Thursday, February 8, 2007

"The Iconography of the Stag"-- Thiebaux

The diversity of connotations associated with the stag impressed me. There are the pagan influences -- the stag transpierced by an evil spirt, for example-- Christian allegories and allusions-- as in the Ten Commandments represented by the stag's ten horns-- and political overtones-- the nobility of the stag with his impressive set of horns tied to the glory of the king and his crown.
The incorporation of the imagery of a serpent seemed especially bizarre. Where did the bit about the stag devouring the venomous snake originate from? How strange that the snake has medicinal effects on the stag rather than the classic fatal consequences of encounters with serpents.

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