Ring that may have inspired Tolkien goes on show

LONDON — Could a Roman gold ring linked to a curse have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to create The One Ring?

Britain’s National Trust and the Tolkien Society are putting the artifact on display Tuesday for fans of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” to decide for themselves whether this was Tolkien’s precious ring of power.

Found in a field near a historic Roman town in southern England in 1785, the gold ring is inscribed in Latin, “Senicianus live well in God,” and inset with an image of the goddess Venus. It is larger than average, weights 12 grams, and is believed to date from the 4th century.

The ring is believed to be linked to a curse tablet found separately at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to a god named Nodens in Gloucestershire, western England. The tablet says a man called Silvianus had lost a ring, and it asks Nodens to place a curse of ill health on Senicianus until he returned it to the temple.

An archaeologist who looked into the connection between the ring and the curse tablet asked Tolkien, who was an Anglo-Saxon professor at Oxford University, to work on the etymology of the name Nodens in 1929.

The writer also visited the temple several times, and some believe he would have been aware of the existence of the Roman ring before he started writing “The Hobbit.”

“The influences most often cited for Tolkien’s creation of The One Ring usually take the form of literary or legendary rings,” said Lynn Forest-Hill, education officer for the Tolkien Society.

“It is, then, particularly fascinating to see the physical evidence of the (ring), with its links to Tolkien through the inscription associating it with a curse,” she said.

The gold ring is displayed at The Vyne, a historic mansion in southern England, starting Tuesday.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Vegas, LA, Phoenix, and more destinations from Paine Field

Alaska Airlines will fly to eight West Coast cities out of Everett starting this fall.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Marysville police send abandoned, unclaimed bikes to Zambia

“Out where we are, a bicycle is upward mobility,” said Kelly Huckaby, a missionary in Africa.

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Most Read