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The Migration of Symbols, by Goblet d'Alviella, [1894], at

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I. The Winged Globe outside Egypt.—The Winged Globe of the Egyptians; a combination of the Disk, the sparrow-hawk, the goat, and the serpent.—Meaning of this symbol.—Its migration into Phœnicia, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia.—Modification of its forms.—Its later combinations with the human image, the Sacred Bird, the Sacred Tree, and the conical bethel.—Its influence upon some symbolic figures of Greece and of India, the Aureole, the Thunderbolt, the chakra, etc.—Winged Globes of the New World.

II. The antecedents of the Caduceus.—Homeric description of the Caduceus.—Transformations of the Greek Caduceus.—The Caduceus of the Phœnicians and the Hittites.—Assyrian ensigns, prototypes of the labarum.—The Caduceus in its relations with the Winged Globe and the ashêrah.—Hindu Caducei.

III. The transformations of the trisula.—Definition, antiquity, and different interpretations of the trisula.—Its connection with the Trident and the Wheel.—Its blending with the Caduceus.—Its interchanges with the Winged Globe, the Scarab, the Lotus, the lingam, the idol of Jaganath, and the Tree of Buddha.—The trisula in the bas-reliefs of Boro-Budur.—The trisula in Europe.—Summing up.

I. The Winged Globe Outside Egypt.

There are certainly not many features common to the different representations which the ancient Egyptians made of the sun when they depicted it, according to the locality, in the form of a radiating disk, of a goat, of a ram, of a sparrow-hawk, or of a scarab. Notwithstanding, they hit upon a means of contracting all these figures into one.

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Round the Disk, now a Globe, they twisted symmetrically two uræus snakes, with heads erect and sometimes wearing the crown. Behind the uræi this Globe received the outstretched wings of the sparrow-hawk, on its top the undulating

FIG. 111. WINGED GLOBE OF EGYPT. (LEPSIUS. Denkmäler, vol. iii., pl. 3 b.)

Fig. 111. Winged Globe of Egypt.
(Lepsius. Denkmäler, vol. iii., pl. 3 b.)

horns of the goat spread out; and from this fantastic mixture came those Winged Globes, which, while attaining their highest perfection under the eighteenth dynasty, formed, during the whole period of Egyptian art, so original and graceful a subject of ornamentation upon the pylons and the lintels of the temples."

It has been said, with good reason, that the Winged Globe is the Egyptian symbol par excellence1 According to an inscription at Edfu it was Toth himself who caused it to be placed above the entrances to all the temples in order to commemorate the victory won by Horus over Set, i.e., by the principle of light and good over that of darkness and evil. 2

Did the Egyptians imagine that the sun—or the soul of the sun—really assumed the form of a globe flanked by serpents, furnished with wings and surmounted by horns? Or, after having depicted the orb under its natural form, did they add uræi to symbolize its sovereignty, horns to

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recall its strength, and wings to indicate its faculty of translation through space?

Perhaps it is here unnecessary to choose between the two systems which divide the opinions of Egyptologists. A third interpretation, which to me seems to better account for the formation of the Winged Globe, makes it the result of a conscious and intentional combination of various personifications of the sun. M. Maspero, who is one of the most competent and persuasive defenders of the theory that the Egyptians began by believing the beast-like or fantastic creatures depicted upon their monuments to be real, admits himself that the priests may have invented composite figures with the fixed intention of expressing the union of distinct symbols and ideas. 1

When the founding of a national monarchy in Egypt brought about the establishment of a common Pantheon, the gods, whose attributes or signification offered the greatest similarity, were related to each other, either as members of the same family, or as different forms of the same being. Is it unreasonable to assume that this movement of unification between local personifications of the same divinity found its expression in the blending of the images by which they were represented?


It is only necessary to turn over the leaves of the handsome volumes published by MM. Perrot and Chipiez on the Histoire de l’art clans l’antiquité, or to cast a glance upon the first few of the plates appended by Lajard to his Introduction d l’étude du culte de Mithra, to be convinced that the Winged Globe was also one of the most widely spread and most venerated symbols in the whole of Western Asia.

