Sean Doherty ©

While many bee enthusiasts avow that honeybees lead a strange and secretive life within their hives, beekeepers themselves have a tendency to be quite strange to say the least; but it’s an oddity that they’re all proud of. Beekeeping is both sought after by businessmen commercially, as well as by hobbyists, who are known as backyard beekeepers. Beekeeping isn’t particular to any ethnicity, gender, or age, but knows an immense variety of membership. From the perspective of an average beekeeper named Turlough, he responds to The Independent article on beekeeping,

For generations, beekeeping has been one of the most genteel of pastimes – a world of flower meadows, village fêtes and white-veiled enthusiasts pottering around, puffing smoke into hives.[1]

“What a load of twaddle. As my late uncle used to say: beekeeping is all about sex, violence and daylight robbery.”[2] Turlough’s uncle was a very sensible man. Each of the three descriptions of beekeeping is rooted in fact. Daylight robbery implies the stealing of honey and other goods, the violence deals with the time of year in northern climates that the female worker bees tear off the wings, bite, and drive off the males in the hive before winter, the sex, is just that, the female queen flies high into the air, and the males mate with her in the air, in doing so further violence is committed as the queen rips out the genitalia of the male bee, having it plummet to the ground to its death, absorbing the sperm into its body allowing it for the production of millions of bees.

Many cultures from across the span of time have indulged in keeping an apiary. According to Thaindian News[3], the earliest beekeeping operation to ever be archeologically uncovered was in Tel Rehov located in northern Israel which was revealed remnants of human-made beehives that supported as many as 200 hives; this find was nearly an astounding 3,000 years old. This finding dates back to the biblical accounts of King David and King Solomon. It also notes that “the earliest known depiction of beekeeping appears on a carving from an Egyptian temple[4] that dates to circa 4,500 years ago.’

Local beekeepers supply their area with fresh honey and become intimate with their customers knowing which types of honey to set aside for whom. Many apiarists like Norman Charpentier of Leominster, MA are backyard beekeepers. I had the unique opportunity to interview him for this paper. They usually have no more then three to five hives, which produce a surplus of anywhere between eighty to a hundred pounds of honey. This is only working on a very low scale production. Many individuals of this group have learned the trade of keeping bees from an older relative. Norman learned it from his great uncle at the age of thirteen, while his father learned along side him. Community based beekeepers have a wide variety of options that they can sell. Everything in a beehive is useable, from honey to wax.

The most famous byproduct of keeping bees is the honey. The things that usually aren’t obvious are the other products associated with having an apiary are beeswax, pollen, and propolis. The first product that bees produce in abundance is beeswax, which can be made into candles. The second item is pollen. Norman told me that some customers request the bees to be set up in their yard; the bees’ hive is then fitted with a pollen grain collector. As the thousands of bees enter the hive, they have to hyper extend and half the time their pollen baskets drop the pollen into the grate that collects it. The customers then eat the pollen and their allergies are no more. The third product is propolis. This is a mixture of tree saps. It has many uses in the hive, as well as many uses in the medical/dentistry field. Propolis, although is time consuming to collect the minimum pound of it, the pay off is eighty dollars a pound.

Going to see the bees is always an interesting experience.

“You always get stung several times, it just comes with the territory,” Norman said as we suited up. The netting draped around my face, and tucked into my collar. Norman said that the first place the bees will try and sting if agitated are the face and neck. Somehow I wasn’t sure about a simple net blocking the way to my face. His son watched from the back porch.

“Don’t worry!” he said with a grin, “the only thing you have to really watch out for is when the bee gets inside with you and can’t find her way out!” That sounds reassuring.

“Why are beekeepers outfits white?”

“They are white to distinguish us from the would be attackers of beehives, which are normally brown and furry,” Norman said, “although there aren’t many bears around here.”

As we neared the hives I began to become nervous. My only thoughts were on the stinging. Apparently this suit wasn’t full proof against bees, any part that was pulled taunt they could sting through.

“If you get stung, don’t pull it out, brush it away. The bee toxins only are fully released when you pinch at the poison sac that is attached with the stinger.”

The bees began to hum as we opened the hives. Norman sprayed a mixture of burlap and pinecones.

“The bees normally can communicate with the use of pheromones and can be alert to an attacker in seconds. The smoke calms them and blocks the pheromones from spreading through the hive, or if we slip and kill a few worker bees, that wont be noticed,” he said as he slowly lifted out a honey super.

