Votive crown

Detail of a suspended votive crown from Visigothic Spain, before 672 AD. Part of the Treasure of Guarrazar offered by Reccesuinth. Out of view are chains for suspension above, and a Byzantine pendant cross below. Alternate view.[1]

A votive crown is a votive offering in the form of a crown, normally in precious metals and often adorned with jewels. Especially in the Early Middle Ages, they are of a special form, designed to be suspended by chains at an altar, shrine or image. Later examples are more often typical crowns in the style of the period, either designed to be placed on the head of a statue, or re-used in this way after donation.

Pre-Christian examples

There were pagan votive crowns in the ancient world, although these are essentially known only from literary references. Vitruvius records that when Hiero II of Syracuse (died 215 BC) suspected his goldsmith of cheating him over the making of a votive crown for a statue in a temple, for which he had supplied the gold to be used, he asked Archimedes to devise a test. This led Archimedes to his famous eureka moment, after he realized he could test the crown by comparing its displacement of water to that of the same weight of pure gold; in fact the goldsmith had taken some gold and added silver instead.[2] From other references, it seems that in classical times not just statues of the gods, but also living rulers were presented with crowns in the hope of a favourable response to a request.

Other Languages
español: Corona votiva
português: Coroa votiva
українська: Вотивна корона