As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth. Following the spread of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in the designs and in the materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones. Gold rings were the most popular pieces of Roman jewellery, usually embellished with fine carving, displaying decorative motives inspired by literature, art and mythology. The representation carved on this amazing piece refers to the theft of the Trojan Palladium. The Greeks believed that the high walls of Troy would not fall while the Palladium, a statue of the Greek goddess Athena, remained in the citadel. The Greek heroes Odysseus and Diomedes were the ones in charge of stealing the sacred statue, with Diomedes generally regarded as the one who physically removed the Palladium from its shrine.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.