Q:

What is the symbolism of the Greek key design?

A:

The Greek key design symbolizes infinity or the eternal flow of life. It can also represent waves, the four compass points, the four seasons and snakes. The design was named "meander" after the twisting and turning of the Meander river in present-day Turkey. It was the most important symbol utilized in Ancient Greece.

The shape of the symbol — both angled and rounded — has been used as a decorative motif in architecture, in mosaic tiles and to encircle stone columns. Temples were widely decorated using the meander design, and it is common in Greek and Roman art. Furniture craftsmen often incorporate the meander into their wood carvings. Jewelry designers see the Greek key as representing the eternal bonds of friendship and love. Tattoo artists use it to signify a journey that has no particular destination planned.

Some historians believe that the Greek key symbol originated in the myth of the labyrinth, a garden maze formed by rectilinear paths separated by tall hedge-like vegetation. It has most notably been associated with the legend of Jason, a seafarer who led a band of adventurous heroes known as "the Argonauts." The Greek culture had many connections to the sea, and meandering water permeated their daily life and thoughts.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does the Greek key symbolize?

    A:

    The Greek key has been connected to various meanings, and some claim that the key is meant to symbolize a maze or labyrinth. This interpretation is connected to a myth where Theseus fought a Minotaur in a labyrinth. There is actually a Greek bowl artifact that depicts Theseus dragging the dead Minotaur from the labyrinth, which is represented by the key frieze.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a summary of ancient Greek civilization?

    A:

    Ancient Grecian culture lasted through numerous governmental periods and changed drastically from one to the next, according to the website Ancient Greece. However, certain elements of Greek culture remained the same, such as the division between free man and slave, two primary social classes and a thriving public life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did ancient Greek theatre begin?

    A:

    Ancient Greek theatre grew out of festivals honoring the gods and goddesses. Around 700 BC, at the same time ancient Athens rose to political and military power, it became the cultural center of the festival of Dionsysis, god of wine and religious ecstasies. Out of the Dionysia developed three dramatic genres: tragedy in the late 6th century BC, comedy in 486 BC and the satyr play.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the names of famous Greek mathematicians?

    A:

    There are many different Greek mathematicians including Anaxagoras, Apollonius, Archimedes, Archytas, Aristaeus, Aristotle, Bryson, Callippus, Chrysippus, Cleomedes, Conon, Democritus, Dinostratus, Eratosthenes, Euclid, Eutocius, Geminus, Heron, Hipparchus, Hippocrates, Hypatia, Menaechmus, Menelaus, Nicomachus, Nicomedes, Perseus, Plato, Posidonius, Pythagoras, Serenus, Thales, Theaetetus, Theon of Alexandria, Xenocrates and Zenodorus. The Greeks developed pure mathematics in the pre-Euclidean period.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore