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Coat of Arms of Kotka, Finland

Eagles are an exceptionally common symbol in heraldry, being considered the "King of Birds" in contrast to the lion, the "King of Beasts". Whereas the lion (e.g. England) usually represents a kingdom, the eagle is symbolic for an empire. They are particularly popular in Germanic countries such as Austria, due to their association with the Holy Roman Empire. The eagle of the Holy Roman Empire was two-headed, supposedly representing the two divisions, East and West, of the old Roman Empire. This motif, derived from the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire was also adopted by the Russian Empire and is still featured in the Flag of Albania. The Roman eagle was preceded by the eagle of Ptolemaic Egypt and the Achaemenid Empire. In the coat of arms of Kotka, Finland, the eagle is depicted carrying an anchor and the caduceus on its feet.

Heraldic eagles are most often found displayed, i.e. with their wings and legs extended. They can also oc

Old English used the term earn, related to Scandinavia's ørn/örn. It is similar to other Indo-European terms for "bird" or "eagle", including Greek: ὄρνις (ornís), Russian: орёл (orël), and Welsh: eryr. In the southern part of Finland, near the Gulf of Finland, is the town of Kotka, which literally means "eagle".

In Britain before 1678, eagle referred specifically to the golden eagle, with the other native species, the white-tailed eagle, being known as erne. The modern name "golden eagle" for aquila chrysaetos was introduced by the naturalist John Ray.[citation needed]

Religion and folklore

Sumerian mythology, the mythical king Etana was said to have been carried into heaven by an eagle.[24] Classical writers such as Lucan and Pliny the Elder claimed that the eagle was able to look directly at the sun, and that they forced their fledglings to do the same. Those that blinked would be cast from the nest. This belief persisted until the Medieval era.[25]

The eagle is the patron animal of the ancient Greek god Zeus. In particular, Zeus was said to have taken the form of an eagle in order to abduct Ganymede, and there are numerous artistic depictions of the eagle Zeus bearing Ganymede aloft, from Classical times up to the present (see illustrations in the Ganymede (mythology) page.)[26]

Psalm 103 (in Greek, Latin, and English) mentions renewing one's youth "as the eagle" (although the Hebrew word נשר apparently means vulture). Augustine of Hippo gives a curious explanation of this in his commentary on the Psalms.[27]

The eagle is a common form in the Anglican tradition, often used to support the Bible because of the symbolism of spreading the gospel over the world. Additional symbolic meanings for "eagle" include the pronouncements to the Israelites in Exodus 19:4; Psalms 103:5 and Isaiah 40:31. The United States eagle feather law stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual reasons.The eagle is the patron animal of the ancient Greek god Zeus. In particular, Zeus was said to have taken the form of an eagle in order to abduct Ganymede, and there are numerous artistic depictions of the eagle Zeus bearing Ganymede aloft, from Classical times up to the present (see illustrations in the Ganymede (mythology) page.)[26]

Psalm 103 (in Greek, Latin, and English) mentions renewing one's youth "as the eagle" (although the Hebrew word נשר apparently means vulture). Augustine of Hippo gives a curious explanation of this in his commentary on the Psalms.[27]

The eagle is a common form in the Anglican tradition, often used to support the Bible because of the symbolism of spreading the gospel over the world. Additional symbolic meanings for "eagle" include the pronouncements to the Israelites in Exodus 19:4; Psalms 103:5 and Isaiah 40:31. The United States eagle feather law stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual reasons.[28] In Canada, the poaching of eagle feathers for the booming U.S. market has sometimes resulted in the arrests of First Nations person for the crime.[29]

The Moche people of ancient Peru worshiped the eagle and often depicted eagles in their art.[30]

Eagles are an exceptionally common symbol in heraldry, being considered the "King of Birds" in contrast to the lion, the "King of Beasts". Whereas the lion (e.g. England) usually represents a kingdom, the eagle is symbolic for an empire. They are particularly popular in Germanic countries such as Austria, due to their association with the Holy Roman Empire. The eagle of the Holy Roman Empire was two-headed, supposedly representing the two divisions, East and West, of the old Roman Empire. This motif, derived from the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire was also adopted by the Russian Empire and is still featured in the Flag of Albania. The Roman eagle was preceded by the eagle of Ptolemaic Egypt and the Achaemenid Empire. In the coat of arms of Kotka, Finland, the eagle is depicted carrying an anchor and the caduceus on its feet.

Heraldic eagles are most often found displayed, i.e. with their wings and legs extended. They can also occur close, i.e. with their wings folded, or rising, i.e. about to take flight. The heads, wings, and legs of eagles can also be found independently.

Notes

  1. ^ "There are four major groups of eagles: fish eagles, booted eagles, snake eagles and giant forest eagles."[17]

References

  1. ^ del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. (editors). (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 2: New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions.