Statistical surveys of people's preferences indicate that the snake — a highly unpopular animal. She was found the most malosimpatichnye being the maximum number of respondents — 27%. Against the spider, who took second place, 9.5% of respondents favored. When the hatred people have of snakes, can not but marvel that the reptiles were a sacred symbol of many ancient civilizations.
During that such a dislike?
Dislike of reptiles Christians probably understandable: after all, God cursed the serpent-tempter, has persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that the human race had to fatal consequences. Curse it was recorded in the Bible, which brought up many, many people that also had fatal consequences, but for the kind of snake.
However, some scientists believe that the aversion to snakes lies, rather, in human psychology than in the various beliefs. And due to the complete absence of snakes anthropomorphic traits. The worst enemy called Podkolodny snake, poisonous or creeping reptile, viper, and so on. And yet …
Wherever you look — a snake!
In Iraq — the cradle of ancient civilization — near the town of Sheikh Adi is Yezidi temple where the image is emblazoned on the doors of the snake. It settled center of pilgrimage for thousands of nomads-Kurds. After all Yezidi believe snakes most powerful force in the world — the carriers of both good and evil.
Aborigines of Australia kept the legends about snakes in their "myths of Dreams', which tells of the creation of the world. In the central regions of Australia, and now you can find images of the Great Goddess — Rainbow Serpent, which centuries ago was crawling on the north coast, along the way creating rivers, mountains and people.
The people of the East to the snakes special treatment. In Tibet, for example, the sacred pipe is decorated with images of monks reptiles, and in Nepal, in the area called Budanilkanta, a mysterious statue of the god Vishnu, sleeping in the pool on a bed of snakes.
Ancient Egyptians believed the serpent sacred animal. We have heard a pair of images of snakes, topped with two royal crowns — Upper and Lower Egypt. Pharaohs were often depicted with a snake in his forehead, and one of the sacred symbols was a picture of two snakes on a background of the disk, presumably solar.
Equally enjoyed great honor and a snake in neighboring Egypt, the country of Ethiopia. Cushitic kings and queens were always depicted crowned with the emblem of the Kings — a cobra. The potters made pottery, which is decorated with a symbol — a winged snake.
In Aztec mythology describes the scene of man's creation feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, who helped Snake Woman Chihuakoatl. In the ancient Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) sacred places are decorated with feathered serpent heads, and the entrance to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl protects stone giant snake head with open jaws. Such images of Aztec serpent prevail in many other sacred places, such as in-Teotiu Akane in Mexico.
The ancient Mayans also worshiped the feathered serpent, who was called Kukuklan. Across Central America, in the settlements of the Aztecs, Mayas, tolte find-ing drawings, which depicted the reptile.
In India, there is still a cult of the Naga — powerful beings with snake body and one or more human heads. In the Indian sources of the Nagas called "divine serpents", they devoted an extensive series of myths in the first book of the "Mahabharata". From the root of "Naga" is due a large number of Indian names.
Cast down from the pedestal
Transfer of ancient zmeebogov which our ancestors worshiped in various parts of the world, can continue, but already it is clear that no creature has attracted greater public attention than the snake. Hardly all these snake cults arose independently of each other, most likely, they have a single source. According to some versions, zmeebogam worshiped by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis, according to others, he was elected as its symbol the aliens … But why did the ancient deities were cast down from its pedestal and brought a curse?
On flags, coats of arms and coins
Trample snake has become a tradition — at least remember the Bronze Horseman, whose mighty steed for the third century presses bronze reptile. But the horse — a special case: a snake tear, crush and trample all and sundry. Most often, eagle, falcon, hawk — depending on whether what is found in a predatory feathered one or another part of the world. Recall the famous sculpture "The eagle with a snake" in the Caucasian Mineral Waters …
Personal coat of arms of Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan coin: five-headed eagle holding in the paws of the two-headed snake-tyanitolkaya.
The state emblem of modern Mexico — an eagle, claws tearing the snake.
In San Agustín, in central Colombia, the biggest statue is a bird that bites snake.
Special sign Manchurian squad set Ataman GM Semenov was vyserebrenny copper-headed eagle without crowns, holding in the paws of a snake.
Where did this symbolism?
Ivan III (1462-1505) inherited from his father, Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily Vasilyevich II (1425-1462), printing (octagonal gem), which depicts a lion, tearing a snake. Scenes of violence with a snake common in Russian prince emblems, for example, on the coins of the Nizhny Novgorod-Suzdal principality On her tormented griffin, and on the coins of Verey Prince Michael A. — eagle. Of course, this can be explained by the Christian tradition, referring to St. George slaying the dragon either, or a snake.
However elidskih coins (Ilia region in the north-west of the Peloponnese) is also embossed eagle tearing a snake. In the visual arts Scythian "animal style" Globe story is a falcon with the reptile in its beak.
In Egyptian mythology Horus — a deity in the form of a falcon or a man with a falcon's head, battling with Seth and winning it. And in some myths Seth is identified with the evil serpent Apophis.
At the famous frieze of the Pergamon altar depicts the battle of the gods with zmeenogimi giants. One of the labors of Hercules was a victory over the Lerna Hydra and Perseus — zmeevolosoy of the Gorgon Medusa.
In the Vedic tradition, the eagle is known as a divine messenger, and he is often depicted as a bird Garuda, attacking a snake.
In Aztec legend, the gods of war, Huitzilopochtli and his supporters won Quetzalcoatl. "Feathered Serpent" left Central America, sailed with a group of his followers on the Yucatan to the "raft of reptiles." After that, in the new capital of the Aztec Enochtitlane were built two magnificent statues guarding the Temple of Eagles. They depict the terrible man-birds, angry faces are peeking out from under the beaks of giant eagles. In addition to these archaeologists found many images of gods flying — terrify the new rulers of the world.
Eagle defeated snake
Because of what the war between the gods, in which people participated on both the "snake" and on the "Eagles"? There are different versions, but none of them looks quite convincing. Whatever it was, the new gods have won over the place!
It remains to remind about Quetzalcoatl, who, according to myth, brought to Mexico writing and calendar, discovered the secrets of healing, masonry, mathematics, metallurgy, and astronomy. He taught people to grow corn, and he was revered. "Feathered Serpent" forbade human sacrifices, and when, after his departure bloody ritual was revived, people sadly recalled the years of his reign.
Over time, Quetzalcoatl and other zmeebogi been forgotten, because history is written by the winners.
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