Celtic civilization - one of the most mysterious and the unknown ancient civilizations.
Geographically, there was a Celtic oecumenealongside other well-known cultures. Nevertheless, she left behind quite a few certificates Celtic way of life, their beliefs, the heroic epic.
One of the oldest symbols known in the world today is the Celtic cross.
The world of the ancient Celts
Five thousand years ago the Celts civilization onNorth was opposed to the Greco-Roman civilization to the south. From Northern Alps Celtic tribes quickly settled on the territory of modern England, Ireland, France, Belgium and even Spain. The tribes of the Huns, besieged Rome, it was of Celtic origin. But soon the Romans in their conquests pushed the Celts and eventually assimilated their culture.
The farthest away from the ways of the Roman cohortsleft Ireland and Scotland, where the preserved ancient monuments of Celtic civilization. The old legends still live on the peninsula of Brittany in France, in Wales, and, of course, on the emerald island of Ireland.
Celtic cross as a pagan symbol
The oldest monuments of stones as a simpleCeltic crosses are in Ireland. Their age, according to research, is about 12 thousand years. They are ravnoluchevoy cross enclosed in a perfect circle.
Prior to joining Celtic Cross ChristianityHe symbolized the union of the heavenly and earthly forces, male and female. Four beam personified elements - Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and the circle - combining their sky. The ends of the Celtic cross signifies the infinite extension of the spiritual consciousness. The inner circle, from which diverge rays - a source of spiritual energy, the concentration of terrestrial and celestial forces at one point.
Later monuments were decoratedrich ornaments. The tradition of stone carving brought in the Celtic culture of the Picts, whose tribes gradually poured into the more numerous and strong Celtic community. It Picts began to cut large stones intricate crosses above and complex web designs on the sides. These crosses are found in the North of Scotland and Wales.
Ornament, decorate stone crosses, traditionalfor the Celtic culture: it is characterized by endless spiral twist and reliefs in the form of solar symbols - the main object of worship of the ancient Celts.
Celtic Cross St Patrick's
Pagan Celtic cross was equal to allhand, but with the advent of Christianity in the north of Europe the lower beam of the cross has become longer than the others. The appearance of this cross is associated with St. Patrick's missionary activities that converted to Christianity to Ireland and became its patron in the new world.
Such a Celtic cross was showing associationChristianity (the cross as a symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ), and ancient beliefs (circle as a symbol of the sun). New crosses were decorated not so much the traditional twisted ornament as Christian symbols like the fish and the chrism.