Exhibitions/ Art Object

Octagonal Marriage Ring

7th century
Made in Constantinople (?)
Gold and niello
Diam: 7/8 in. (2.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. (BZ.1947.15)
Not on view
Jerusalem is a holy site for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For Christians, it is revered as the site of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Since the fourth century, when Emperor Constantine I erected the Holy Sepulchre over Christ’s tomb, Christian pilgrims have thronged there, often acquiring memorials of their visit.
The bride and the groom on the face of the ring are identified in the inscription on the bezel: "Lord, help thy servants Peter and Theodote." On the band, events associated with sites in
the Holy Land evoke prayers for protection.
Inscription: [in Greek, on bezel:] Harmony; [around edge of bezel:] Lord, help thy servants, Peter and
Theodote; [around edges of the band:] Peace I leave with you / My peace I give to you [John 14:27]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.