Phœnicia exhibits it frequently on stelai, bas-reliefs,

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cylinders, gems, pateræ, and bowls. Frequently too, in that country, as in Egypt, the Winged Globe adorns the lintels of the temples. One of the most curious instances, quoted by M. Renan in his Mission de Phénicie, is furnished by the lintel of a Christian church built at Edde, near Gebal, from the materials of an ancient temple. The Globe and the uræi have been cut into for the reception of a red cross; below are inscriptions which the learned Academician attributes to the worship of Adonis. 1

The Winged Globe of the Phœnicians is found wherever their art was introduced, in Carthage, Cyprus, Sardinia, Sicily, and among different peoples of Palestine. It has even been pointed out on Israelitish seals of the oldest epoch, 2 and nothing prevents us from supposing that—like the serpent, the golden bull or calf, and the idolatrous images denounced by the prophets—it served, perhaps, to furnish a figured representation of Yahveh.

M. Renan, in his Histoire du peuple d’Israël, goes still further when he thinks he discovers the two uræus masses of the Egyptian symbol in the urim-tummin, or the two urim, described in Exodus, rather obscurely, as a mechanical means of consulting the divine will. "Perhaps the uræi of the Winged Globes," he suggests, "one meaning yes and the other no, were moved by a spring hidden behind the Disk." 3 Of course I leave to the eminent writer the whole responsibility of this theory, which is difficult to verify unless one be both an Egyptologist and a Hebraist. At all events nothing proves that the Israelites brought

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directly from Egypt the type of their Winged Globe; the latter rather reproduces the forms of Phœnician art, as is admitted, moreover, by M. Renan.

To be sure, the Winged Globes of Phœnicia often strive to reproduce the classic type of Egypt, always, however, with variations which enable us to easily distinguish them. Sometimes the uræi seem to come out from the lower part of the Globe, so that the superior appendages may as

FIG. 112. WINGED GLOBE OF PHOENICIA. (RENAN. Mission de Phénicie, pl. xxxii.)

Fig. 112. Winged Globe of Phoenicia.
(Renan. Mission de Phénicie, pl. xxxii.)

well depict serpents’ tails as goats’ horns, like those of Egypt.

Sometimes these appendages are replaced by a tuft of feathers which, perhaps, represents a sheaf

FIG. 113. WINGLESS PHOENICIAN GLOBE WITH URÆI. (RENAN. Mission de Phénicie, pl. lv.)

Fig. 113. Wingless Phoenician Globe with Uræi.
(Renan. Mission de Phénicie, pl. lv.)

of rays, particularly when it occurs again below the Globe in the shape of a tail.

Sometimes, again, the wings are bent downwards as in some archaic types of the Egyptian symbol. 1 Lastly, in some instances, the Winged Globe assumes rather the forms which we shall meet with in Asia Minor and in Mesopotamia. 2

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It is somewhat difficult, in the absence of positive documents, to determine the precise meaning which the Phœnicians ascribed to this symbol. It may be that we should see therein a solar representation. Yet, from what we know of the Phœnicians, their religion referred less to the direct worship of the orb than to the worship of the mythic personages who incarnated the principal aspects of the solar power. 1

The Phœnicians often combined the Winged

FIG. 114. VASE OF CITIUM. (PERROT et CHIPIEZ, vol. iii., fig. 518.)
Click to enlarge

Fig. 114. Vase of Citium.
(Perrot et Chipiez, vol. iii., fig. 518.)

[paragraph continues] Globe with other equivalent symbols. It is one of these combinations which I think I detect in a somewhat singular figure painted on a vase found at Citium, in the island of Cyprus, by General Cesnola (fig. 114).

With regard to this image, the learned authors of l’Art dans l’antiquité ask: "Should it be

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called a pillar, stele, or palmette? 1 To judge from its most striking features—the medial leaves, the terminal fleuron, the two pairs of volutes cutting the figure in opposite directions, lastly and especially its position between two animals facing one another which, standing on their hind legs, appear to be striving to reach with their mouths the extremities of the fleuron,—all these details seem to manifest

FIG. 115. SACRED TREE OF PHOENICIA. (LAJARD. Mithra, pl. liv. A, fig. 3.)

