In Roman times, both women and men wore jewelry, especially, amulets and pendants made of gold, silver or bronze.
Roman Pendants and Amulets
Who does not like jewelry as a gift? On the following pages you can endulge in our range of gems and decorative items. Unlike products from the high street, all our pieces are hand made and unique – hence, the images are only approximative, as each piece is singular!
Aesthetics, that works!
Right from the beginning of human history we know of amulets and pendants. They indicate the social standing in the hierarchy of a society, in a faith community, or demonstrate power and wealth, because not everyone could afford such expensive materials and pay the artists of delicate jewelry. An artfully crafted, aesthetically refined object was the product of a continuous development of craftsmanship and already advanced techniques in antiquity.
A Phallus for Happiness
In ancient times, the phallus was considered to be a symbol for good luck. For example, the bronze phallus, found in Pompeii, impresses with its simple beauty. A naked woman, riding on the floating phallus dropps fragrance or oil from a small bottle. What might look to some people today as a little offensive, was loved by the Romans as expression of nature. A phallus was far from obscene, and only asceticism, introduced by Platonists and Christians obscured the old symbolism with sin and guilt. Representations of riding women can also be found on so-called tintinabuli, Roman door bells, which were a symbol of fertility and prosperity. Some examples can be seen in the museums of Trier in Germany or Naples, Italy
Casts of shield limpets (pelta) were used as pendants during the Roman Empire and became extremely popular as jewelry, as can be seen from numerous finds in the Roman provinces. In its typical form, the Pelta reminds of a crescent or a small epsilon. It is usually made in a semicircle of two concave sides and comes in a great variety of shapes. Especially in the military context, the pelta is found on belt buckles and fittings, as clasps or as pendants in military camps of the famous Roman border of the Limes. Its name derives from the Roman name for the crescent shield, the so-called "shield of the Amazons". The pelta pendant in bronze and silver are known for their simple beauty worn on an unobtrusive leather strap.
Both women and men also loved the counter form to the pelta, namely the Crescent Luna. It has a sensual look and is called "Luna" according to the Roman Moon Goddess Luna. It conveyes Luna’s special powers to protect children and women against evil forces. As the goddess is also the symbol of feminine strength and identity, the pendants were loved as symbols for intuition, creativity and sensuality.
Why not explore the world of Roman amulets and pendants with us, and discover its rich symbolism.