Ring Inscribed with a Dedication to Hera (Goddess of Marriage)

Unknownabout 575 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

"Harriknidas dedicated [this] to the goddess white-armed Hera" declare the words on this simple, gold-plated silver ring. At first the ring was decorated only with two rows of small teeth between grooves running around its exterior. The inscription was a later addition. The wear on the ring shows that it was worn for a long time before the inscription was added and the ring was dedicated to Hera. The large diameter of the ring suggests that it was probably worn by a man. The way that Greek letters were written differed from city to city in the 500s B.C. The inscription on this ring is written in the script of Argos in southern Greece. Hera was the patron deity of Argos, and this ring probably came from her main sanctuary, called the Argive Heraion. Although Homer routinely called Hera "white-armed," this epithet is not known from the Argive Heraion. Rings were a favorite dedication at this sanctuary, however, where over six hundred have been found. This ring represents a rich gift to the goddess since almost all the other rings found were made of bronze.

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