The Smithsonian Institution Regents of the University of Michigan

The Tree of Life in Indo-European and Islamic Cultures Author(s): George Lechler Reviewed work(s): Source: Ars Islamica, Vol. 4 (1937), pp. 369-419 Published by: Freer Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the History of Art, University of Michigan Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25167048 . Accessed: 24/10/2012 02:39
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

.

The Smithsonian Institution and Regents of the University of Michigan are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Ars Islamica.

http://www.jstor.org

THE TREE OF LIFE IN INDO-EUROPEAN AND ISLAMIC CULTURES BY GEORGE LECHLER
In islam the tree of life is given the name sidra or tuba, in the minds of the

Muhammadans representation,
Figs. 1-4).

it grows

in the midst

of Paradise

and, consequently,

may

and thus becomes a fit subject for artistic be found woven into the mihrab of prayer rugs (cf.

The early authorities of Islam, when interpreting the Kur'dn, that the Sidra explained stands in the seventh heaven on the right hand of the throne of God, and marks the utmost bounds of Paradise beyond which the angels themselves must not pass. This is impressively told in Stira LIII: 16, and reaffirmed as the sura continues with the statement: "Near it is the garden of eternal abode."1 The Sidret-el munteha on the earth ("the Sidra of the utmost bounds") has its prototype in the Sidra tree, a kind of wild plum tree, Ziziphus jujuba, which grows in Arabia and India. It produces small plums. This tree is also sacred to the Muhammadans as is demonstrated by their custom of throwing its leaves into water which they use to cleanse a corpse during a burial ceremony.2 Hafiz in the Diwdnz draws upon ancient Persian traditions in his descrip tions4 of the Sidra: On the holy boughs of the Sidra High up in the heavenly fields Being beyond terrestrial desire
My soul-bird a warm nest has built.

and fusing this with the old Persian ideas By the soul-bird he indicates a fresh development, he forms a new Islamic interpretation. In Babylonia the tree of life was called the tree of Ea, the father of the gods; it grows in and also has the name Ukkanu. Those who ate its fruit were supposed to receive Eridu, eternal life. From this belief is derived the tree of life of the Old Testament, growing in the midst of Paradise. Paradise was also situated in Eridu.)5 (The Babylonian In the religion of Zoroaster the tree of life is called the white haoma (homa), and its fruit is used to nourish the blessed spirits in heaven. The beverage made from it has the same name in the Avesta.6 Very similar to this is the soma of the old Indian Veda.7 The word soma is

1The Koran, 2A. Sprenger,

trans. G. Sale, New York, Das Leben und die Lehre

1922, p. 508. des Moham Susan und Le

med, Berlin, 1869, I, p. 306. 3 Die Persische Nadelmalerei J. Karabacek, schird, Leipzig, 1881, p. 154. 4A. "Die Sagen vom Lebensbaum Wunsche, benswasser," Ex Oriente Lux, I, 1905, p. 9.

Langdon, Mythology ton, 1928, XII, p. 194. 6 F. die Wolff, Avesta, 1924. Berlin-Leipzig, 7A. A. Macdonnell, Aryan Hft, A. Research,

5 S.

of All Races: heiligen Buecher

Semitic,

Bos

der Par sen, Encycl. Vol. Indo Ill, 1

"Vedic Mythology," 1896-1920,

Strassburg,

370

GEORGE LECHLER

derived from haoma and consequently dates back to Indo-Iranian time. The holy etymologically also play an important role in Indian literature.8 fig trees (Ficus indica and Ficus religiosa) In the same literature Amrita gives immortality, and the fruit of the tree Kalpavriksha is identical with the fruit of the trees. a In to source addition of immor probably holy fig being trees.9 tality the holy fig trees fulfill all wishes brought to them, and thus become wishing Very similar to this is the belief of the ancient Germans who adored the dragon-guarded to the wife of the god Bragi, the goddess Iduna. These apples bring eter apple tree belonging nal youth to the Aesir. The Greek idea of the apple tree in the garden of the Hesperides, also to this. The fruit also preserves the lives of the Greek guarded by a dragon, corresponds
pantheon.10

Some writers have deduced that the myth of the ancient German apple tree must be rela of this tree into the tively young because of the fact that the Romans brought the knowledge North. at Alvastra The opinion is an erroneous one. Excavations in Sweden have proved that the ancestors of the ancient Germans cultivated apple trees of two different kinds.11 The in which the apples were found belongs to neolithic settlement time in the third millennium B.C. (The climate was two degrees centigrade warmer than today.) The remains of apples are found in mound burials of about 1500 B.C. These apples were placed as symbolic additional in the oak coffins during the period of the primitive Germanic culture in Denmark.12 a of closer contact with Christianity, the Muhammadans As consequence developed the idea of the tree of life inspired by pictures of the Sidra tree of Sassanian-Arabian art. in which Adam, facing death, in the Greek Apocalypse of Moses This is especially noticeable sent his son Seth to Paradise to secure some oil from the "tree of mercy." the entire Through gifts medieval and German poets into period this narrative was transformed by French, English, In these Seth is portrayed as fables about the wood from which the Cross of Christ was made. to Paradise and there receiving from the Cherub three seeds of the tree of life. When hastening he returned Adam there grew beginning new tree of life which

had died, and Seth placed the three seeds in Adam's mouth. From this the tree from which the Jews made the Cross of Christ. This became the has brought life to the souls of men just as the old tree of life inspired to the souls in heaven. and gave immortality The principal works and writers on this subject, according Nicodemus' toWiinsche,13are: Christian Book of Adam; World Chronicle, by Rudolf of Ems; Book Evangeliary; Ethiopian of Excerpts, by Vincent of Beauvais; Speculum Historiales, Legenda by Floridus Lambertus; von Meissen; and The Holy Cross, by Henry of Aurea, by Jacobus de Voragine; Heinrich The last work Wunsche cites as being especially interesting in its full text. Freiburg.

8 B. Keith, Mythology 1927, VI, p. 46 ff. *Ibid. 10 Deutsche J. Grimm, Stallybrass {Teutonic

of All Races:

Indian,

Boston,

11O. bei Alvas Steinzeitfunde Froedin, "Einzigartige Zeitschr. f. Vorgesch., tra," Mannus, I, 1909, p. 309. 12G. 5000 lahre Deutschland, Lechler, Leipzig, 1936, p. 56. 13 Wiinsche, op. cit., pp. 15 fT.

Mythologie, London,

trans. 1883.

S.

C.

Mythology),

THE TREE OF LIFE There are also some dozen medieval dramatic

371

or epic works which Wunsche discusses, and finally there are the principal writers of later times: Tirso de Molina, Calderon, Milton, in novels such as The Adventurous and Seidl. Even Simplicissimus Ruckert, by Hans von written before 1671, there is found the motif of the tree of life transformed Grimmelshausen, into a social picture. In chapter fifteen, the author describes a dream in which the hero saw a its leaves into human figures; on the top were the nobility and at the huge tree transforming them to work hard; roots the peasants. The people above forced those beneath thus the author The satirizes the social conditions on the great ash tree of the often incorrectly described as a result of Christian universe,Yggdrasil (Havamal),is influence; the holy tree of the Old Germans this myth probably leads back to old Nordic belief. Moreover and Slavs is the linden tree, that of the Celts is the holy stone oak.14 Here mention must be made of the old belief of the creation of the first man out of trees. In the Edda the first couple fact that the old Germanic have the names Askr and Embla, and they were created from the ash and the elm (their names are identical with the names of the trees). The same kind of fables are found in Persia,
Rome, and Greece.

of his time (cf. Fig. 21). god Odin hung for nine days

the tree began to rustle, and finally the its roots.15 In Egypt, Greece, and India there was a belief that men were transformed into trees as were Osiris, Daphne, and Soma. The old Romans planted plane trees as "patron saints" for the newborn children. This prac tice resulted in an ever flourishing worship of trees, as for example that of the oak of Zeus at Dodona or of the oak of Diana at Lake Nemi. Thus it happened that frequently women were married to trees (Pliny). This was reversed at the sanctuary of Diana at Lake Nemi where was the first priest, whose title became the husband of the "holy oak."16 "King of theWoods," The extent to which the concept of the tree of life occupied the Christian mind is shown churchmen and religious teachers discussed this question in great by the fact that many detail.17 Thus Ephraim, the Syrian, called the tree of life the "Sun of Paradise" before which all the other trees bowed their heads (cf. Fig. 136). Other religious writers who have discussed the tree of life include Chrysostum, Theodoret, Augustine, Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Lom bard, Thomas Aquinas, Rupert of Deutz, Bonaventure, Luther, and Calvin. Closely connected with the tree of life was the water of life which ran out of its roots or in which the tree stood. To the Indo-Europeans water was the creator of life. Thus in the
14C. Their Nature, of the World, Clemen, Religions Their History, New York, 1931. 15 U. Holmberg, "The Tree of Life," Mythology of All Races: Finno-Ugric, 1927, IV, p. Siberian, Boston, 352. 16 J. Frazer, 40. p. 17 H. Wace, Literature, The Golden Bough, New York, 1935, I,

The belief that man was created from the tree of man as "the white youth" was below the seven first central place, and there he approached the tree of life partner as did Adam in the Bible. Then the leaves of tree creaked, and a female being rose up from under

The in the stories, the nine disks of heaven and prayed to the mistress of life for a

life reached

as far as the Yacuts:

Dictionary 1911. London,

of Christian

Biography

and

372 Veda, Greek

GEORGE LECHLER

In the and maintains life with the help of heavenly water. the god Agni originates tradition the same thing was done by Oceanus, the god of the Ocean, who created all the other gods. In the Eddd, also, the water Elivagar was the source from which the primeval giant Ymir, the first being, was made. on this sub In 1905 August Wunsche published his researches, which are fundamental a continuation of his researches18 and those of ject. The present article may be said to be

The documents demonstrate it also indicates the available archaeological material. Ward,19and in the religious worship of the past and that it was that the tree of life had a central position in all branches of Indo-European culture. Its origins lie farther back than equally established the neolithic culture. language the word Thirty years ago Kossinna pointed out that in the original Germanic from the documentary material as for tree trunk was identical with the god concept. However, far back as four thousand years ago we learn that the later tradition was present which said or abstract form of the tree of life or world tree. This that the tree trunk was an abbreviation was world tree symbolized by the asherah (see p. 388). Magdalenian to the "Hamburgian" culture contemporary with the of sacrifice which belonged near Hamburg, period was found by Rust at Ahrensburg Germany.20 This place 12000 B.C. In the dates back by pollen profile to the Wiirm glacier before chronologically a of strata that discovered the from Rust remains of a large of time, sedimentary deposit pond A place

of young reindeer. They had been submerged in the pond, and each reindeer had a stone in its breast. That these reindeer were victims of the hunt is evident from the large arrow holes in their scapulae. therefore that they were thrown into the water It is probable as a sacrifice to the life-giving god. On the bank of the pond a large wooden post had been erected upon which was placed a reindeer skull. Here occur together the sacrifice, the water, and the tree trunk, and this was perhaps fifteen thousand years ago. (The sacrifice of the number to the "Ahrensburg and the erection of the post belonged stage.") as to exact mean is in some details open to discussion It may be that the interpretation a one existed old is and there but certain is that that very religious tradition in neo ing, thing lithic times in Europe and at the beginning of historic times in the Orient. The find is not an are examples of primitive art undoubtedly with a religious significance in isolated one^ There caverns in caverns in the south of Europe. found have been Lan the snakes of of Carvings reindeer and Tuc d'Audoubert. A gerie Basse and La Pileta, and sculptures of them at Montespan to the mesolithic culture of at in found Denmark Maglemose carving, belonging Horring, probably seven thousand years before our time (Fig. 102) may also be noted. Here already

op. cit.; A. Wunsche, 18Wunsche, Ex Oriente Lux, II, 1906. Suedenfall," 19 The Seal Cylinders W. A. Ward, Washington, 1910.

