Hispania Bulla


This piece is to be worn around the neck on a chain or necklace of your choice. It is inspired by a Roman bulla of the early first century AD from the Roman city of Ostia. This pendant may be purchased along with one of our 20" Italian gold or silver chains, here.

The bulla was a very Roman ornament, both a symbol of Roman citizenship and an amulet to ward off the evil eye and protect vulnerable children. A bulla was a type of pouch, often containing protective amulets, that was made of cloth, leather or metal (especially gold), and was worn around the neck with a string or metal chain. Roman boys wore the bulla from just days after their birth until the ceremony at which they received their "toga virilis," or their toga of manhood, at 14 years of age. Literary passages suggest that it was fathers who gave these amulets to their children. Cicero, for example, speaks of the bulla of a young boy as the "ornament of childhood which his father had given him, the proof and sign of his good fortune...." - Verres, 2.1.152

Evidence also suggests that Roman girls had the same prerogative, and that they, too, wore the bulla. The young Palaestra, for example, recounts a list of her belongings, in the play "The Fisherman's Rope," by Plautus: "There's also a golden drop [the bulla] which my father presented to me upon my birthday." - Rudens 4

"Hispania" was the Roman province of the area that we would today call Spain. It was one of the first of the Roman provinces, and would remain one of the most important. Its exports included grain, oil, gold, wool and wine, as well as emperors! Two of Rome's best emperors, Trajan (r. AD 98 - 117) and Hadrian (r. AD 117 - 138), were from Hispania.

Bulla Details

Diameter of dome: 3 cm (1.2 in)

Overall height: 3.8 cm (1.5 in)

The bulla is concave.

Available Precious Metals and Prices

925 Sterling Silver: $185

18 Karat Gold Over Sterling Silver: $265

14 Karat Gold: $1,445

18 Karat Gold: $1,985

Gold or Metal Type