Double-headed eagle

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The '''double-headed eagle''' is the most recognizable symbol of orthodoxy today (other than the cross) and was the official state symbol of the late [[Byzantine Empire]], symbolising the unity between Church and State; the heads of the eagle also represent the dual sovereignity of the Byzantine Emperor; the left head representing Rome (the West) and the right head representing [[Constantinople]] (the East) whilst the claws of the eagle hold a [[cross]], or a sword, and an orb.  
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The '''double-headed eagle''' is the most recognizable symbol of Orthodoxy today (other than the cross) and was the official state symbol of the late [[Byzantine Empire]], symbolising the unity between the Byzantine Orthodox Church and State, which was governed by the principle of ''Symphonia'' or ''Synallelia'', that is, a "symphony" between the civil and the ecclesiastical functions of Christian society. 
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In addition, the heads of the eagle also represent the dual sovereignity of the Byzantine Emperor, the left head representing Rome (the West) and the right head representing [[Constantinople]] (the East), whilst the claws of the eagle hold a [[cross]], or a sword, and an orb.  
  
== Church of Greece flag ==
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== Byzantine Emblem ==  
The modern ''double-headed eagle'' flag for the Greek Orthodox Church, features the double-headed eagle with a sword in the right claw and an orb in the left. Above the eagle, is a crown and the background colour of the flag is yellow.
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Emperor Isaacius Comnenus (11th century AD), the first ruling member of the Comnenus dynasty, was the first Emperor who adopted the two headed eagle as the symbol of the Empire.
  
== Church of Russia emblem ==
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== Emblem of Church of Constantinople and Mount Athos ==
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The modern ''double-headed eagle'' flag for the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople]] and of [[Mount Athos]], features the eagle with a sword in the right claw symbolizing secular authority, and an orb in the left symbolizing spiritual authority. Above the eagle, is a crown and the background colour of the flag is yellow. (''see image below)''.
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== Emblem of Church of Russia ==
 
The two major symbolic elements of Russian state and church symbols (the two-headed eagle and St. George slaying the dragon) predate Peter the Great. The ''double-headed eagle'' was adopted by Ivan III after his marriage with the [[Byzantine]] princess ''Sophia Paleologo'', whose uncle Constantine was the last Byzantine Emperor. After the [[Fall of Constantinople]] to the Turks in 1453, Ivan III and his heirs considered Moscow to be the last stronghold of the Christian faith, and in effect, the last Roman Empire (hence the expression "Third Rome" for Moscow and - by extension - for the whole of Imperial Russia).  
 
The two major symbolic elements of Russian state and church symbols (the two-headed eagle and St. George slaying the dragon) predate Peter the Great. The ''double-headed eagle'' was adopted by Ivan III after his marriage with the [[Byzantine]] princess ''Sophia Paleologo'', whose uncle Constantine was the last Byzantine Emperor. After the [[Fall of Constantinople]] to the Turks in 1453, Ivan III and his heirs considered Moscow to be the last stronghold of the Christian faith, and in effect, the last Roman Empire (hence the expression "Third Rome" for Moscow and - by extension - for the whole of Imperial Russia).  
  
 
From 1497, on the double-headed eagle proclaimed a Russian sovereignty equal to that of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The first remained evidence of the double-headed eagle officialised as an emblem of Russia is on the great prince's seal, stamped in 1497 on a Charter of share and allotment of independent princes' possessions. At the same time the image of gilded double-headed eagle on red background appeared on the walls of the Palace of Facets in the Kremlin.
 
From 1497, on the double-headed eagle proclaimed a Russian sovereignty equal to that of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The first remained evidence of the double-headed eagle officialised as an emblem of Russia is on the great prince's seal, stamped in 1497 on a Charter of share and allotment of independent princes' possessions. At the same time the image of gilded double-headed eagle on red background appeared on the walls of the Palace of Facets in the Kremlin.
  