"Schoepfung of Western

und

Asia,

bei Nachrichtenblatt f. d. Vorzeit, (Holstein)," "Die Grabungen bei Ahrens 1935, p. 223; A. Rust, XI, f. d. Vorzeit, XII, burg," Nachrichtenblatt 1936, p. 229. Ahrensburg

lithischen

20A. "Die jungpalaeolithischen Rust, aus einem Kulturschichten

und

fruehmeso

Tunneltale

cit. It is not very 1.21 On this tree of knowledge was fruit which enabled those who ate of it to distinguish between good and evil. Obviously the Israelite author was thinking in terms of customs of worship in which a tree was brought into the temple as part of the ceremony. 237. Among the old recorded traditions on this subject the best known. ("Moon"). the upper world representing and the lower world. 9: 20. quell. 4. I.. XIII. 1910. chapters 24 and 25. The so-called discussed Yahvist beside who edited Genesis in the ninth century B. point both as a fig tree and an olive tree.THE TREE OF LIFE 373 found in later periods of Nordic prehistoric there is the same composition times.C.C. rather than having been a substitute or second name for the Sidra. pp. Friedlander. the husband of the sun goddess Arinna. 24E. "Die Sagen vom Lebensbaum und Le p. 21 Wiinsche. is proof of the existence of this Its source is only a continuation24 of prochattic ideas and there (pre-Hittite) fore it belongs to a time before 2000 B. because there are two trees also mentioned In the famous Greek "Alexander novel"23 it without stated unfortunately clearly arguments. 262 ff." 22 op. although out. disappeared from the world and Telebinus. they are mentioned but clearly the Tuba might have corresponded to the tree of knowledge easily established. Forrer and G. Lechler. it is related that at the south of the world there exist seven mounds built with precious stones and on the central mound stands the tree of life. A cuneiform kind of custom. Thus (Prov.. the tree of life was probably the stem of a vine. which is part of the Old Testament Apocrypha. Ward. The Muhammadan tradi tion leads back to the Jewish. Zug nach dem Lebens . sarcophagi as Wunsche is not a later introduction. It seems possible that the tree of knowledge and receive Ward22 in old Indian literature. December 25. for six days to celebrated at the yule time. knowledge. Religionswissensch. Hittite document from the thirteenth century B." Erbe. The described festivity. The fruit of the tree of life secured eternal youth. In the book of Henoch. p. 27c). The expulsion from was so man Paradise that accomplished might not eat of the fruit from the tree of life and eternal life. is obvious that both trees were placed in the midst of Paradise.C. of course. footnote. took place in the city of praise the return of the god Telebinus Kasha. which might be compared to the north beside the temple of the Lord in bunch of dates. 23 "Alexanders J. The tree will in shape to a give eternal life to the elected few by its fruit." Archiv f. which will be later in connection with the archaeological documents of Crete. The archangel Michael told Henoch that the Lord of Lords when he descends to us will have his throne upon one of the mounds. This is obviously Paradise is related in Genesis the original belief. An original opinion is found again in the Proverbs of Solomon: "A tree of life is wisdom to those who acquire it" to Gen. thus it does not support the theory of the priority of the tree of Sura XCV: Kur'dn. 3:18). one named Helios the other named Selene In the ("Sun"). introduced the tree of knowledge standing the tree of life in order to explain the first sin. According very often the stem of a vine represents the tree of life on Christian (Fig. is in the Old which stands in the midst of Testament where the story of the tree of life (ez hachajjim) 2 and 3. benswasser. 1936. The tree will be transplanted order that itmay stand on the holy place. "Der Ursprung des Germanen Weihnachtsbaumes.

Further. Zeit" in fruehchristlicher "Das Fischsymbol (2nd ed. The cuneiform Telebinus GEORGE LECHLER finally a bee found him. who gift of Surely the Sack. text speaks of the festivity: presents also the king and the queen with life. therein lies the right will therein lies. Vol. and the other gods searched for him. Munster. gionen". und Kleinkunst. I. Vol.. which the sack was a or Saint Nicholas. strong symbol of life and of it stand two priests particularly sun which a winged is in a of On the seal (Fig.374 cultural life began to die. and the sack containing gifts. at each side life of tree sun over a as the the god Ashur is soaring winged a is fish The in fish disguises.. Primitive Edinburgh. of the Christmas there is here a prototype on is carried the by Santa Claus tree. All he came back. and wild animals." The withered tree. and the future. Garstang. 25 in den antiken Reli 1928). Indar. gifts of cookies in symbolic forms such cattle. The god Indar of the sheepskin sack. Clemen. . Thus he brought the sack as a tribute of nature to Telebinus. 27F. "Der heilige Fisch in der frueh "Die Fischdenkmaeler Ill. Munster. 69) appears gods resurrection. New York.25 was venerated kingdom. happy of wisdom nature. Christianity." the god words the god of nature.. II.27 trinity The Hittite 1930. In this manner Telebinus loads the king with presents: him stands a tree. the Phrygian place spring. Vol.. and Lucian reported a similar or tree of the world. but on the tree hangs a sack before which is made from sheepskin therein ismutton suet therein therein are are barley. "The God of is called in the inscriptions tree of the year before was taken from the temple. Doelger. and was replaced by the Then followed the bestowal of presents to of the god Telebinus. strength and the future. whose name appears in all the treaties among the gods of oaths In these in two temples of the Hittite and Varuna. such as Mithra of the the sack were put up the sacks brought by him. god in Syria. J. Obviously sheepskin. new tree before the millstone as the king. of culture. 1912. 26C. seals on which appear figures wearing cultic rites is indicated by Assyrian a tree introduction of the also took there of the festival of Attis. 1922-1928.. Doelger. Malerei und Antike. Christentum 1932. valleys. today hangs a and bearded rugged god. cattle. Empire. 1x^7*." Shorter christlichen Plastik. ears many of corn years and and also also grapes descendants therein lies the wholesome message therein therein lies lies a courageous . The temples were called the "temples of in other Indar was the god of the mountains.26 In Figure 68 cultic rite at Hierapolis (arbor intrat). the year. That to this in the cultural circle of the Near East the tree was an item of in addition In fish disguises. outline.

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 .

Fig. 7 . 5 Fig.

Fig. 10 .

Fig. 15 .

30 Perhaps hereby emphasis are at times these other directions of four \he represented by placed upon heaven. built sanctuaries at the four sides of which they erected wooden Sometimes the palmettos. The animals represent the east. p. tional food for yule time. for example. 1916-23. which is the cuneiform ideogram for ilu = god = sun = year. The Yambu rises out of the Marvo Sea from which place four great rivers flow toward the different points of the compass. the year (Fig. The fish called Karafish is also reported in the Avesta (Yasht 14. kerena). and north. found 101-10 7 the sun symbol is neolithic finds. holm. The tree Gaokerena produces haoma. which is also reported in pictures of Hittite appear again two fishes soaring above two griffins. Figs. Thus the Kal mucks call the tree of life Zambu. Die aelteren Kulturperioden. Figure 22 shows the Swedish midsummer bears tree of the year which is erected annually at the solstice. seals (Louvre. the points of the compass. Figs. 30O. cit. half man. Fig. which gives eternal life. op. This symbolism exists even today in the customs of Europeans. For this reason it is reported that the Mongols. west. This is an extremely old belief in order to among the civilized peoples of Asia.THE TREE OF LIFE 379 carried by two creatures. 70). that is. 235. an eagle. "the mistress of life. 611-612). Stock 29Holmberg. 60). 380. the world tree. the soaring near the tree. cit. 393-395 . 80). Figures 67 and 71. a lion. 29). to this on the right is the moon cycle. and the = on the other pictures beside the tree. 42-44. wears on her skirt a fish as an especially powerful symbol of fertility. the carp is the tradi thus in Germany. 64-65). In Figures Other parallels include European post ("yule rusk"). op. a horse. 73. The sun wheel represents the ideogram ilu god.. and 74. Nos. In 70 the tree itself has changed Figure 73 the tree is crowned by a radiant sun. the beverage soma of the Indians. cross form as Montelius is has pictured with excellent examples. the aforementioned the depth. and a dragon. a bull. images of prevent diseases. The identity of the tree of life with the tree of the world is clearly denoted by the seals in Figures 70. The Kalmucks show in every detail dependency upon the Indian beliefs. This old method of representation art of animals in Sassanian in connection make the frequent appearance comprehensible 28 Ward. Both fishes are also visible on seals in in connection with the tree of life. this gives a complete symbolization of Corresponding the circle of the year. above the tree of life. Beside it are pictured the cross and a star with eight rays. perhaps of the points of the compass may animals (cf. ten Karafish Following sea in and defend it against the dragon of the midst of the (Vourukasha).28 The Artemis. Montelius. south. are arranged in which are obviously abbreviations of the tree of life (cf. growing of life. half bull. beside this is a priest in fish disguise. Again. and in Figure sun on or a tree is its trunk into top by a wheel with eight spokes." of the Boeotian vase of the eighth century (Fig. and a lion. circle the root of the tree of life (Gao the Bundahish 18:19. Figure 23 brings the "queste" which Beside the wheel of the wheel of the year and which will be renewed every Pentecost. a tiger. which is derived from the Indian name Yambu.29 They emerge from rocks which look like an elephant. symbolized post.

Sechzig 1921.406-431.380 with GEORGE LECHLER This symbolism was not always a conscious one in the the tree of life (cf. Deussen.31 or "seed of The eternal fig tree spoken of in the above poem has the name Ashvattha32 all things. Figs. since on also possible that the Assyrians considered the relief of the Nimrud palace." Frazer's The Golden Bough. its fruit. 59-64). identical with soma. I93I-35. The same thing occurs in Figure 79. the branches downward thus stands the eternal fig tree the leaves of which are Veda songs. P." The juice that it produces. on December and also as the fish of the Assyrian tite festivity of Telebinus for the tree symbolizing the year.a symbolic arrange occurs again in Figure 80. nine fathoms. are seven branches. 82). Its roots stretch through the Lower World and its crown pierces the nine heavens. and in the palmettos of the holds there are nine. i. the tree (1) is placed in a circle six crowns of trees and six fruits on the outer rim (1+6 + 6= 13). seals informs us. Wirth. this kind of vessel is sometimes decorated with the tree of tree of life by symbolic numbers. to the year is shown on the Assyrian life. above. which means from Indian poetry of the late period Vedas. Leipzig. Veda is thinking of those who think of this tree Upward and downward its branches are bending Nobody on the earth is able to conceive of its form either its end or beginning or its duration. . and the palmetto "fruits" are 12 + 1 On each side of the trunk. Leipzig. the tree of life is nothing but a synonym Further confirmation of this is received it has a cosmic interpretation. ed. beside the ment in the shape of a sun wheel. has in dealing with old cults and myths concerning formed the whole world about old Greek and Roman ideas. Die Heilige Urschrift der Menschheit. silk fabrics. The title suggests that the leaves their hands 31Kathaka Veda. PP. Upanishad. This symbolization tree stands a wheel the four spokes of which are formed out of four figures holding trees in crown with (cf. An Altaic folk song relates of the tree of life: "In the center of the earth there is an iron a white seven-branched birch. amrita. As the tree used in the Hit 2 5 demonstrates. as in Figure 84. for example (Fig. fact that the mythology In the traditions of the Yakuts: "This tree is so old that its age cannot be reckoned in centuries. it may explain only the origin of the animals. The relationship = The palmetto 13. the winged genius with an eagle head in his hand a vessel of liquid. such as the Upanishad. forming its crown has seven parts. trees. which is contemporary with the Islamic late Assyrian seals: The roots upward. Upanishads des 32H. VI. is the water of life. It is the fruit of the tree of life to be a liquid. The length of each leaf is seven fathoms and that of the cones." Holmberg and on this iron mountain mountain established the of Altai depended completely upon the old Iranian peoples. the four animals representing the directions).

