Consider giving the gift of Roman-inspired jewelry, this Valentine's Day!
These simple and elegant post earrings are based on one of the most popular ornamental motifs in ancient art - across cultures! The rosette is a round, stylized flower design, with flattened petals surrounding a central flower head. It was used as a decorative motif by the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete and the Aegean in the Bronze Age, the later Greek world, Etruria and Rome. Indeed, there may be no more recognizable ancient decorative motif than the rosette! Our earrings are based on ancient Greek bead ornaments dating to the fourth or third century BC.
"Junia" was a common name in Roman times, the female patronymic form of the name Junius. The gens Junia was one of the most prominent and famous patrician families of ancient Rome, going back, it is said, all the way to the earliest period in Rome's history, the Monarchy. There were several branches of the family, who produced many magistrates and men of senatorial rank. The family's power really swelled in the period of the Republic; staunch Republicans, you might say, their power was curtailed harshly with the onset of empire.
For one famous Junia lived at the end of the Republic, and was tied not only to many of Rome's most famous and powerful men (she was the niece of Cato), but specifically to the assassins of Julius Caesar! Junia Tertia (c. 75 BC - AD 22), the daughter of Decimus Junius Silanus and his wife Servilla, was the sister of Marcus Junius Brutus (yes, that Brutus), and was married to Gaius Cassius Longinus (yes, that Cassius) - two of the leaders in the plot to assassinate Caesar.
Though seeing to the death of her brother and husband, after Caesar's death, the first emperor Augustus left Junia alone, and she died of old age, quite a wealthy and influential woman. So strong was she, it is said, that in her will she named many prominent men, but omitted the emperor of Rome, Augustus' step-son, Tiberius. Tiberius reacted graciously, in any case, and allowed for her the customary funerary honors. From Tacitus, we hear that in Junia's funerary procession, "the busts of 20 most illustrious families were borne," attesting to the incredible status of Junia herself, and her family (Annals, III.76).
Our earrings are available in Sterling Silver for $45, and in 18 Karat Gold Over Sterling Silver for $75.
Overall height/diameter: 8 mm (.3 in)
Thickness of rosette: 2 mm (.08 in)
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