Originally Posted by ANAX
thanks for posting this. this sketch is not known from many, and is giving another one emblem used from the Romans.
Have you any more informations about the using of the lion or the color of it if there is ?
Coincidently Just before 2 days I was searching about byzantine flags and symbols and there I found this. I also tried to search more about this symbol but this is all I found. I found this sketch in an online book regarding the walls of constantinople. And the book is written in late 19th century although I am not sure. Here is the link of that particular page showing the sketch. Also read the page 189 and upper part of page 190. It gives the brief discription of it. Byzantine Constantinople, the Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites
As I said and as it is written in the book the wall is already torn down so I don't think there is any other photograph of it. However I am sure if there is any somebody will surely post it soon.
As said above by someone for most of their history Byzantines, It wasn't common for the emperors and noble familes to use Coat of arms , banners and flags associated with particular family as it was common in western europe. Even the famous double headed eagle also appered very late in their history. Most of the time they used cross, and of images of Christ ,the Virgin Mary and various saints , but these were personal rather than family emblems. It was only after the increasing contact with western europe in late 12th century during crusades that they started using these symbols and that also only to the limited extent and I think this sketch shows the clear western influence. Another point regarding star and crescent moon symbol
- As somone said above it was actually invented in the byzantium time (I mean from the time when byzantium was a greek city) And I have read two possible hypothesis of their origin and both are mythological in origin which I am posting directly from wikipedi link
The first one is greek in origin.
By the late
period, the star and crescent motif had been associated to some degree with
. If any goddess had a connection with the walls in
, it was
. Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding. Like
in one legend, she had her origins in Thrace. For example, some Byzantine coins of the 1st century BC and later show the head of
with bow and quiver, and feature a crescent with what appears to be a six-rayed star on the reverse. According to accounts which vary in some of the details, in 340 BC the Byzantines and their allies the
were under siege by the troops of
. On a particularly dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but was thwarted by the appearance of a bright light in the sky. This light is occasionally described by subsequent interpreters as a meteor, sometimes as the moon, and some accounts also mention the barking of dogs. However, the original accounts mention only a light in the sky, without specifying the moon. To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of Artemis (or
(light-bearer or bringer). This story survived in the works
, who in all probability lived in the time of
. His works survive only in fragments preserved in
and the 10th century lexicographer
. The tale is also related by
was especially favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon. Her symbols were the crescent and star, and the walls of her city were her provenance.
Later, under the
, cities in the empire often continued to issue their own coinage. "Of the many themes that were used on local coinage, celestial and astral symbols often appeared, mostly stars or crescent moons." The wide variety of these issues, and the varying explanations for the significance of the star and crescent on Roman coinage precludes their discussion here. It is, however, apparent that by the time of the Romans, coins featuring a star or crescent in some combination were not at all rare.
The second one is from ancient moab and babylonian mythology.
The star and crescent appear in combination in finds from in and around ancient
. It has been associated with the
(14th or early 13th – 6th century BC), as the symbol or symbols appear on what are thought to be Moabite name seals. Crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography, the crescent usually being associated with the moon god Sin
(Nanna to the sumerians) and the star (often identified as
to the sumerians). However, in this context, there is a third element often seen, that being the sun disk of
. Academic discussion of a star or stars together with crescents in Sumerian representations does not always clearly indicate if they appear in isolation (the "star and crescent" as such) or as part of a triad
of symbols, "the three celestial emblems, the sun disk of
to the sumerians), the crescent of Sin (Nanna), and the star of
to the sumerians)" or "the crescent of Sin (the moon god), the star of Ishtar and the ray of Shamash".Nevertheless, later use of the star and crescent by the
, and other Iranian dynasties is often traced to earlier use in
. As one scholar observed, "[t]he Parthian king
conquered Mesopotamia around 147 BC, and
in about 140 BC A later Parthian king,
(58-38 BC), issued coins at Susa and elsewhere which display a star and crescent on the obverse. The succeeding ruler,
(38-3/2 BC), minted coins showing either a star alone or a star with crescent moon. In representing the star and crescent on their coins the Parthians thus adopted traditional symbols used in
more than two millennia before their own arrival in those parts." Along these lines, some scholars maintain that later use of the symbol arose from
in which the juxtaposition of Sin
(moon god, father of time) and
(supreme ruling sun god, judge of heaven and earth) was a metaphor for the cosmic powers given to the
king to rule.
some people suggest that it is because of the influence of this eastern cultures they also adopted this symbol.