Its boughs hang with them. upon. Here In the oldest Babylonian tradition the tree of life is called a palm and is symbolized a palmetto: In Eridu (the place of creation) grows a dark palm from virgin soil it sprouted up. .33 Later of pine or palm. It is very by gifts of votive Europe.. of In the front of the hill a cedar rises in grandeur. The life of Ea is full of plenty in Eridu his home is the Lower World. the paths made. supports reported common to all Indo-European more than five thousand years old branches. poem the tree is twelve heavens Piercing on a summit of a mountain a birch in the misty depths of air golden are the birch leaves golden its bark in the ground at its foot a basin full of the water of life in the basin a golden ladle. This from originated probably Sumerian times. as already mentioned. Tammuz fruit is costly Oxford.. where Hum of cedar. dependent an In old Minusinsk the Old Orient. the contention in Indian This that we have to deal with an idea the Vedas. glorious to behold. 2340 B. . the cedar is spoken of as the holy tree under Gudea. Gazing on the height of the cedars. leaves made of golden bronze (Fig.. full of gladness . the ash Yggdrasil. Gazing The on the entrance of the forest.. The same idea exists in northern also has golden leaves. (= Ishtar). inside dwell Shamash and Tammuz. Its 33 S. the dwelling-place the gods. In Siberia is found the same idea. The crown of it produces lapis lazuli. which was the sanctuary of Irnini baba guarded "the mountain was with identical the mountain of the gods. the tree of life becomes The Gilgamish epic says: They stand considering the forest.. are well a kind Where Humbaba ways are is wont to wander about with great strides. interesting to note that at the Susinak temple of Susa were found. laid out. to gaze 1914." This mountain. Goodly is its shade. as deposited. and Ishtar. Langdon. the sanctuary of Irnini. It produces samtu-stones as fruit. and the same thing is the world tree. 123).THE TREE OF LIFE of the holy speculation described: tree were made upon 3^1 in its mental of gold.C. They gaze on the hill of cedars.

12 22 23 Fig. 24 Fia25 26 27 Fig. 13 Fig. Fig. 28 Fig. 29 Fig.^<^^j2^ Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. 30 .

Fig. 18 . 17 Fig.

20 .Fig.

Fig. - - "r 'Tgtagyg-tTtf'L-V---^V *i m ^S^l* LAnL """ . 27 b Fig. 31 .* -. 27 c nvjLjT AX'Jt^a r _ mi ig_ i I_JL!Li|i ii' ' 'IP ' ' '' f 'A \Ti 1 ..r ct"*V' i j ** 5 w f| v Y> * i '/A Fig. 27 a Fig.

40 Fig. 41 . Fig. 38 Fig.Fig.

34 Fig. 33 Fig. 34 6 Fla34c .*k i $3l I *4V#' I "HHf+ a jpIG 32 Fig.

complex of ideas from tradition is expressed in the Old Testament. 36H. whose people were obviously closely related to the Indo-Europeans. If it was destroyed or broken into pieces.C.36 migrations same The Ezek. Isa. p. 164. for exam 14:15.38 These facts also shed light dolmens North European and megalithic graves in Canaan of the same character as those in North Europe (Denmark. and 27: 9. summarizes the identity of the tree of life and world column as follows: Holmberg In the belief of the peoples grown the from a small of construction related to the Turks height. the former. on and An Sinai. cit. It could have been its roots in the soil." tree of life or world tree.34 traditions in Europe GEORGE LECHLER that coniferous trees were sacred trees. Germany then be erected. Grove Worship. since there were no mountains that this mountain was located in the north may have been the result of their of the "Mountain from that region. Consequently it seems that there is here documentary proof that a symbolic in the natural state with abbreviation such as a tree trunk or wooden for a living column could have been substituted are on conditions because there tree. and a stone pillar. highest point of each holy mountain was the center of the a it sacred tree. in Middle (Fig. asherah. of the Bible. are nearly important because they belong to the second millennium The asherah. it rises of whether independently tain or some story in the sky. Zeit 37 Dictionary 1908. 17:8. New Gressmann. on the tops of the mountains in Jerusalem. 6:26). And is intimately connected. the same as found. time. a new one could ple. The descriptions the asherah. as the "world tree. Assyrian ed. 1922. 16.388 There are also out. Sweden. this tree which with the growth of the universe has like from the World the earth. 14.) In addi tion to many sites that are unknown. Newton. 38 J. massebah. as von Zingerle pointed The myth must have had The belief35 of the Gods" as the home of the pantheon (= Paradise) its origin in pre-Sumerian in Babylonia. J. II Kings 17: 10. or it could have been cut down (Isa." Zingerle. 16:33. it states that the garden of Eden. Here sanctuary. 17:8. Hastings. York. which relates that the sacred cedar. York. My then und Sittenkunde. a high with moun to its present sapling the universe. Carmel. The Tower of Babel. I Kings 14: 23. its position always resembles that of the world pillar. 1859. 28:1." has its topmost branches high up in in Ezek. f. What was the form of the sacred Canaanite high places adopted by the Israelites? (Mic. . beside the altar stood is possible to determine the various conceivable of shapes of the sacred tree. schr. I Kings It could have been carved at the top. is situated on the heavens.. and all sanctuaries 16: 21). God's sacred mountain. "Der heilige Baum von Nauders. op. New New York. Like 34V. especially B. altar the Moria. the garden of God. 31:1. pp.37 As late as Josiah the Israelite cult was concentrated were declared illegal (Deut. IV. 17:2. d. Jer. 5:13. was either a real tree or at least a trunk of a tree. or the same as the ones two thousand years later for the Germanic "Irminsul. northwest Germany). I. 1928. there were many famous ones such as Garizim.. Jer. 121). 35Lechler. this the Israelites cults of Believing only took over pre-Israelite as is established Canaan. in many places in the Old Testament. mountain. 112 ff.

The same snake. 92-93). Figure Brassempouy. and the outline of the skirt is bull = constellation she is also mistress of the waters. In reality the snake on the referred to in the Bible. hibernates during the winter (the sun "hibernates" in spirals as the sun does also in the for forty days in the polar winter). a swastika. 100000 B. Holmberg. are in Crete: the tree There three of the lion gate of Mycenae. It is a fact also that it is often pictured storied.C." . III.39 why the tree of life was interchanged with a col The most famous example of the column is that (Figs. and the snake moves of a year. d. like the sun. consequently On both connection with the symbols of the Babylonian-Assyrian (fish disguise). there is documentary a symbol for the sun. of course. (Venus the mistress in order to demonstrate how old the first be mentioned. f. traces of a fertility appeared statuettes 65000 B. seasons of the bull. This conclusion the eel was considered at that time. In Figure 60 the two peacocks. des alten Orients. with four lions (ruling the four regions of the earth). and also a head of a same winged goddess appears. and the fish indicates the formed by waves. Nor disc he Felszeichnungen als reli Frankfort. Almgren. cylinders the right and left border of the picture there is a snake beside which are ears of grain. p. 176 ff. 1910. winter. 39 op. bird. westsemitischen Memnon. a symbol of the sun. pp. gioese Urkunden. which is proof that in view of the is comprehensible to be a snake-fish. the in the of that Aurignacian Upper Palaeolithic already goddess are. The word for Originally eel in many Indo-European languages is the same as the word for snake. 40 W. accompanied by two wolves.40 A fish is designed on her skirt. two snakes (the two parts of the year). and a bull's leg with a swastika (animals perhaps symbolizing to the heaven is given by the leg of the year: birds. Later the snake became a symbol for the sun small knowledge of anatomy because in the north the snake. 74. and an eagle (the sun). cit. The divine power and fertility. to about runs from about This of maternal period fertility. the relationship of Ursa). "death and birth" as an allegory of the cosmic course of the year The sun wheel with its four. the associated with a ship. Here it may of Willendorf. six.41 Paralleling this are Babylonian carved on the tree of life. Cybele. summer. Thus it resembles the World-pillar. Alphabets. "Das Hakenkreuz als Grundzeichen des Zeitschr. whole constitutes a perfect picture of an all-encompassing same of to the the snake belonged system thinking as the fish. very important relationships a a or tree and the tree of life of life associated with lion of life associated with snake. 1933. The lion as a symbol of power or the griffin as a supernatural beast still more powerfully connects the tree of life = the world tree = world pillar with the goddess ruling over life and of animals. For Crete and Greece this means the mistress In the light of this it may umn at various times in Crete be understood Aphrodite-Artemis. Thus the spiral was the Egyptian How snake was that proof seals on which the snake is and Hittite on the tree of knowledge be found may course Babylonian seals symbolizes compared with living beings. who later became death. 64 portrays Mentone. Lespugue).C. Further. of animals with wings (as omnipresent).THE TREE OF LIFE 3^9 as many the gods use this also to tether their horses to. Schultz. or eight spokes symbolizes also Kunst und Kultur 41 0. wolves.

and they ate its foliage. Sonnenrad f. there are four stags depicted eating the leaves. Vorgesch. called himself the much loved husband of the goddess Innina. indi to the sun: "Be rolling as a wheel" III: cf. These motifs may be traced later in the scenes in which kings hunt. 1909.C. bulls attacked by animals. Much may be said in connection with the relationship of the Cretan sacred tree to lions. boughs of trees. It must be remembered Sassanian art to hunting that the king was the highest priest and the substitute the the Thus the Hittite of. and 61 show still more Greek representations the mistress of life together with birds. not had the have any knowledge may Naturally but the artist who designed the patterns must have had it. kings give Babylonian example. 51 notice the sun wheel signifying hunters protected the sacred tree from hungry animals as does the archer on the Sumerian seal (Fig. Miinchen. cated the tree of life was Fig. The relationship of the Cretan tree of life to a ship leads in two direc On an Armenian-Persian seal there is a design of a wagon of the seventh century B. The same birds perch very often by themselves on the tree of life (cf. 52). of Figures 58.42 but this is taken from the circular movement of the sun. the symbolism was a conscious one as Karabacek weaver of the symbolism at that time." Montelius. The appearance 42 S. Reuter. In the Edda the world ash Yggdrasil is eaten by four stags. of life. for. Germanische Himmelskunde. There in the temple of rites for the festival days on which the kings were married of symbolic animals in Sassanian art. king of Legas about existed certain 2700 B. The illus tration in Figure the world ash standing in a water 147 shows peasant embroidery picturing this corresponds to the Nordic tradition that the ash grows in a well. or as a mere planless collection of game sentations as a mere confusion of animals (Tiersalat) centuries took his stand simply because he observed these things from how long tradi An example from German peasant art manifests tions remain alive. and snakes.26-2^a-c. or later on Christian sarcophagi (Figs. 66). 1934 I. pp. and moreover vessel.C. . He birds. 43O.C. a formalistic point of view. the sun wheel on posts. "Das Zeitschr. sun a sons to called themselves of the the Eannetum or. 43 ff. 3. animals (Tiersammelsurium).390 the cosmic course in the Veda GEORGE LECHLER of the year. lions.C. and leopards In the beginning in any other manner. representative god.. these animals were attributes may not be explained of the mistress of the substitute of the god. Already inMohenjo-Daro are represented the world tree). Frequently before 3000 B. the swas tika. From this it seems probable that hunting was a holy magic action. lions. Kreuz. Falke opposed this view because and he considered he was unaware of the old documents the repre concerning symbolism. Mannus. who Montelius43 61. a sympa thetic rite supporting the gods of life in their rule. the king. (Tilak. tions.4j). 59. such as eagles. and the double ax.. fabrics of the twelfth and thirteenth Thus even in the Islamic woven established by Arabic inscriptions. Consequently thus (Fig. then they became attributes It may be that later the symbolism was weakened and very often forgotten. of the eighth century B. und das christliche the goddess. but the formal tradition endured. sun has established this as a primeval Indo-European of the symbol year).

Many fragments of woven fabrics were found in Egyptian tombs. At a somewhat later period Greek and Egyptian motifs are intermingled. seasons. von 1913. Berlin. After a short East Roman 640 a. I. has designs of mounted archers who as hunters defend the tree of life against the animals that would eat its leaves.44 contemporary 101). 5-9. thus explaining the sources of the motifs in Islamic silk stuffs (Figs. Christian. The ship gives the tree of life a cosmic relationship the idea of its being a world tree. fell under Islamic rule. then ensues the dominance of the Sassanian style as a result of the conquest of Egypt in the year 616 a. Kunstgeschichte der Seidenweberei. and the mast of the latter is formed by a tree. myth the wood that formed the Cross. 45 Almgren. p. in other words it is a symbol of the natural cycle. Sassanian fabrics were sold in the West where they were modeled into Christian ritual garments. Falke.d. 460. The ship The other direction tree also stands brings back the god of the sun and of growth. Islamic silk manufacturers produced new motifs or patterns of the tree of life revealing a won derful artistic re-creation of the old Indo-European. op. founded by Hadrian opment especially (Figs. Alexandria. leads to the Nordic Bronze Age. 7). In his famous book on silk fabrics. Almgren the fact that the rock carvings established in Sweden and emphasizes represent seasonal rites.. cit. by Khosrau II. 117-138). In spite of the Islamic origin and inspiration these stuffs were almost exclusively used for litur gical garments throughout the Middle Ages. 7). and the Coptic weaving Egypt permanently Antinoe. interregnum. Falke46 has firmly established this fact and has demon strated further how Sassanian art was continued by Islamic art. evidence is derived from Europe. and pagan traditions. Of the existence of this "boat-chariot" This again shows the connection with the idea of the course of the year.THE TREE OF LIFE which 391 carries a ship. 42-50). the Saint Cunebert cloth in Cologne (Fig. pp. establishments of Akhnim-Panopolis reflect the historical events in the shifting of their styles.. the drama of the In the old days peoples symbolized the changing of the seasons in dramatized actions to the carnival of man. Sometimes the ship has a crew of warriors. 44 Lechler.d. and their skill was maintained under Islamic rule. This vehicle represents the "boat-chariot" (carrus navalis) which gave the name to the spring festival-carnival (Fig.. A good example of one of these fabrics. and Falke has demon strated their development from the point of view of cultural history. The rock carvings of the second millennium ship in Sweden (Figs. that it rep suggesting resents a ceremonial rite. cit. op. He described this devel in the silk fabrics made in Antinoe. Semitic. 97-100). . 100. The Sassanians took over the old Indo-European traditions of the Persians (Figs. Thus in a certain manner the Islamic patterns correspond to Christian symbolism (Figs. The fabrics begin in a Greek style. 38-41). At this time the Christian tendency was toward and it has now been noted that the of tree of life the became identified with mysticism.45 The is the life the festival of the sun" and of year comparing "spring the rebirth of nature. 118 ff. 5. which is contemporary with the on a in the Cretan designs.

60 Fig. 66 .Fig. 57 rf^Y) F. 61 Fig. 54 VI/ /?i|lP^i^^^^\ Fig.c'65 Fig.

72 " Fig.Fig. 77 Fig. 73 Fig. 68 FlG.69 Fig. 75 " FkT76 Fig. 70 Fig. 71 Fig. 74 Fig. 78 . 67 Fig.

As late as the thirteenth century the bishop of Fulda forbade the people. indicated by its roots being identical with the root of the tree of life and by the typical position of the rampant lions. p. 45-48). in Egypt about 600 a. sun geese. in addition to Romanesque pieces. and dolphins. 47). (Fig.d. examples of clerical art of the fifteenth century. since her head is decorated with a crown and crescent however. The dolphins represent the fish shown in Figure 60. and secular patterns were used. cit. similar to a reversed heart in its shape. when all Egyptians were good tions the possibility of pagan motifs In my opinion this indicates a complete misunderstanding Christians. 64.394 Falke GEORGE LECHLER into the materials for may be correct in saying that these patterns were woven were but of likewise combined the with decorative purposes decoration. 60) and a figure as a bringer of life with a cross in either hand.49 The simi paintings on which it is clear that the sun god Apollo is intentionally as so even details the unreal wheels. emphasizing her significance with to Other also fabrics the existence of the (cf. is that of the goddess Artemis.. century quadriga being simple explains a. That even in this time the palmetto repre sented the tree of life is established by the relief of a tombstone from the Faiyum (Fig. 8). 49 Almgren. . op. may I offer two examples? Falke as a fabric of seventh decoration the so-called Brussels. The bust.d. with nine circles. for example. The old tradition of symbolism into three typical form of the root.. Here the sacred tree is flanked by two peacocks (cf. But the technique of composition identical with that of Greek vase is completely represented. in their representations old symbolic traditions of holy birds. horses. Falke contradicts himself when he emphasizes the fact47 that in the same workshop at the same time Christian. which add further proof. cit. Jung brings. flanked by two birds in a The trees of life are formed of palmettos is clearly evident in the Greek-Egyptian style (Fig. 201. lions. in pagan sacrificial rites on the mountain of Numburg. p. p. under penalty of death. correct in stating that this is a performance evidence 47 48 Ibid. of human superstitions use to not and their persistence.. pagan. op. They the useful. they symbols. In order to prove the existence of symbolism in textiles. Gotter in der christlichen Lechler. 43) in the Berlin Museum. 344. Falke have the did However. peacocks. Jung's Germanische opportunity art illustrating Kunst. to take part This occurred in Germany. Figure 42. Fig. is a clear proof of the symbolical value of these patterns. Falke speaks only of patterns composed of busts. Thus he mentions as a special he ques Opposing Karabacek symbolic motif the scene of the education of the god Dionysus. it to such is extends is that Strzygowski perfect larity The crown of seven beams speaks for of Helios. or zebras (Figs. aid to the bearer and protected Symbols brought good fortune and represented him and sanctified him. which is divided of the goddess parts because it reaches down into three springs or into three wells as does the world ash Yggdrasil. which offers plentiful material of Romanesque the long continued existence of old pagan tradition. The palmetto is sym bolical of the tree of life. Fig. Assyrian testify palmettos).48 but the indicates that it might well have happened also in Egypt. 53..

1910-14. Leipzig. the Irminsul. 520. Frankfort. posed in the wreaths of the year and flanked by sacred trees. Even today the switching of a whip is a holy action in peasant rites. der Wandalen. Even the Gautier has clearly pointed out these facts. Corres to was a this return there field in of from the economics to barter economics ponding money At economics.) and with the barbarian. p. Rosen. Even in the sixth century Greek-Syrian silk weavers were brought to Persia. In the instance of Janus the function of guiding the a is in two parts. is added apparently as a determining The as on the pictures of the tree of life. the old German cultic wooden post. In classic Greek times on the island of Rhodes a complete quad was sea a sacrifice every year. by Lechler) (trans.. as is reported by the Arab writer Masudi. Bachtold-Staubli.d. 71. 1932. The Dioscuri fabric of Maastricht. 53Gautier into German and ed. definitely in 640 a. the old motifs of the expounding tree of life shown by examples in the accompanying illustrations. I amis. which after 626 a. 1913. F. 20. the same manner barbaricus In 226 a.d. founded by Ardashir. The two whips do not prove that this is an of light from neolithic ungodlike driver. Easter. etc. Now began the tremendous increase of Islamic silk weaving. consequently not the Roman.51 of autumn was to purpose of the races arranged during the solstice or beginning select the best horse in order that it might be sacrificed to the sun god. are a cultic rite which endured until the time of the in the second millennium Roman emperors. Stuttgart. silk weavers to Persia in 360 a. especially from 300 a. should convince any skeptic (Fig. 9).THE TREE OF LIFE 395 the sun god in the same manner as the lifting of the arms. . but the latter broke through again with the victory of mystical Christianity (260 a.d. the end of classical antiquity intellectualism had pressed back symbolic performances. ob jrugum eventu.d.53 ("office of the barbarians"). on in the Roman Empire. Fornvannen. in Sweden. which would be impossible for a circus driver. midsummer. Sitte und Brauch. des Deut schen Aberglaubens..50 Chariot races. food. B. Geiserich. How the old stubbornly 50P. Vols.d. 600 is appar a. 51 H. as in the and yule. Johannsson. Bonn. military as the main political factor. Handworterbuch Sartori. because after the disappear ance of the old legionary system Germanic regiments took over the guarding of the Roman were war and office had officially the name fiscus provinces paid in land. with as hurled into the riga to its factor in eight spokes emphasize godlike character. which are already pictured beginning of spring.d. I-III. Both hands are lifted. and the fingers are spread like those pictured of the gods times on (Figs. began the development of Sassa nian art. The double-headed Roman god Janus represents the course of the year in the same manner as the "double godhead" of the Dioscuri. Koenig 1934. to secure a plentiful harvest.C..d. 121). On the quadriga fabric a sun wheel. the Sassanian regime." ibid. 1927. of Horses "Sacrifice and Horse Cult. R.52 The cult of the Dioscuri circle divided year symbolized by by diameter bloomed again. fell into the hands of the Arabs. StocYiolm. Huth. This art continued not only old Persian but also Mesopotamian and Assyrian tradi The Sassanian king Shapur II transplanted tions. That the warriors are really the Dioscuri ent from the fact that both are standing upon the top of a column or post.

