Tuesday, November 24, 2015

1,700-Year-Old Ring Depicts Nude Cupid, the Homewrecking God

An intricately carved gold ring containing a stone engraved with an image of Cupid — a god associated with erotic love — has been discovered near the village of Tangley in the United Kingdom.

In the engraving, Cupid (also known by his Greek name, "Eros") is shown standing completely nude while holding a torch with one hand. The ring dates back around 1,700 years, to a time when the Roman Empirecontrolled England. The ring was discovered by an amateur metal detectorist. Researchers who studied it say that it may have been worn by a man or a woman and is engraved with spiral designs that contain bead-shaped spheres.

The image of Cupid is engraved on a stone made of nicolo, a type of onyx that is dark at the base and bluish at the top. The image on the stone "depicts a standing naked adolescent with crossed legs, leaning on a short spiral column; the short wings which sprout from his shoulders identify him as Cupid," Sally Worrell, national finds adviser with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and John Pearce, senior lecturer in archaeology at King's College London, wrote in an article published recently in the journal Britannia. [6 Most Tragic Love Stories in History]

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