Page images

that the Cross was guarded by its enclosing square, and it would be optional to turn the second part of the arm in either direction, to the right or left. All magic being enveloped in mystery by its professors, the omission of an unessential part of the primitive diagram may have been thought to increase the mystical effect.

Another form, which some might think more protective, consisted of the Cross with the second part of the arms turned in both directions, to the right and left, leaving, in its simplest shape, only the angles of the square unrepresented, perhaps because internal corners in houses are liable to become lurking-places for evil spirits. It has been called by Mr. J. M. Campbell the 'Guarded Cross.'1 This design occurs on early terra-cotta whorls of Troy, and on pottery from Mycenae. In the British Museum there are three specimens from Honduras, cut in flint; and it appears in the Palenque reliefs of Central America. It is also included in the Kurna designs. That it is only a variant of the Swāstika is shown by the last form from Troy previously illustrated (see p. 656).


A third type, which may be termed the Barred Cross, or Barred Swastika, was subsequently developed. In it, one or two lines are placed across the arms of the Cross or Swastika, at their ends or at a short distance from them. Specimens of this variety of Swastika occur on early Indian and Ceylon coins, and the Cross is found on pottery of the first city at Troy, and on a fragment of pottery from the later Lake Settlement at Paladru in France, and of course very commonly in later Christian art.

In addition to the Swastikas already illustrated, some of the simpler types of these early designs are as follows:

1 The Indian Antiquary, Vol. xxiii, p. 161, 'Notes on the Spirit Basis of Belief and Custom.'

2 Schliemann. Troy, Plate 24, Fig. 355. Compare also Coin No. 35,


[merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

Dr. Schliemann also found a Swastika at Troy with a square at the end of each arm. All these guards or bars on the arms are equally intended for the protection of the Cross from the intrusion of evil influences, and symbolise the enclosing square; they give increased protective powers to the cross or prevent its powers from being neutralised.

I exclude the curved Swastikas from consideration, as they are unmistakably derived from the straight-lined figures, and because in them the ornamental character often predominates. The meaning of the dots which sometimes accompany the first five designs is obscure. It may be doubted if there are any grounds for terming them 'nails.'

It will be observed that excepting special instances in which its meaning cannot be mistaken, I have omitted all reference to the oblique cross. It is not a figure from which the Swastika has been developed. Although in some cases it may have an import similar to that of the upright cross, in others it appears to possess a different meaning.

No hypothesis regarding the signification of the Swastika can be satisfactory unless it furnishes a reasonable explanation of all the simpler forms which I have illustrated. This I

1 Each of these plain types numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 is also often enclosed in one or more squares or circles.

2 The types numbered 1 and 2 are sometimes drawn with more lines, up to seven in number. The forms numbered 2 and 3 are used by some members of the Kurnai tribe of South-east Australia, as personal marks on opossum skin rugs (Howitt, The Native Tribes of SouthEast Australia, p. 74).

believe has not been previously attempted to be given, excepting in part by Mr. Campbell in his article in the Indian Antiquary. Whether the present solution be accepted in its entirety or not, it does at least provide a possible reason for them; it remains for others to decide if this is an adequate


Among other sites these diagrams are to be seen at the following places.

No. 1. A prehistoric character in the earliest of all writing, the linear Sumerian or Accadian script-say 5000 B.C. (Boscawen. The First of Empires, p. 57).

No. 2. On the earliest Egyptian red vases, possibly of the sixth millennium B.C. (Capart. Primitive Art in Egypt p. 106). Enclosed in a square this forms an Egyptian hieroglyph on a plaque of King Aḥa, about 4400 B.C. (Dr. Budge. A History of Egypt, Vol. i, p. 78). Troy (Schliemann. Troy, p. 162, Fig. 116; Plate 46, Fig. 447; Plate 51, Fig. 495). Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, p. 105, Fig. 160). Archaic Greek Pottery (Waring. Ceramic Art in Remote Ages, Plate 33, Fig. 35). Egypt (Perrot and Chipiez. Hist. of Art in Ancient Egypt, Vol. ii, p. 359). Cyprus (P. and C. Hist. of Ancient Art in Phoenicia, pp. II and 297). In a peculiar Phrygian circular stone tumulus the body was deposited in the square made by the intersections of the stone-work built in this form (P. and C. Hist. of Art in Phrygia, etc., p. 50). Lake Dwellings (Munro. The Lake Dwellings of Europe, pp. 175 and 255). Kūrna, both separately and enclosed in a circle. Early Indian Coins (Theobald. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1890, 'Notes on some of the Symbols found on the Punch-marked Coins of Hindustan,' Nos. 78, 108, 112, 123). India (Sir A. Cunningham. The Stupa of Bharhut, Plate 49, Fig. 6; Report No. xi of the Arch. Survey of India, Plate XI, Fig. 3, where the cross is formed of four Swastikas). American Indian Burial places (Wilson. The Swastika, p. 929). Ceylon (Magical diagrams).

No. 2a. Kūrna.

