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Ring, Roman, Men\'s, Infant Jupiter Riding Goat ca. 1st Cent BC


Ring, Roman, Men's, Infant Jupiter Riding Goat Amalthea, ca. 1st Cent BC

Copper alloy; 4.7gm, Ring size 10 1/4

Con/ dark bronze patina, wearable, this man's ring needs a happy finger.

Seller's Note/ In the photo, the engraved image of the infant Jupiter, on a raised three tiered bezel, can be clearly seen in the photo. Whether is was used as a personal signet used to seal letters and documents is moot.

Just in case your not familiar with Greek/Roman mythology, Amalthea was the she-goat nurse of the god Zeus (Roman Jupiter) who nourished him with milk in a cave on Mount Dikte (Dicte) in Krete (Crete). When the god reached maturity he created his thunder-shield (the aigis) from her hide and the horn of plenty (cornucopia or keras amaltheias) from her crown. According to some Amaltheia was a nymph rather than a goat. Amaltheia was placed amongst the stars as the constellation Capra--the stellar group surrounding Capella on the arm (ôlenê) of the Auriga the Charioteer. The "goat on the arm" no doubt represented the stormy aigis-shield of Zeus which in classical art was sometimes depicted as a tasselled hide slung across his arm. The rising of Capella marked the onset of stormy weather for the Greeks. The word aigis means both "stormy weather" and "goat-skin" in ancient Greek which explains the close connection between the two in myth.

We've seen the same image on Greek/Roman coins but never on a ring! Extremely rare.