Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Ancient symbols with us still
This ram's horned head is ubiquitous as the logo of the Dodge pickup truck. This symbol is not new. At the ancient Egyptian temple of Karnak, the Ram-headed Sphinx symbolizes the god Atun, as shown below (eyelid.co.uk).
According to Herodotus, the Scythian culture also held the ram in high esteem. As shown in the teaspoon below, it was supposed to symbolize prosperity and protection for its owners. (Bottom photo hermitageshop.org).
The Scandinavian god Thor had rams to pull his chariot, and the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians also attributed symbolic meaning to the ram.This animal was represented in ancient Minoan and Mycenian art too. Today replicas of a Minoan ram sculpture (original dated circa 1500 BCE) are sold in the National Archeological Museum of Athens.
On the north door of the French Cathedral at Chartres, begun in the 1100s, the ram appears as a Christian symbol. A ram appeared in the thicket, caught by its horns, and thus provided a handy sacrifice after God had tested the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac when so commanded.