Author Topic: An interesting story....?  (Read 252 times)

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rusty old bucket

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An interesting story....?
« on: July 16, 2020, 04:44 pm »
Well I thought so any way..

This enigmatic Roman gold ring was found in a ploughed field near Silchester in 1785. The square bezel has a portrait of the pagan goddess Venus, inscribed backwards SUNEV for use as a signet ring by the owner. Curiously...

around the ten-sided ring is crudely inscribed the identity of a later Christian owner, "Senicianus" who it proclaims with spelling errors "lives in god" (vivas in deo). A ring passing from pagan to Christian hands - certainly possible in the 4th century - but remarkably
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 04:46 pm »
At a temple to the mysterious British god “Nodens” 80 miles away in Lydney, Gloucestershire, a lead curse tablet (defixio) was later discovered. On the tablet a man named “Silvianus” complains that his gold ring was stolen and he suspects “Senicianus” was the culprit!
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 04:47 pm »
Silvianus deposited the curse tablet and donated at the temple half the value of his lost ring, in the hope that the gods would "permit no good health to Senicianus." In 1929 the archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler would make a connection between this curse and the gold ring...
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2020, 04:47 pm »
Wheeler consulted a certain young J.R.R. Tolkien, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, to work on the etymology of the curious deity Nodens and explore the possible connections with the enigmatic Roman gold ring...
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2020, 04:50 pm »
 Soon afterwards Tolkien would begin creating his legendarium of Middle-earth with both “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” revolving around the magical, golden and often-stolen One Ring that grants the wearer invisibility. Had Tolkien been inspired by the Silvianus ring?
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2020, 04:51 pm »
 We might fancifully conclude then that in the mid 4th century AD, Silvianus - a late-Roman man still clinging on to the old pagan gods, had his beloved Venus ring stolen from him by a Christian that he knew named Senicianus. The pious thief then rededicated the pagan ring...
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 04:52 pm »
with his own ironic inscription, saying he "lives in God". The bitter Silvianus then travelled to an ancient pagan temple to deposit a curse on the Christian thief. We know the ring was subsequently lost but are left to imagine if fate ever caught up with Senicianus

Two millienia later, both the ring and the curse on its thief are both discovered 80 miles apart. Wheeler and Tolkien, titans in their fields, analyse the mysterious artefacts and just maybe, the gold ring goes on to inspire one of the greatest works of fantasy literature.

Credit for the story is to Gareth Harney
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Keith67

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2020, 01:30 am »
That's a great story mate. You can't escape the obvious.... this incredible story must have inspired the Lord Of The Rings.
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rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2020, 06:52 am »
People often think after finding an artifact, "I wonder, who owned this", and what story's it could tell?
That ring certainly had a story behind it..
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Lodge Scent

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2020, 09:37 pm »
That is very cool Rusty. The connection seems pretty obvious! I became hooked on Tolkien in my youth (way before the movies).  ;D

rusty old bucket

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Re: An interesting story....?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2020, 01:52 pm »
Yes great books Lodge .. I liked the movie franchise " lord of the rings" but to be honest wasn't so keen on "The hobbit"...
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