For the Romans, the phallus was the symbol of fertility and fortune par excellence and it protected against evil of any kind. Worn around the neck as an amulet, hung up in the house or shop together with bells or lamps, in bird, lion or other hybrid form it protected housesand people. Gods like Priapus and Mercury also were designed in the shape of phallus amulets. The ringing of the bells (tintinnabula) heralded fortune and prosperity. The amulets and tintinnabula of the Berlin collection were for the most part acquired very early; their origin can be determined only very rarily. Many of them most presumably come from Rome and the towns around Mount Vesuvius.