The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & its Migrations
Dispersion of the Swastika
A fragment of Archaic Greek pottery is reported by Rochette from the necropolis of Cumæ, in the campagna of Italy, and is shown in fig. 184. Rochette reports it as an example of a very early period, believed by him to have been Phenician. When we consider the rarity of Phenician pottery in Italy compared with the great amount of Greek pottery found there, and that the Phenicians are not known to have employed the Swastika, this, combined with the difficulty of determining the place of origin of such a fragment, renders it more likely to have been Greek than Phenician. A reason apparently moving Rochette to this decision was the zigzag ornamentation, which he translated to be a Phenician sign of water; but this pattern was used many times and in many places without having any such meaning, and is no proof of his proposition.
Figs. 185 and 186 represent the one-handled cinerary urns peculiar to the Bronze Age in Italy. They are believed to have been contemporaneous with or immediately succeeding the hut urns just shown. The cinerary urn shown in fig. 185 was found at Marino, near Albano, in the same locality and under the same condition as the hut urns. The original is in the Vatican Museum and was figured by Pigorini in "Arcæologia,: 1869. Fig. 186 shows a one-handled urn of pottery with Swastika (left) in intaglio, placed in a band of incised squares around the body of the vessel below the shoulder. A small though good example of Etruscan work is shown in the gold fibula (fig. 187). It is ornamented on the outside with the fine gold filigree work peculiar to the best Etruscan art. On the inside are two Swastikas. It is in the Vatican Museum of Etruscan antiquities. Fig. 188 represents another specimen of Etruscan gold filigree work with a circle and Swastika. It is a "bulla," an ornament said to indicate the rank of the wearer among the Etruscan people. It is decorated with a circle and Swastika inside. The figure is taken form "L'Art pour Tous," and is reproduced by Waring.
An ornamental Swastika (fig. 189) is found on a silver bowl from Cervetri (Cære), Etruria. It is furnished by Grifi, and reproduced by Waring. This specimen is to be remarked as having a small outward flourish from the extreme end of each arm, somewhat similar to that made by the Jains (fig. 33), or on the "Tablet of honor" of Chinese porcelain (fig. 31). Fig. 190 shows an Etruscan bronze fibula with two Swastikas and two Maltese crosses in the pin shield. It is in the Museum of Copenhagen, and is taken from the report of the Congrés Internationale d'Anthropologie et d'Archæologie Préhistorique, Copenhagen, 1875, page 486. This specimen, by its rays or crotchets around the junction of the pin with the shield, furnishes the basis of the argument by Goblet d'Alviella (1) that the Swastika was evolved from the circle and was a symbol of the sun or sun-god. (See p. 785.)
Bologna was the site of the roman city Bononia, and is supposed to have been that of Etruscan Felsina. It's Etruscan cemetery is extensive. Different names have been given to the excavations, sometimes from the owner of the land and at other times from the names of excavators. The first cemetery opened was called Villanova. The culture was different from that of the other parts of Etruria. By some it is believed to be older, by others younger, than the rest of Etruria. The Swastika is found throughout the entire
1. "La Migration des Symboles," p. 67. [Back]