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The Solomon’s Knot

The Solomon’s knot is a mysterious symbolism. Graphically it is composed by two or more rings intertwined in an inseparable way.

Solomon's knot

Historical background of the Solomon’s knot

The anciest findings of the Solomon’s knot date back to the prehistory, although its interpretation is still debated. 

Celts were the first who used the knot as a decoration. Contrariwise, Romans introduced the symbol in Italy after the military campaigns in Gaul: several specimens are part of mosaics from the 1st century A.C. found in the central Italy, like the knots of Pompeii and Ostia.

However, like other exoteric symbols, most of the findings belong to the Middle Age. The symbology is similar to the first specimens, instead the context changes. Firstly the Solomon’s knot was a pagan decoration. In the Medieval period it appears in churches and Christian representations. 

 

Solomon's knot
The Solomon’s knots (top right and bottom left) at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Ravenna

 

In this period the knot was particularly used by architects of monastic orders, like the Cistercians monks and the Knights Templar. For them it assumed symbolic and exoteric meanings. The knot appears on columns, illuminated manuscripts, mosaics! Templars used it also during the Crusades. Moreover, many specimens of Arab origins were on the helmets and shields of the Muslim knights. 

 

Symbolic meaning

Symbolically the Solomon’s knot represents a union, a meeting, particularly the link between God and man, which cannot be untied. Nobody cannot escape from the divine design and, at the same time, God cannot abandon his sons. For this reason the knot symbolizes the eternity and infinity. It also remembers the form of the Cross, symbol of suffering and love for Christians. Two intertwined rings are free of moving  but also not completely independent. It is the great mystery of the God’s will and the human free will: where does the first start and the second finish?

Only man who completely abandon himself to God’s righteousness can discover it, and who was more righteous and wiser than the biblic Solomon? This is the explanation of why a simple knot has the name of a king. 

Samuele Corrente Naso

(Translation by Daniela Campus)

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