GOLD RING WITH PERSONIFICATION OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Early Byzantine, c. 500-600 AD
Circumference 57.65 mm.; weight 19.6 gr.; US size 8.25; UK size Q ½
The hoop of this large ring has a triangular cross section. Its bezel is in the shape of a flower calyx with thirteen petals, raised by a triple-tiered round plate. Engraved on the uppermost plate is a frontal female figure sitting on a chair with footrest and wearing a long-sleeved garment, closed at the breast with a round brooch. She holds a long scepter in her right hand and a cornucopia in her left arm. She wears a mural crown, and below her left hand a shield stands upright on the floor. The attributes – mural crown, scepter, and cornucopia – known from the reverse of coins since the fourth century confirm the identity of this figure as the personified tyche (deity of fortune) of the city Constantinople.