This is what we put in to extract the honey. When this is filled up, we replace it with another. We keep a couple extras so we can rotate.

As I stood surrounded by bees, I realized that I too wanted to become part of the world that is beekeeping.

Norman, told me that beekeepers, as a group are generally a strange bunch; as he recounts when his bees stung his wife and she was rushed to the hospital. The police asked him if he had taken out a hefty insurance policy on her, as she is deathly allergic to the sting of honeybees! Of course he hadn’t but needless to say his wife is extremely cautious of his hobby. As for his children, they have been brought up to respect the bees, with the mantra, “if you leave them alone they will leave you alone”. They played with the drones, the males, who have no stinger, getting them to race back and forth across the carpet. His wife tells me how their son at age five sat and let bees that were swarming[5] completely cover his face and neck. Many people who do not understand bees or their nature would rather die then to have their face plastered by a couple thousand of the vivacious females. Swarming is something that happens when bees either lose their queen[6], or it becomes too crowded within the hive.

“Beekeeping was more fun when there wasn’t the added steps of taking chemical strips to fight various diseases such as varroa mites. Back when I first started, there was none of that and it was pretty laid back,” says Norman. This is the general consensus between beekeepers, that the added measures and checks to insure that their bees are healthy has been a proverbial ‘stinger’ in beekeepers’ side.

The benefits of beekeeping are not only fiscal, but nutritional as well. New beekeepers have set up in the White House. They have installed a new beehive into the garden. The current first lady, Michelle Obama wanted her children to eat healthier, and learn about the benefits of honey over sugar are far from infinitesimal. The new presidential apiary was not only installed for its benefits, but also for bee awareness. Beekeepers around the country are hoping that with the rising awarness of beekeeping, the government will stop spraying chemicals that have been suspect to CCD

CCD also known as Colony Collapse Disorder has decimated countless numbers of beehives. This frightening disease has left many beekeepers out of business. Those hit hardest are those who move their vast hives to California for almonds, Florida for melons, and Pennsylvania for apples and Maine for pollination. With the shifting of hives and the bees being exposed to chemicals that have tested hazardous towards pollinators, the safety of many of the worlds hives have been severely compromised. The strange disease causes bees to dissapear from their hives, so instead of having plenty of dead bees in the hives which is characteristic of other diseases, the bees are nowhere to be found.

Norman believed that many local beekeepers, himself included, have not had to deal with hit CCD first hand because of the nature of their production and source of pollen.

It’s amazing that many people wear the masks of an average everyday person, but come bee season they put on a different mask, one with fine netting of course. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United States alone produced roughly 70,000 metric tons of the golden treat, and consumed a whopping 159,000 metric tons of it. America has an insatiable appetite for honey, consuming over twice as much as it makes domestically. Beekeepers are a very important group and not many people realize their significance to their food stores. For example, if you were to sit down for breakfast and have mixed nuts and granola, toast with jam, cranberry juice, coffee with milk, eggs and a lovely fruit salad, you would be sorely disappointed to look at your plate without the help of bees’ pollination. The same breakfast with out the help of pollinators would consist of black coffee, toast with butter, eggs and granola. With a 3/4th of crops in your diet requiring pollination, beekeepers are an extraordinary group. They don’t only provide honey and the like, but provide you with fruits and veggies. It is by no mistake that in the Bible, the Jews were going the land of milk and honey. As you cannot have one with out the other, for you see, alfalfa the feed that cows that produce milk eat needs bees to pollinate it. To put it simply, life without beekeepers would be extremely dour.

Being a beekeeper is many things, a hobby, a business, even a way of life. But what it will always remain as a source of interest for humanity. It can be anywhere from a eight year old boy in a monastery, to the sixty-five year old grandmother in Albania, nothing will change no matter what the human element is added to the equation. The secret life of bees is one thing, but the odd life of the innumerable beekeepers is something that is to be found out by entering into their world; suited up and ready for the inevitable sting.

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/a-sting-in-the-tale-secret-deal-splits-countrys-top-beekeepers-489918.html

[2] http://turlough.blogspot.com/2005/05/journalist-gets-beekeeping-stereotype.html

[3] ANI, “Oldest known archaeological example of beekeeping discovered in Israel.” Thaindian News. 01 SEP 2008. Thaindian News. 28 Apr 2009 <http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/oldest-known-archaeological-example-of-beekeeping-discovered-in-israel_10091110.html&gt;.

[4] Egypt sites identifies not as a carving from an Egyptian Temple, but from the Tomb of Pabasa near Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri.

[5] Bees swarm for a variety of reasons, generally, the drone supers are filled and the bees feel cramped, so the queen lays a couple eggs and the workers feed them royal jelly to make them into queens, the first queen out kills the others and takes over, the old queen takes half the hive to form a new hive elsewhere.

[6] Bees realize that their queen is gone in a matter of an hour when her pheromone scent disappears. They immediately find 10 developing bees that are no more then 3 weeks old and feed them ‘royal jelly’ which helps them develop their reproductive organs.


Size Matters…Not


Figure 1. Priapus “Busy weighing himself.”
House of the Vettii, Pompeii. Note the Phrygian cap, Priapus is very much a foreign, Greek deity.

In antiquity size mattered, just not the way it matters today. Interestingly enough, ancient Romans found large phalli humorous and replusive and actually preferred those with much smaller and more manageable sizes. As in my previous post here on the term “adpragmalic”, you can see an ubiquitous mosaic motif found in bathhouses. In Roman mosaics, the cultural use of blackness was two-fold. The dangers of the baths according to John Clarke, were the intense heat and the Evil Eye. The mosaics of the black African was a perfect way to warn individuals of both simultaneously. When heat is concerned, Clarke writes,

The heat of the baths constituted a physical danger addressed by images of  sandals . . . or images of the Aethiopes, or black African. The Aethiopes communicated the idea of heat in two ways. He comes from a hot climate, and his Greek name, Aethiopes, means “burnt by the sun.” The Greeks attributed the Aethiopes black skin to having been burnt by the sun. [1]

The city of Pompeii, having been destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE left a plethora of material culture. Among these we can see the function of the phallus in every day life, from protecting crossroads (Fig. 2), to household objects such as macrophallic slaves (Fig. 3) and of course cult objects (Fig. 4). In Figure 3, the bronze is known as the placentarius, a tray bearer and would have likely held a small silver tray with orderves. The grotesque and unappealing body of this bronze statue would have also enhanced the laughter that it would provoke. These are just many examples of the stylistic representation of the phallus in Roman Culture.

Decorative brickwork phallic symbol designed to ward off the evil eye

Figure 2. Decorative brickwork phallic symbol designed to ward off the evil eye at crossings.

xv. Giant Phallus in Painted Tufa Sculpture in Nocera tufa; height 251/4  in. (64 cm) From Pompeii regio IX, insula V (August 30, 1880) RP, Inv. no. 113415.

Figure 4. Giant Phallus in Painted Tufa
Sculpture in Nocera tufa; height 64 cm. 
regio IX, insula V (August 30, 1880)
RP, Inv. no. 113415.

Figure 3. Placentarius
Sculpture gilded in bronze; height
from Pompeii regio I, insula VII, nos. 10-12. House of the Ephebe, RP, Inv. no. 143760

In the hit series Rome by HBO, although some may argue that the historical accuracy off on many things, it sure was spot on concerning the cultural construction of the phallus, and how they prayed. This took place in first episode of the first season. Titus Pullo is incarcerated,  (in carcer, Latin for in jail) and some may think it shows him being a juvenile delinquent by drawing a phallus on the bench, (Figure 5)  in actuality this is a Roman expression of good luck so he is able to get out of jail. The  shows his darling artwork, and later in the episode, after the legion’s eagle was stolen, he is shown praying to Foculus, the fire of Vesta. His prayer is very Roman, and is usually written as Do ut des, literally “I give, so that you give.” It was a reciprocal relationship where if he is released from prison, he would give a fine white lamb, or 6 pigeons. If he doesn’t get out, then no sacrifice. One of which seems to have paid off since he is released into the care of Lucius Vorenus.

