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Old 27-05-2014, 07:38 PM   #222
lightgiver
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The Lion and Sun (Persian: شیر و خورشید‎, Šir o Xoršid) is one of the main emblems of Iran, and between 1846 and 1980 was an element in Iran's national flag.. The motif, which illustrates ancient and modern Iranian traditions, became a popular symbol in Iran in the 12th century.. The lion and sun symbol is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations: the ancient sign of the sun in the house of Leo, which itself is traced backed to Babylonian astrology and Near Eastern traditions..The motif has many historical meanings. First, it was only an astrological and zodiacal symbol. Under Safavid and the first Qajar kings, it became more associated with Shia Islam.. During the Safavid era, the lion and sun stood for the 2 pillars of society, the state and the Islamic religion. It became a national emblem during the Qajar era. In the 19th century, European visitors at the Qajar court attributed the lion and sun to remote antiquity; since then, it has acquired a nationalistic interpretation...

The lion and sun motif is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations, and the ancient zodiacal sign of the sun in the house of Leo.. This symbol, which combines "ancient Iranian, Arab, Turkic, and Mongol traditions", first became a popular symbol in the 12th century.. According to Afsaneh Najmabadi, the lion and sun motif has had "a unique success" among icons for signifying the modern Iranian identity, in that the symbol is influenced by all significant historical cultures of Iran and brings together Zoroastrian, Shi'a, Jewish, Turkic and Iranian symbolism..According to Krappez, the astrological combination of the sun above a lion has become the coat-of-arms of Iran. In Islamic astrology the zodiacal Lion was the 'house' of the sun. This notion has "unquestionably" an ancient Mesopotamian origin. Since ancient times there was a close connection between the sun gods and the lion in the lore of the zodiac. It is known that, the sun, at its maximum strength between July 20 and August 20 was in the 'house' of the Lion..Another example is the great Semitic solar divinity Shamash, who could be portrayed as a lion. The same symbolism is observed in Ancient Egypt where in the temple of Dendera, Ahi the Great is called "the Lion of the Sun, and the lion who rises in the northern sky, the brilliant god who bears the sun"..According to Kindermann the Iranian Imperial coat of arms had its predecessor in numismatics, which itself is based largely on astronomical and astrological configurations.. The constellation of Leo contains 27 stars and 8 shapeless ones...

The male sun had always been associated with Iranian royalty: Iranian tradition recalls that Kayanids had a golden sun as their emblem. From the Greek historians of classical antiquity it is known that a crystal image of the sun adorned the royal tent of Darius III, that the Arsacid banner was adorned with the sun, and that the Sassanid standards had a red ball symbolizing the sun. The Byzantine chronicler Malalas records that the salutation of a letter from the "Persian king, the Sun of the East," was addressed to the "Roman Caesar, the Moon of the West". The Turanian king Afrasiab is recalled as saying: "I have heard from wise men that when the Moon of the Turan rises up it will be harmed by the Sun of the Iranians".. The sun was always imagined as male, and in some banners a figure of a male replaces the symbol of the sun. In others, a male figure accompanies the sun..Similarly, the lion too has always had a close association with Iranian kingship..Islamic, Turkic, and Mongol traditions stressed the symbolic association of the lion and royalty in the lion and sun motif.. These cultures reaffirmed the charismatic power of the sun and the Mongols re-introduced the veneration of the sun, especially the sunrise..In Safavid times, the lion and sun stood for 2 pillars of the society, state and religion.. It is clear that, although various alams and banners were employed by the Safavids during their rule, especially the earlier Safavid kings.. By the time of Shah Abbas, the lion and sun symbol had become one of the
Most Popular EMblems of Persia...

Quote:
Boaz stood on the left and Jachin ("founding", Tiberian Hebrew יָכִין Yāḵîn) stood on the right. The pillars had a size nearly 6 feet (1.8 metres) thick and 27 feet (8.2 metres) tall. The 8-foot (2.4 metres) high brass chapiters or capitals on top of the columns bore decorations of brass lilies..The original measurement as taken from the Bible was in cubits, which records that the pillars 18 cubits high and 12 cubits around, and hollow,4 fingers thick. (Jeremiah 52:21–22). Nets of checkerwork covered the bowl of each chapiter, decorated with rows of 200 pomegranates, wreathed with se7en chains for each chapiter, and topped with lilies (1 Kings 7:13–22, 41–42)..The Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Tuscania has a recessed entrance flanked by a pair of free-standing stone columns intended to evoke Boaz and Jachin..The Pillars of Hercules (Latin: Columnae Herculis, Greek: Ἡράκλειοι Στῆλαι, Arabic: أعمدة هرقل‎, Spanish: Columnas de Hércules) was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar.. A corresponding North African peak not being predominant, the identity of the southern Pillar has been disputed through history, with the 2 most likely candidates being Monte Hacho in Ceuta and Jebel Musa in Morocco.. "the pillars which Pindar calls the 'gates of Gades' when he asserts that they are the farthermost limits reached by Heracles & Samson"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_and_Sun
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Last edited by lightgiver; 27-05-2014 at 07:58 PM.
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