The iconography of the figure suggests that the scene might refer to Aeneas’ escape from Troy. According to the myth, Aeneas escaped the burning city of Troy, with his old father Anchises over his arm, and his young son Ascanius holding his hand. The intaglio captures this exact moment, with much attention given towards details, such as Aeneas’ armour. The pathos and dynamicity of this crucial moment is emphasised by Aeneas’ cloak, billowing in the wind, and by Aeneas himself, portrayed glancing back above his left shoulder, admiring the Trojan city for the last time. The mythical hero Aeneas, son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Venus, is a crucial character in Roman culture and mythology. According to Virgil’s Aeneid, Romans were directly descended from Aeneas and his son Ascanius, whom after a long and difficult journey from Troy, arrived in Italy.
To discover more about Roman jewellery, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Jewellery: Gold Rings.