The next three topics

The Vyne Ring or the Ring of Silvianus is a gold ring, dating probably from the 4th century, discovered in a ploughed field near Silchester, in Hampshire, England, in 1785. Originally the property of a British Roman called Silvianus, it was apparently stolen by a person named Senicianus, upon whom Silvianus called down a curse.

After its discovery in the 18th century, the ring became the property of the Chute family, whose country house was The Vyne, also in Hampshire, now a National Trust property. The ring went on display there in April 2013.

In 1929, during excavations of the site of the Roman temple of Nodens at Lydney Park, the archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler discovered details of the curse. As Wheeler consulted with J. R. R. Tolkien on the name of the god invoked in the curse, the ring and curse may have inspired the One Ring in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The norovirus hit me about a month ago and I've been as sick as the proverbial ever since, with only an occasional respite. As I've been okay since yesterday, I've determined to start writing again about my studies.

I've created three blank pages in the website, with these headings:


Colossal statue of Antinous as Dionysos-Osiris (ivy crown, head band, cistus and pine cone). Marble, Roman.
The reign of Hadrian, with its cult of Antinous intrigues me for a number of reasons: it sits between the period of obvious, explicit Chrestianity in the 1st century, and the appearance of explicitly-Chrestian archaeology in Phrygia during the third; the books which became the New Testament are - and have to be - post-Hadrian; his British Limes are an essential part of his Romanisation policy; I regard the Antinous cult as an extension of the same policy, along with his violently anti-Jewish strategy.

I must also look at the archaeology of classical Antiquity claimed later and still regarded as Christian. None of it is Christian, so what is it?

In a similar vein, Christianity forbade Egyptians from continuing their tradition of mummification; so to what faith do mummies classified by archaeologists as Christian actually belong and what more may we learn from them and their lives?

These are some of the topics which have swirled around my fevered head during the last month, begging to be let out into the world; now I can work on them, I just hope there will be no regrets.

Share this: