Memorabilia & Collectibles

Attic Capital Weekly Update

The Mysterious Roman Ring and Possible ‘Lord of the Rings’ Origin

I stumbled across an interesting Twitter thread recently. It’s a story of a Roman ring found in a plowed field and how it might have lead to the creation of maybe the greatest works of fantasy literature of all time.

You will need to read the complete thread found here, but back in 1785, the ring surfaced in a field near Silchester. In 1929, archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler connected the ring to a lead tablet found 80 miles from the ring location in Gloucestershire.

The tablet is inscribed by a man named “Silvianus,” who suspects a man named “Senicianus” stole his gold ring. Silvianus deposited the “curse tablet” and donated half the value of the ring to the temple. He hoped the gods would “permit no good health to Senicianus” for stealing his ring.

While working on the connection between the ring and the inscribed tablet, Mortimer Wheeler would contact J.R.R. Tolkien, Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, to help with the origins of the artifacts.

Not long after that, possibly inspired by the real-life Roman drama, Tolkien began working on his Middle-earth fantasy adventure series, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

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