op. desired in Figure 53.. Figures demonstrated this development. the same absorptive to of time its conversion the process of symbolism Christianity during represented by the Christian the growth Necessarily folk custom. Sunday = world tree = tree of the tree life the of or midsummer year post really represents "queste" because the Cross of Christ clearly is designated as "queste. where also tree of Telebinus This conforms with the reported Hittite was in Roman a horn tree. 23).ss Mention This custom was common to all Germanic carried in processions.39^ GEORGE LECHLER in its formal sacred tree." midsummer post or tree. told him that the seven-branched tune of life: the lower fruit. a. procession. 55 Grimm. Eisenach. in the ground.. the stirring of a tree of gifts of tree be the sacred etc. cit. but also the North European a Even as late as 1000 a. That the carrying around of sun disks attached Pentecostal post. that Ward concludes may blood. was preserved Babylonian-Assyrian in the best manner possible by the prayer rugs. as for example every year in the festivity called sommergewinn ("winning of It obvious is that the at on occurs Laetare which the summer"). 54 Ward. cit. appears of the goddess Fortuna.. red. may be in the Harz Mountains in Questenberg made of the "queste" (Fig. the symbol later. light green. black. planted postlike or tribes. already pointed leading fortune. cere on niche the the the the because of rugs during prayer symbol cially meaningful point man was in the the niche of the reminded Mecca. Rabbi of Urumia. 231. the "yule by a comparison with the Boeotian Greek figure in Figure 61. which represents a to sticks is very old is custom. Only from this point of view is it possible to understand ance in Christian times of not only the symbols of the old Orient. . Ward54 offers a remarkable sample of living symbolism concerning the sacred tree. a member of the Nestorians tree on the prayer rugs represents the for ian-Syriac dialect. there is found in Sweden with symbols partly transferred meaning. Thuringia. which in fact prolong details is demonstrated an espe The prayer rugs were for each Muhammadan the old form of asherah (Figs. On the raiment carried around of the goddess is pictured a cultic dance between sun disks on sticks obviously in the same Similar sticks with disks are used today in Germany before the dance began. The midsummer Egypt. trouble. sixth century op. who wrote a complete dictionary of the Nestor Baba. handed over by the Sassanians. caste of barbarians. p. (Figs. 22-30). It is a sun rusk" of today. Church and by the military of a new system of ideas must have been affected materially by the appear both of these elements. cit.d. 24 to 30 demonstrate Thus itmay be recognized that the design of Akhnim-Panopolis. Sidra toward The mony praying pointed goal in heaven (Figs. Sartori.d. folk dance the and later in at the first they are planted following during manner. reconstruction the medieval out. in the two factors were essential of the Roman Empire After the breakdown pillars were factors these As to world. in The horn the connection with times. 83-85). op. is a Swedish a either to the top of wheel decorated with green shrubbery attached post. means the ignorance of childhood. 1-2).

Fig. 83 Fig. 85 Fig. 89 Fia 88 . 84 Fig. 82 Fig.

as in Germanic holy tree representing oak which The oration with wreaths 56The author is found pictured on Etruscan graves. the column of the world. Baumkidtus Antike Wald und Feld 1875. carved in wood. and the Holy Mary with the This connection with the tree of life did not 12.. for very material 57 op. Leipzig.. Mrs. p. period on the top of a mountain oak tree. on a grave of 550 B. f. Asia ples der Germanen. as is sits 14. 1936.56 in medieval originate times. The peasants has spoiled the figure they replace it with a new one. cit. aid in the field of textiles. W. to wishes to express his appreciation of Arts. showing the by such a picture as Figure is a decorative in adoration. The picture of this festivity. The same dec the tree of life. cit. This shows again how deeply the cult of the tree is fixed in the folk mind and feelings.59 to divert the old pagan feeling. as is demonstrated that Christ Holy Mary with stands the Mary shown in Figure before a sacred mentioned offers to mankind life of the cross." Only thus does it become the top of a tree. 59 Der W.61 contains highly original features. pp. and before them the three Magi behind the Holy tree of life. . for example." Journ.58 derived from the Luvians a I I was making an Here may relate personal experience of last spring (1936) in France. Langdon. Even Caesar learned this two thousand years ago when his soldiers refused to obey his com mand to cut down the holy oaks of the Gauls near Marseilles. des Langues et des Peo "Stratification Forrer. Gottingen. 98. 143. in which the mother of the gods with the godlike child Tammuz57 tree accepting Similar pictures are found in Egypt. 58E. io-n). 1930. 27). and contemplating its wonderful top I discovered on its highest branches a figure of told me that when the weather the Holy Mary with the Child. decorated with ribbons hang in the inWirth. The importance of the idea of the tree of life in Christian dramatic and epic performances must not be forgotten.. op. Mannhardt.39^ GEORGE LECHLER but symbolic formation of the tree of life cross (Fig. kidte (new ed. Vorgesch. and it may be libations. and the stump of the oak is directly before the altar. Wreaths times it is a linden tree." Mannus. tique. At Lehnin near Brandenburg built trunk of a holy oak. are near Paris. of the Detroit Institute as to the existence for information of this picture and. 333. as may be illustrated by one example an old church of pilgrimage is built over the from Germany. Here is a thread leading back to an old Babylonian belief.. 242 ff. p. further. in passing that it has been supposed for many years that the Nagada-Egyptians in Asia Minor.C. 1904. Mannhardt. C.60 shows that the cult of the tree as at Nordhausen old festivity of the Merichslinde shown observed at Meudon existed also in other parts of Europe. and that this is an old tradition of the place. Charlemagne over the place where he had had cut down a holy a church of Saint Peter at Obermarsberg The church tried the Saxons called Irminsul. Zeitschr. 61 Wirth. as is represented Such a miniature in Figure 31 is a direct proof of the foregoing statement text is directly related to the legend of the wood of the Cross: "The because the accompanying Church the blooming tree of is pictured sitting in comprehensible Child on the "wild thorn bush" (Figs. Adele dans le Proche-Orient Prehistorique. Weibel. In the center of this site is also a huge old around a menhir. In the forest of Meudon five dolmens of the neolithic excursion to Meudon. minsul.). the Child. Fig. "Wo stand die von Karl zerstoerte Ir 60Knieving.

^Bkl. 45 Fig. j9 ft IBx a j <i BH Bb . 49 Fig.HR^Hbb^BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBI E^BBBBBBTCbbbbbbVSBBBBI BYiHHI f~ %Sj 3B^^B59BafliJBBBBBBB^BBBBui I ^^^c^^'^y^p^^BlfWjHRaHHBBi^^^HB Brt^BBBBBBi*BBBBBBH*iBBB^ ^^hu^R bhmbbbbbbbbT^bbbtcbjbbbeiBbbb]*! Ikx'^-1 ^^^^BSBK^Ii^^^^^w^^^^H BBBSBBBP^BBBBVBBBB^fiSiMBBBp Fig. 50 .^//^B^<^B^L(ic ^B^B\lfr. 42 Fig. "*J Bl<a & . Br^^^^^^ft^B ^L_^B\''Vw& ^ 'B^B I v^^l B^P7-?^"' VBnt_B^B^B^^^B^Bl . 44 JBbI v^ lDO^'i^i^^'^I^v^^J^B ^VP BBb Jg^ ^r^^BBBBB\^B\ f^>. 46 Fig. 43 Fig. 47 Fig. 48 Fig.Ir^B^B^K ^s^B^BW<? j Fig.

62 Fig. 64 ^^^ ^BHE^BxB^^HBffl . 63 .Fig.t" MBpBSBMHJBBHPiSpB^SHImwrB Fig.

98 Fig. 97 Fig.Fig. 100 .

' ^^BBBBK^^HH>iflBBBBBBBBBBBBBT BmkiL* ^!89bBBBBBBBBBB ^^BmBBBBB^BB' Fig. 134 . 130 Fig. 133 Fig. ^ Bk^ Fig. 129 JBb^bbbbbbI . 135 Fig.

Sarre. III. the sun wheel. 41. Archaeologische Berlin. is the sacred asherah Thus This it may be surmised that the Islamic mihrab idea would conform with what has already been asherah. orientalischer Knupfkunst.. and the labyrinth. 62 Ward. (W. and the thing is found on several old Babylonian-Assyrian which the god sits on a twig hut designed like a niche. Descriptions of the Illustrations reoccur. the water The The capital of the column supports another water vessel.d.) In the niche a palmetto ninth century. Fig. Figure 39. Anatolian of life is still tree of the The form nineteenth recognizable. op. Zoroastrian elements with is shown in connection with mythological personified Ahuramazda. based on ancient Persian tradition. Meisterstucke Berlin. 1921.THE TREE OF LIFE Tomba 403 della Caccia e Pesca near Corneto with designs of carnival festivity. since this hut of bent twigs occurs in the folk gest that this is the old Indo-European same seals on customs of all Europe. 1. made in Sicily after 1150 a. A comparison with seals of this kind62 of an arch and indicates why the Assyrian tree of life often shows a very peculiar arrangement a surface that the Assyrian not be surprising. Grote-Hasenbalg. or on the Tomba Besides the wreaths the Merichslinde dei Vasi Dipini with dancers before trees with wreaths. of Mohammedan (M. 2. the Stone Ages to the Middle Ages. the ax. 209.) Fig. Sassanian silk fabric made before 640 a. cit. will be a proof for the fact These observations tree that symbolizes the course of the year. already von tail the of into the tree where the is transformed (O.) the tree of life is repre Decorative Arts. the framework around the Assyrian A common example from the middle of the prayer rug. from tradition the the the so-called the tree of life. (F. Fig. of Djami* al-Khasakl. This asherah (Figs. im EuphratReise und Tigris of life. to mention covered with a sort of wickerwork.d. on a water symbolize vessel. PI. developed Early composition. In a niche A Handbook sented as a cypress. 3. 1911. 7 [5]. similar to the Assyrian was later into in Christian noted patterns as in reliefs. The Sassanian king Yazdegerd.) Fig. Berlin. S. 1913. PI. his enemy. Sorceress textile in Vich. The tree of life. continually only those symbols referred spiral. 83-84). dated 1360 a. Mihrab a tree. to in this paper. Asia Minor. is derived said concerning from the twig arch or hut. He struggles against Ahriman. Dimand. anchor. Fig. 399-400.1. century. The hut made of bent twigs in which the it may be permissible to sug "Mother Earth" sits may also be observed in this picture. The trunk is carved a and depicts a world tree of life in the shape of trunk forms palm column vessels Gebeit. Here fantasy. to the old symbol of the is decorated with shining globes arranged in a circle which corresponds sun wheel with spokes. Omayyad. 4. geschichte der Seidenweberei. . XLV. New York. the swastika.d. the fish. Carved wood Kur'an stand. Fig. 1930. is in an arch flanked by two peacocks. 5-6. Figs. Falke. the ship. the cross. and in doing so Figs. Spain. ship chariot. Kunst peacock. indicating the sun god or year. This may By studying various symbols it may be learned that they have a constant for example.

96 . 95 Fig. 102 V_/ Fig.c " Fig.Fig. Fig. 104 105 F.^^M^I1 F. 109 * .G. 92Fig. 108 " ~~" Fig. 93 ^lliyi^ ^jfig^ Fig. 103 Fig.106 Fig. 94 Fig. 107 Fig. 90 91 Fig.Fig.

112 K/) /f\ Fig. Ill Fig. 125 Fig. 118 Fig. tfSSFig. 127 . 116 Fig. 121 119 ^\TFig. 123 Fig. 1 [T I fr^j1 /f\ Fig. 120 Ml JM Fig. 110 fan Fig. w> lr Fig. 113 y \ 114 Fig.fBa. ( 115 @1 >^?^ Fig. 124 Fig. 122 Fig. 117 Fig.

