The Vergina Star - Origin and Meaning

The Vergina Star - Origin and Meaning

During the visit of the really interesting Museum of Vergina we had met the so-called Star of Vergina several times, the sixteen ray sun symbol that first struck us on the big, golden ash box of Philip II.

According to the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos, the Vergina Sun (382 BC - 336 BC) was the emblem of the Macedonian royal dynasty at the time of Philip II and Alexander the Great (356 BC - 323 BC).

The symbol of the Star of Vergina was discovered in 1978 during archaeological excavations within the royal tombs in the Greek region of Macedonia. The identification as an emblem of the royal dynasty is founded by Manolis Andronikos with the accumulation of the symbol in the grave context. In addition to the sixteen radiant star on the big ash box, there is a star on the smaller twelve radiant ash box (which is regarded as belonging to a widow), the symbol also is found on shields. In addition, the star appeared frequently on Hellenistic coins and soldiers shields.

As 1987, the Greek regions developed a flag (they were abolished at the time, but which were, however, re-established later), bearing the Vergina Sun in gold on a blue background, the identity of endowed character of Greek Macedonians. Given that the Greek government misinterpreted this as a separatist move, the flag never achieved official status, but came into official use, i.e. two units of the Greek Armed Forces using them with the symbol of a sign in their flag.

Serious doubts about the identification as "Emblem" offers the wide distribution of similar "stars" with different numbers of rays, both in Greek and non-Greek art as a simple ornament pattern, the symbol appeared among others on the shoulders of a warriors on an Athenian grave stele. Accordingly, the "Vergina Sun" is nothing more than a more or less randomly selected from artisans decor. In stark contrast to the scientifically dubious interpretation of the stands the symbol of the Republic of Macedonia and Greece metered value.

The Vergina Sun was part of the first, of Greece unrecognized flag of the state of Macedonia, but was replaced after protests from Greece, which claimed the star also as a national symbol by an eight-rayed sun. Greece in 1995 had claimed the star at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as an exclusive national symbol, on a blue background, it adorns now the unofficial flag of Macedonia and whose capital is Thessalonica and adjacent to the State of Macedonia in the north. Between the Greeks and Macedonia there is dispute not only because of the naming. Since the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1991 seceded from Belgrade, the government in Athens fears territorial claims of neighbors belonging to Greece part of the landscape of Macedonia.

To date, the respective Greek governments accession negotiations with Macedonia block of the European Union and membership in NATO - for fear of nationalist circles in Skopje that often speak of a Greater Macedonian Empire. Once more nationalist ideas on both sides that contradict the basic needs and desires of the people for peace and international understanding.

Please read as well:

Exploration trip to Naoussa - Imathia

The Macedonian Royal Tombs of Vergina


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