Fig. 115. Sacred Tree of Phoenicia.
(Lajard. Mithra, pl. liv. A, fig. 3.)

the intention of depicting the Sacred Tree of Phœnicia in its conventional form and with its characteristic accessories (fig. 115).

On the other hand, the lower half of the image terminates in a regular pennated tail which one would think was copied from a Winged Globe of Western Asia; the medial leaves may be held to be wings; the lower volutes suggest the oblique appendages of the Assyrian Disk which terminates in a loop; finally, the upper volutes reproduce the scroll which surmounts some specimens of the Mesopotamian Globe. 2

In fine, two things only are wanting in order to make it a Winged Globe: these are the globe and the wings. Yet—even should it be said that this is Hamlet with Hamlet left out—I cannot

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help asserting that the ubiquitous influence of the Winged Globe was never revealed in a clearer manner by the brush or the chisel of an Oriental artist.


We may further instance, as an example of the same ever-present influence, the incised stone of Damascus on which I have above pointed out the amalgamation of the Winged Globe with the Sacred Cone of the Semites. 1 If this Cone represents the Great Goddess of Nature, herself considered to be the spouse of the solar Baal whom the Winged Globe symbolizes, it may be asked how far the aim of the fusion of the two symbols is not to accentuate still further the figurative representation of this mythic combination.

With greater reason the same explanation applies to the figure of Citium, if we agree to recognize therein a mutual filiation of the Winged Globe and the Sacred Tree, which we have so often seen placed one above another on the symbolic monuments of Western Asia.

North of Phœnicia, in the very middle of Asia Minor—amongst those Khetas or Hittites whose monuments disclose a complete civilization hardly dreamt of thirty years ago—the Winged Globe, once more a Disk, is noticed on seals, stelai, sculptured slabs and bas-reliefs, in company with

FIG. 116. WINGED DISK OF ASIA MINOR. (LAJARD. Mithra, pl. i., fig. 22.)

Fig. 116. Winged Disk of Asia Minor.
(Lajard. Mithra, pl. i., fig. 22.)

religious subjects. Here, however, it is reproduced in a somewhat clumsy and inexact fashion, some-

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times even perverted in its essential characteristics. The Globe becomes more independent of wings; the latter, in some cases, serve rather as its support than as its appendages; 1 it changes also into a Star inscribed in a circle.

I will not dwell on these variations, the meaning of which is far from evident. Perhaps they originate in attempts to adapt the foreign symbol to local forms of worship; perhaps they are merely to be ascribed to a whim, or an oversight, of the native artist when dealing with foreign models. It is indeed generally admitted that Hittite art, like the art of Phœnicia, derived its inspirations from Egypt and Assyria.

On approaching Mesopotamia we find the Winged Circle amongst the principal symbols brought into view on the bas-reliefs and cylinders

FIG. 117. WINGED CIRCLE OF ASSYRIA. (LAYARD. Monuments of Nineveh, 1st series, pl. vi.)

Fig. 117. Winged Circle of Assyria.
(Layard. Monuments of Nineveh, 1st series, pl. vi.)

of Assyria and Chaldæa. Sometimes it hovers above kings and priests, and again it presides at scenes of adoration and of sacrifice. The forms it assumes exhibit manifold variations, but these may be nearly all traced to two types.

One of these presents to our view a Disk surmounted by a scroll whose extremities curl upwards and thus produce the effect of two horns, not straightened out as in the Egyptian symbol,

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but curved in the manner of an inverted Ionic column. Below the Disk, which sometimes takes the form of a Rosette, or a Wheel, a pennated tail opens out like a fan between two wavy or slightly bent appendages which fall obliquely from the upper part of the circle.

The other type is distinguished by the presence of an anthropoid genius inscribed in the Disk between the wings in such a manner that the horns seem to spring from his cap and the pennated tail forms a skirt with plaited flounces. 1 According to the nature of the scenes where this personage appears his right hand is sometimes uplifted in an attitude of protection or of benediction, at other times he holds a crown or a bow; or again, assuming the warlike attitude especially suited to the

FIG. 118. ANTHROPOID WINGED CIRCLE. (LAYARD. Monuments of Nineveh, 1st series, pl. xiii.)

