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Herms were and are wooden or stone pillars topped by the human torso. They were ancient fertility symbols and often sported a protruding phallus. The herms were placed at crossroads in ancient Rome, and the Etruscans placed similar figures in cultivated fields.(see Lares) Roman herms have been discovered in the British Isles. It is thought these figures were probably the personification the spirit of the land intended to ensure fertility. A.G.H.