The symbolic importance of portrait gems

Ptolemy abandoned his alliance with Rome, out of fear for the outcome of the war, but furnished Lucullus with ships to convoy him as far as Cyprus, embraced him graciously at parting, and offered him a costly emerald set in gold. At first Lucullus declined to accept it, but when the king showed him that the engraving on it was a likeness of himself, he was afraid to reject it, lest he be thought to have sailed away at utter enmity with the king, and so have some plot laid against him on the voyage.

Plut. Luc. 3


The Ptolemy is I think Ptolemy IX Lathyros

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s