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Elegant Ancient Roman Province Antioch Sculpted Terraced Bronze Ring Sz6½ AD200

CAD 172.17 Buy It Now 29d, CAD 21.18 Shipping, 30-Day Returns

Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122216280569 Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Size 6 1/2 Genuine Ancient Sculpted Multi-Tier Terrace Pattern Roman Bronze Ring 200 A.D. CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Roman Bronze Ring with raised relief “terraced” multi-tier bezel. ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Antiochia), Second Century A.D. SIZE/MEASUREMENTS: Fits ring size 6 1/2 (U.S.) Diameter: 19 1/2mm * 18 1/2mm (outer dimensions); 17 1/2mm * 17mm (inner diameter). Bezel: 20mm (length) * 6mm (width). Fixed Width 4 1/2 to 5mm Band. Weight: 2.78 grams. CONDITION: Excellent! Completely intact, moderate wear, moderately light porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Professionally conserved. DETAIL: An especially nice crafted and well preserved ancient Roman bronze ring circa 150-200 A.D. As you can see, the design is simple, but elegant, with a kind of multi-level terraced bezel which calls to mind images of terraced agricultural fields. The "bezel" or center part of this ring is an elegantly shaped raised “platform” sculpted center which vaguely resembles a crown in shape. This raised center platform steps down to a lower terrace both flanking both right and left, and then there are two more raised ribs or bumps which create the illusions of two additional lower terraces, a very sophisticated construction which really gives a strong impression four distinct terraces or layers. It is only upon close inspection you realize that there are only two terraces or levels, and that the illusion of a lower third and fourth layer is created by the raised ridges flanking the first two higher terraces. The result is a ring which is very modern and distinctive in appearance – classical and timeless in design. The ring has a very nice patina, a medium tone quite characteristic of ancient bronze. The ring is of one-piece construction, much like a contemporary ring. The more archaic rings produced by Roman artisans were characteristically made in two pieces; an incomplete ring (a “shank”) with a separately crafted bezel which was brazed to the shank in order to assemble the ring. This ring is in a very good state of preservation and has been professionally conserved. The sculpted pattern remains in high relief, though it is clear from the wear that the ring was worn for many years before ultimately being lost. You have to look fairly closely to see the telltale signs indicating the ring was buried for millennia. Most small artifacts such as this suffer extensive degradation from porosity, which is fine surface pitting caused by prolonged burial in caustic soil. This ring spent seventeen centuries buried, yet by good fortune there is relatively light porosity. Clearly close examination (or these photo enlargements) show the unmistakable signs of extended burial in the earth. However to the casual admirer, the ring simply seems to have nicely finished surfaces with a warm and rich glow. It requires close examination to discern the fine surface pitting, “porosity” or “oxidation” that the ring clearly exhibits. It happened to come to rest in fairly gentle soil conditions. The ring does evidence some modest all-over wear. However this should not be a source for disappointment. You must keep in mind that the ring was produced by an artisan and sold to a patron or consumer with the idea that the ring would be enjoyed and worn by the purchased. And without any regard to twenty-first century posterity, that precisely what happened! The original Roman owner of this ring wore it, enjoyed it, and probably never could have in his most delusional moment ever dreamed that almost 100 generations later the ring would still exist. The Romans were of course very fond of ornate personal jewelry including bracelets worn both on the forearm and upper arm, brooches, pendants, hair pins, earrings intricate fibulae and belt buckles, and of course, rings. This is an exceptional piece of Roman jewelry, a very handsome artifact, and eminently wearable. Aside from being significant to the history of ancient jewelry, it is also an evocative relic of one of the world’s greatest civilizations and the ancient world’s most significant military machines; the glory, might and light which was the “Roman Empire”. ROMAN HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old ancient Roman artifact. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.) The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. The decline was temporarily halted by third century Emperor Diocletian. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine again managed to temporarily arrest the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. In the ancient world valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably the owners would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, thousands of years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day thousands of years after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these ancient treasures. HISTORY OF ROMAN SYRIA: Antioch was the capitol city of the Roman Province of Syria. Antioch stands at the focal point for communications with Palestine to the south and with the Euphrates to the east. A road led southwest through the suburb of Daphne to the Seleucid seaport of Laodicea, and another road to Antioch's own harbor town, Seleuceia. The ancient city extended along both sides of the Orontes River, which was crossed by five bridges (of which one of Roman origin still remains). Daphne was the celebrated sanctuary of Apollo. The road between Antioch and Daphne - a distance of five