Heraldic traditions came to Slavic lands from Western Europe, whereas the word gerb found in several Slavic languages originates from the German erbe meaning “heritage”, “inheritance”. In the Middle Ages, when feudal relations were strengthening in Europe, it became necessary to single out feudal lords among their vassal environment. Moreover, in the times of tournaments and crusades, when a knight was covered with armour and had a closed visor on his helmet, it was totally unclear who he was and which nation and family he belonged to. Thus, insignias were absolutely necessary. One’s coat of arms was exactly an indicator of one’s name and title. Knights mostly drew their coats of arms on their shields, and that was the origin of the major heraldic tradition. Later on city coats of arms began to emerge.
Hence, there was surely no coat of arms in Kiev in the times of Kievan Rus, though Kievan princes did have their personal seals. In fact, every prince had such a seal to mark his property and sign his orders.
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Many of you certainly attend churches, temples or houses of prayer, and believe in Single God. For sure, many of you respectfully treat the great woman depicted on numerous icons and images, revered in various religions and denominations, and named Mary. Unfortunately, today we know almost nothing about who this woman was and what was her destiny; and hardly many people have an idea of the true essence and meaning of her superior spiritual feat.
We have already dedicated a number of articles and analytical publications to her in the Holy Mother of God (Virgin Mary) section, and today we would like to post a new series of photos clearly showing that in Christian images and icons of Virgin Mary the sign consisting of a circle and a crescent is widely present – the sign that is already familiar to many readers as the AllatRa sign (more details about it may be found in our relevant analytical material).
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