Thursday, 18 August 2016

Roman gold ring that inspired J.R.R Tolkien?

Britain's National Trust and the Tolkien Society put an artifact on display for fans of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" to decide for themselves whether this was Tolkien's precious ring of power.
The Vyne Ring or the Ring of Silvianus is a gold ring, dating probably from the 4th century, discovered in a ploughed field near Silchester, in Hampshire, England, in 1785. It was originally the property of a British Roman called Silvianus. The gold ring is inscribed in Latin, "Senicianus live well in God," and inset with an image of the goddess Venus. It is larger than average, weighing about 12 grams. The ring is believed to be linked to a curse tablet found separately at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to a god named Nodens in Gloucestershire, western England.
The tablet says a man called Silvianus had lost a ring, and it asks Nodens to place a curse of ill health on Senicianus until he returned it to the temple.

An archeologist who looked into the connection between the ring and the curse tablet asked Tolkien, who was an Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford University, to work on the etymology of the name Nodens in 1929.