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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
 

Exhibitions

“HISTORY AND CIVILIZATION”

(permanent)

It comprises of seven compartments, expanded in all the rooms of the entire first floor, occupying an area of 1,400 sq. m. Chronological framework of the exhibition includes the period from the Paleolithic to the end of the fifth decade of the twentieth century.

The compartment “EVOLUTION OF MAN IN PREHISTORIC TIME”

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
The section reflects the aspects of the development of human communities from the Stone Age to the Early Middle Ages. The main thematic components imply diverse aspects of development of the societies, which inhabited the area between Prut and Dniester since the oldest times, and reflect indissoluble relations between people and the environment and evolutionary development of various forms of economy based on cattle-breeding, cultivation of cereals, and practicing of crafts.  ...

The compartment of Ancient and Early Medieval History

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
Roman period is represented by various items, including a series of Roman bronze and clay vessels found in a Sarmatian tomb near the village of Olanesti, among which there is a rarity - a clay pot in the shape of a ram...

The compartment of Medieval History (13th – 18th centuries)

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
The next compartment of the exhibition comprehends 13th - 14th centuries, period of formation and evolution of the medieval Moldavian state. Adornments, ceramic utensils, coins originated from Costesti and Orheiul Vechi confirm urban-type settlements and their prosperity. Another group of exhibits depict the so called "transition period" and "Moldavian period" of Orhei Vechi....

The compartment „Bessarabia in the 19th Century”

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
This compartment of exhibition reflects the history of Bessarabia in the modern time. As a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812 (that were fought in the area of Romanian Principalities of Moldova and Wallachia and ended with the conclusion of the Treaty of Bucharest of 16 / 28 May 1812) the Russian Empire annexed the eastern part of the Principality of Moldova (the territory between the Prut and Dniester) and incorrectly extended the name of Bessarabia to all the lands between the Danube and Hotin (the Turkish rayahs of Hotin, Bender, and Ismail were also annexed)...

The compartment „Bessarabia in the first half of the 20th century”

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
This department of the exhibition is dedicated to the contemporary period of history and begins with a series of objects reflecting socio-cultural movements of the early 20th century, events of the World War I and the national movement in 1917, which culminated in the creation of the first Bessarabian parliament - the Country Council (Sfatul Tarii) and the unification of Bessarabia with Romania...

The compartment of World War II and Stalinist repression

(Permanent Exhibition „History and Civilization”)
The department presents documentary evidences about World War II and political repression during the Stalinist dictatorship. ...

The culture and science of Moldova in the 20th century: Personalities

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)
This department of the exhibition reflects some aspects of the cultural and scientific life of post-war Moldova through the prism of the activities of outstanding people in various fields: literature, theater, music, cinema, science and education.Despite the political regime and red terror established in the MSSR after 1944, the Moldavian society followed the laws of dialectics and continued to develop. ...



 




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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