Fig. 118. Anthropoid Winged Circle.
(Layard. Monuments of Nineveh, 1st series, pl. xiii.)

divinities of Assyria, he lets fly a three-headed arrow. 2

Cuneiform texts elicit the fact that these Winged Globes are no longer exclusively a solar emblem, but that we are here in the presence of a divinity at once more abstract and more anthropomorphic than the sun: Assur at Nineveh, Bel or Ilu at Babylon.

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[paragraph continues] Perhaps this image even served to express the general idea of divinity, if we are to judge from its importance in the religious art of Mesopotamia; sometimes, indeed, it there replaces the simple Disk, the Crescent, the Rouelle, the Cross, the Star, and the other symbols which in the field of the oldest cylinders are exhibited above divine personages, altars, pyres, the Sacred Tree, and so forth.

Yet the Winged Circles of the basin of the Euphrates, like those of Phœnicia and of Asia Minor, certainly originated in the valley of the Nile. It is there alone that they can be traced back to their simple and intelligible elements: the Disk, the sparrow-hawk, the goat, and the uræus serpents. Moreover—whilst in Egypt the Winged Globe is met with on monuments dating from the sixth dynasty onwards 1—it would be vainly sought for in Mesopotamia under the first Chaldæan Empire, and even under the first Assyrian Empire. 2

It is only from the time of the Sargonidæ that it appears on seals and bas-reliefs. The founding of Khorsabad, moreover, according to Mr. Layard, marks the epoch of the first appearance, in Assyrian art, of the Scarab, the Key of Life, the Lotus-flower, and the other symbols borrowed from Egypt. 3

Even the discovery of the Winged Globe on older monuments of Mesopotamia would not be an argument against the Egyptian origin of the symbol. The researches of Assyriology have shown the commencement of intercourse between Egypt and Chaldæa to belong to an extremely

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remote period. These relations seem to date, at least, from the time of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, who, according to a tablet of Nabonidos, confirmed by various chronological calculations, reigned in the land of Accad in the thirty-eighth century before our era. 1 Some students even make them date from the patesi of Telloh, whose monuments, discovered by M. de Sarzec, are perhaps contemporary with the fourth Egyptian dynasty. 2

If anything is surprising, it is that the principal symbols of Egypt did not sooner make their way into Chaldæan imagery. They must, in fact, have been spread abroad—long before the formation of the Assyrian Empire—with the ivories, seals, and gems brought from Egypt by the armies and caravans—witness the numerous Scarabs on the cartouches of Thothmes III. and of Amenophis III. discovered by modern explorers in the basin of the Tigris. 3


Several experts in these matters, amongst others MM. G. Rawlinson and J. Menant, have wondered if the Winged Circle of Mesopotamia had not its prototype in the Sacred Bird with outstretched wings, which was led about in religious processions, and which already surmounts the standards sculptured at Telloh. 4 It is very certain that the Mesopotamian Disk, thanks to the presence of a pennated tail, exhibits an ornithomorphic character far more accentuated than that of the Winged Globe of Egypt. This similarity, however, provided there be any grounds for maintaining

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that equivalent symbols tend to merge into one another, is merely a result of the importance attributed at an earlier date to the representation of the Sacred Bird in Mesopotamia. In other places, 1 does not M. Menant record a faint analogy between the combination of lines which cross in the sketch of the Winged Disk, and the group of cuneiform characters which gives the ideogram of the supreme Divinity as an eight-rayed star? Here again the general resemblance proves, not that the cuneiform sign gave rise to the symbol of the Winged Circle, but that the latter was, so to speak, sometimes cast in the mould of the sign used to render the conception of the divinity; just as in Egypt it borrowed the outlines of another solar emblem, the flying Scarab. 2

However this may be, the very principle of the ornithomorphic image is undeniably of Egyptian origin. It is Egypt alone that can have given the Assyrians the idea of introducing the Globe, uræi, and horns, into the representation of the Sacred Bird. If any doubt remained in this respect, it would be dismissed by the examination of the intermediate forms which serve as a gradual transition between the Winged Globes of the two countries.