Titus Pullo Phallus Drawing

Titus Pullo, Season 1, Episode 1 “The Stolen Eagle”

But why did Romans have this cultural construction? The most accepted reason by scholars is that it was used to ward off the Evil Eye.  According to M. W. Dickie and Katherine Dunbabin, the Evil Eye was thought to have been  one of the inherent dangers of attending the baths.[2] Although the danger of the Evil Eye could manifest anywhere, hence the phalli present at road crossings (Figure 2). These dangers were the dangers of jealousy or envy phthonos (Greek) or invidia (Latin). These words are “best defined as begrudging envy that directs ill will against another person who possesses beauty or good fortune.”[3] The baths therefore became an opportune place for the Evil Eye. Since people were nude in the baths and some were more attractive than others, envy and the manifestation of the Evil Eye was considered a serious risk. Romans believed that someone using the Evil Eye “was able to focus this malice through his or her eye which emanated particles that surrounded and entered the unfortunate victim.”[4] In order to prevent this from happening these mosaics and other images were created with the purpose to cause robust laughter in order to distract onlookers and thereby prevent accidental or malicious thoughts transmitted through the Evil Eye.

In conclusion, the phallus is one of the most common forms of preventable devices against the Evil Eye. It is used to incite laughter, especially when it is attached to what Roman’s would have considered otherness such as  dwarfs, pygmies, and the Black African. The disembodied phallus also was used to protect people from harm and provide good luck. So, the next time you are in the bathroom, and someone has drawn a phallus on the stall, smile or even laugh aloud, it will ward off that Evil Eye!

[1] John Clarke, Looking at Laughter: Humor, Power, and transgression in Roman Visual

 Culture, 100 B.C. – A.D 250. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007), 75.

[2] The other danger being the hot floors, which was another reason the black African was used as imagery, the word for them being Aethiopes or “burnt by the sun”. In this way, the image served as apotropaic and a cautionary sign. See Clarke, Looking at Laughter, 75.

[3] J. Hellegouarch, Le vocabulaire latin des relations et des partis politiques sous la rèpublique (Paris, 1972), 195-199. 

[4] M. W. Dickie and Katherine M. D. Dunbabin, “Invidia rumpantur pectora: The Iconography of Phthonos/Invidia in Graeco-Roman art,” Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 26 (1983): 10-11..

Caligula’s Insane Antics


I bade you! Gather the seashells and fill your helmets and the folds of your gowns, they are the spoils from the Ocean, due to the Capitol and Palatine. -Caligula
Probably one of my favorite antics of Emperor Caligula who reigned from 37-41 CE. Growing up he was an army brat and nicknamed by the troops Caligula which is the diminutive caligulae, “little soldiers boot.” His father Germanicus waged war in Germania and was the reason for his son’s association with the military at such a young age. His disposition was quite disturbed and in the sources he is frequently described as sexually depraved, violent, and insane (if you can even believe the sources).

So let us move on to address the background of this story. One must begin with the source  called The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by C. Suetonius Tranquillus which was published in 121 CE. Although this source is questionable  since it is burgeoning with racy gossip and a satirical account of Julius Caesar, the bulk of the work concerns the end of the Republic and the period of Roman history known as the principate, ending with the Emperor Domitian. Due to the nature of the source, it must be taken with a grain of salt. However, it still is a fascinating story.
So, the full story goes something like this:

Caligula decided to invade Britain, so he marched to the shore adjacent to the isle with his legions. While on the beach, he set up the artillery facing the ocean, his troops took his orders, confused but unwilling to question the strategic application of the ballistae facing the crashing waves. Then, without warning, when the soldiers were confused on what he planned to do next, Caligula gave the signal to attack the Ocean and plunder the sea of its shells as spoils of war.

Suffice to say, he was murdered by his praetorian guard shortly thereafter, the first to have been assassinated in this manner, but surely not the last.

Ancient Executions, Most Unpleasant [Part 3 of 3]

The word crucifixion is a Latin derived word crucifigo a third conjugation transitive verb meaning to crucify, or attach to a cross. Although other cultures have used this method of execution such as the Persians and the Phoenicians, the Romans are particularly found of this form of torturous death reserved only for the lowest of the low. Pirates, deserters, and traitors are given this punishment whereas more proper Romans were given the option of suicide such as Petronius during the time of Nero, or beheading.
One of the most common misconceptions about crucifixion is due in part of the historical account of Jesus. Artistic depictions of his death depict the location of the nails in his palms, which is simply false. Victims of crucifixion would have the nail driven through the wrist which would support their bodily weight and cause extreme pain due to the median nerve that runs through the arm. Had someone been crucified with the iron nails passing through the palms, then they would have to have their arms somehow lashed to the cross itself since the palms would not hold the weight load. The majority of depictions of Jesus do not show these lashings, but if the Synoptic Gospels hold any truth to the account, then he most certainly would have been bound to the cross before the nails were driven into his flesh.

