necklace. In Homer the words ὅρμος
are both employed for
ornaments worn round the neck. It seems probable that the meanings of the
two words are to be distinguished in the following manner:--The ἴσθμιον
was an ornament fitting close round the
neck in the manner of a tore, and without any pendants: the ὅρμος,
on the other hand, was sometimes of
great length (ἐννεάπηχυς,
Hymn. in Apoll.
105), and hung loosely down, so as to be seen
on the breast (Hymn. in Venerem,
90). This distinction is
stated by the Scholiast on Hom. Od. 18.300
ἴσθμιον οὖν περιτραχήλιον κόσμον
περιπεπλεγμένον, οὐ μέντοι κοσμήματά τινα, καὶ ἄλλως . . . .
διαφέρείτοῦ ὅρμου. τὸ μὲν γὰρ προσέχεται τῷ τραχήλῳ, ὁ δὲ
The Homeric ὅρμος
is described as made of
gold and amber (Od. 15.460
); of golden threads (Hymn. in
104), and (apparently) of gold inlaid work (καλοὶ χρύσειοι παμπθίκιλοι,
Hymn. in Ven.
88). Specimens of work in gold and amber are
quoted by Helbig (Das homerische Epos aus den Denkmälern
p. 183), who should be consulted on the [p. 2.179]
whole question of the Homeric ornament. The
British Museum possesses necklaces from Praeneste of gold and amber, or
silver and amber.
The necklace was worn by both sexes, among the most polished of those nations
which the Greeks called barbarous, especially the Indians, the Egyptians,
the Persians, and the Etruscans. [ARMILLA
] Among the Greeks and Romans, it was worn by women, boys,
and effeminate persons (Anacreon, apud
; Quint. Inst. 2.1
; Ovid. Met.
9, 57). It is particularly mentioned among the
bridal ornaments of Roman females (Lucan 2.361
Claud. de VI. Cons. Honor.
The simplest kind of necklace was the monile
or bead necklace (Verg. A.
; Lamprid. Alex. Sev.
41), which consisted of
berries, small spheres of glass, gold, amber, crystal, &c., strung
together. This is very commonly shown in ancient frescoes and
vase-paintings. (See cut under ARMILLA
) The head of Athene under GALEA exhibits a frequent
modification of the bead necklace, a row of drops hanging below the beads.
These drops, when worn, arrange themselves upon the neck like rays
proceeding from a centre (monilia radiata
The first figure in the cut on the next column exhibits the central portion
of an exquisitely wrought necklace which was found at S. Agata dei Goti
(Saticola) near Naples, in the sepulchre of a Greek lady. The necklace has
seventy-one pendants. Above them is a band consisting of several rows of the
close chain-work which we now call Venetian. [CATENA
] The clasps, on each of which is a frog in
relief, were set with rubies (see Mus. Borbonico,
xiv.; Overbeck, Pompej,
We also give here the central portions, exhibiting the patterns, of three
gold necklaces purchased from the Prince of Canino for the
British Museum. These were found in Etruscan tombs. The ornaments consist of
disks, lozenges, rosettes, ivy-leaves, lotus buds, and hippocampi.
Among the most masterly productions of the, Greek goldsmith, are certain
necklaces from the. Castellani Collection, now in the British Museum.
(Consult also Compte-rendu de la Comm. Arch. Imp.
ii., 1869, pl. i.; Antiquités du Bosphore
pl. ix.-xii.; Fontenay, Les Bijoux
anciens et modernes,
The necklace appears sometimes to have been.
Necklace from Melos. (British Museum.)
made in the form of a serpent coiled round the neck of the wearer,
a form not uncommon bracelets. This at least was the case with the necklace
which was given by Venus or by Cadmus to Harmonia as a nuptial present, and
which is described by Nonnus (Dionysiaca,
5.135-189) at a
length of fifty lines. The same necklace afterwards appears as the bribe
with which Polyneices induced Eriphyle to betray for her husband. (Apollod. 3.4
The beauty and splendour as well as the value, of necklaces were enhanced by
the addition of pearls and precious stones. These were either set in the
gold necklace ( “monilia, in quibus [p. 2.180]
et margaritae insunt,”
; cf. ibidem,
§ 1) or suspended freely from it (cf. Pollux, 5.98). For this
purpose emeralds ( “smaragdi,”
C. I. L.
2.3386) or other stones of a greenish hue (
) were often employed. The necklace of
Harmonia, quoted above, was elaborately set with precious stones. As stated
above, the necklace from Saticola was set with rubies. The hooks or clasps
for fastening the necklace behind the neck (clusurae
) were also various, and sometimes neatly and ingeniously
contrived. Some account of the different kinds of links employed is given in
the article CATENA
Besides a band encircling the neck, there was sometimes a second or even a
third row of ornaments, which hung lower down, passing over the breast. Such
objects on the vase-paintings are usually worn by hetaerae.
(Hom. Hymn. in Ven.
monilia,” Ovid. Met.
ii. p. 129.)
Valuable necklaces were sometimes placed as dedicated offerings upon the
statues of Minerva, Venus, and other goddesses. (Sueton. Galba,
18.) Necklaces and other ornaments were also
occasionally placed on the statues of deceased women. For inventories of
such dedications, see C. I. L.
2.2060, 3386, and Henzen,
6141, discussed by Hübner, in Hermes,
i. (1866), p. 345.
Horses and other favourite animals, such as deer, were also adorned with
splendid necklaces ( “aurea pectoribus demissa monilia,”
Verg. A. 7.278
monilia,” Ovid. Met,
36.9; A. Gel. 5.5