Romans had wee little fingers

1st century BC-1st century AD roman legionaires ring.

1st century BC-1st century AD roman legionaires ring.

Here we have a 100BC-100AD bronze Greco-Roman ring. It was discovered in Macedonia, near an ancient roman settlement. It depicts a lightning bolt, a stalk of wheat, and some other symbol on the left. The lightning bolt being the symbol of Zeus, the stalk of wheat, and the location it was found, suggests that it was probably worn by a Roman Legionaire. In the Roman Army, a soldier’s actual salary was very low, but 4 times per year they’d get a bonus called a “Donative” that was greater than their salary. Additionally, once per year, they would receive an allowance of grain, called an “Annona”. In those days, joining the legion was the way to become a Roman Citizen, and get some land of your own. While the soldier was off fighting wars, and defending Rome, their families would grow crops on their land with the annual allowance. It would have been a very significant portion of a Legionaire’s overall pay. Without it, their families starved. It’s not hard to imagine a soldier doing the same kinds of things people do today to remind themselves of their loved ones back home, or to remind themselves of what was important to them. God, Family, and Country would probably be at the top of most soldier’s list today. It seems that ancient Romans were probably no different.

Interesting anecdote/factoid, it seems Romans had damned tiny fingers. I’m not exactly a sausage-mitted John Madden, I don’t think I have particularly large fingers, but almost every roman ring I tried on would only fit my pinky finger. I’ve always sorta heard that people were much smaller/shorter in the past. I guess it’s true.

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