigger statues, the difficulty of carving an erect penis meant that a hole was left in the statue into which a wooden penis was inserted. Since the statue and the penis would both have been painted, the onlooker would not have known that the penis was made of a different material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BM Min Amun-Re and Horemheb P1100486Another well known statue of Min is this one in the British Museum which clearly shows him in a masturbatory position  with his hand coming down to clench the penis which was presumably projecting from the hole. However he is really the God Amun-Re masquerading as Min, and surprisingly what appears to be the young lad he is holding by his side is in fact the Pharaoh, for although Pharaohs are normally portrayed as being twice the size of ordinary men, they are nevertheless only half the size of Gods. He wears a very fashionable knee-length kilt and is apparently the pharaoh Horemheb  (1323 – 1295)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min in Luxor temple Zolakoma flickrMin was often connected with the Sed Festival. This was a festival that took place when a Pharaoh had been on the throne for 30 years, and thereafter every five years or whatever interval the Pharaoh determined.  It was a fertility festival and the Pharaoh had to run a short race to show that he was still fit enough to run and be fertile. Inevitably Min as the god of fertility, took a prominent part in the festival and this statue comes from the Temple of Luxor. Note that Min is holding a flail, and some lettuces are growing behind him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pharoah and Min DSC09413The best known example of Min is this slab, now in the Petrie Museum,  shows the Sed festival in full swing with the Pharaoh Senwosret I (1961 – 1817 BC) running his race towards Min with  his erect penis. It was found again at Koptos, but it had been reused in the Ptolemaic period, and was found face down – hence its excellent state of preservation.  When it was first displayed in 1894, the penis was rather too explicit, so it was covered by a label.

Petrie Min at Koptos DSC09412It is indeed a very splendid penis, long and thin, but with a good knob at the end and a prominent ridge between knob and shaft. Admittedly he does not have any balls, but at this stage of Egyptian art,  balls were not shown.

Inevitably some have wondered whether the Pharaoh himself was expected to masturbate at the Sed festival to show his fertility,

It’s a lovely idea,  but sadly there is no evidence for this — indeed one might note that the Queen Pharaoh Hatshepsut also celebrated the Sed festival. Perhaps we should expect our own politicians to masturbate in public to show their potency

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On to Nebamun

Re-written 29th January 2018