The sun wheel the circle of the year. 12. Alexandria. stuff in Brussels. Cologne.) Urschrijt Leipzig. 8.. seventh century. to the left the moon. Archer pro tecting the tree of life. A miniature a a Behind the head of Abraham. 1931-35. 24 ff.) Fig. 376. 13. as Montelius steps. Brehier. of the old Irminsul. Fig. Figs. Apollo with a Egypt. cit. 600 a.) Asia. 1475. Connecting the wreaths ornamentally designed sun wheels with eight "plant-spokes".. PL 157. Figure represented blessing ground.) The Holy Mary gem. Fig.. Thaulow Museum.d. stuff in Maastricht. sun wheel. Froment. Egypt. 1540 der Menschheit.406 protects GEORGE LECHLER hero Gilgamish back has a similar mythological the tree of life. Christ in the tree of life on an Early Christian gem. and the Christian belief is only The Western Seal Cylinders 1910. (Ibid. (Cf. child with mother and the the Babylonia goddess godlike France. inter Christ as a lamb in a circle. 11. The adoration of the Magi. 10. PI. Quadriga are crown of seven beams stands in his chariot. Old Christian the Child before the tree of life.d. p. The Dioscuri Netherlands. fly two birds. cit. I. with his monogram XP. sitting with Fig. Note bush stands on a hilltop. 1927.) The wagon Kiel. Vorgotische Miniaturen. (H. Fig. of Thuringia. op. 404.) Berlin. I. which is only a Christian pointed out. times. 77. in the lower leaves to the right is the sun.. Swarzenski. On the upper leaves over three oaklike leaves are Thus this tree is only a continuation three heads which certainly represent the Holy Trinity. Sassanian stuff from the shrine of Saint Cunebert. 9. as a. Behind the Holy Mary and bush are flaming rays.) Fig. Fig. XII. L. 14. continuation transformed one. (Wirth. Under the column. It is designed in the style of a heraldic lily. Alexandria. Isis with pictures Egyptian In the Near East the cult Tammuz. Under the tree top pretation of the six spokes of the old sun wheel. op.. Fig. 145. Wirth. with Lazarus on his lap. 1928. of (W. is halo from which grows symbolic of the mother tree of life or world tree. by Nicolas ardent ("the burning thorn bush") is an ecclesiastical of Le Buisson interpretation that the the idea of the tree of life. Fig. The Babylonian goddess with the child before the sacred tree. From a carved wood high Fig. Fig. Ahuramazda Fig. 7. This idea is a common Indo-European goddess flourished until Christian a of this old religious complex. Fig. 15. the world mountain. in in he is the tree the is fighter. The Son of God in a tree. 75. two bulls are being led to sacrifice. 8. new tree of life. the trunk is flanked by two animals. 14-15. 74. Die Heilige the Christ altar by Hans Brueggemann. Aix Cathedral. Fig. spokes. 105-106. Similar to the is also a series of seal carvings from There of the child Horus. Washington. PI. Falke. the world-pillar-tree. Paris. (H. Figs. Staatliche Museen. (Ibid.) seventh century. Figs. H. The Babylonian as a 6 bird. 36. in the space between them is a chariot with two horses. the world pillar. Leipzig. L'Art chretien. The Holy Mary with the Child. The tree stands on pyramid-like . of the moon is symbolized by the crescent tiara. a stand In the Dioscuri. wreath. symbolized by a tree is wreaths the has four ornamental In the between space ("tree of the year"). from the Psalter of Landgraf Hermann 1217 a. 33~34> i43~I44. Ward. von (Cf.d.

Questenberg. Germany. hand. formed as the ancient four spokes. A relief of the thirteenth century. crosses Indo-European B. Hildesheim. comes a in Christ out the hand of position nitz. column of universality. carry sticks surmounted by sun wheels with four and eight spokes. This Roman Fig. is interpreted as the new tree of life..d.) Stockholm. Over the head of Christ and also life. 1140. On the left is the lily-like tree of life. Swedish "yule rusk. Sweden. Runic 1935. XXVII. A relief from San Marco. Germany. This tree symbolizes tree of life as the tree of the cosmic year (death and life) or Irminsul. The cross formed as Fig." The cross stands on a hill with steps. 16. "Kreuz Hakenkreuz (G. 22." Mannus. one of them has a lily. life symbolized by wreaths forming a sun wheel.. Fig. 1907. Sweden.. of Christ on a Romanesque 1200 a. The Resurrection tympanum. 1300. 1270. These processional gelists. A runic gravestone a sun wheel with five swastikas. shrubbery representing The tree of Fig. In the midst stands the adoring crosses are to be traced back to these ancient. in Gotland.THE TREE OF LIFE 407 Fig.) right. gravestone 31. ca.C. The Christian processional sun wheels of baked clay were used as processional In Sweden rites. Lechler. Fig. On the left.d. The cross as a sun wheel. typical step pyramid on the top of which is an arched niche (the grave). 1:10 the same animals are described as a vision. on the right. in a sun ring or wheel.d. 24. 2000 in the Neolithic before age (Ibid. The leaves show that the same idea is in Figure 23. Denmark. on . in the right corner is the Holy Bird. Fig. a as in his him behind is the wheel. 900 Assyrian altar. skulls. 19 Saint Godehard Church. 1200 a. The sun wheel on a stick with green Fig. 25. wheels. 17. On the left. Irminsul. on the leaves. each between (cf. 1449 a. 126). pentagram behind his head soars a sun wheel with four spokes. (O. 23. depicted The cross is identified with the tree of life. on the right.) in Gotland. esque capital shows the tree of life between two eating animals flanked by figures in the posi tion of imparting a blessing. B. with helmets decorated with sun An 18. Men. fresh leaves. A processional cross. seventh century. pre-Christian. Elstertreb Fig. 21. "queste. Venice. Christ symbolized (T as lambs are flanked by palmlike as a lamb. human heads with wings. ting. Zeitschrift jur Vorge schichte. The cross. Fig. Germany. Evidence of this is given holy by the branches with leaves and blossoms. The "queste" on the top of a mountain. 20. Fig. Fig. Already crosses were very commonly used in Christian rites. ornaments of leaves. tree of the world. the plant of Christ on the Cross. = Fig. On these boughs are the symbols of the four evan in Ezek. On an altar over the cross stauros and on the top of it the Latin cross) is. the Fig. (Ibid. Fig. Die dlteren Kulturperioden. best examples of them are in the posses Here the sectors of the sun wheel are also filled with sion of the cathedral of Hildesheim. This is flanked by two worshipers. Montelius..C. fifteenth century. withering custom. On both sides of the altar the twelve Apostles two stylized mountains trees of life." midsummer the course of the year. Cathedral of Trier.) sun wheel with twelfth century.

346. cit. Ravenna. 61. Under the cross two figures carrying sticks with leaves.. obelisks (cf. chap. 59. branches. The pillar represents the heavenly Fig. Fig. The heart is a Christian symbol crossing point of the beams is a swastika. Two lambs flank the cross. sun wheel or wreaths of the year are also formed like plants. Swedish gravestone. The leaves are made of palmettos. Saint Apollinare fifth century. 63a.) as the tree of the year on a sarcophagus. 27. chap. Cathedral. "Das 1909. 9:20. The cross is formed out of stylized 29. 31. I. 1316 a.) Fig. A design of a silk fabric by Zacharias of Akhnim the eight spokes of the century. Fig. 83. flanked by two trees of life with pigeons. The tree of life is represented. of Saint Rinaldo. mother goddess Isis giving the water of life to the soul. The cross stands on a stepped mountain. Swedish fourteenth century. The tree of the Fig. (O. The cross as the tree of life." Osiris hidden in his pillar. (Ibid.. Mythology 1928. 126) in the celestial representing tree. Montelius. time. 34a. In the love Lord. The sixth cross as the tree of life. Fig.) tree. on Rome.. Mueller.. and flanked also by cross rosettes.) blooming (Swarzenski. Fig. Panopolis. The tree is growing out of the depth of the water symbolized by the ideogram: "water in the square. twelfth century." Regensburg.) in Classe. (Ibid. to which a dead man is praying. The sun on the top Fig.408 GEORGE LECHLER the ends of the spokes stylized sprouts indicating the cross as the world tree. Fig. The the tree of life of the cross.d. The Latin two with birds the horizontal cross. a vine stem. Three crosses on the top of the tree represent the Holy Trinity. for of the the form hearts. Egypt. of wreaths. The Ravenna. 67. (von Falke. Egyptian. Museum. Thus the cross represents the tree of life.. 70. stands the Greek cross crowning a trunk with three leaves (trinity). The trunk of the cross-tree is decorated with hearts. A sarcophagus. loop with the monogram a water vessel. a stem from vine growing by 28. 69. XP. 64. the spokes of which are transformed into Christ's monogram. The branches Swedish gravestone. The tree between two . Illustration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. (M. The cross Fig. sun wheel with six spokes. cit. (Ibid. 30. A sarcophagus as XP.) from the "Praise of the Holy Cross." op. Fig. Osiris Fig. (Ibid. Fig. Zeitschrijt Kreuz. Fig. 32. op. the world tree. fourteenth century. interpreted and with inscribed A0? is accompanied by tree of life. beam. National Museum. 2 yb.. On a hill gravestone. XII. XP. und das christliche Sonnenrad fiir Vor geschichte. according to Gen. Fig. cross 26." Mannus. The sixth century. Lateran Fig. 27a. Illustration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. 33. identified by a pigeons and an ornamental of Christ. Fig. is crowned with a sun wheel. c. 84. tree. The cross as a symbolic Fig. 29. The circle is composed Fig. Fig.) Cairo. fifth century.) of All Races. of the tree of life. Figs. Boston. Miniature as cross tree text "The the blooming The reads: Church offers to mankind of life.

I. dolphins. The 276. and two peacocks. 38.." tain top (cf. swastikas. A late Hispano-Moresque tree of life as the world pillar flanked by two lions with crowns. Fig.) 49)- . pillar Symbolizing who has the surname "mistress of the holy tree". 46.C. A gravestone god dess with palmetto tree of life. ferent kinds of trees are surrounded by crosses with four points. two crosses. Antinoe textile. Fig. and the tree of life in the form of a plant ornament (zebras) (cf.. manner or world tree. 43. Fig. 44. (Wirth. she corresponds with Isis the Figs... formalized. (Ibid. Berlin. decorated with lions. tree of life between origin. 40. 44. Hispano-Moresque tree of life. Artemis Below with a are two Musee silk fabric. Antinoe textile. A silk fabric from Antinoe. Figure 36 Egyptian pillars with lotus capitals. 356. thirteenth century. the of The tree dess sitting in the top of the sacred giving the inside of which is filled with "the water of the depth. Figs. II. Fig. fifteenth century. (Ibid..). fifth century.Figure Figs. twelfth century.. Staatliche Museen. 354. sixth century. Persian silk fabric of the twelfth century (according to Koechlin Musee des Arts decoratifs. Fig. world column.) de Cluny. sixth century. Fig. Fig.cit. Fig. Staatliche Museen. this fabric is Hispano-Moresque thirteenth where the in Italy of the century. Fig. into worldly symbols of power. in a circle before the sun hearts. 104. Three dif Fig.) op.. Saint Severin.) Berlin. op. A silk fabric from Antinoe. Fig.) sixth century a. flanked by pillars. Egypt. I. Lucca.) Peacocks before a sun disk Fig. (Ibid." According over were or These motifs taken and imitated Siculo-Arabic. symbolism became by the Lucca manufacturers (von Falke.) (Montelius. Wonderful Peacocks deep red and light green patterns flanking a lance-shaped The birds and the springing or standing animals as well as the peacocks and tree of alternate. Paris. 5. (Ibid. I. 171. silk textile. Religious motifs changed de Lyons. 36-37. The mother dynasty painting of the nineteenth water tree stands on a moun life. 24-30). Musee Fig. Die alteren Kultitrperioden. 34c. Fig. 35. Aachen Museum. Staatliche Museen. Two horses Fig. the holy tree of the world in this New Kingdom. cit. A copy of Islamic motifs. Mother from the Faiyum. 43. 45. with a lily above.. A wall The cat god killing the serpent at the foot of the heavenly tree. Fig..) Fig. I. 202. eight spokes.d. 37 Old Kingdom.) France. A stylized tree of life is flanked by double-headed eagles Nut or Hathor all-mother to Falke soaring over lions.) Berlin. and Migeon).. life reflect a Sassanian tradition.V\. (Ibid. and hearts.) Fig. 41. Paris. 32. Fig. god (1400-70 B..Toulouse. (Ibid. 39. Fig. I. 40. 205. 42. The griffins and hinds obviously copied from a textile of Hispano-Moresque Fig. (Ibid. I. I. the tree of life. (Ibid. crescent over her head is depicted within a palmetto.THE TREE OF LIFE 409 Fig. 165. The Arabic inscription reads: "Let us praise the Lord.

