The term intaglio refers to a small image that has been engraved into a gemstone and usually set in a piece of jewellery, most commonly a ring. Such artistic form has its origin in Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, with the appearance of cylinder and stamp seals, whereby decorations and patterns were engraved into soft stones. During the Hellenistic period and the early Roman Empire, the art of intaglio reached its apogee, with there being a steady decline in craftsmanship in late Imperial Rome, until a revival of interest with the Byzantine and during the Renaissance.
Mars, also known as the Greek god Ares, was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was the son of Jupiter and Juno and was a very important deity. He later became the protector of Rome during the many wars, festivals were thrown in his honour at the end of military and agricultural seasons. Even though he was known to be argumentative and unpopular among the gods, he was deeply respected by men, especially soldiers. He was also known to have fathered Romulus and Remus, the two brothers that founded Rome.