Marshall, Frederick Henry. Catalogue of the Jewellery, Greek, Etruscan and Roman, in the Departments of Antiquities, British Museum. London: British Museum, 1911.
Rudolph, Wolf. A Golden Legacy: Ancient Jewelry from the Burton Y. Berry Collection. Indiana: Indiana University Art Museum, 1995. Catalogue of the traveling exhibition organized by the Indiana University Art Museum, between 1994 and 1995. ISBN 0253209137.
On Roman jewellery, see especially pp.219-223.
King, Anthony and Martin Henig. The Roman West in the Third Century: contributions from archaeology and history. British Archaeological Reports, International Series, 109. Oxford: 1981. ISSN 01433067.
Includes an article by Martin Henig on third-century Roman jewellery.
Ogden, Jack. Jewellery of the Ancient World. London: Trefoil, 1982. ISBN 0862940087.
Stout, Ann M. Jewelry as a Symbol of Status in the Roman Empire. In : Judith Lynn Sebesta and Larissa Bonfante, eds The World of Roman Costume. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994. pp.77-100. ISBN 100299138542.
Deppert-Lippitz, Barbara. Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art.Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1996. ISBN 0936227192.
For Roman jewellery in particular, see pp.107-9.
Smith, William, ed. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 3 vols. London: John Murray, 1976. Vol. III, 'Tyche'.
Grimal, Pierre. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, transl. A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop. Oxford: Blackwell, 1986.
Figure of the goddess Fortuna or Tyche. Gold, Eastern Roman Empire, 1st or 2nd century CE
Height: 2.1 cm, Width: 0.9 cm, Depth: 0.6 cm
This small cast figure is identifiable as the Roman personification of Fortuna (or Tyche, in Greek culture) from the horn of plenty which she holds in one hand. Her other hand, now broken away, almost certainly held a rudder, symbolic of her role as the divinity who guided and conducted the affairs of the world. A complete figure of similar size, carrying a horn of plenty and a rudder, is in the British Museum's collections of Antique Jewellery, where it is identified as Roman and dated from between the 2nd century BCE and the end of the 4th century CE. (See Marshall, Catalogue of the Jewellery, no.3014 and plate LXIX.)
The figure was probably one of a pair, each originally attached to an earring. Surviving examples of Ancient Greek jewellery include similar cast figures dangling from disc-shaped earrings (see for example the images in Wolf Rudolph, ed., A Golden Legacy, 28.B.1-2 (pp.132-3); I am grateful to Martin Henig for his suggestion, in correspondance, that this figure was originally attached to an earring).
By the time this pendant was made, Rome had already been established as the dominant military and political force across the Mediterranean for two centuries. Some Greek goldsmiths had moved to Rome, but most jewellery that circulated in the Roman Empire continued to be made locally, in different regions. Greek motifs, therefore, continued to circulate. Although rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches were worn by wealthy Romans, they were less inclined than their Greek predecessors to display their status by way of gold jewellery, as such ostentation went against contemporary notions of virtue and decorum.
This small gold pendant was identified as Greek when it was purchased by the Museum from the Webb Collection, along with other examples of Ancient Greek, Etruscan and Roman jewellery.
Historical significance: This cast gold pendant, probably from an earring, shows the continuing influence of Greek (Hellenistic) jewellery types on Roman examples.
This small gold figure of a woman carrying a horn of plenty represents Tyche (to the Ancient Greeks) or Fortuna (to the Ancient Romans), and is a personification of chance or luck. She probably held a rudder (symbolic of her role as the divinity who guided and conducted the affairs of the world) in her other hand, now missing. The figure was probably made in the Eastern Roman Empire, in the 1st or 2nd centuries of the Christian Era, and was probably one of a pair, each worn suspended from an earring. Its form and function recall Ancient Greek models. Although rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches were worn by wealthy Romans, they were less inclined than their Greek predecessors to display their status by way of gold jewellery, as such ostentation went against contemporary notions of virtue and decorum.