Armenian Eternity sign

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The eternity sign appears on the base of this 1965 monument at the top of Yerevan Cascade, named "Revived Armenia", dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Soviet rule in Armenia. See another view. There are 9 eternity signs on this 50 m long monument, including 5 on the base and 4 on top.

The Armenian Eternity sign is an ancient Armenian national symbol and a symbol of the national identity of the Armenian people.[1] It is one of the most common symbols in Armenian architecture,[2][3] carved on khachkars and on walls of churches.

Evolution and use[edit]

In medieval Armenian culture, the eternity sign symbolized the concept of everlasting, celestial life.[4] Since the 5th century, it appeared on Armenian steles, later it becomes part of khachkar symbolism.[5] Around the 8th century the use of the Armenian symbol of eternity had become a long established national iconographical practice,[6] and it keeps its meaning until the modern times.[7] Besides being one of the main components of khachkars,[8] it can be found on church walls,[9][10][11] tomb stones and other architectural monuments.[12][13][14][15][16] Notable churches with the eternity sign include the Mashtots Hayrapet Church of Garni,[17] Horomayr Monastery,[18] Nor Varagavank,[19] Tsitsernavank Monastery.[20] It can also be found on Armenian manuscripts.

The eternity sign is used on the logos of government agencies and on commemorative coins,[21] as well as non-government organizations and institutions in Armenia and the Armenian diaspora.[22]

The symbol is also used by Armenian neo-pagan organizations and their followers. It is called by them "Arevakhach" (Armenian: Արևախաչ, sun cross).[23]

ArmSCII and UNICODE[edit]

In ArmSCII - Armenian Standard Code for Information Interchange, an Armenian Eternity sign has been encoded in 7-bit and 8-bit standard and ad-hoc encodings since at least 1987. In 2010 Armenian National Institute of Standards suggest The Unicode Consortium encoding an Armenian Eternity sign.[24] In 2013 both leftward and rightward rotating symbols were included into Unicode character set standard.[25]

Font glyphs

Regular
Italic
Bold
Bold Italic

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Armenian Eternity Sign, IT Development Support Council of the Government Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Workgroup of Language & Culture, 2010.
    From page Prehistory of the Armenian Dram and Armenian eternity signs of National institute of Standards of Republic of Armenia.

    Armenian Eternity Sign is the ancient national symbol and in Armenian reality it can be met in many variations.

    The appearance of the Sign resembles both clockwise and anti-clockwise rotating ornament, which is composed with curves running from center of the symbol.

    As a rule the Sign should have eight curves, as this number stands for revival, rebirth and recurrence.

    However, the symbol may be represented with four and more curves as well.

    Right and left rotations have accordingly active and passive meanings, as in case of Swastika, and are used in order to accentuate these meanings.

    For example, a cradle for а boy is decorated with the right whirling eternity sign and a cradle for а girl with the left whirling eternity sign.

    It can be performed both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally.

    Eternity Sign opens the list of symbols included in ArmSCII.

    Armenian Symbol of Eternity is the direct descendent of the pre-historic Swastika and has clear Armenian interpretation.

    It symbolizes the identity of Armenian nation suchlike a David’s star for Hebrews.

    The earliest roots of round whirling sun-like symbols in the Armenian Highland are rock inscriptions from the Stone Age.

    In Armenia the eternity sign can be found everywhere, in architecture; on doors, walls and etc.

    The sign of Eternal Life, or turning wheel, was carved on numerous Khatchqar (Cross-Stones) and church walls in ancient Armenia.

    Besides the meaning that “Everything Armenian starts from the eternity sign”, this sign has a punctuation function also: it is applied to divide a text into parts (chapters), as well as to design a text or a poem or to make references like an asterisk sign (*).

