SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.

Ravter, grave with rare symbol

Cross of King Solomon (Latin: Sigillum Salomonis) is the most common name for a decorative motif, which has been in use since ancient times. Another name for it is Solomon's knot. Solomon, which in translation means "peace" is the name of King of the Jews. In his time, the first temple in Jerusalem around year 1000 BC was built. Most of what we know about him is written in the Old Testament. When he became king, he prayed to God to give him wisdom, discerning heart and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3: 7-15).

Another story from Old Testament tells of his wisdom. Once, two prostitutes asked Solomon to decide their quarrel about a baby. Both of them claimed the same, namely “I am the real mother”. Solomon's response was extreme, but it soon proved to be wise. He suggested intersection of the child in equal half with his sword. When the true mother heard the king’s suggestion, she preferred to offer the baby to the other woman, rather than let the baby die. The outbreak of selfless motherly love showed Solomon, who is the real mother. This image of a wise King of the Jews is supplemented by numerous myths and magical legends. Solomon's cross is therefore also a symbol of wisdom.

Solomon's cross consists of two closed loops, which are symmetrically interlaced in four points. This symbol is found in many cultures, not only in the Jewish tradition. It often occurs in old Roman mosaics, usually in the form of two intertwined ovals, then in Ireland, Middle East and Central Asia. It is also popular in Croatia, where it is known under the name “Pleter”, and is also part of the Muslim tradition. It is found in Africa, namely, in glass products, textiles and engravings of people Jaruba, and in modern designs in The United States of America.

Solomon's Cross is therefore used in many cultures and in different historical periods, so its symbolism is interpreted differently. As a symbol without a beginning or an end, it may represent immortality and eternity. On the other hand, it is similar to two intertwined figures, so it symbolizes love between man and woman. It is therefore named as lovers knot. On Jewish graves and mausoleum it symbolizes eternity. In Latvia, from where we know versions of Solomon Cross on textiles and metal products, it symbolizes time, movement and power of pagan gods. Somewhere this symbol represent important secular symbol, because it indicates prestige, importance and beauty. With this symbol, people from Jaruba tribe in Africa indicate royal status. As a secular symbol it is also a part of mathematics.

Salomon's cross