No. 26. Kūrna. American Grave-mounds (Second Annual Report of the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, Plates 53, 58, 59).

No. 3. Enclosed in a circle it forms an Egyptian hieroglyph. Troy (Schliemann. Troy, in 'hundreds,' p. 105). Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, p. 194, Fig. 294; p. 259, Fig. 383; p. 265, Fig. 419). Cyprus (Cesnola. Cyprus, p. 68; Salaminia, pp. 254, 255; Plate 13, Fig. 30; Plate 15, Figs. 50 and 52). It is a character in a Hittite' inscription from Jerābis (Dr. Wright. The Empire of the Hittites, inscription J. I.). Phrygia, where it is a relief on a large panel at the end of a tomb (P. and C. Phrygia, etc., p. 65). Lake Dwellings (Munro. op. cit. pp. 14, 17, 173, 255). Central America (Wilson. The Swastika, p. 972). Early Indian Coins (Theobald. loc. cit. Nos. 162, 177, 225, 227, 269; Smith. Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Plate 22, Fig. 16; Sir A. Cunningham. Coins of Ancient India, Plate II, Figs. 15, 16, 20; Plate III, Figs. 5 and 6; see ante Fig. No. 154 coin b). Ceylon (see ante, Inscription No. 73; Bell. Arch. Report, 1895, p. 2; a relic chamber in a dāgaba was of this form, see ante). American Grave-mounds (Second Ann. Rep. of Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, Plates 51, 53, 58, 59; Third Ann. Rep., p. 24, Aztecs, Borgian Codex, Plate 43).

No. 4. This form enclosed in a circle appears as an Egyptian hieroglyph on a vase of King Besh, 4100-4133 B.C. (Dr. Budge. Hist. of Egypt, Vol. i, p. 208). Early Cylinder (Dr. Forster. The Monuments of Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia, pp. 158 and 166). Assyria (Waring. Ceramic Art, Plate 40, Figs. 3 and 4-from Lajard). Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, p. 265, Fig. 417). Cyprus (P. and C. Art in Primitive Greece, Vol. ii, p. 378). As a 'Hittite character at Jerābīs (Dr. Wright. The Empire of the Hittites, Inscription J. II.). On a Lydian mould (P. and C. Hist. of Art in Phrygia, etc., p. 293). Lake Dwellings (Munro. The Lake Dwellings of Europe, pp. 14, 56, 62, 72, 173, 175). Central America. American Gravemounds (Second Ann. Rep., S.B. of Ethnology, Plates 52, 53, 61).

No. 5. Troy (Schliemann. Troy, p. 55). Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, p. 203). Rhodes (Wilson. The Swastika, pp. 849, 906). Egypt, Kūrna and Gnostic (British Museum). Aztecs (Plate 44, Fejervary Codex, in Third Ann. Rep. S.B. of Ethnology, Plate III; Fig. 9, p. 60).

No. 6. Troy (Schliemann. Troy, p. 130, Fig. 78; Plate 48, Fig. 480). Archaic Greek Pottery (Waring. Ceramic Art, Plate 27, Fig. 9). Cyprus (Cesnola. Salaminia, p. 282). Kūrna. Honduras (British Museum). Aztecs (Plates 65 and 66, Vatican Codex B, Third Ann. Rep. S.B. of Ethnology, Plate IV). Ceylon (see ante, 'The Earliest Coins,' No. 15, on which the Swastika has similar forked ends. This form of cross is carved in relief on the four faces of the capital on which stands the winged lion of St. Mark, at Venice.

No. 7. Assyria (P. and C. Hist. of Art in Chaldea and Assyria, Vol. ii, Fig. 116, where it is worn as an amulet by King Samas Vul. II). A symbol on a royal necklace (P. and C. op. cit. p. 366; Layard. Monuments, 1st Series, Plate 59; 2nd Series, Plate 4). It is also among the rock carvings at Bavian, where it is bounded by a circle; and with forked ends on Persian pottery from Kouyunjik (Layard. Discoveries, p. 591). Troy (Schliemann. Troy, Plate 36, Fig. 427; Plate 45, Fig. 470). Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, Plate 12, Fig. 56, closely resembling the Honduras example; p. 203, Fig. 316; p. 259, Fig. 385; p. 264, Fig. 404; p. 265, Fig. 420). Cyprus (Cesnola. Cyprus, p. 481; Salaminia, pp. 80, 243). Lake Dwellings (Munro. op. cit. p. 15). Honduras (British Museum). Kūrna. Mexico (Waring. Ceramic Art, Plate 33, Fig. 35). Aztecs (Plate 44, Fejervary Codex in Third Ann. Rep. S.B. of Ethnology, Plate III; Fig. 9, p. 60). Sometimes the central circle is absent, and the diagram is employed without it in Ceylon against evil planetary influences.

No. 8. Mycenae (Schliemann. Mycenae, p. 74).

No. 9. Scandinavia (Waring. Ceramic Art, Plate 44, Fig. 18).

« PreviousContinue »