.57. Man and woman before the tree of life. Tree of life. Theben. hoard of Courion. On her skirt a cultic dance between sticks surmounted by sun disks.) lap. (Ibid. Lechler. 58. (Ibid.) of life accompanied Fig. with four snakes. Fabrics by Zacharias. 54. 144^.) Swastika. late Greek style. Fig. V. disks.. four with lion.. flanked by two birds (holy ibis). Sens Cathedral. Egypt.. Leipzig. cit. A man and woman sitting beside the tree Babylonian Fig. 4. 11. 132. (holy symbol). bull-headed snakes. Mythology Fig. Fig. (G. 52. Fig. (Ibid. the tree of life. a fish on her Fig.From a decoration on a bowl. 44. Fig. 45. 1440. pent. Susa. 49. the snake behind the woman. I. The Greek mistress ax double sun and comb (on the back).. tree of life in a circle.) seal. 59. Mohenjo-Daro 1931. sixth century. geese. 55.c. Staatliche Museen. 2..C. Maastricht. swastika. Cyprus. 61. (Ward. Crete. by of life with eighth century b. eighth century B. Behind the woman cit. Fig.) of life with tree symbols. Leipzig. the symbol of the year (sun wheel with six spokes). (Wilke. with swastika and eight spokes. Vom Hakenkreuz die Geschichte eines Symbols. 44.) A figure attack Fig. Fig. 68. 50. 700 B. Seals.Seal. horn and cross. Fig. of her omnipotence (see text). Pig. four lions. Late Hittite is the snake. . third millennium.) In a circle the Dios sixth century. tree to ducks the of life. Kultur ing a springing antelope before a tree of life with zwischen Indien Orient und Europa. ninth century.c. fifth century. The Coptic. Fig. Marshall. Kg. op. (G. 73. Wilke. The lid of a sarcophagus. Fig.4IO GEORGE LECHLER Berlin.50 Snakes flanking the tree of life. and sphinxes. late period. Figs. Staatliche Museen. flanked by sun and moon.. Boston. Fig. snake. (Wirth. A perfect representation A clay figure of the mistress of life. 1920. I. the tree are sun and crescent. 47.) Persian mistress of life. Pig. (Ibid. and (Ibid. Fig. Pat Fig. Fig. III. 1913. Persia. London. 59. 48. Fig. Langdon. op.c Mistress Boeotian. on the right. a fish. (von Falke. Akhnim-Panopolis. (Ibid. Antinoe textile. Mistress sun a cross circles.) animals. of All Races.. a sun wheel of six spokes. 56. A seal found in Susa. Thera. I. op.Vase painting. curi as archers.) France. A seal from Mohenjo-Daro. subdued 64. Fig. Antinoe textile. The tree of life and the ser 1931.C. On the bottom are lions. tern with rosettes in addition flanking (Ibid.) griffins and sixth century. lowest stratum. op. (J. standing on a pillar. 62-63.) beziehungen A sacred tree from which goats are eating. 131. Boeotian clay figure. Fig. 45. The tree of life with two bulls or India. Fig. 10. Fig.) seal." of life. 51. Beside 173. Etruscan mistress of life. The tree of life Fig. (Ibid. Greece. tion. in the midst. indicating the world tree. Boeotian. on the top. Fig. Berlin..53. 60. A vase painting. 45. Fig. seventh century b. 387.C. and the Indus Civiliza a pillar. 126c) Spirals. Fig. The "temptation. 55. (S. Fig. cit.. whirls. A silk textile from Alexandria. on the left... 386.) 3000 B. cit. Figs. eighth century b.V\. eating. with seven branches. I.

70.. middle the sun with uraeus snakes over the arch. Fig. op. with hands or three-pointed seal. cit. (Ibid. spokes.) seal.. on the left.) two fish and winged genii. 72. 696. Forrer.. fish.) The world pillar sup and sphinxes. The god Ashur in the winged Fig. Two or a an a Behind in fish disguise. Fig.THE TREE OF LIFE two hares. Fig.C. rows of swans.) a sun wheel with eight a An trunk seal. The god Ashur in the winged sun soaring over the world tree. cit. and worshiper.) Fig. 48. 960.. (Ibid. the moon and an eye. and an eagle standing 1908. Assyrian star (ilu). seal. Fig. Fig. the rays of which are poppy stalks. Fig.) in winged sun. by (streams of the water of life) helmets. 22.. Pleiades. Trinity rays. The god Ashur as a winged sun carried by two genii who bear Fig.) sun over the asherah. and swastika. Syro-Hittite seal. birds. Greece. tains or obelisks (cf. moon. Assyrian This "world sun and uraeus in their hands three-pointed twigs corresponding sun. op cit. 4H Urgeschichte des Europders. PI.. the winged sun and uraeus snakes flanked by system" is flanked by two columns with winged scarabs. a worshiper. The tree with and swastika.Assyrian genii with buckets. 682. (Ibid. (Ibid. cit. (Ibid. The tree of life. bearing palmetto. 67.73. 69. (Lechler. a Fig. sun seven stars (Pleiades). (Ibid. (Ibid.) seal. seventh century B.) . priest of Ea in a fish disguise. Fig. a rosette snakes. two winged Fig. Fig. 46. Assyrian a a surrounded of circle The beams rays. its top with the sun as world pillar. Fig. 71. 75. kills ostrich Ea himself worshiper Marduk priests of Ea under a star with light spokes. The motif which is repeated four times. 34b) flanked by two geese. coming from the winged sun reach the buckets of the genii who wear cross-decorated Bird. the god with the ax. Cyprus. 692. 991. with the are not shown.. cross. (Montelius. Fig. Late Assyrian the mother goddess. griffins. disks. a pillar seal.) sun and fish. Fig. Altar with the tree of life. The sacred tree with the winged Fig. 68. Fig. supporting Syro-Hittite asherah. Vase painting. sun wheel.. 65.) Stuttgart. op.C. The world pillar with to the three-pointed beams of the winged the sun. Fig. sun Fig.. 681. on the right. The arch above rests on two pillars. (Ward. Fig.. (R.. 4. 693.) Fig.C. 66. encircles the middle part (the sun with concentric circles of palmettos).) seal. 74. The world ports a sun (disk with uraeus snakes) flanked by two worshipers In the pillar stands under nine globes supporting waves. seventh century B. (Ward. op. moon. 155. on the tree of life. 680. Fig. Assyrian column on the top of which a branching tree is embowered by an arch of wickerwork. The tree of life between two moun Sun disks. 1004. tree five the of two and Two the year. Bronze bowl from the palace of Nimrud (1100 B.

Two GEORGE LECHLER the winged disk with the god Ashur... Figs.c Fig.' a winged goddess with lotus flowers in her birth of Horus beside the pillar is an antelope. Fig. op. 94. op. Fig. 79.. Fig. Crete. (J.. lotus palmettos. Susanschird. 706. an or an on on altar a in the middle is the in the right. (Ibid. p.) 83-84. Fig. .. but trunks similar to columns. Schultz.) 91.) 1100 b. 81-82. Nimrud. London. gods sacred Two sphinxes the world beside tree the tree by op. Cyprus. Assyrian ilu ("god"). of hoard Courion.) vase. Karabacek. tree of life.) reliefs. Marduk on tree an of the with the of which world sits stands the top life. bull men bear 685. flanking formed (Wilke. 670.. 86. Fig. two crosses. crosses in their hands. Two horsemen (priests in horse disguise?) libating Fig. 89. Silver bowl of Courion. the Silver bowl of Amanthus.c Woman Fig. dancing woman. 153. pillar emerging. cit. Fig. Cyprus. Fig. Greek 700. from the garment of Assurnazirpal. Assyrian Figs.. cit. Fig.c Two winged genii with buckets from a raiment.. (Ward. Fig. Fig. 77. 160c. 1924. Minoan gem. cit. style. and two sun ideograms.) in a kind of network. Fig..) Grundzuegen Leipzig. Fig. (Ibid. Fig.. Asherahs more treelike.. British Museum. Assyrian Figs. 80. 152..) (Montelius. cit. Woman before an altar bearing moon (Ibid. adoring monkey. Leipzig. fifteenth century b. In the middle. 85. Weltordnung (W. on the right. Fig. (Wilke. p. From a Kurdistan deviation from Figures (Ibid. 1605.) gem of Vaphio. flanked by priests with hand. Assyrian seal. 93. enclosure. The tree of life stylized by degenerated lotus-palmettos (see Fig. 1606.. 78.) on sacred the seal. Zeitrechnung Indern Iraniern bei den . a bower Asherahs reliefs from Nimrud. of life. the sacred tree is the spokes of which are formed by four figures with plants of life. The Seal. cit. Two Fig.) pillar with altar flanked by two griffins. Mycenaean over a tree which stands on a pillar-like altar. 154. (Ibid. op. Embroidery mit ihren ubereinstimmenden und for the asherah. Plate of the gold ring from Mycenae. Fig. 88. 1300 b. 90.) is under the altar. 86 and 89) flanked by two griffins. (Ibid.) rug.) (Montelius. (Ibid.412 Fig. World op. Fig. on the left.) See text. Assyrian right a sun wheel.. Embroidery 1881. from which Marduk is fights with the dragon.. Fig. The form of the tree of life shows clearly that it is a Fig. cit. Fig. Cyprus. op. The tree adored by a man. praying. 1214.) seal. Fig. sixteenth and man century b.c. 92. Thus indicated as the world tree of the year. i6od. p. 76. from a lotus flower. (Forrer. 382. Beside the mountain. 87. op. Fig. Two beside the bull-men tree. 60.. (Ward. cit. Die Nadelmalerei Persische flanked by genii with eagle heads. a three-branched tree.. 83-84. Egyptian-Cyprian Fig. the tree of the world as a pillar with palmettos. 322. 571.

