Roman Jewelry

  • Era/Century: Antique
  • Dating: late 3rd - early 2nd century B.C.
  • Material: gold, silver, semiprecious stone
  • Technique: casting, incising, polishing
  • Dimensions: length 10.5-10.7 cm
  • Diameter: 2,2-7,8 cm
  • ID Number: АА 1007, 1008, 1010, 1011, 1762, 1763, 1779, 3458
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: No

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The forms, workmanship and designs of the jewelry found in Singidunum fit into the general picture of the Roman jewelry which followed Greek and Oriental models. The explorations carried out so far have not yielded evidence of the existence of a jewelry-making workshop in Singidunum.

It is nevertheless possible that some simple objects of adornment, fashioned of cheaper materials, were made in the town itself. Pieces of jewelry have been commonly found in graves, and include rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, pendants, hairpins and fibulae. Regardless of the kind of material which they are made from and the type they belong to, finds of jewelry become more common only in the 3rd and 4th centuries. There are no objects of adornment, apart from fibulae, from the 1st and 2nd centuries, for republican austerity survived into the early Empire and the use of jewelry was prohibited by law.

Luxurious gold jewelry, such as this, was brought to Singidunum from western or eastern workshops, but some of it can be associated with a Pannonian production centre. Jewelry is an indicator not only of an individual's social and economic status, but also of the wealth of the society as a whole. It showed whether a Roman citizen was a patrician, whether he enjoyed the Emperor's favour, whether he was married or engaged, etc. Jewelry might also be awarded as a sign of recognition. Soldiers were given bracelets, torques and fibulae as official rewards.

Published in Antiquity


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