Бронза

Материал из Энциклопедия символики и геральдики
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Основные значения:

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Минералы


Сплав олова и меди (в древности часто сплавляли медь с различными металлами).

Символическое значение

мощь, сила, стойкость.

Черновые материалы[править]

Связывали с Гефестом, который, согласно древнегреческому мифу, выковал из нее великана Талоса.

Бронза, состоящая из меди (женский элемент) и олова (мужской элемент) рассматривалась в качестве андрогина и использовалась в очистительной магии; в античном Риме шевелюру первосвященника Юпитера обрезали только бронзовым ножом, римские служители культа брились исключительно лезвиями из бронзы, бронзовым плугом намечали этруски границы новых поселений.

Культовые объекты часто сооружали из бронзы, полагая, что она обладает оберегающей силой.

Бронза / bronze

Symbolically the values of both bronze and brass are identical, both being alloys of copper; in the case of brass, with zinc, and of bronze with tin and silver. Being children, symbolically speaking, of a marriage of opposites, since copper is associated with the Sun and with FIRE and the other metals with the Moon and WATER, the two aspects of this metal’s symbolism are in violent conflict and it is as a whole ambivalent. Given the metal’s high degree of resonance, it is first a voice — on the one hand the voice of the cannon and on the other that of the bell — and however unlike the one may be from the other, both are powerful and terrible.

According to Greek tradition the inventor of bronze-working was Cinyras, the first king of Cyprus, who probably came from Bybios (GRID, 93).

According to Hesiod, the Race of Bronze was 'terrible' and 'powerful'. One of its last earthly representatives must have been Talos, a figure of Cretan legend, part human, part machine, a sort of robot, believed to have been fashioned from bronze either by HEPHAISTOS or by King Minos' engineer and architect, DAEDALUS. This bronze Talos was an awesome being. Minos entrusted him with the task of preventing strangers from landing in Crete or its inhabitants from leaving the island. He would hurl enormous boulders at any vessel which approached or, what was even worse, heat his body red-hot, chase, catch and burn his victims to death by clasping them to his chest. It was to avoid him that Daedalus took to the air when he escaped from the island. However, and this proved crucial, 'Talos was invulnerable except for one place in his body. At the bottom of his leg there was a tiny vein, closed by a pin…. Medea, with her spells, succeeded in opening this vein and Talos died' (GRID p. 435). It is interesting to observe that just as Achilles was invulnerable save for his heel, so this creature’s vulnerable point was at the bottom of its leg. This is an indicator of psychic and moral weakness. It is strange that the energy which powered this bronze robot should have drained through this channel once the witch had opened it. One might venture to suggest that Talos symbolizes debased energy, purely material, applied to evil ends and completely controlled by magic spells, whether these spells be those of the knowledge and arts of a Hephaistos, a Daedalus or a Medea. Bronze was a sacred metal, used to make the instruments of worship from antiquity to Buddhism and Christianity. The Brazen Serpent was carried like a standard by the Children of Israel (Numbers 21: 9), who had only to glance at this figure to be saved from death from the bite of the fiery serpent. It was later to be displayed in the Temple as a symbol of God’s protection. There, too, was the altar of sacrifice with four brazen horns which gave sanctuary to the criminal who clasped them. The vessels which tinkled in the wind in Zeus' wood at Dodona were of bronze, as were Hephaistos' palace and temple doors, the roof of the Temple of Vesta and the earliest statue of Ceres at Rome. So were the vessels used to pour sacred libations. The Ancient Egyptians thought of the vault of Heaven as being of bronze and The Book of the Dead speaks of going 'towards Heaven, across the firmament of bronze'. The Ancient Romans used a bronze razor to shave the heads of their priests and a bronze plough-share to mark the boundaries of a camp or a new town. This tough metal was the symbol of incorruptibility and immortality as well as of unswerving justice. If the vault of Heaven was believed to be of bronze, this was both because it was as impenetrable as this metal and because the metal itself was associated with the most transcendent powers of the sky-gods, those whose voices boomed out like thunder filling mankind with awe and fear.

The quite extraordinary resonance of this alloy caused Fama, the Roman goddess of fame, to choose it as the material from which her palace was built on a mountain peak. This again reveals the ambivalence of the symbol, for Fame’s palace 'was always open and both re-echoed and amplified whatever was spoken near it. Here the goddess lived, surrounded by Credulity, Error, False Joy, Terror, Sedition and False Rumour, and from her palace she looked down upon the whole world' (GRID p. 157).

There is similar ambivalence in the legend of the HIND with brazen hoofs and in that of Empedocles' sandal, also brazen. In both cases it may well be that the metal symbolizes separation from the worldly state and from corruption. If Mount Etna, into the crater of which the philosopher threw himself, vomited up his bronze sandal, Classical antiquity believed that Empedocles' teachings remained incorruptible on earth, immortal among men, while their author was admitted to immortality by the company of the gods. The hind’s brazen hoofs are ambivalent. On the one hand they might mean that thanks to this hard and holy metal the creature was kept apart from earthly corruption, on the other that the hind, naturally light-footed and pure, was weighed down by earthly desires. On the one hand you have the sublimation and on the other the corruption of its natural character, for such is the bipolar nature of the symbol. A less complicated view might be that it emphasizes the headlong dash of the tireless hind to escape the pursuit of its hunters, the unending and holy flight of the virgin and the untamed.

Early Irish literature contains many references to bronze in the context of weapons, jewellery and utensils. However, a problem is set by the word findruine or 'white bronze', since it is not clear whether the word describes brass or electrum (a gold and silver alloy), and it may well be that the Irish applied it indiscriminately to both. brooch Medieval Irish literature describes in minutest detail the delg or brooch, a piece of personal jewellery of bronze, silver or, sometimes, of gold, ornamented with enamel or precious stones, which glittered upon the breast of the hero whose cloak it held. Despite this, it would seem that brooches, almost always described as priceless jewels, were merely symbols of the luxurious dress of the warrior caste. The vast numbers discovered in France and in the British Isles, and indeed throughout the ancient Celtic world, are clearly pieces of costume jewellery of gold, silver and bronze, elaborately patterned with masks, spirals, leaf motifs, human heads, triskeles, swastikas and so on, and studded with amber, coral and enamel. They are most often found in graves and in pairs.

It was more usually the object depicted on the brooch which had a meaning and this would be passed on as a spell or power to the wearer. Sometimes the brooch was regarded in some sense as a symbol of protection, and by extension of virginity and faithfulness. Thus twelve brooches held together the scarf in which Penelope draped herself like a cloak or peplos.

In Great Kabylia, brooches symbolize woman (SERF pp. 251–2) and, by extension, fertility. It might be legitimate to wonder whether the brooch which wounded Cuchulainn was not the love of a woman and whether brooches, with their sharp pins, are not symbols of love which can join together and yet wound two persons.


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