Ancient Greek Men’ s Rings and Myths

Μen’s rings in the ancient Greek world have always been a great inspiration to us! After all, men wearing rings is manly and chic! Men who decide to wear a ring have an interesting story to say about who they are. It is always eye catching to see a man wear a ring regardless his age or style..

Hercules Ring, SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry Shop

This powerful ring features Hercules, depicted in one of his labors. The theme is micro-sculptured on black background of light-cured porcelain closing in on 925 silver and covered with 18 carat gold leaf.

From  the earliest period of every ancient civilization until today, for a man to wear a ring is  a way to communicate with other people in an different level. A ring says something about the character and status of a person from the ancient times until today. It is something like his signature, personal!

Rings and Myths…

This ring wearing custom was incorporated in Greek mythology through the Prometheus myth: Prometheus, despite being doomed by Zeus to be chained for 30,000 years to a rock in the Caucasus mountain for stealing fire from heaven for men, was finally released in a later act of divine mercy. But, because the original punishment could not be undone, he was ordered to wear a link of his iron chain on one of his fingers as a ring, which was “ornamented” with a stone, fragment from the rock. So, the Greeks considered the ring wearing custom as paying  homage to Prometheus, while it’s interesting to note that the Spartans -more respectful to the myth- were exclusively using iron to craft them.

Mens Rings in Ancient Greece, Archer ring, SilverTownArt wordpress

A wonderful signet ring depicting an archer, 5thcentury BC

The first Greek men’s rings were mostly used as seals by the king or men of the royal court. Soon their use for highlighting prestige and authority was recognised. Yet, the rise of democracy spread their wearing in men of all social activities. Public officials, generals, even philosophers started wearing rings as a sign of both power and pride. Gradually, it became a necessary accessory of the sovereign citizen of the Greek city.

Another purpose that was fulfilled with this custom, was the memory of a happy or prideful event. Odysseus is mentioned to have ordered a ring engraved with a dolphin to celebrate the rescue of his son, Telemachus, by one of these -beloved by the Greek world -creatures of the sea. Victories in the Olympic Games or on the battlefield also became favourite themes that were engraved on Greek men’s rings.

Mens rings in Ancient Greece, Hermes ring,SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry WordPress

A golden ring from Taranto depicting the God Hermes in great detail, 4th century BC

Moreover, due to their widespread use, the art of crafting rings bloomed in the wealthiest of the ancient Greek cities.

Mens Rings in Ancient Greece, Griffin ring, SilverTownArt wordpress

Mythological creatures often featured in ancient greek rings. A griffin is depicted here in this 16mm diameter ring.

 The ancient Greek rings were made of various materials, such as gold, silver, iron, ivory, and amber. Additional themes were inspired by Greek mythology, religion and nature. Today, we are inspired by these ancient themes  and create unique, extraordinary rings that definately make a statement.

Thanks for reading,

The Team@SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry Shop

About SilverTownArt

We are a small team of jewelry designers living and working in Greece. We produce unique, statement creations only by hand using the finest materials and fusing contemporary and tradiotional techniques that have a special cultural meaning for the Greek Jewelry heritage. We would like to welcome you to our blog and social media pages and invite you to see our work at our Etsy Shop!
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