Oggi diamo un’occhiata a questo libro americano pubblicato nel 1923. Il titolo originale è “Birds in legend, fable and folklore” e l’autore Ernest Ingersoll.
Potete trovare il libro gratuito da scaricare in diversi formati qui, avrete anche l’opzione di sfogliarlo online. Il libro esplora come gli uccelli sono stati rappresentati in leggende, storie e nel folklore dall’antichità ai giorni nostri (almeno fino al 1923). Parla di come sono state viste le migrazioni di uccelli, gli uccelli in riti pagani, quando gli uccelli sono diventati simboli. Il libro è pieno di aneddoti ed essendo un libro statunitense troverete molti riferimenti ai popoli nativi americani.
Anche se datato, il libro è ancora interessante e scritto in un inglese ancora comprensibile (anche se a volte politicamente scorretto).
“SEVERAL nations and empires of both ancient and modern times have adopted birds as emblems of their sovereignty, or at least have placed prominently on their coats of arms and great seals the figures of birds.
Among these the eagle — some species of the genus Aquila — takes precedence both in time and in importance.
The most ancient recorded history of the human race is that engraved on the tablets and seals of chiefs who organized a civilization about the head of the Persian Gulf more than 4000 years before the beginning of the Christian era. These record by both text and pictures
that the emblem of the Summerian city of Lagash, which ruled southern Mesopotamia long previous to its subjugation by Babylonia about 3000 B. C, was an eagle “displayed,” that is, facing us with wings and legs spread and its head turned in profile. This figure was carried by the army of Lagash as a military standard; but a form of it with a lion’s head was reserved as the special emblem of the Lagash gods, with which the royal house was identified — the king’s standard.
After the conquest of Babylonia by Assyria this eagle of Lagash was taken over by the conquerors, and appears on an Assyrian seal of the king of Ur many centuries later. “From this eagle,” says Ward, 23 “in its heraldic
attitude necessitated by its attack on two animals [as represented on many seals and decorations] was derived the two-headed eagle, in the effort to complete the bilateral symmetry. This double-headed eagle appears in Hittite art, and is continued down through Turkish and modern European symbolism.”