RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Roman Intaglios
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Hi all.
Now firstly, the people that made these fine items must be classed as the ultimate craftsmen.
As far as I know, it is still difficult to copy the originals even with a Dremel.
Soooo....A couple of questions....
Firstly, who actually could carry/wear an intaglio ring. They crop up all over the place but after my recent visit to Caerleon, in the bath house there were hundreds found. So, Intaglios lasted a long time and really meant something to the wearer and as usual, Romans had not very good glue,, that's not very good,waterproof glue to keep these items in place. So they were lost.
Now, me being a LEG II AVG follower, as some will know, only three were found in Exeter. A very nice one of Mercury in cornelian, plus 2 intaglios of poorer quality, it was the edge of the Empire down south, of the third century.
So, My next question is, Who preferred What?....ie....did the Legions prefer certain "Gods"? compared to civilialans? Or where certain gods, in intaglios, only accepted by Legions? Or was it a case of....." I like him, he works for me, time for a ring to honour him." Did separate Legions have their symbol on them...ie II AVG, Capricorns, or just II AVG on the ring. Oddity from Exeter is a ring was a plain ring found with XIV stamped on it. Possibly a vexhilation from another Legion, or just a bit of booty lost in a gambling match pre/post invasion.
I have gone on far too long.
I would appreciate any info on Intaglios...date, type as in image upon them, and even maybe start a comprehensive list of types/eras and locations.
Kevin.......LEG II AVG UK

Its a lot of reading, I hate posts with this, it puts me off reading them
Wrong category....sorry please move to relevant.
Kevin.
I think that when we get into the imperial period just about anyone and everyone would have a ring with some kind of intaglio, I do have a one with the god Mars that might have been worn by some soldier.
Then I did have one with just ears of corn on it so I made a silver ring for my favorite farmer and put that one into it as I thought that very fitting for him.
I also many years ago found a Roman gold ring with the smallest intaglio I have seen but that is now long gone. these things are in fact very prolific if you want to go do a little field walking at the right places.
There's a very good book by Martin Hennig on the subject of Roman intaglios, on which he is a world authority.

The collection on show at Caerleon obviously came from there. The reason that there were so many was that the stones were fixed in the rings by resin. In the hot atmosphere of the bath house, the resin softened and the stone fell out and was washed into the main drain, which is where they were found. I'm surprised that the same thing didn't happen at Exeter, as the bath house there was excavated some years ago - but you're quite correct as Paul Bidwell's excavation report doesn't even mention intaglios!

I think that Hennig's .book records that there were some subjects (e.g. Mars) that might have been worn by soldiers but there were others that it could be argued were more suitable for women, e.g. Venus. The fact that these were found at Caerleon argues that women were also using the baths as well as the soldiers. Indeed, the fact that children's milk teeth also came from the bath drain indicated that children were also allowed to use the facility. Happy families? Smile

Mike Thomas (Caratacus)