This finely-engraved ring representing a serpent comes from the area of Cnidos, on the western coast of Asia Minor, which was the site of rich Lacedemonian colonies.
It is difficult to give a precise age to this piece, but it probably dates from the "Classical Period", when the princes of Asia Minor rivalled in luxury and splendour.
The art of the 4th century reached its apogee in the Aphrodite of Cnidos by Praxiteles, the mausoleum of Halicarnassus -one of the seven Wonders of the world- and the figure of Demeter found at Cnidos. At the time, Alexander was only a child following the lessons of his tutor, Aristote. Soon he would lead the Greeks as far as the plains of India.
The work of this ring gives an idea of the refinement of the contemporaries of Demosthenes. It is believed that the serpent was interpreted as the soul of the deal coming out of their graves. More likely, its sinuous curves lent themselves to subtle decorative designs.
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