Behind the ship is a worshiper. 1936. (Ibid. second millennium couple are accompanied by a band of trum of a marriage pet players (cf. 1626. (Ibid. third millennium Germany.. Fig. Lechler. life. (Ibid... Assyrian (cf. Fig. Figs. Museum.C.) (asherah) with fruits directed to the four points of the compass.. on both sides are three points.c A sacred tree Fig. 97). b. (Wilke. Germany. cit. Fig.. (Lechler. 31SO B. about A tree in an (Ibid. (Wirth. Cultic rite: four lure Fig. op. Fig. 107. op.) tree of Seal of the third millennium B. 95. 700 B.. (Ward. (Wirth. (Wilke. and before it an eight-pointed sun.) ships. Fig. Danubian b. A ship carrying a pine tree. 29c. culture. in a ship under the sacred tree." tree. Fig. 106. Armenian-Persian seal with carnival picture. Bronze Age. and wheel (on the right) Fig. before 1000 B. Denmark. third millennium b. The b. Fig.. disk. Anau. 103. XXIV. another smaller tree. third stratum.c A tree from a clay drum. culture. 160B. 3000 b. Fig. op. Horring. Fig. 2. 676. (Ibid. A sacred tree with three branches Fig. PI. (G. Fig. A potsherd.) 101. ship players Deutschland. op.. Spessart. third millennium 104. 5000 Jahre a and with a with sacred beside post tree. A tree with rock carving of Solberg. 160B. PI. sacred tree accompanied by three sun circles representing the course of the year. a sacred i6oe. op. 146. disk. 105. and sacred "anchor. 99.C. 162/.THE TREE OF LIFE Fig.c. Sweden. Susa..) trifurcated tree.) Celtic altar of Roman time found at Comminges. 286. snake. op.c Cultic rite Sweden. 4. 2. A potsherd. (Montelius.) Germanic rock carving of Kalleby.C. thiiringischen Lander. Ship with 4*3 tree and the mother goddess. . over the tree an eagle biting the horn of the right bull. Minoan ring of Mochlos. no.) Fig. Germany." d. Lions flanking the trifurcated Fig. A smaller ship at the bottom carries a cross. cit. 2000 b. (Wirth. aus "Eine einem Miniaturtrommel bei Jahresschr. Troy. Fig. 333. Norway. 5. 100. fifteenth century B. Gross gartach. South of Russia. Rock carving. Fig.) arch. 1211. 108.) Fig. 1200 B. 264.C. 1936. 109. 102. 162a. Fig. cit. 102. flanked by two birds and bulls. op.. The Toulouse. 96.) Sweden. cit.) tree with sun symbol. Fig. 98. Kalleby. Fig. On the left a tree trunk Fig. Fig. Quenstedt. Vorgesch. 97... Fig. Carving of Maglemose PI. Huegelgrabe Quenstedt.. cit.) seal.c. A ship chariot with a Fig. p.) Leipzig. 107. one hook. (Ibid. Germanic sun of Mercurago type. cit. Germanic rock carving of Lockeberg. tree as a mast. op. pottery. cit. ilu. Thuringia.C. Fig.. and two sun disks.C. Grimm. sdchsisch der f.c Fig. A sixth millennium culture. (P. 3. 140. 91)... cit. Vessel of neolithic Danubian with concentric circles on the left and sun star with six spokes on the right.) ship. A tree with three branches and a sun symbol. Danubian Fig.

) Figs.) Seal of Gudea. Macalister. Vom Hakenkreuz the swastika representing eines Symbols. Gilgamish protecting the same form as on Figure 122. Votive gift. British Museum. 126). Palestine. 9. after 2450 b. Sumerian king. London. 2451 b. of the year. Fig. 119. Pre-Elamitic. the fish is Christ.c The top is carved like a face (for arm position compare Figs. op. 1912. the world pillar adored by two worshipers. The tree of life in the form of a cross. Fig.c Goldlike bronze leaf. Toulouse. Museum.}*. 4. interpreted as: lesous CHristos THeou HYios Soter ("Jesus Christ.) Fig. the sun god. Fig. Old Germanic Irminsul post. stylized as in Figures 125 and 122. 141. 852. Fig. 8. after 2450 b. Ward old Sumerian representations of the tree of life. Early Christian. Fig. .) Sumerian seal of Dungi. (Ibid. a sun wheel with a star of side. A. Saviour").. Assyrian. Susinak temple. carnelian. Fig. The cross is identified with the tree of life. cit. but our illustration corroborates I have additional its existence. Early Christian gem. The cuneiform ideogram '. Fig. similar seals (cf.. Fig.. Seals. 162. symbolic grave lamps.. p. Fig.) Fig. (Wirth.c Ea on his throne gives Gudea Fig. 120. 115. A Sumerian seal.) fish in the sun wheel. R. 623. Fig. Fig. Palestine. The old Indo-European fish symbol is given a new sun Christian is the The wheel year. Susa. the ruler by interpretation symbolism. (Wirth. Tell el Akkasheh. London.) 50 b.1-III. (Lechler. Transjordania. The Early Christian. indicating it as the world tree or the tree of the year (cf. Fig. 841. die Geschichte the course of the sun. Susa. pre-Israelite.. op. op.c The tree of life. about 2340 b. The cross with a pigeon over Fig. 43. 90). a fish.) Figs. 145. of the world. Fig. He gave only one example (Fig. A Christian door stone. 118. Babylo Susa. Fig.) the tree of life from a lion. The lamplight forms the top of the tree of life. 113. 124).) The sun wheel with Fig. 5000 Jahre Deutsckland. 123. moreover. 117.. 52. On the left and right a sun wheel cross. Figs. cit. Tell es Safi. ilu. 10. 122. The Greek word for fish is ichthys. The tree of life with six points. 219) that he misses (cf. The tree of life on a hill. which has Fig. identical with the sun wheel. Bibliotheque Nationale. 78). Fig. (Ibid. found in Gezer. the water of life together with the plant of life. Fig. Fig. 114. 360. proving that the tree of life legend was already highly developed said (p. 67-71). son of God. 116-118. 124. cit. Votive gift at the foundation of Susinak temple. Kulturperioden. Fig. (Ibid. 67-80). as of the sacred tree.414 GEORGE LECHLER a cypress with The sacred tree is obviously Celtic altar. 126. 520. Die alteren eight spokes. thus connected with the fish as on Assyrian determinative seals (Figs. 112.c On one on the other side. the tree is topped by three branches. nian. Sumerian. Excavation of Gezer.. Fig. 9. four spokes is identified with the world tree. 400. (R. 112-114.) Fig. in. rises each day. 116. (Ibid. 121. Paris. (Montelius. (Ward. (Lechler. Fig. between both eastern mountains from which Shamash. 125. 20.

136. Figs. Uppland. Sweden. Figs. with cross and swastika decorations. The mountains the Assyrian asherahs (cf.c goddess with Fig. Viking decorations tree of life has very close relationship in its form to Assyrian asherahs (Figs. 50 b. 139.) The mother Sumerian seal of Gudean period about 2340 b. 33-) Fig. 663. crown and two long tresses sitting before the tree of life. The bent tree de 122. 135. Peasant symbolism from a farm near Liibeck. 21-23. 140. Fig. Fig.. Over the Cross. 132. around a six-pointed rosette (sun wheel). 127. thirteenth Fig. Fig. The tree of life with griffins in branches transformed into spiral-like forms. 81. Fig. 135. "witch brooms" and two from Ostra Paboda. Old Germanic urn from Bardenfleth. 128.. Smaland. The catacomb of Domitilla. trees of life. a a "Kreuz double swastika and square with hooks.) . Fig.d. (Ibid. Brandenburg. Fig. enced in its form by the Near East. 35. The Irminsul of the Externsteine relief. (Ibid.d. 68. Fig. The tree Figs. Christ as a fish (cf. 129-131. left. God the father. Cathedral tree of life (cf. by Irminsul. from the "Externsteine. were on in contact the Black Sea with Islam. Fig. sign. obviously an oak tree. Fig.. under the tree of life. Figs. n 15. the same form of the tree of life as the world tree on the old Germanic The peasants windmills. 900 a. ninth century. From a bucket found at Bjorko. Figs. Relief Germany. Hannover. 69). The tree on a hill arch enclosing a lily. 24. Sweden. Stylized (Ibid. ning. Germany. Hakenkreuz Irminsul. Museum. dolphin. about 100 a. and 140. other influence upon Viking style. The of today call these symbols "witch brooms. thus the Old Nordic Irminsul is influ Vikings In Figure 134 there are three palmettos. on the right. of Halberstadt. its top. Very often misinterpreted (Ibid. Before her a woman who is spin form as the tree behind the goddess. 87).) Fig. 129).. The Descent The Cross of Christ with four equally long spokes. Antependium. Cathedral of Halberstadt. 217. the Christ.c. corresponding to the legends of the wood of the Cross (see text). (Ibid. On the Under the Cross the bended Irminsul sun. 133-134." Fig. 120). accompanied (Lechler. from Figure 136. Rome. Germany. century.) Fig. fourth century.) Fig. 69. 137.. 34. a weeping The or to demon (tree of life). The tree is bent either to express mourning (like sun and moon) strate that the old tree of life is relieved by the new tree of life.) Tree of life. a weeping moon. Antependium. The top of the distaff shows the same three-pointed (Ibid. of life accompanied by two swastikas and a cross.THE TREE OF LIFE 415 are designed like the network around here pictured as an upward flying eagle. 125.) Old Germanic urn from Nitzahn. (Ibid. 138." Three The brickwork shows ash urn of Figure 129. a in water the of from life which grows up the tree of life with the sun on 119." from the Cross.. 137. showing that it has the same form as in Figures Fig. as an anchor.. Irish ornaments. Saints. 36.

Berlin. The representation tree of life demonstrates Christian very clearly the Islamic influence upon Christian art.. ninth century a. the well of Urd. (Ibid. flanking a by immigrants coming phia. India. Fig. (Gluck. 37.) 147. The descent of Buddha. 34b. The tree of life is flanked by two crosses. Boston. in the lower world.c stupa. 1923." two tree-covered mountains.) Races. the world ash Peasant representing embroidery four stags are eating its It stands in a water vessel. Irminsul. as reported in the Edda. second century Fig. Kunst des Christliche Ostens.) Gluck. b. fourth century. representation T. inscription top stylized spiral come and go.. Fig. of the Edda. 33.) foliage.d. Weigel. 142. Germany. Pennsylvania Fig. Tirthakara. A door from Reichenan (District Hoexter). Figs. Orpheus Buddha because on a tree (cf. is of the resurrected altar with the footprints before which one of "the perfected Stravana Belgola. Deir es Suriani was a Syrian monastery in Egypt. A relief from Deir es Sudani. Fig. 141. Fig. 60. 34c). on which grows a tree: sun rosettes. XXVIII.d. India. The outer circle of the disk shows squares and circles filled with sun wheels and swastikas.. in whirling Sun wheel A door from Provinz Hassia. 29. Peasant rug from Pennsylvania. and a fruit basket. mountain Eurydice with Fig. decorated with sun wheels In the upper part worshipers encircle the world tree he had gone to the upper world. 145. Fig. Fig. VI. Lebendige (K. Saints." (Ibid. (H.) 1934. The middle part has the footprints of and covered with blankets before the pillar-like tree. Trees of from life the Made German Rhinepfalz. Fourlands bless all who . swastikas. The soul of Christian relief. 29. PI. Museum. Fig. crosses. 146. Yggdrasil near Hamburg. cit. A relief from Amaravati The sun disk rising from the water with dragons. 144. Vorzeit. Indian. 143. A snake coiled in a Germany. Fig. an Buddha. Fig. (B. a reads: "Our Lord may on The tree of under the of life post. 51. Mysore. In the lower field a tree of life in a vessel. Mythology of All growing up from a tree between 1927. 148.) Philadel 1826 a.416 GEORGE LECHLER of the Fig.. Keith. op.

138 Fig.Fig. 136 . 140 Fig. 137 Fig.

Fig. 144 .142 Fig.

Fig. 147 Fig. 148 . 146 H'-y niH HS Sin ^ Hills ^{* Fig. 145 Fig.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful