Genuine 18 Kt Gold Onyx Roman Intaglio Ring Depicting God Dionysus and a Winged Phallus
In this 18 kt gold ring is set an authentic Roman intaglio on onyx ( circa 1st cent.AD ) , which depicts the god Dionysus with a "mitra" on his head (a band used in Greek and Roman times to embellish one's hairstyle), a musical instrument in his hand (probably a "crotalum") and an erect winged phallus on the right. ( Finger size : 8.5 )
Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.
He is also knows as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans. Another name used by the Romans is Liber meaning “free”, due to his association with wine and the Bacchanalia and other rites, and the freedom associated with it. His thyrsus, sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey, is both a beneficent wand and a weapon used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents.
Phallic processions ( “Phallophoria” or “ phallika” in ancient Greece ), were a common feature of Dionysiac celebrations; they were processions that advanced to a cult center . The display of a fetishized phallus was a common feature. In a famous passage in chapter 4 of the Poetics, Aristotle formulated the hypothesis that the earliest forms of comedy originated and evolved from "those who lead off the phallic processions", which were still common in many towns at his time.
Phallic charms, often winged, were ubiquitous in Roman culture, appearing as objects of jewellery such as pendants and finger rings, relief carvings, lamps, and wind chimes (tintinnabula).Phallus was thought particularly to ward off evil from children, mainly boys, and from conquering generals. The protective function of the phallus is usually related to the virile and regenerative powers of an erect phallus, though in most cases the emotion, shame, or laughter created by obscenity is the power that diverts the evil eye.
The modern sensibility toward sexuality is markedly different from the one predominant during the Roman empire era. Thus, to understand and appreciate such artistic expressions from the classic epoch, it is important not to approach the subject of sexuality according to current cultural, moral and religious models. Depicting sexual and erotic situations was not “immoral” for the Romans, but rather an expression of joy and happiness (think of Pompei’s frescos!).
Our jewelry store, Serra Roma, proudly presents an exquisite collection that beautifully honors the ancient traditions of Greek and Roman civilizations. Each piece in our collection, including authentic ancient Roman and Greek coins and intaglios, is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, providing proof of its historical significance and origin.