Courtesy of the British Museum

Portrait ring. The engraved female portrait on this ring from the mid-second century C.E. may depict the ring’s owner or the owner’s relative. Her hair is waved at the sides and knotted at the back of the head, a very common hairstyle for women in the Roman world. Beaded wire decorates the joins between the setting and the faceted hoop. At about four-tenths of an ounce, this ring is nearly five times heavier than the simple ring with knobs (see photo of basic ring). Some portraits of women and men on rings may have been of mistresses or lovers, a practice denounced by Clement.