In the rectilinear strokes terminating in a ball, or hook, which form the lower appendages of certain Winged Circles of Assyria, some people have thought they recognized an equivalent of the claws which hold a ring in the representation of the Egyptian vulture or sparrow-hawk. 3 There

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would be nothing singular in the fact that the ornithomorphic Globe, having borrowed the wings of the Sacred Bird, had also appropriated its claws. Yet in by far the greater number of Asiatic Disks these wavy or curved lines undeniably originate in the Egyptian uræi, as may be proved by comparing the two figures below.

Fig. 119. Egyptian Globe.
(Lepsius. Denkmäler, vol. ii., fig. 136.)

FIG. 120. MESOPOTAMIAN GLOBE. (LAJARD. Mithra, pl. xxxvi., fig. 13.)

Fig. 120. Mesopotamian Globe.
(Lajard. Mithra, pl. xxxvi., fig. 13.)

It remains to be explained how the Egyptian symbol of the sun became, in Mesopotamia, the figured representation of the supreme God. Mr. G. Rawlinson conjectures that the Assyrians drew a circle to designate eternity, then added wings to express omnipresence, and introduced the human figure to symbolize supreme wisdom. 1 It is possible, although indications are wanting in this respect, that a similar interpretation was applied to the Winged Globe in the sacerdotal schools of Babylon and of Tyre, during the period of metaphysical speculation, when Sanchoniathon defined, as a symbol of perpetual motion, the double pair of

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wings belonging to certain divine figures derived by Phœnicia from the art of Mesopotamia, or of Egypt. But such subtle intentions would be sought for in vain among the early Assyrian artists, who made the ornithomorphic or anthropoid Disks. It is far more likely that, under the encroaching influence of Egyptian symbolism and art, they restricted themselves to copying, in order to represent their supreme god, the symbol which they knew to express the equivalent idea in the imagery of their neighbours.

In Egypt itself the sun appeared from remote ages as the essential manifestation, the visible face, the "Eye" of the One and only God. The whole mythology of Egypt, at the period of its complete development, had ended by becoming, to borrow an expression of M. Paul Pierret, a solar drama. 1 Consequently, it is easy to understand that the Winged Globe—i.e., the combination of the principal images employed to represent the sun in the valley of the Nile—was adopted by the nations subject to the influence of Egypt in order to symbolize their own conceptions of God in His highest manifestations.


The career of the Winged Globe was not to cease here.

We see in its reception by the Persians how symbols pass from one nation to another, and even from one cult to a rival form of worship. Till Cyrus overcame the second Babylonian Empire in 538 B.C., Ahura Mazda, the omniscient lord, had been perhaps exclusively represented in worship by the flame of the pyres, as was proper for a god "similar to light in body and to truth in spirit." Henceforth he assumes the symbol of Bel

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and of Assur: the Winged Circle under one of the two forms given it by Assyria, but with modifications which were generally improvements. In the anthropoid type, the Disk with its lower appendages becomes more and more of a waist-band with loose ends. All trace of horns disappears. The genius, inscribed in the circle, exchanges the close-fitting tunic and the low cap of the Assyrians for the wide-sleeved dress and tiara of the Medes. Yet his attitude remains that of Assur. Sometimes, soaring above the royal chariot, the god shoots an arrow at wild beasts, or against the enemies of the sovereign; at other times his left

FIG. 121. AHURA MAZDA. (<span style=

Fig. 121. Ahura Mazda.
(Lajard. Mithra, pl. ii., fig. 32.)

hand is uplifted, and in his right he holds a Lotus-flower.

The other type also exhibits more graceful and freer forms, which may bear comparing with the best specimens of Phœnicia or of Egypt. M. Dieulafoy, moreover, has shown that the architecture and ornamentation of the Persians were frequently influenced by Egyptian art, taken at its very source and not in its Assyrian imitations. 1


In Europe I am not aware that the Winged Globe has as yet been met with, except in the islands of the Mediterranean, whither it was directly introduced by the Phœnicians. Greece

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does not seem to have accorded it rights of naturalization, although it adopted Asiatic symbols of smaller importance, or less widely spread, such as the gammadion, the triscèle, the Thunderbolt and the Lotus. It is met with at Carthage, to be sure, on coins whose execution reveals the plastic influence of Greek art. 1 But these coins are too closely connected with the religions of Asia in their subject, their legend, and their symbol, to allow of our ascribing them to Hellenic civilization.

