Possible Ring of Power Found in Ancient Roman Bath House

Possible Ring of Power Found in Ancient Roman Bath House

A group of archaeologists have discovered a third century Roman ring in Britain adorned with rare Christian markings.

One of my (and most every nerd's) lifelong dreams has been to find a ring of power. It's not like J.R.R. Tolkien made them look all that appealing or anything, but when finding one is the first step to embarking on an unfathomable adventure, you can perhaps understand why a youth like myself might be interested in digging a hole in my backyard and pulling out a shiny magic band of metal.

Sadly, I never found one ring to rule them all, but if a recent archaeological dig is any indicator, I might have just been looking in the wrong place. For instance, a group of archaeologists recently discovered a rare ring while exploring the ruins of an Roman bath house in north east Britain. While the bath house itself was "exceptionally" well preserved and interesting in its own right, the ring caught the attention of the excavation team thanks to an unexpected combination of markings and features that could point to third century origins for Christianity in the region.

"The intaglio shows two fish hanging from an anchor. This has clear Christian connotations," said Dr. David Petts. "It is found widely elsewhere in the Roman Empire, but this is only the second example from Britain; the other example coming from the colonia at York."

Current common belief is that Christianity became more prominent in early Britain following the 306 AD ascension of Emperor Constantine who was the first Roman ruler to allow the free practice of the religion within the confines of the empire. If the assumptions about this ring are true, it would predate that era substantially. Now granted, that's not quite the same as stumbling onto the Sauron's ring of power, but as far as discoveries go, it's pretty far from shabby.

Source: Culture24

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Sorry, I fail to see how the title is significantly related to the article in question. It's just a stone ring with markings, I don't know how you can claim "Ring of Power" from that.

I believe it means that it's a ring from someone of power, not that the ring itself is giving mystical powers. It still looks fairly cool for being an ancient ring.

So did they try the ring on?

Eh, that's taking quite a stretch with the title there.

OTOH, it's immediately obvious it is, so it's not the same clickbait created every so often.

A christian ring that predates Constantine is not the craziest thing in the world. Constantine's approval may have increased the religions spread in Rome, but it had been growing in popularity long beforehand.

when it says ring of power i thought it meant "A ring that could hold very prominent effects on what we know of the Romans"

JoJoDelight:
Sorry, I fail to see how the title is significantly related to the article in question. It's just a stone ring with markings, I don't know how you can claim "Ring of Power" from that.

Did you honestly think that someone had dug up a magical ring?

Just don't wear the thing around Vladimir Putin. And whatever you do. DO NOT let him hold the ring! He is the modern equivalent of Golum - once he has something, ring, country, whatever, he will NOT give it up. This is a cool looking ring though. I predict many a steampunk cosplayer are already making molds similar in design for their various costumes.

Oh wow, I can't wait to read about thi--

*sees it's not a Green Lantern ring*

Oh...never mind.

*walks away sadly*

Don't use misleading titles to get more people to click on your article.

It's hardly revolutionary - someone in Rome after Christianity spread there might have gone to visit relatives/friends in Britain and lost his ring, which isn't really the "sweep of Christianity through Britain in the third century". Regardless, that's a badass ring. I want one.

Arkynomicon:
Don't use misleading titles to get more people to click on your article.

Don't assume everyone is gullible enough to think there was an actual ring of power?

It's Marketing101. Make something look interesting to click on.

God damnit! I really wanted this to be some sort of Captain Planet magic ring shit(or in Roman myth at least). It would have made for a much more interesting find.

Translation : Roman intaglio ring found with christian design found in Hadrian's wall garrison.

marioandsonic:
Oh wow, I can't wait to read about thi--

*sees it's not a Green Lantern ring*

Oh...never mind.

*walks away sadly*

But it's red so....maybe a red lantern ring?

Loop Stricken:

JoJoDelight:
Sorry, I fail to see how the title is significantly related to the article in question. It's just a stone ring with markings, I don't know how you can claim "Ring of Power" from that.

Did you honestly think that someone had dug up a magical ring?

Magical? Clearly this is from an advanced civilisation who charged Christians with protecting the Earth. Now all we need is the battery and proper oath....

Arkynomicon:
Don't use misleading titles to get more people to click on your article.

Again I ask; did you honestly think that someone had dug up a magical ring?

Many of the Elite Roman families wore rings with the family insignia to demonstrate their power and status. This could easily be a symbol of a family that ran a successful shipping company (many Elite families has their own ships and ports) before any of those symbols meant anything to do with Christianity. Or it could be a visiting Christian relative that went to the baths and just forgot it and went home again.

They don't say what bath house it's from though. Many scholars debate whether the public bath houses were separated between men and women, families and influential and noble civilians. I mean, it could have been from a soldier in the common bath houses that found it one day out on the field and picked it up. Soldiers had notoriously bad pay, after all.

Arkynomicon:
Don't use misleading titles to get more people to click on your article.

Have you ever read a newspaper? That is how it works. Besides, the article was pretty interesting anyways.

I honestly thought it was going to be about a centurion's ring, given the fact that (at a quick glance) it looked a tad like an axe with sticks/bushels either side of it, and the connotations of the surrounded axe (What with it being a symbol of authority in Rome, prominent in fascism and still used in a few modern day police forces)

But the christianity thing may be a bit more interesting though.

Ring of Power? You're saying that the red color and glow of that ring's gem (along with the Christian symbols) made you think of The One Ring when it made me think of this or this?:

Zachary Amaranth:
Magical? Clearly this is from an advanced civilisation who charged Christians with protecting the Earth. Now all we need is the battery and proper oath....

In brightest day and darkest night,
let those who worship knowledge's light,
burn like his power, cuz' Jehovah is always right!

The Ditz:

Zachary Amaranth:
Magical? Clearly this is from an advanced civilisation who charged Christians with protecting the Earth. Now all we need is the battery and proper oath....

In brightest day and darkest night,
let those who worship knowledge's light,
burn like his power, cuz' Jehovah is always right!

I think you just earned an internet. XD.

As Jim Nabors might say... what an interesting ring.

Binchester is in North East England, not North East Britain. Big difference.

Voulan:
Many of the Elite Roman families wore rings with the family insignia to demonstrate their power and status. This could easily be a symbol of a family that ran a successful shipping company (many Elite families has their own ships and ports) before any of those symbols meant anything to do with Christianity.

Yeah, this is what I first thought as well. As a matter of fact, in my Early Christianity classes (I'm an archaeologist), our professor said that even though the fish is a symbol for Christianity, it is not always used in that context, especially prior to the 4th century. She explained that finding a fish as a symbol somewhere is not a certain indication that the object or the place in question is related to Christianity per se. It could be, but just spotting a fish and declaring the thing Christian is not good. There needs to be more evidence for this, because a fish is a very common symbol that pops up in a lot of places and has been popping up for a long time before and after Christianity became a thing.

But it would be very interesting if it really was an early Christian ring. I hope they manage to prove that somehow, but something so small and portable could have ended up there in a lot of ways (just like you said, someone could have been visiting them and lost the ring) and could have a lot of meanings.

An even more interesting turn of events would be if the ring indeed ends up being the Ring of Power. One can dream.

Keep it away from Timothy Dalton. It might be Rassilon's ring of immortality!

 

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