== Examples of double-headed eagle ==
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== Modern Usages ==
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The two-headed Byzantine Eagle is currently the emblem on the Flags of the [[Church of Constantinople|Patriarchate of Constantinople]] and of [[Mount Athos]], as well as those of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro. It has also become the Coat of Arms of modern States including Serbia, Russia, Albania, and most recently Montenegro. 
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The historic spread of its use occured because the nations that officially adopted Orthodox Christianity - the religion of the Eastern Roman Empire (ΡΩΜΑΝΙΑ/Romania) - as their state religion, had the right to bear the byzantine eagle on their arms if they wanted to, with the corollary that the bearing of the byzantine eagle in gold was a priviledge that only belonged to the sovereign of Constantinople.<ref>Military Photos. [http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=112459 Byzantine Army and Navy Ranks.]</ref> ''(See for example, the image of the Imperial Palaeologan eagle, below).''
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Therefore, the Serbian eagle is depicted in silver. Russia also had the eagle in silver but they changed it to gold ''(probably in the 15th century after the marriage of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow with Sophia Palaeologina, the daughter of the last Byzantine Emperor & after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans),'' to justify their claim as the "third Rome". Austria on the other hand, earned the right to bear the byzantine eagle, after the marriage of the first German Emperor Otto I in 972, with the niece of Byzantine Emperor Ioannis Tzimiskes, Theophano ''(and of course the Austrian Empire claimed to be the continuation of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans)''. They adopted the byzantine eagle, in black though, as the "shadow of the Imperial Eagle".<ref>Military Photos. [http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=112459 Byzantine Army and Navy Ranks.]</ref>.
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=== Use on Coats of Arms ===
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The two-headed eagle appears on the '''coat of arms''' of the following countries<ref>Wikipedia. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_headed_eagle Double-headed eagle].</ref>:
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* [[Byzantine Empire]] (historical)
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* [[w:Albania|Albania]] 
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* [[w:Austria-Hungary|Austria-Hungary]] (historical)
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* [[w:German Confederation|German Confederation]] (historical)
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* [[w:Russian Empire|Russian Empire]] (historical)
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* [[w:Russia|Russian Federation]]
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* [[w:Serbia and Montenegro|Serbia and Montenegro]] (historical)
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* [[w:Kingdom of Yugoslavia|Pre-WWII Yugoslavia]] (historical)
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* [[w:Serbia|Serbia]]
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* [[w:Montenegro|Montenegro]]
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=== Flags with the Double-Headed Eagle ===
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* Flag of the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] of Constantinople.
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* Flag of [[Mount Athos]].
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* Flag of [[w:Flag of Serbia|Serbia]].
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* Flag of [[w:Flag of Albania|Albania]].
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* Flag of [[w:Flag of Montenegro|Montenegro]] ''(adopted July, 2004).''
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== Provenance of the Double-Headed Eagle ==
 
The following gallery, shows examples of the double-headed eagle in the history of the church.
 
The following gallery, shows examples of the double-headed eagle in the history of the church.
  
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
en:Image:Byzantine_eagle.JPG|Byzantine Empire emblem in front of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
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Image:Palaiologos-Dynasty-Eagle.jpg‎|The double-headed eagle, the most recognized emblem of the Byzantine Empire, with the [[w:Monogram|dynastic cypher]] of the [[w:Palaiologos|Palaiologoi]] in the center.
Image:1684_Tomb.JPG|Double-headed eagle on a 1684 tomb at the [[Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - Hundred Doors (Paros)]]
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Image:Byzantine eagle.jpg|Byzantine Empire emblem. The double headed eagle as standing in the front entrance of the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] of Constantinople.
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Image:Constantinople & Mount Athos Flag.JPG|Flag of both [[Mount Athos]] and the [[Church of Constantinople|Ecumenical Patriarchate]] of Constantinople.
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Image:Greece_logo.gif‎|Emblem of the [[Church of Greece]].
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Image:1684_Tomb.JPG|Double-headed eagle on a 1684 tomb at the [[Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - Hundred Doors (Paros)
  
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
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==Notes==
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<div class="references-small"> 
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<references /> 
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</div>
  
