Roman Silver Finger Ring Sacred to SILVANUS VIATOR
This is an ancient Roman silver finger ring, dating to the 3rd - 4th century A.D. It is inscribed with what appears to read SILVESCILVARIET with no formal stops or beginning. It appears to me, to be a dedicatory inscription to the god Silvanus Viator, known from Pannonia and Britain (see PDF here p. 158 and here). These rings are associated with the 'chtonic-psychopompic' aspect of the god Silvanus to protect the living (from vengeful spirits of the underworld), rather than a dedicatory ring for use in the afterlife. This example is heavily worn, demonstrating active wear for a long period of time (clearly the protective spell worked!). The inside band appears to have a crack, however, this is part of the formation of the band by folding and hammering. It has survived in good excavated condition, suitable for wear with care.
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 3rd - 4th century A.D.
RING SIZE: 12 1/2 (US) Z (UK)
SIZE: 26mm x 24mm x 8mm
WEIGHT: 8.97 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private collection Hertfordshire.