It is nearly impossible to find a picture of anyone being crucified that isn’t Christ, he has a monopoly on this execution. However, one of my favorite etchings of a Roman graffito is the Roman perspective of the self proclaimed Messiah.

Alexamenos worships his god

Alexamenos worships his god. 3rd century CE

According to a study done by Maslen and Mitchell,1 some possible causes of death for this method range from  cardiac rupture, heart failure, hypovolemic shock, asphyxia  and pulmonary embolism. Death could result from any combination of those factors or from other causes, including sepsis following infection due to the wounds caused by the nails or by the whipping that often preceded crucifixion, dehydration was also a factor depending on the environment and the length of time the victim was left upon the cross. 

In short, although this torture pales in comparison to others that I have discussed the past few days, this one is the most recognizable. Even today, in the Philippines there are people who preform live crucifixions in celebration for the Easter holiday. This practice is most unpleasant, and the worship of this painful execution is quite disturbing. If you really take a moment to pause and think about the grotesque imagery that is found in the Passion of Christ, it is enough to turn your stomach.

But this is why religion is so interesting, the rituals are what make it unique. This alone allows me to continue writing about it in complete fascination.



 1 Maslen, Matthew; Piers D Mitchell. “Medical theories on the cause of death in crucifixion”. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 99 (4): 185.

Ancient Executions, Most Unpleasant [Part 2 of 3]

Scaphism. Even the word itself sounds foreign. The name comes from the Greek word σκάφη, skaphe, meaning “anything scooped (or hollowed) out”. This torture was used in ancient Persia, and it one of the most gruesome forms of ancient torture that I have come across. Unlike the brazen bull, there are no real depictions of this, so I will let Plutarch, a Greek historian who lived from 46 – 120 CE speak on the history and nature of this delightful procedure.

 “Accordingly he [Artaxerxes I king of Persia r. 465-424 BCE] ordered Mithridates to be put to death by the punishment of the boats (scaphae). [For the murder of Cryus the Younger] The nature of this form of death and punishment is as follows: Two boats being built of the same size and shape, in the one they lay the man destined for the torture, and putting the other atop of him, join the two together in such a way that his hands and feet are left outside, while the whole of the rest of his body (except the head) is imprisoned. They supply the man with food, and by prodding his eyes with sharp points force him to eat even against his will. But on his eating, they pour by way of drink into his mouth a mixture of milk and honey, and smear his face with the same. Also turning about the boat they so arrange it that his eyes are always facing the sun, and his head and face are covered every day with a host of flies that settle upon them. Moreover as he does inside the closed boats those things which men are bound of necessity to do after eating and drinking, the resulting corruption and putrefaction give birth to swarms of worms of diverse sorts, which penetrating inside his clothes, eat away his flesh. For when, after the man is dead, the upper boat is removed, his body is seen to be all gnawed away, and all about his inwards is found a multitude of these and the like insects, that grows denser every day. Subjected to this form of torture, Mithridates actually endured the agonizing existence to the seventeenth day, before he finally gave up the ghost.” – Plutarch Life of Artaxerxes

Gruesome indeed. Aside from another source Zonaras, Annals, there is not much difference in the two accounts. As I could find no images or others sources I would be greatly interested to hear some other cases of this, perhaps being used in the Roman period, or any ancient depictions of this execution. Do let me know in the comments below.

Tomorrow I will be looking at crucifixion, the most common misconception and its origins as a Roman form of capital punishment which was reserved for the lowest of criminals. While suicide or decapitation was considered the method of execution for the citizenry. Suicide in particular was the means of death used by many Romans so they would retain their property and it was not inherited by the state.

Ancient Executions, Most Unpleasant [Part 1 of 3]

Capital punishment has always been cause for debate. Should the state be allowed to murder its citizens?  In the modern age, only forty of the 163 countries still have some form of the death penalty, including China, India, The entirety of the Middle East, and of course the United States. But by no means does the modicum of death meted out by the modern state even remotely close to some ancient methods of execution. Although one can assume that the way we execute prisoners today are “humane”, hanging, firing squad, electric chair, lethal injection, these all pale in comparison to the three forms of execution I will be looking at these three bizarre and unique forms of execution, namely the brazen bull, scaphism, and crucifixion.

