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

gems

The Ptolemy is I think Ptolemy IX Lathyros

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