Part 6 - From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Part 5 - The First Crucifix.
Part 4 - The Tropaeum and the Furca.
Part 3 - Crux - Modern English Use and Ancient Quotidian Meanings.
Part 2 - Crux.
Part 7 - Crucifixion and Priapus.
Ed you've made my day with the discovery of your blog. There is so much material to absorb that I am still trying to decide where to start. Great you know Latin -- I can't tell it from Chinese!! I will be feeding you back as I rummage thru your site systematically!!Quote: "When the artificer, in doubt whether he should make a stool or a Priapus of me, determined that I should be a God. Henceforward I became a God, the greatest terror of thieves and birds: for my right hand restrains thieves, and a bloody looking pole on my frightful middle: but a reed fixed upon the crown of my head** terrifies the mischievous birds, and hinders them from settling in these new gardens.(Priapus was also used as farmer's scarecrow evidently)(your comment--** "in vertice harundo, lit. a reed, or a crown or wreath of reeds, upon the crown of the head. The similarity to the crown of thorns on the head of Jesus in the gospels is uncanny!")My comments: This text set me thinking -- that what is being described in figurative language here is the Roman practice of impaling criminals on Priapus i.e., in actual fact, the figure of the fertility daemon Priapus was the model for the the crux on which criminals were impaled. The text "When the artificer, in doubt etc..." has "uncanny" similarities to the crucifixion and the crown of thorns because the Jesus was not fixed a crown of thorns incidentally, it was the regular Roman practice when criminals were impaled on the Priapus-crux to fix them with a "scarecrow wreath." That is, the impaling stake -- the crux -- was Priapus himself punishing the criminal who trespassed on the farmer's field!!!
Here is the evidence from wikipedia that Priapus was deity who punished criminals or trespassers with his phallus-crux:(Quote from wikipedia:) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PriapusPriapus' iconic attribute was his priapism (permanently erect penis); he probably absorbed some pre-existing ithyphallic deities as his cult developed. He was represented in a variety of ways, most commonly as a misshapen gnome-like figure with an enormous erect phallus. Statues of Priapus were common in ancient Greece and Rome, standing in gardens or at doorways and crossroads. To propitiate Priapus, the traveller would stroke the statue's penis as he passed by. The Athenians often conflated Priapus with Hermes, the god of boundaries, and depicted a hybrid deity with a winged helmet, sandals and huge erection.Statues of Priapus were often hung with signs bearing epigrams, collected in Priapeia (treated below), which threatened sexual assault towards transgressors of the boundaries that he protected:Percidere, puer, moneo; futuere, puella;barbatum furem tertia poena manet.Femina si furtum faciet mihi virve puerve,haec cunnum, caput hic praebeat, ille nates.Per medios ibit pueros mediasque puellasmentula, barbatis non nisi summa petet.Translation:I warn you, boy, you will be screwed; girl, you will be fucked;a third penalty awaits the bearded thief.If a woman steals from me, or a man, or a boy,let the first give me her cunt, the second his head, the third his buttocks.My dick will go through the middle of boys and the middle of girls,but with bearded men it will aim only for the top.Another example comes from the works of Martial (6.73):Non rudis indocta fecit me falce colonus:Dispensatoris nobile cernis opus.Nam Caeretani cultor ditissimus agriHos Hilarus colles et iuga laeta tenet.Adspice, quam certo videar non ligneus ore,Nec devota focis inguinis arma geram:Sed mihi perpetua nunquam moritura cupressoPhidiaci rigeat mentala digna manu.Vicini, moneo, sanctum celebrate Priapum,Et bis septenis parcite iugeribus.Translation:I am not hewn from fragile elm, nor is my member which stands stiff with a rigid shaft made from just any old wood. It is begotten from everlasting cypress, which fears not the passage of a hundred celestial ages nor the decay of advanced years. Fear this, evil doer, whoever you are. If your thieving rod harms the smallest shoots of this here vine, like it or not, this cypress rod will penetrate [i.e. sodomize] and plant a fig in you.My take: the Romans impaled thieves and criminals on the crux designed as a symbol of Priapus punishing the thief, and the "ritual" usually involved a "crown of thorns"--the fact that we are told that Jesus wore a "scarecrow wreath" on his execution pole is very strong line of evidence that Jesus was executed on a "cross" which had a sedile-seat modified into pointed phallic crux; he was actually "sodomized" to death on a Priapus stake "with a reed fixed upon the crown of [his] head" to indicate that he was a sacrificial victim to Priapus.
Ne prendare, cave, prenso nec fuste nocebo,saeva nec incurva vulnera falce dabo:traiectus conto sic extendere pedali,ut culum rugam non habuisse putes.
'Ware of my catching! If caught, with rod I never will harm thee
Nor to thee deal sore wound using my sickle that curves.
Pierced with a foot-long pole thy skin shall be stretched in such fashion
Thou shalt be fain to believe ne'er had a wrinkle thine arse.
Take heed lest thou art caught. If I do seize thee, nor with my club will I belabour thee, nor cruel wounds with the curved sickle will inflict on thee. Thrust into by my twelve-inch I pole, thou shalt be so stretched that thou wilt drink* thy anus never had any wrinkles!
Quid mecum tibi, circitor moleste?
ad me quid prohibes venire furem?
accedat, sine: laxior redibit.
What hast thou, meddling watch, with me to do?
Why baulk the robber who to me would come?
Let him draw nigh: the laxer shall he go.
What hast thou to do with me, thou meddlesome watchman? why dost thou hinder the thief from coming to me? Let him approach: he will return more 'open'!
Hoc sceptrum, quod ab arbore est recisum,nulla iam poterit virere fronde,sceptrum, quod pathicae petunt puellae,quod quidam cupiunt tenere reges,cui dant oscula nobiles cinaedi,intra viscera furis ibit usquead pubem capulumque coleorum.
This staff of office cut from tree as 'tis,
No more with leafage green for aye to bloom;
Staff by the pathic damsels fondly loved,
Which e'en the kings delight in hand to hold
And oft by noble catamites bekissed--
This staff in robbers' vitals deep shall plunge
Up to its bushy base and bag of balls.
This staff of office, which, severed from the tree, can now shoot forth no verdure; sceptre, which pathic maidens crave, and some kings love to hold; to which patrician  paederasts  give kisses; shall go right into the very bowels of the thief, as far as the hair and the bag of balls. 
Donec proterva nil mei manu carpes,
licebit ipsa sis pudicior Vesta.
sin, haec mei te ventris arma laxabunt,
exire ut ipse de tuo queas culo.
Long as thy wanton hand to pluck refrain
Chaster than Vesta's self thou may'st remain
Else thee my belly's arm shall loosen so
Out of thy proper anus thou shalt flow.
So long as thou snatchest nothing from me with audacious hand, thou mayst be chaster than Vesta herself. But, if thou dost, these belly-weapons of mine will so stretch thee that thou wilt be able to slip through thy own anus.
Heus tu, non bene qui manum rapacem
mandato mihi contines ab horto,
iam primum stator hic libidinosus
alternis et eundo et exeundo
porta te faciet patentiorem.
accedent duo, qui latus tuentur,
pulchre pensilibus peculiati;
qui cum te male foderint iacentem,
ad partes veniet salax asellus
nilo deterius mutuniatus.
quare qui sapiet, malum cavebit,
cum tantum sciet esse mentularum.
Ho thou, which hardly thy rapacious hand
Canst from the garden in my charge contain,
First shall this watchman, ever lustful loon,
Entering and exiting alternate-wise
Widen thy portal to its fullest stretch
Then shall the couple guarding either flank,
Grandly provided with those pensile parts,
After they've sorely pierced thee prostrate thrown
Bring to the self-same part an ass-foal lewd
Gifted with pizzle not a whit the worse.
Then who is wise beware of working ill,
Knowing so much of pego waits him here.
Hark ye, thou who scarcely withholdest thy greedy hand from the garden entrusted to me. Now, first the watchman, full of lechery, with alternate entrance and exit, shall make thy passage an open one. Then two shall approach, who stand guard at each side, nobly provided with pensile property. Who, when they have grievously ploughed thee, stretched prostrate, to the same part shall come a rampant little ass, by no means inferior in well-hung pizzle. Wherefore, he who is wise will beware of ill-doing, when he knows that here is so much of the mentule.
Proin, viator, hunc deum vereberis
manumque sursum habebis. Hoc tibi expedit,
parata namque crux stat ecce mentula.
