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    Logos or mythos?

    January 17, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    The Triseklion is the symbol of the Isle of Man as we all know, but Sicily has its own logo, a female version called the Trinacria.

    Apparently, 3 nymphs danced around the world gathering the best fruit, stones and soil, which they then threw into the sea to create Sicily. That is why the island has three corners.

    Alternatively, it represents a head of a Gorgon, whose hair is entwined serpents with ears of wheat, and from which three bent legs branch off with its feet pointing in the same direction. There were three sisters: Medusa (the most important one and guardian of the underworld), and the two daughters of the sea gods Forco and Ceto, Euryale and Steno. They represented perversion in its three forms: Medusa was the intellectual, Euryale the sexual and Steno the moral perversion.
    The ears of wheat, introduced by the Romans, symbolize the land abundance and fertility and the rank of “breadbasket” of the Roman Empire.
    The position of the three legs, feet pointing in the same direction, suggests a rotational motion. Hence it has been suggested that the Triscele represented the sun (or the weather god Baal) or the moon with scythes instead of legs. In Sicily, this symbol represents the three promontories of the island: Capo Peloro (Punta del Faro, Messina: North-East), Capo Passero (Siracusa: South), Capo Lilibeo (or Capo Boeo, Marsala: West). This particular reference is found in the greek word triskeles and connects to the geographic meaning: treis (three) and akra (promontory). In Latin too, triquetra (three vertices).

    Or, there was a boy who could swim underwater for long periods of time and was put to the test by King Frederick II. Eventually, the boy discovered that Sicily was held up by three columns and one was about to break. The boy, Colapesce, then decided to hold the broken column on his own. Every time there is an earthquake, it is attributed to the boy being so tired from holding up the island.

    Obviously it really came from a Manxman in the employ of the Normans but who am I to spoil a good story or three.

    The flag of the Region of Sicily has incorporated the Triscele at it's centre since April 3, 1282 during the time of the Sicilian Vespers. It symbolises the unity of Sicily in expelling the Angevins / Charles I. The colour red is the color of the Municipality of Palermo and yellow the one of Corleone, at that time, the largest agricultural capital of Sicily.

    PS The Spartan warriors used to carve a white bent leg in their shields as a symbol of strength!
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