Prior to modern medicine, disease and death were inexplicable. Illness, problems with crops, and other ill fortune were often associated with the evil eye. People with obvious deformities and those with any problems with their eyes, such as a squint or piercing gaze, were suspected of having the evil eye.
Protection from the evil eye
is prescribed in each culture, but often as a representation of an eye
in some form to absorb the negative energy. In many Muslim countries passages
from the Koran are painted on the walls of homes for protection. A symbol
of the eye is found throughout the Mediterranean on homes, in cars, and
places of business. Even the U.S. dollar has an eye on the back, perhaps
inspired, in part, because of this long tradition, although the drawing
on the back of the dollar bill was designed by Thomas Jefferson,
consistent with his neo-classical ideas and view of Deism.