"Velim pol" inquis? At pol ecce vilicus
venit, valente cui revulsa bracchio
fit ista mentula apta clava dexterae.
Hence of such Godhead (traveller!), stand in awe;
Best it befits thee off to keep thy hands.
Thy crux is ready, shaped as artless yard;
'I'm willing 'faith' (thou say'st) but 'faith here comes
The boor and plucking forth with bended arm
Makes of this tool a club for doughty hand.
Hence, warfarer, thou shalt be in awe of this god, and it will be profitable to thee to keep thy hands off. For a punishment is prepared--a roughly-shaped mentule. 'Truly, I am willing,' thou sayest; then, truly, behold the farmer comes, and that same mentule plucked from my groin will become. an apt cudgel in his strong right hand.
Priapus’ role as a patron god for merchant sailors in ancient Greece and Rome is that of a protector and navigational aide. Recent shipwreck evidence contains apotropaic items carried onboard by mariners in the forms of a terracotta phallus, wooden Priapus figure, and bronze sheath from a military ram. Coinciding with the use of wooden Priapic markers erected in areas of dangerous passage or particular landing areas for sailors, the function of Priapus is much more extensive than previously thought.
...Priapus’ protection traits can be traced back to the importance placed on the phallus in ancient times (particularly his association with fertility and garden protection). In Greece, the phallus was thought of to have a mind of its own, animal-like, separate from the mind and control of the man. Represented in its erect form, the phallus was present in almost every aspect of daily life, reaffirming the male-dominant state of affairs in its overt presence. The phallus is also associated with “possession and territorial demarcation” in many cultures, attributing to Priapus’ other role as a navigational deity.
Σταυρόυσθαι πασι μέν τοϊς ναυτιλλομένοις άγατόν καί γάρ έκ ξύλον καί ήλων γέγονεν ό σταυρός ως καί τό πλοιον, καί ή κατάπτιος αυτού όμοια έστι σταυρω.To be crucified, indeed, is admirable for those who go down to the sea in ships. For the σταυρός (crux), like a ship, is made out of timber and nails and a ship's mast resembles a σταυρός.
per illum se vivere, per illum navigare, libertate atque fortunis per illum fruiBy him they lived, by him they sailed and by him they enjoyed liberty and good fortune.
'Falce minax et parte tui maiore, Priape,
ad fontem, quaeso, dic mihi qua sit iter.'
Dreadful wi' sickle and dire with thy greater part, O Priapus!
Prithee to me point out which be the way to the fount?
Priapus, terrific with thy sickle and thy greater part, tell me, prithee, which is the way to the fountain? 
quotiens noxios crucifigimus celeberrimae eliguntur viae, ubi plurimi intueri, plurimi commoveri hoc metu possint. omnis enim poena non tam ad (vin)dictam pertinet, quam ad exemplum.Whenever we crucify / impale the noxious criminals, the most crowded roads are chosen, where the most people can see and be moved by this fear. For penalties relate not so much to retribution as to their exemplary effect.
Mr. Thomas continues:
Further Evidence:The graffiti you referred to in another place in which the victim impaled on the crux stake had a donkey's head is explained on the same wikipedia page: (Quoting wikipedia)--"Priapus joined Pan and the satyrs as a spirit of fertility and growth, though he was perennially frustrated by his impotence. In a ribald anecdote told by Ovid, he attempted to rape the nymph Lotis but was thwarted by an ass, whose braying caused him to lose his erection at the critical moment and woke Lotis. He pursued the nymph until the gods took pity on her and turned her into a lotus plant. The episode gave him a lasting hatred of asses and a willingness to see them destroyed in his honour. The emblem of his lustful nature was his permanent erection and his giant penis."
The conflation by the Athenians of Priapus with Hermes makes sense: Hermes also was shamanic god of boundaries who punished thieves.  He was also depicted ithyphallic--with an enormously erect impaling penis.
