This is a nice ancient Roman silver finger ring, dating to the 3rd century A.D. The ring is of a Henig Type XI, with a bezel inscribed with the letters "TOT". The letter 'T's are serifed and the letter 'o' in oval. The letters ToT are an abbreviation for the god-name Totatis (also spelt Toutatis or Teutates). Totatis was one of the principal deities in Gaul and Britain, one of three Gaulish gods mentioned by the Roman poet Lucan in the 1st century AD, alongside Esus and Taranis. Several epigraphic inscriptions have been found, for example the one at Cumberland Quarries, dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and Mars Toutatis.
Finger rings marked 'TOT' are sometimes found in eastern Britain. The distribution of these rings corresponds generally with the territory of the Corieltauvi tribe. In 2005 a silver ring inscribed DEO TOTA ("to the god Tot[atis]") and '[VTERE] FELIX' ([use this ring] happily") was discovered at Hockliffe, Bedfordshire, which supports the idea that the inscription TOT did refer to the god Toutatis. Many of these rings are known from the East Midlands, especially in Lincolnshire where the deity appears to have had a large following.
See also Cf. Daubney, A. (2010) 'The cult of Totatis: evidence for tribal identity in Roman Britain' in Worrell, S., Egan, G., Naylor, J., Leahy, K. and Lewis, M. (Eds) A Decade of Discovery: proceedings of the Portable Antiquities Scheme conference 2007, BAR British Series 520
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 3rd century A.D.
MATERIAL: Silver / debased
RING SIZE: 9 1/4 (US) S 1/4 (UK)
SIZE: 21mm x 23mm x 5mm (bezel 20mm x 15mm x 2mm)
WEIGHT: 6 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private collection, East Riding of Yorkshire
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