Figural padlocks, such as this beautiful example, are interesting items of the Roman everyday life, displaying the great skills of Roman bronze craftsmanship. Padlocks of this type are believed to have originated from North-East Italy, then spread to other areas such as Britannia and Germania. Unlike this rare example, the moulded bronze faces used to decorate figural padlocks were usually stereotyped, following the same features such as straight hair, usually combed straight down and worn in bangs.
In Ancient Roman mythology Mars was primarily the god of war. He was especially important to the Romans because he was regarded as the mythical father of the founder and first king of Rome, Romulus. He was associated with the Greek god, Ares (Ἄρης). However, whilst his Greek counterpart was often viewed unfavourably, Mars was a figure of military power for securing peace and a father figure of the people.
To find out more about Roman gods, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Gods in Mythology.