GOLD RING WITH ENGRAVED WARRIOR SAINT (GEORGE?) AND INSCRIPTION
Early Byzantine, c. 550-650 AD
Circumference 54.82 mm.; weight 3.5 gr.; US size 7.25; UK size O ½
The hoop of this ring is a hammered cylindrical rod flattened beneath the bezel and attached to its center. The eight-foiled bezel is engraved with the frontal figure of a warrior saint, a halo appearing above his curly hair, and in military dress, wearing chlamys and a short, girded chiton, while he holds a spear in his right hand and a shield in his left hand. Around the slightly worn perimeter eleven letters read +Κ. VΡΙΕ. ΒΟΗΘΙ., or “Lord help.” Though no name is given, the ring most likely depicts Saint George, known as the “holy martyr,” one of Byzantium’s most popular warrior saints.