The depiction of Priapus-Hermes-Mercury on this Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priapus) holding a caduceus brings me to a question you raised somewhere else on the origin of the word "crux" I was fortunate, several years ago, to run into the book "Migration of Symbols" by Professor Donald McKenzie (http://www.amazon.com/Migration-Symbols-Donald-MacKenzie/dp/0766146383) which supplied me with information on the relationship of the indo-european c/k-r- root of "crux" with the spiral symbol. Take a look at the image of ithyphallic priapus-hermes-mercury on the same wikipedia page holding a double-spiral wand--the Caduceus. The Caduceus is an old shamanic phallic symbol depicting two serpents wound in a spiral around an "impaling pole." The derivation of "crux" from a root meaning "turn," "wind," "twist," "spiral" arises from the association of the phallic symbol of fertility deities with the shamanic spiral symbol. LaBarre provides evidence in his Ghost Dance that the spiral caduceus and the related double-axe symbols are old Indo-European phallic symbols of the fertility shamanic deities and D.McKenzie traces the evolution of the paleolithic spiral symbol in the four-armed swastika, fylfot, gammadion cross symbols of Indo-Europan cultures and other cross-cultural four-spoked cross-wheel symbols such as that on which Zeus (another phallic male deity) impaled Tartarus.The same association of the magical phallus of "GOD" with spiral symbols is found the Indo-European root v-n-t/W-n-d. Thus any dictionary of root origins will tell you that sorcerer's magic "WAND" is from a w-n-d root meaning supple, wavy, spiral, twist, turn, etc. Thus in English we have the words wind (i.e., turn), wander (twist and meander), wend, wind (air) etc and scholars all recognize that the magic WAND that sorcerers hold in fairy tales is a phallic rod of divine magical power... (Primitive people associate divine spirits with wind or air and the spiral is a symbol of "circulating" air or wind. The devotee is filled with the Holy Wind or Spirit of the deity in a manner figuratively represented as sexual penetrative)
"And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up."John 3:14 NIVSo Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me."John 8:28 NIV"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."John 12:32 NIV
[Γανυμεδε] και εοικεν εσταυρωμένων,... α θέαμα αισχιστών, μειρακίων εξ ονύχων κρεμαμένων[Ganymede] even resembled one crucified*,... a spectacle** most shameful, a young adult hanging from an eagle's talons.* alt.: impaled** LSJ: frequently of a sight which gives pleasure, i.e., delightful show.Achilles Tatius, The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon 2.37.3 
The prizewinning wretch (lit.: winning athlete), will be cast into Hades, bound to a wheel and spun 'round and 'round (alt.: sodomized) in the midst of it for all eternity.Lucian, Dialogue of the Gods 6.5  
And here is a neolithic representation of the Sun. Note the cross within.
All these evidence gives me a newly expanded perspective on the articles series on Jesus as suffering servant I wrote on God discussion. I knew quite well that the cross on which Jesus died had old religious-mystical phallic symbolic associations and i suspected but had no hard evidence before i read your comments and now your blog that the ancient Romans actually crucified criminals in the same way that many traditional cultures worldwide sacrifice victims to fertility deities--by pushing a "sodomizing" pole symbolic of the phallus of the deity right through the victim.Thanks for the clinching evidence you have provided.
More on Priapus and the Donkey Graffito:The figure of Priapus as the god who "fucked his victim to death provided the ancient Romans opportunities for entertainment with ribald jokes, flippant and obscene sex stories. Wikipedia says:"Priapus gave rise to a genre of poetry collectively termed Priapeia. The genre shows how Roman poets in particular invented comic and obscene situations for the deity, giving him more literary prominence than he enjoyed in rites or cult, though masked phallic figures were prominent on many festive occasions, both in Greece and in the wider Roman world. In Ovid's Fasti, the nymph Lotis fell into a drunken slumber at a feast, and Priapus seized this opportunity to advance upon her. With stealth he approached, and just before he could embrace her, Silenus's donkey alerted the party with "raucous braying". Lotis awoke and pushed Priapus away.. To punish the donkey for spoiling his opportunity, Priapus bludgeoned it to death with his gargantuan phallus"The element of sadistic jocularity and entertainment evident in crucifixion shows arises from its association with the X-rated "Priapeia." In this light we come to understand why crucifixion was exceptionally disgraceful way for a man to die -- he was held up in public as a man "fucked to death by Priapus. The splayed feet exposing the genitals and the agonized struggle of the victim seated on the god's pointed phallus was crudely and obscenely suggestive of sexual violence and thus for prudish people like the Jews it was an exceptionally odious manner for a relative or friend to die...No wonder the disciples of Jesus could only overcome the psychological trauma of Jesus' death in delusional beliefs that he had resurrected and transformed the disgrace of the crux into the victory of the tropaeum!!