Jul 29, 2015
Codpieces: the Renaissance Bulge
Football players' cups -- for protection, and to enhance their erotic appeal?
During the Renaissance, they wore codpieces ("cod" is the Old English word for scrotum).
Originally the codpiece was simply a triangular piece of cloth placed over the sex organs. By the 1520s, it was getting cotton enhancments to better accentuate the basket.
This is Don Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568), painted by Alonzo Coello. Did he really walk around like that?
The codpiece was out of fashion by the time of Shakespeare, but fortunately, most modern directors don't know that, and push their actors into them anyway.
Renaissance Faires. But not often. Modern men feel too exposed wearing them.