miles - was bordered by parks, fountains, villas and splendid structures appropriate to the gay procession that thronged from the city gate to the scene of consecrated pleasure. Daphne itself was a pleasure garden. Pompey added Antioch to the Roman Empire in 64 BC. The city still flourished after annexation to the Roman Empire, and was one of the two largest cities in the East, the other being Alexandria. Its continued prosperity was due to its position as an administrative center and its excellent trade routes to the hinterland and overseas. Antioch, the famous "Queen of the East", with its population of more than half a million, its beautiful site, its trade and culture, and its important military position, was a rival of Alexandria (Egypt). The two cities vied for position as the most significant city in the empire after Rome itself. The Greco-Macedorian colonies which comprised Syria had been in the past organized as self-governing city-states. Required to pay taxes and obey royal ordinances but allowed to administer their internal affairs. These semi-independent satrapies were begun by the Persian Empire, retained by Seleucid, and essentially the system used by the Romans. When Pompey established the Roman province of Syria in 64 B.C., Antioch was included within it as a nominally free city, and as such it continued until the time of Antoninus Pius (138-161 A.D.). The early emperors raised some large and important structures, such as aqueducts, amphitheaters and baths. Antioch seems to have had almost a monopoly in the valuable ivory trade from the elephants that existed in the region at the time. It long enjoyed the right of coinage even during the Republican period when it was the only city in the entire empire (other than Rome itself) which was permitted to strike coinage with the inscription “SC”, which was the abbreviation for Senatus Consultus (with the permission of the Senate). The Roman emperors Caligula, Trajan, and Hadrian built aqueducts to supply Antioch with excellent water. Under Diocletian an Imperial armament factory was established at Antioch. Under Roman rule, Alexandria and Antioch, with their unruly, pleasure-seeking and highly industrious populations were great eastern capitals. Their busy trade brought strange peoples and cargoes from as far away as India and China, and at the same time, as centers of learning, they continued to attract intellectual leaders. The population of Antioch was an agglomeration of peoples and races, and the city was divided into sections, or quarters. There were Greeks, Macedonians, Jews, and Syrians, with occasional Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Persians. Proud, turbulent and satirical, the Antiochians were noted for their mastery of the art of ridicule, coupled with an inability to hold their tongue. Having enjoyed autonomy for most of their history, they chafed under Roman rule. They insulted each Roman Emperor, General, or Governor, sent their way. They also suffered the wrath of the insulted party. Hadrian withdrew the right of coinage; Marcus Aurelius the right of assembly; Septimius Severus transferred the primacy (capitol city) of Syria to away from Antioch to Laodicea, where it temporarily remained. Emperors bestowed titles and rights upon a city as a reward for good behavior; they withdrew these privileges as a punishment for disloyalty. Though diminished by repeated severe earthquakes and several sacks by the Persians, Antioch remained a significant city well in the timeframe of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. HISTORY OF BRONZE: Bronze is the name given to a wide range of alloys of copper, typically mixed in ancient times with zinc, tin, lead, or arsenic. The discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were better than previously possible. Tools, weapons, armor, and building materials made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors from the “Chalcolithic” (the “Copper Age”), i.e., about 7000-3500 B.C., and the Neolithic (“New Stone Age”), i.e. about 12000 to 7000 B.C.). Of particular significance were bronze agricultural implements, tools for cutting stone, and weapons. Culturally significant was bronze statuary, particularly that of the Romans and Greeks. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a long history of making statuary in bronze. Literally thousands of images of gods and heroes, victorious athletes, statesmen, and philosophers filled temples and sanctuaries, and stood in the public areas of major cities. In fact, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Initially bronze was made out of copper and arsenic. It was only later that tin was used, becoming (except in ancient Egypt) the sole type of bronze in the late 3rd millennium B.C. Tin-alloyed bronze was superior to arsenic-alloyed bronze in that the alloying process itself could more easily be controlled, the alloy was stronger and easier to cast, and unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic. Toxicity was a major factor in the production of arsenic bronze. Repeated exposure to arsenic fumes ultimately led to nerve damage in the limbs. Evidence of the long agony of Bronze Age metalsmiths came down to the ancient Greeks and Romans in the form of legend, as the Greek and Roman gods of metalsmiths, Greek Hephaestus and Roman Vulcan, were both lame. In practice historical bronze alloys are highly variable in composition, as most metalworkers probably used whatever scrap was to hand. In one instance of ancient bronze from Britain, analysis showed the bronze to contain a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron, antimony, arsenic, and silver. Other advantages of bronze over iron include that bronze better resists corrosion, particularly seawater corrosion; bronze resists metal fatigue better than iron; and bronze is