Finger Ring with the Ambush of Achilles (Front)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

An intricate scene decorates the bezel of this Etruscan ring. Two men approach a fountain where water gushes into a vessel from a lion's head spout. Behind the fountain, a man squats as if hiding, holding a sword. These details identify the scene as a standard depiction of the ambush of Troilos, prince of Troy, by the Greek hero Achilles during the Trojan War. On this ring, however, a strange dog-headed creature, who is not part of the Troilos myth, sits atop the fountain. The creature may actually be jackal-headed and thus meant to recall the Egyptian god Anubis.

All Greek and Etruscan metal rings with engraved bezels ultimately derive from Egyptian and Phoenician cartouche-shaped rings. The cartouche-shaped ring was especially popular in Etruria in the later 500s B.C., where immigrant Greek goldsmiths from Ionia introduced it. The style of the figures is very similar to those on objects in other media produced by these Ionian immigrant artists.


  • Title: Finger Ring with the Ambush of Achilles (Front)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 550–500 B.C.
  • Location Created: Etruria
  • Physical Dimensions: 2.1 × 1 cm (13/16 × 3/8 in.)
  • Type: Ring
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Hoop: gold-plated silver; bezel: gold
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 85.AM.271
  • Culture: Etruscan
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Jewelry

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