his fortune. Thereupon, in his dream, he saw himself arrayed in splendid raiment and wearing sixteen rings on his fingers.94
Of the affectations practiced in ring wearing by some nouveau-riches foreigners
in Roman times, Juvenal says : When one sees an Egyptian plebeian, not
long before a slave in Canopus, carelessly throwing back over his
shoulder a mantle of Tyrian purple, and seeking to cool his perspiring
fingers by wearing summer-rings of openwork gold, as he cannot bear the
weight of gemmed rings, how can one fail to write it down in a satire? 9S
to judge from the weight and size of some of the rings that have been
preserved from ancient times, this practice was not quite so foolish as
it may seem, for in the moist heat of the dog-day in Rome such heavy
rings may well have been a burden. With the Roman ladies rings bearing
images of the animals worshipped by the Egyptians came into fashion in
Imperial times, favored no doubt by the enthusiastic worship of Isis
and Serapis. Such rings are said to have been worn almost exclusively
by women up to the reign of Vespasian, when men began to wear them also.96
ancient Rome it was not unusual for the admirer of a philosopher or a
poet to wear his portrait engraved on a ring-stone. One of the elegies
of Ovid97 (b. 43 B.c.), written during his banishment from
Rome, by order of Augustus, alludes feelingly to this custom. The poem
is addressed to a faithful friend, who wears the poet's portrait in his
ring, and Ovid says : " In casting
94 Luciani, " Opera Omnia," Paris, 1615, p. 712.
95 Juvenal Sat. 1,11, 26-30.
98 Schaumi, " De annulis," Francofurti, 1620, cap. iv. 97 Tristia, Lib. i, el. vii.