The capricorn was described as a mythological sea goat, depicted with the horns and head of a goat and the torso of a fish. It was used by both the Greeks and Romans but was commonly associated with the tenth astrological sign in the Roman zodiac. The first emperor of Rome himself, Augustus, struck various coins bearing the image of the Capricorn, the sign under which he was born.
As in many ancient societies, jewellery was an important social marker used to demonstrate wealth. As a result of the expansion of the Roman Empire, Roman jewellery became more and more elaborate in its designs and materials used, such as precious and semi-precious gemstones, including carnelian. The most popular type of Roman jewellery were rings, as Romans of Imperial Times enjoyed to wear big rings, extravagantly decorated with cameos or engraved precious stones. Both men and women would have worn multiple rings on each finger, competing in vanity for the one having the bigger or heavier ring.
To find out more about intaglios, please visit our relevant blog post: Engraved Gemstones in Ancient Rome.