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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

“Official and unofficial symbols of the Republic of Moldova”

Dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the State Flag and the State Coat of Arms of the Republic of Moldova and to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the National Heraldry Commission

November 3, 2020 - February 28, 2021

Symbols are expressions of the spirit, which are evoked by specific material manifestations that define the individual or collective embodiment of the idea of homeland. Of the many symbols that exist in space and time, national symbols are of paramount importance. Their role is to coagulate national and state entities and to sensitize society in order to educate patriotism, dignity and the appreciation of national values. Among the national symbols of a state are distinguished the official ones, such as the coat of arms, the flag, the anthem, the state insignia, the national currency, but also other emblems that identify it in non-formal situations, such as flowers, trees, birds, animals, monuments, and so on.

The purpose of the exhibition is to present the official national symbols of the Republic of Moldova, but also the complementary national emblems fundamental for the country, which have the role of defining and popularizing the heraldic image of our country both within the country and in Europe.

The exhibition is divided into three compartments. The first of them is dedicated to the major national symbols: State Coat of Arms, State Flag, State Anthem, state and departmental insignia, national currency, and so on. Among others, original medieval documents from the collections of the National Archive of the Republic of Moldova are exhibited, which illustrate the use of the coat of arms of Moldova in the medieval and modern era. For the first time, several exhibits are displayed that highlight the life and work of the authors of the anthem Limba noastră [Our Language], the poet Alexe Mateevici and the composer Alexandru Cristea.

The second compartment includes derived national symbols, such as the banners of the highest officials of the Republic of Moldova or the state seal, but also some complementary national emblems, from the field of nature or culture, such as national plant, national flower, national tree, the national animal emblem, the national bird, the national river, the national holiday, the folk costume, and so on.

The purpose of the third compartment is to present to the public the model of a country that successfully and inspiringly promotes its natural and cultural symbols. This is Canada, where those symbols are adopted not only at the national level, but also at the provincial level. Thus, several materials are exhibited, including various products, souvenirs, coins, postcards, objects, clothing accessories, and other items, which contain images of unofficial symbols of this state.

Organizers:
National Museum of History of Moldova
National Heraldry Commission under the President of the Republic of Moldova

Partners:
National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
Mihail Kogălniceanu National Museum of Literature
National Archives Agency
Researcher Maria Ișaev
Also collaborated: Eugen Belinschi, Varvara Buzilă,
Marina Chilat, Petru Costin, Svetlana Dernovici,
Alexandru Macovei, Daniel Racoviță, Valentina Rudâc,
Leontina Vatamanu, and others.




 




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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