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

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Front Porch

EVENTS Health fairs A Senior Healthy Living Fair is set for noon… Continue reading

Cellphone carrier substation in Snohomish vandalized

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a… Continue reading

Most Read