a better heat conductor (and thus is better suited for cooking vessels). However ancient bronze, unless conserved properly, is susceptible to “bronze disease”, wherein hydrochloric or hydrosulfuric acid is formed due to impurities (cuprous chloride or sulfur) found within the ancient bronze. Traditionally archaeology has maintained that the earliest bronze was produced by the Maikop, a proto-Indo-European, proto-Celtic culture of Caucasus prehistory around 3500 B.C. Recent evidence however suggests that the smelting of bronze might be as much as several thousand years older (bronze artifacts dating from about 4500 B.C. have been unearthed in Thailand). Shortly after the emergence of bronze technology in the Caucasus region, bronze technology emerged in ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer), Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization of Northern India, the Aegean, the Caspian Steppes (Ukraine), the Southern Russia/Central Mongolia Region (the Altai Mountains), the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Anatolia (Turkey) and the Iranian Plateau. By the late third millennium B.C. many Western European Bronze Age Cultures had emerged. Some of the more notable were the Celtic cultures of Middle Europe stretching from Hungary to Poland and Germany, including the Urnfield, Lusatian, and (Iron Age Transitional) Hallstatt Cultures. The Shang in ancient China also developed a significant Bronze Age culture, noted for large bronze burial urns. The ancient Chinese were the first to cast bronze (using the “lost wax” technique) about 2200 B.C. Prior to that time all bronze items were forged. Though weapons and utilitarian items were produced in great numbers, the production of bronze in ancient China was especially noteworthy for ornamented ritualistic/religious vessels (urns, wine vessels, water pots, food containers, and musical instruments), many of immense size. Britain’s Bronze Age cultures included the Beaker, Wessex, Deverl, and Rimbury. Copper and tin ores are rarely found together, so the production of bronze has always involved trade. Cornwall was one of the most significant sources of tin not only for Britain, but exported throughout the Mediterranean. Other significant suppliers of tine were the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia (Turkey), as well as Spain. Enormous amounts of copper was produced from the Great Orme mine in North Wales, the island of Cyprus, the European Alps, and from the Sinai Peninsula and other nearby sites in the Levant. Though much of the raw minerals may have come from Britain, Spain, Anatolia, and the Sinai, it was the Aegean world which controlled the trade in bronze. The great seafaring Minoan Empire (about 2700 to 1450 B.C.) appears to have controlled, coordinated, and defended the trade. Tin and charcoal were imported into Cyprus, where locally mined copper was mined and alloyed with the tin from Britain. Indicative of the seafaring trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, a shipwreck from about 1300 B.C. off the Turkish coast revealed a ship carrying a ton of copper ingots, several dozen small tin ingots, new bronze tools, scrap metal, and a blacksmith's forge and tools (along with luxury trade goods from Africa). It appears that the Bronze Age collapsed with the fall of Minoan Empire, to be replaced by a Dark Age and the eventual rise of the Iron Age Myceneans (on mainland Greece). Evidence suggests that the precipitating event might have been the eruption of Thera (Santorini) and the ensuing tsunami, which was only about 40 miles north of Crete, the capital of the Minoan empire. Some archaeologists argue that it was Santorini itself which was the capitol city of the Minoan World. However where Crete or Santorini, it is known that the bread-basket of the Minoan trading empire, the area north of the Black Sea lost population, and thereafter many Minoan colony/client-states lost large populations to extreme famines or pestilence. Inasmuch as the Minoans were the principals of the tin/copper shipping network throughout the Mediterranean, the Bronze Age trade network is believed to have failed. The end of the Bronze Age and the rise of the Iron Age is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population disruptions in the 12th century B.C. The end of the Bronze Age saw the emergence of new technologies and civilizations which included the large-scale production of iron (and limited scale production of steel). Although iron was in many respects much inferior to bronze (and steel was inefficiently produced in very limited quantities), iron had the advantage that it could be produced using local resources during the dark ages that followed the Minoan collapse, and was very inexpensive when compared to the cost of producing bronze. Bronze was still a superior metal, resisting both corrosion and metal fatigue better than iron. And bronze was still used during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades. Pliny the Elder, the famous first century Roman historian and naturalist, wrote about the reuse of scrap bronze and copper in Roman foundries, noting that the metals were recast as armor, weapons or articles for personal use, such as bronze mirrors. The melting and recasting foundries were located at the Italian port city of Brindisi. Located on the Adriatic coast, Brindisi was the terminus of the great Appian Way, the Roman road constructed to facilitate trade and military access throughout the Italian part of the Roman Empire. The city was the gateway for Roman penetration into the eastern parts of her empire (Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea Region, the Danubian Provinces, and eventually Mesopotamia). Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish

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