    Armenia today, is arguably the only nation on earth where the Symbol of Eternity is a prominent and integral part of artistic expression and spiritual symbolism.
  2. ^ Jacob G. Ghazarian (2006), The Mediterranean legacy in early Celtic Christianity: a journey from Armenia to Ireland, Bennett & Bloom, pp. 263, p. 171 "... Quite a different version of the Celtic triskelion, and perhaps the most common pre-Christian symbolism found throughout Armenian cultural tradition, is the round clockwise (occasionally counter-clockwise) whirling sun-like spiral fixed at a centre — the Armenian symbol of eternity."
  3. ^ K. B. Mehr, M. Markow, Mormon Missionaries enter Eastern Europe, Brigham Young University Press, 2002, pp. 399, p. 252 "... She viewed a tall building with spires and circular windows along the top of the walls. It was engraved with sun stones, a typical symbol of eternity in ancient Armenian architecture."
  4. ^ Bauer-Manndorff, Elisabeth (1981). Armenia: Past and Present. Reich Verlag. p. 89. "The circle, as a line returning upon itself, represented perfection. Having neither beginning, nor end, it was the symbol of eternity. The architects expressed the concept of everlasting, celestial life in the knowledge of the presence and effect of the divine power by sphere." 
  5. ^ N. Sahakyan/ Armenian Highland: / RAU Press. 2006, page 150(349)
  6. ^ Jacob G. Ghazarian (2006), The Mediterranean legacy in early Celtic Christianity: a journey from Armenia to Ireland, Bennett & Bloom, pp. 263, p. 186 "The eighth, or ninth, century date of this two examples of Irish stone crosses places them chronologically well after the carving of stone crosses in Armenia and the use of the Armenian symbol of eternity had become a long established national iconographical practice."
  7. ^ (Armenian) Zarian, A. K. (1989). "Խաչքարերի խորհրդանշաններին և միթրայականությանը վերաբերող պատկերագրական հարցեր [Iconographical Problems Concerning Symbols of Khatchkars and Cult of Mithra]". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (Yerevan: Armenian National Academy of Sciences) (1): 202–219. ISSN 0135-0536. 
  8. ^ The government of Armenia, The list of non-material cultural heritage of Armenia, 2010, p. 15
  9. ^ R. Kartashyan, «Architectural complex of Khoranashat», The journal of social sciences №4, Yerevan, 1986, pp. 42—52
  10. ^ Hayden Herrera (2005), Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work, Macmillan, pp. 784
  11. ^ Károly Gink, Károly Gombos, Armenia: landscape and architecture, Corvina Press, 1974
  12. ^ Nicolas Holding (2011), Armenia, Bradt Travel Guides, pp 312, p. 130, 148
  13. ^ G. Sargsyan, U. Melkonyan, Litographical sketches - 2, Historico-phylological journal of Armenian Academy of sciences, № 3, 2012, p. 101
  14. ^ R. L. Khachatryan, Russian academy of Art, Rudolg Khachatryan: high-dimensional objects, Galart, 2002, p. 13
  15. ^ Armenia Today, vol. 5-6, Yerevan, 1982, p. 4
  16. ^ G. Karakhanyan, «Medieval domesstic reliefs of Armenia», The journal of social sciences, №8, Yerevan, 1975, pp. 31—47
  17. ^ see image of the dome
  18. ^ Manoucharian, A. A. (1979). "The Upper Complex of the Horomayr Monument". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (in Armenian) (Yerevan: Armenian National Academy of Sciences) (4): p. 268. "Երկու զարդեր են քանդակված կամարների ներսի կողմի վերնամասում։ Մեկը պատկերում Է հավերժության նշան, կազմված գնդաձև ուռուցիկ մակերեսին սփռված ելունդավոր գծերով։" 
  19. ^ Kartashian, Hrach. "The architectural ensemble of Nor Varagavank". Patma-Banasirakan Handes (in Armenian) (Yerevan: Armenian National Academy of Sciences) (7): p. 65. ISSN 0320-8117. "Պսակ-գոտու անմիջապես վերևով անցնում է եզան և կտցահարող թռչունների, նռնենու տեսքով կենաց ծառի, զամբյուղների, վարդյակի և հավերժության նշանի պատկերներով քանդակաշարք, որն ունի գաղափարական որոշակի իմաստ:" 
  20. ^ Asratyan M., Tsitsernavank, Historico-phylological journal of Armenian Academy of sciences, № 2, 1980, p. 50
  21. ^
  22. ^ National Council of Western Armenia, the flag of Western Armenia, 2011
  23. ^ (Armenian) "Հայկական արիական հիմնական նշանների (սիմվոլների) խորհուրդը եւ չափային շղթաները". Armenian Aryan Union. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Armenian Eternity Sign". Unicode. 2010. pp. 10–12. 
  25. ^ http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n4387.pdf

External links[edit]

See also[edit]