 
== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
*[[w:Double-headed eagle|Double-headed eagle on Wikipedia]]
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* [[w:Double-headed eagle|Double-headed eagle on Wikipedia]].
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* Animal Lover World. [http://www.animalloverworld.com/birds/Double-headed_eagle.html Birds Guide: Double-Headed Eagle].
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* Military Photos. [http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=112459 Byzantine Army and Navy Ranks.]
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* International Encyclopedia of Uniform Insignia. [http://www.forum.uniforminsignia.net/viewtopic.php?t=2941&start=100&sid=227e665d7ea390c0e927e1d2c5c730f2 Uniform Insignia Forum: Greek Armed Forces History].
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[[Category:Symbols]]
 
[[Category:Symbols]]

Revision as of 23:52, April 22, 2008

The double-headed eagle is the most recognizable symbol of Orthodoxy today (other than the cross) and was the official state symbol of the late Byzantine Empire, symbolising the unity between the Byzantine Orthodox Church and State, which was governed by the principle of Symphonia or Synallelia, that is, a "symphony" between the civil and the ecclesiastical functions of Christian society. In addition, the heads of the eagle also represent the dual sovereignity of the Byzantine Emperor, the left head representing Rome (the West) and the right head representing Constantinople (the East), whilst the claws of the eagle hold a cross, or a sword, and an orb.

Contents

Byzantine Emblem

Emperor Isaacius Comnenus (11th century AD), the first ruling member of the Comnenus dynasty, was the first Emperor who adopted the two headed eagle as the symbol of the Empire.

Emblem of Church of Constantinople and Mount Athos

The modern double-headed eagle flag for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and of Mount Athos, features the eagle with a sword in the right claw symbolizing secular authority, and an orb in the left symbolizing spiritual authority. Above the eagle, is a crown and the background colour of the flag is yellow. (see image below).

Emblem of Church of Russia

The two major symbolic elements of Russian state and church symbols (the two-headed eagle and St. George slaying the dragon) predate Peter the Great. The double-headed eagle was adopted by Ivan III after his marriage with the Byzantine princess Sophia Paleologo, whose uncle Constantine was the last Byzantine Emperor. After the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, Ivan III and his heirs considered Moscow to be the last stronghold of the Christian faith, and in effect, the last Roman Empire (hence the expression "Third Rome" for Moscow and - by extension - for the whole of Imperial Russia).

From 1497, on the double-headed eagle proclaimed a Russian sovereignty equal to that of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The first remained evidence of the double-headed eagle officialised as an emblem of Russia is on the great prince's seal, stamped in 1497 on a Charter of share and allotment of independent princes' possessions. At the same time the image of gilded double-headed eagle on red background appeared on the walls of the Palace of Facets in the Kremlin.

Modern Usages

The two-headed Byzantine Eagle is currently the emblem on the Flags of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of Mount Athos, as well as those of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro. It has also become the Coat of Arms of modern States including Serbia, Russia, Albania, and most recently Montenegro.

The historic spread of its use occured because the nations that officially adopted Orthodox Christianity - the religion of the Eastern Roman Empire (ΡΩΜΑΝΙΑ/Romania) - as their state religion, had the right to bear the byzantine eagle on their arms if they wanted to, with the corollary that the bearing of the byzantine eagle in gold was a priviledge that only belonged to the sovereign of Constantinople.[1] (See for example, the image of the Imperial Palaeologan eagle, below).

Therefore, the Serbian eagle is depicted in silver. Russia also had the eagle in silver but they changed it to gold (probably in the 15th century after the marriage of Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow with Sophia Palaeologina, the daughter of the last Byzantine Emperor & after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans), to justify their claim as the "third Rome". Austria on the other hand, earned the right to bear the byzantine eagle, after the marriage of the first German Emperor Otto I in 972, with the niece of Byzantine Emperor Ioannis Tzimiskes, Theophano (and of course the Austrian Empire claimed to be the continuation of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans). They adopted the byzantine eagle, in black though, as the "shadow of the Imperial Eagle".[2].

Use on Coats of Arms

The two-headed eagle appears on the coat of arms of the following countries[3]:

Flags with the Double-Headed Eagle

Provenance of the Double-Headed Eagle

The following gallery, shows examples of the double-headed eagle in the history of the church.

Notes

External Links

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