The latter was doubtlessly acquainted with the symbol of the Disk, or of the solar Wheel. But Greek art was too anthropomorphic to give unnatural forms to the embodiments of its divine ideal. It therefore reserved monstrous bodies for monsters, and if it added wings to the shoulders of some of its genii, or gods, these were mere accessories which perverted neither the forms nor the proportions of the human figure. When it took from Asia symbolic combinations in which the Winged Globe was originally represented, it replaced it by the Thunderbolt, at once the weapon and the symbol of its own supreme god,—as in those capitals of the temple of Athene at Priene, where the Thunderbolt is suspended over the Sacred Tree and its two acolytes (see above, pl. iv., figs. c and e). 2

On seeing some representations of the Thunderbolt

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which recall in a remarkable manner the outlines of the Winged Globe, it may be even asked if it was not owing to this latter symbol that the Greeks transformed into a Winged Spindle (fig. 122 d and e) the Double Trident derived from Assyria (fig. 122 a). At any rate the transition, or, if it be preferred, the combination of the two symbols is met with in those coins of northern Africa where Greek art was so greatly impregnated with Phœnician types. Thus, on coins of Bocchus II., King of Mauritania, figures are found which M. Lajard connected with the Winged Globe, and M. L. Müller calls Thunderbolts, but which are really the result of a crossing between these two emblems (fig. 122 b and c).


Fig. 122. Combination of the Winged Globe and the Thunderbolt. 1

There is a type of Jupiter fulmens, which a tardy syncretism attempted to combine, in plastic art as in the worship, with the solar Baal of Tarsus, himself represented by the Winged Globe, or rather by the winged god of Persian symbolism (fig. 123).

It must not be forgotten, however, that here again we are in the very middle of Asia Minor,

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and that this homage paid by local art to the great god of Hellenic culture did not react on the types of Europe.

Even the Winged Wheel, of which the symbolism


Fig. 123. Coin of Tarsus.

of our industrial arts makes so frequent use, only appears by way of exception on Greek and Roman monuments, if we leave out the sort of velocipede on which Triptolemus rides; and even in these rare instances it appears merely as the abbreviation of a chariot, or as a symbol of motion, and in no case can it be connected with the Winged Circle which, on certain Asiatic monuments, originates in the Egyptian Globe. 1

On the other hand, the plastic influence of the Winged Globe seems to have spread far further than the figures in which we find it literally reproduced. M. Gaidoz has pointed out certain representations of Ixion on the Wheel which might well have been taken from the type of the Assyrian god inscribed in the Disk. 2 Perhaps we should attribute to the same origin the halo of glory which the Christians borrowed from classic art, to surround therewith the head, or body, of their superhuman beings.

To be sure, the earliest idea of the "glory" may

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have been directly furnished by certain aspects of the sun. Velleius Paterculus relates, that "at the moment when Augustus entered Rome the arc of the sun, symmetrically curved round his head, was seen to form a crown of the colour of the rainbow." But it is none the less the case that the manner in which the Aureole encircles the bust of Assyrian divinities refers us directly to the ring which serves Ahura Mazda or Assur as a girdle, and which represents, as I have shown above, the circumference of the Winged Globe, 1—save that the disk has here discarded its wings and bristles with rays instead.

FIG. 124. MESOPOTAMIAN AUREOLA. (MENANT. Pierres gravées, vol. ii., fig. 45.)

Fig. 124. Mesopotamian Aureola.
(Menant. Pierres gravées, vol. ii., fig. 45.)

It should be remarked that in the Assyrian Aureoles, the rays, instead of widening in diverging from the centre, grow narrower as they get further from it. It is this peculiarity, equally observable in classic and in Christian art, 2 that permitted of tracing their Aureoles to the analogous symbol represented in Assyria from the fourth century before our era. 3

In India, although its symbolism does not seem to have adopted the Winged Globe, we likewise

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meet with certain traditional types which may perhaps have been subjected to the influence of the old Egyptian symbol.

Thus, in a representation of Vishnu, in his avatar of the tortoise, I have noticed, at the Musée Guimet, a sort of wrapper, fashioned after the girdle with loose ends which characterizes the winged genius of Persia. The lower part of the body is formed of a carapace which recalls at once the tail of the Winged Disk and that of the Scarab. The wings are wanting, but their place

FIG. 125. AVATAR OF VISHNU. (GUIGNIAUT, pl. ix., fig. 47.)

