Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shield and Star, King David and Hercules

This Greek Terracotta Drinking Cup (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC), which is dated to ca. 560 B.C.E., shows Hercules fighting an Amazon. Right at the center we see a Shield with a six-pointed star surrounding a lily. In every day language, we might say that we see here the Star of David on a Shield. It makes you think that this is the ORIGIN of the Jewish legend about King David’s Shield with the six-pointed star engraved on it (or that King David who ruled around 1000 B.C.E. influenced the Greek mythology).
This picture is of the highest importance to me:
  1. Up to the present moment I didn’t publish any picture of Greek six-pointed stars.
  2. The connection between the six-pointed star and the lily, which became frequent in the first centuries C.E. (for instance, in Capernaum Synagogue ruins and in Ein Yael near Jerusalem)
  3. The connection between the six-pointed star and the Shield.
  4. The connection between Hercules and King David (they both are legendary heroes who killed a lion and a giant etc.)
This picture was taken by: Glenn Gulley from Flickr. Copyright: Glenn Gulley 2008
Pay attention that aside from the inner hexagram the composition imitates two equilateral triangles: a. arms and toes; b. heads and knees.

I guess if German rabbi and folklorist Max Grunwald [1871-1953] knew about this discovery, he would have jumped on it as a proof to his theory [Historia Judaica: a Journal of Studies in Jewish History, Espescially in the Legal and Economic History of the Jews, Vol. IX, 1947 , translated from German by Hilde Kisch, p. 118 ff] and in the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia entry "Shield of David"

The use of the term “shield” points to an astrological and mythical connection, and is reminiscent of the shield of Melkart (Hercules), with which the latter slew the giant Antaeus

 Six pointed star on a shield from7Th Century B.C. Etruscan grave stele of Avele Feluske from Vetulonia, The National Archaeological Museum of Florence
:See also