- Frederick Norman Pryce
- and Michael Vickers
Rings were used in Minoan and Mycenaean times (see minoan and mycenaean civilization) both as signets and as ornaments. They are not mentioned in *Homer and are rarely found in early iron age deposits. From the early 6th cent. bce they were in regular use as signets. The practice of wearing rings as ornaments is rare before the 4th cent. and reaches its height under the Roman Empire. Collections of rings are mentioned at this period. Rings also had special uses at Rome: the gold ring as a military decoration and as a mark of rank, originally limited to nobiles (see nobilitas) and *equites, extended under the empire to denote ingenuitas; and the betrothal ring, first of iron, later of gold (apparently unknown in Greece).
- Greek Material Culture: Bronze Age