Fig. 125. Avatar of Vishnu.
(Guigniaut, pl. ix., fig. 47.)

is taken by two supplementary arms, in conformity with the usual conventions of Hindu pictorial art.

Elsewhere it is the chakra or solar Disk whose

FIG. 126. CHAKRA OF VISHNU. (MOOR. Hindu Pantheon, pl. ix., fig. 1.)

Fig. 126. Chakra of Vishnu.
(Moor. Hindu Pantheon, pl. ix., fig. 1.)

lateral appendages, representing leaves, or flames, assume the appearance, or at least take the place, of the wings in the Winged Globe. These representations

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are, in truth, comparatively modern, but it is probable that their type is extremely old..

It is, however, above all in the trisula—that Caduceus of India as it has sometimes been termed—that we will have occasion to note an evident intervention of the Winged Globe amongst the original creations of Hindu symbolism.


In the New World I hardly know of more than one figure which bears an unquestionable resemblance to the Winged Globe; this is a human face, furnished with small pennated wings and a formidable pair of moustaches, which two English travellers, Messrs. Pim and Seeman, observed cut in a rock at New Segovia in Central America.

FIG. 127. (Journal of the Roy. As. Soc., London, vol. xviii., (new series), p. 397.)

Fig. 127.
(Journal of the Roy. As. Soc., London, vol. xviii., (new series), p. 397.)

Mr. Robert Sewell considers that these moustaches are imitations of Assyrian scrolls, or Egyptian uræi1 But here the resemblance may well be accidental, and the choice of a globe or face, provided with wings or feathers with a view to typify the sun, is too simple a combination for it not to have been possible to occur independently in the symbolism of nations unknown to one another.

On the other hand, M. d’Eichthal thought he discovered in the ruins of a sanctuary at Ocosingo,

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near Palenque, a fragment of the wing of a globe sculptured above a doorway. 1 But the globe is far from being depicted with such distinctness as to permit of our accepting this conclusion.

Finally, we find amongst the bas-reliefs of Uxmal, in Yucatan, a geometric design whose lower appendage suggests in a striking manner the pennated tail of certain Assyrian, Phœnician, and Persian Globes. 2 These, however, are isolated details, and it is the whole of the combination represented by the Winged Globe which must be found in all desirable conditions of authenticity ere we can deduce a case of real transmission.

FIG. 128. SOLAR SYMBOL AT UXMAL. (Publications of the Bureau of Ethnography, vol. ii., pl. 57, No. 5.)

Fig. 128. Solar Symbol at Uxmal.
(Publications of the Bureau of Ethnography, vol. ii., pl. 57, No. 5.)


205:1 Perrot et Chipiez. Histoire de l’art dans l’antiquité, vol. i., p. 604.

205:2 H. Brugsch. Die Sage von der geflügelten Sonnenscheibe, in the Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, 14th year (1868–1869), p. 209.

206:1 G. Maspero, in the Revue de l’histoire des religions, vol. v., p. 97.

207:1 Ernest Renan. Mission de Phénicie, Paris, 1864, 1 vol., with atlas, pp. 227, 241, 857.

207:2 Clermont-Ganneau. Sceaux et Cachets, in the Journal Asiatique, 1883, vol. i.

207:3 Histoire du peuple d’Israël. Paris, 1887, vol. i., p. 276.

208:1 Perrot et Chipiez. Vol. iii., figs. 23, 305, 546.

208:2 J. Menant. Les pierres gravées de la Haute-Asie. Paris, 1886, vol. ii., p. 223.

209:1 C. P. Tiele. Histoire des anciennes religions des peuples semitiques. Paris, 1882, chap. iii.

210:1 Vol. iii. (Phénicie), p. 706.

210:2 Mr. G. Rawlinson, describing the most widely spread type of the Sacred Tree among the Assyrians, likens the sort of inverted Ionic capital which supports the terminal palmette to "the scroll commonly surmounting the winged circle." (The five great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World. London, 1862–67, vol. ii., p. 236).

211:1 See above, fig. 94, p. 185.

