We have read and seen numerous stories of people engaged in normal, mundane activities such as walking or working that find themselves discovering something of great value. These discoveries aren’t only valuable because of the possible financial gain but also because they contain great history. Some have good stories behind them, while other ancient artifacts possess a cursed history.
Back in 1785 in Hampshire, England, a country farmer was just plowing his field hoping to get everything done for planting. As the day wore on and he was now on his last row, the farmer felt that his plow hit something buried in the ground.
He picked it up and realized it was a golden ring, more specifically a signet. It was larger than most rings and it weighed about four ounces that looked as if it was meant to be worn over a glove. Inside the ring, an image of a beautiful woman was carved.
There were Latin words engraved on the band and the farmer struggled to figure out what all of it meant. What it said was: “Seniciane Vivas Iin De” which roughly translated to “Live in God,” quite a common phrase for Roman Catholics. But what he didn’t know was that the ring had a lot more history than what he expected.
It involved a man named Silvianus, a healing god named Nodens, a robbery, and another man named Senicianus. Silvianus, the real owner of the ring was so angry at the thief that stole his ring that he cursed the robber. Then they found a cursed tablet near the Roman temple of Nodens with an inscription that read:
“For the god Nodens. Silvianus has lost a ring and has donated one half it’s worth to Nodens. Among those named Senicianus permit no good health until it is returned to the temple of Nodens.”
An ambitious archaeologist named Mortimer Wheeler allegedly wanted to fully investigate the story years after and went to some of his friends at Oxford for help. One of Wheeler’s friends was a man named J.R.R Tolkien that knew a thing or two about the god Nodens. Although this story has not been confirmed, it would be nice to think that this is the inspiration Tolkien received to start writing a book about a cursed, golden ring.
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