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National Museum of History of Moldova
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#Exhibit of the Month

From the early days of Christianity, the cross meant not only an instrument of torture, but also a symbol of victory over death, a symbol of salvation. The object is made of silver, having the shape of a Byzantine cross with trapezoidal edges of the arms. The side arms and the one at the bottom seem to be turned inside a vessel (chalice (?)) with the trapezoidal "foot". The arms of the cross and of the "chalice" were ended with a decorative element in the shape of a sphere (drop). The cross has a decoration in relief, executed in the technique of filigree and granulation, consisting of drops, double and triple cords, circles with a drop in the center, and trefoils (?). In the center of the cross, at the intersection of the arms, there is a round mount with a cord-like edge, in which the pomegranate fruit is located. However, the main decorative element is the images of four peacocks turned to the right, with a snake in the beak, arranged on all the arms of the cross. The image of the peacocks is rendered in an artistic way, and their tails are stylized in the shape of a palmette.
The peacock, originated from India, due to its luxurious fan-shaped tail, was considered a symbol of the Sun. In ancient Greece, they were considered the sacred birds of the goddess Hera, and in ancient Rome they were considered the sacred birds of the goddess Juno. In Kievan Rus', the peacock (the Firebird) also symbolized the Sun. In the West, the peacock was considered a snake killer, and the iridescent colors of its tail were attributed to its ability to turn snake venom into solar substance. Since snakes in Iranian symbolism were considered enemies of the sun, it was believed that the peacock killed snakes, in order to create "eyes" from their saliva, iridescent with a bronze-green and gold-blue color on the feathers of its tail. Due to the bright splendor of the male peacock's tail, it has been compared with immortal gods and, therefore, with immortality. Peacocks are known as an emblem of greatness, royal authority, spiritual superiority, ideal creation.

In the early period of Christianity, the peacock was a symbol of love, resurrection, immortality, beauty, eternity of the soul, the all-seeing eye of the Church, and the peacock feather was the emblem of Saint Barbara. The image of peacocks with snakes in their beaks on the cross is not at all accidental; it symbolizes the victory of Christ over evil.

On the back side of the cross, traces of fixing are preserved, probably of a pin (missing), so the object served as a brooch (fibula), which was probably attached to the fabric. The piece is presumably dated back to the 9th-12th centuries.

The object has the following dimensions: height - 125 mm; width - 86 mm; weight - 47 g.


 
National Museum of History of Moldova
 

Collections

Numismatic Collection

The collection consists of:

  • Coins of diverse times and countries of issue. There are ancient coins of Greek, Getae-Dacian, and Roman origin, medieval coins of local and foreign issues (the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the United Provinces, Hungary, Poland, etc.); series of modern coins; contemporary Moldavian and foreign currency
  • Modern and contemporary banknotes, both Moldavian and foreign. Beside the banknotes, there are other means of payment
  • Decorations: orders, medals, and crosses (the 19th - 20th centuries) of different countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the Russian Empire, Yugoslavia, Mongolia, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Hungary, USSR, etc.), received by civil and military persons
  • Medals dated from the 17th - 21st centuries, predominantly modern and contemporary
  • Badges, seals and signet-rings, stamps, etc.

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Numismatic Collection
 
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Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
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#Exhibit of the Month

From the early days of Christianity, the cross meant not only an instrument of torture, but also a symbol of victory over death, a symbol of salvation. The object is made of silver, having the shape of a Byzantine cross with trapezoidal edges of the arms. The side arms and the one at the bottom seem to be turned inside a vessel (chalice (?)) with the trapezoidal "foot". The arms of the cross and of the "chalice" were ended with a decorative element in the shape of a sphere (drop). The cross has a decoration in relief, executed in the technique of filigree and granulation, consisting of drops, double and triple cords, circles with a drop in the center, and trefoils (?). In the center of the cross, at the intersection of the arms, there is a round mount with a cord-like edge, in which the pomegranate fruit is located...

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