212:1 1 Perrot et Chipiez, Vol. iv., fig. 356.

213:1 According to M. Léon Heuzey (Revue archéologique, 1887, p. 256), these so-called plaited and goffered skirts of the Assyrian costume, are nothing but a fringed stuff with long locks of wool hung round the body like a shawl.

213:2 G. Rawlinson. The Five Great Monarchies, vol. ii., p. 235.

214:1 Lepsius. Denkmäler aus Ægypten and Æthiopien, vol. ii., Bl. 12, figs. 116, 123, 135, 136.

214:2 See the classification instituted by M. J. Menant in his valuable work on Les pierres gravées de la Haute-Asie.

214:3 Layard. Nineveh and its remains. London, 1848–49, vol. ii., pp. 213–14.

215:1 A. H. Sayce. Religion of the ancient Babylonians. London, 1887, pp. 21 and 137.

215:2 Terrien de la Couperie. An unknown King of Lagash, in the Babylonian and Oriental Record for August, 1890, p. 193 et seq.

215:3 Layard. Nineveh and Babylon. London, 1853, chap. xii.

215:4 J. Menant. Pierres gravées, vol. ii., p. 17.

216:1 J. Menant. Pierres gravées, vol. ii., p. 18.

216:2 M. Gaidoz thinks even that the Scarab may well have been the prototype of the Winged Globe (Le dieu gaulois du soleil et le symbolisme de la roue. Paris, 1886, p. 53.) To me it seems that the resemblance of the two symbols is better accounted for by the hypothesis of an independent origin and a subsequent approximation.

216:3 It is interesting to come across similar appendages, undeniable p. 217 survivals of the Egyptian uræi, around Disks, Christianized by the inscription of the Cross, or Chrism, which adorn the lintel of the door in Christian tombs of Syria (Lethaby. Architecture, Mysticism and Myth, p. 268.)

217:1 G. Rawlinson. The Five Great Monarchies, vol. ii., p. 231.

218:1 P. Pierret. Essai sur la mythologie égyptienne. Paris, 1876, p. 15.

219:1 Dieulafoy. L’art antique de la Perse, 3rd part, § iv., p. 33 et seq.

220:1 Duc de Luynes. Numismatique des Satrapies. Paris, 1846, pl. i., figs. 1, 2, 3; pl, ii., figs. 3, 4, 5.—Barclay V. Head. Guide to the Coins of the Ancients. London, 1881, pl. xi., No. 40, and pl. lix., No. 33.—A coin of Iaetia, in Sicily, exhibits on the reverse a human face with two wings and three legs; but this is a mere embellishment of the Asiatic triscèle which, as we have seen, became the emblem of the island with three capes.

220:2 In the same plate we may follow the subsequent transformation of this symbolic detail which, on the tympanum of the church at Marigny (pl. iv., fig. j) becomes a double branch on the top of the sacred tree.

221:1 a, On a coin of Faleri (Hunter, pl. 27, No. 16).

b and c, On Mauritanian coins (L. Müller. Numismatique de l’ancienne Afrique. Copenhagen, vol. iii., p. 95, Nos. 5 and 7).

d, On a coin of Ptolemy Soter (L. Müller, op. cit., vol. i., p. 141, No. 371).

e, On a coin of Syracuse (Barclay V. Head. Coins in the British Museum, pl. 35, fig. 30).

222:1 See, in the Monuments inédits, by Raoul Rochette (Paris, 1833) the scene of the judgment of Orestes (pl. xl., fig. 1), where Minerva leans on a winged wheel, which, in the author's opinion, denotes the chariot of the goddess; see also (same work, pl. xliii., fig. 2) the personage who seems to advance with the help of winged wheels placed under his feet.

222:2 Symbolisme de la roue, p. 44.

223:1 Cf. the image of Assur in the cylinder reproduced above, fig. 119.

223:2 Didron. Iconographie chrétienne. Paris, 1843, p. 13.

223:3 J. Menant. Pierres gravées, vol. ii., pp. 55, 56.

225:1 Early Buddhist Symbolism, in the Journal of the Roy. Asiat. Soc., vol. xviii., (new series), p. 397.

Next: II. The Origins of the Caduceus