The first of these that I will be talking about is the brazen bull. This method of death was first used by the tyrant Phalaris of Acragas in Sicily c. 570-554 BCE. The creator of the invention was Perillos of Athens. This invention was a large bronze cast bull, hollow on the inside with a door. The condemned were bound and shut inside the bull and a fire lit underneath. The mouth of the brazen bull was left open and the escaping steam and screams were meant to sound like an angry bull.
tumblr_m8w6gkqtQ41qme7gno1_400Fast forward to the persecution of Christians, it is reported that some saints of the church met their end by this particularly nasty form of execution. Makes being fed to the lions seems like a cake walk. There were three saints mentioned to have been killed by this. Saint Antipas in 92 CE by the Emperor Domition, Saint Eustace in 118 CE by Emperor Hadrian, and a woman by the name of Pelagia of Tarsus in 287 CE by Emperor Diocletian. However, the Catholic Church discounts the martyrdom of Saint Eustace according to the Martyologium Romanum (ISB 8-820-97210-7).
I think that the three reported cases of its use to kill Christians (and possibly Jews) could in fact, aside from the obvious death, be a theological attack. Although scholars in the early 20th century have linked it to the golden calf from Exodus, and then summarily dismissed the idea, I think they should no be so hasty. The imagery of a Christian being sacrificed within a large bull, the golden calf grown into adulthood is striking. Perhaps these emperors had a sick sense of humor and made this connection, or maybe not.

To take a brief look at the account of Pelagia’s death, here is an excerpt from the martyrdom of Pelagia of Tarsus.

Diocletian sentenced Pelagia to be burned in a red-hot bronze bull. Not permitting the executioners to touch her body, the holy martyr signed herself with the Sign of the Cross, and went into the brazen bull and her flesh melted like myrrh, filling the whole city with fragrance. St Pelagia’s bones remained unharmed and were removed by the pagans to a place outside the city. Four lions then came out of the wilderness and sat around the bones letting neither bird nor wild beast get at them. The lions protected the relics of the saint until Bishop Linus came to that place. He gathered them up and buried them with honor. Later, a church was built over her holy relics.

This account if full of typical imagery of a Christian martyrology. Her courage and stalwart faith the hallmark of any proper martyr. Most important is the mention of the whole city being filled with fragrance, some accounts specify the scent of myrrh, which is a motif I am currently exploring in other documents of this period. The cooperation of lions also has a storied history such as in the Old Testament book of Isaiah 11:6 or in the story of Daniel in the lion den.  On a final note, it would be interesting to so some forensic archeology and exhume the bones of this martyr for signs of her death.

Tomorrow I will be discussing the insanity that is scaphism.

Saint Antipas being roasted alive in a Brazen bull at Pergamon.

Saint Antipas being roasted alive in a Brazen bull at Pergamon.

What Does Adpragmalic Mean?

Mosaic black bath –attendant. From Timgad, northwestern baths (at entrance to room, between two tepidaria.) 82 x 70 cm. Timgad, Musée Archéologique

Mosaic black bath –attendant. From Timgad, northwestern baths (at entrance to room, between two tepidaria.) 82 x 70 cm. Timgad, Musée Archéologique

At the heart of my current research titled Forging “Christian Rome”: Cultural Shifts of Late Antiquity  is the treatment of the image of the black African or Aethiopes. In one section of this paper I begin by looking at the treatment of the image of the black African by Romans as apotropaic which other scholars such as John Clarke, Katherine Dunbabin and others have. To be apotropaic meant having the power to avert evil influences of the Evil Eye. As the ubiquitous mosaic images found in bathing complexes showed black Africans not sexualized but simply ithyphallic, having an erect phallus or macrophallic, having an obviously large phallus. This leads to the monastic images of the Ethiopian demon found in their writings that changed the representation from a defense against evil to one of fornication and sexual evil, a demon of tainted lust.
So in the course of writing I created a new word to describe this unique and ironic change taking place during this period. This constituted the apotropaic image of the black African changing into something that monastic writers considered to be evil. In short, I present this neologism adpragmalic here and has been defined below.

ad•prag•mal•ic |ədpragˈmalik|


an ironic change to something that is contrary to the previous attribute of an object


adpragmalically |ədpragˈmali’k(ə)lēadverb

adpragmalism |ədpragˈmalizemnoun

In a sentence: The interpretation of the black african by monastic writers in the fourth century was adpragmalic.

ORIGIN: Late 20th cent.: from Latin malus ‘evil’ and Greek pragma ‘thing’, literally  “change to an evil thing.”