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Personal Adornment in Roman Britain: Romano-British Fibulae — Alex Sorgo

For the Ancient Romans, putting on jewellery could confer status, narrative and protection beyond the decorative.

The same is true today: from the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring to the crosses worn by Christians all over the world, jewellery and adornment communicate powerful messages within society.

In this talk, Alex explores what adornment did for the Romans, in particular, those who lived under Roman rule in Britain in the 1st-4th centuries AD. In the spotlight are animal brooches found in Britain and dated to this period: horses, lions, panthers, ducks, hounds and hares among others.

These brooches are some of the most enigmatic pieces of Romano-British jewellery with little evidence to say why they were worn. To understand what wearing these brooches would have meant for their wearers, Alex investigates the powers of jewellery generally and the possibilities opened up by the specific iconography of these brooches. 

Photo: Photo: Red sunset at the Eyjafjallajökull by fridgeirsson

Presented at Churchill College, 16 May 2018.

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