Two-Headed Eagle

Two-Headed Eagle

 

fantastic heraldic figure symbolizing authority, strength, and unity. The oldest depiction dates from the seventh or sixth century B.C., discovered on archaeological monuments of ancient Media. From the fourth through the 15th centuries the two-headed eagle was the state emblem of Byzantium, the symbol of the unity of the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and later of Byzantium’s claim to the territories of the former Western Empire. Beginning in the 14th century it was depicted on the coins of Louis the Bavarian and of other monarchs who considered themselves the heirs of the Roman Empire. Beginning in the 15th century it was the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire from which it was taken over in the 19th century as the coat of arms of Austria-Hungary. In Russia the two-headed eagle became the state emblem after the marriage of Ivan III to the Byzantine princess Sophia Paleólogos and embodied the claim of Rus’ to the Byzantine legacy. Later it served as an emblem of the indivisibility of European and Asian Russia. The two-headed eagle has been preserved to this day in the coat of arms of the People’s Republic of Albania; it comes from the depiction of a two-headed eagle on the banner of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg.

References in classic literature ?
The sight of the two-headed eagle of Du Guesclin, however, was a passport into any fortalice in France, and ere they had passed the gate the old border knight came running forwards with hands out-thrown to greet his famous countryman.
That is why this proposal for the coat of arms and any other proposal which doesn't hold the eagle will be disappointing for all those who insist to include the two-headed eagle in the state symbol, on which we agreed that we have an equal share as the Macedonians or any others who live here.
With hardly a spare inch of un-inked skin on his entire body, pride of place was given to a two-headed eagle clutching a shield emblazoned across his chest which resembled the kind of signage that might hang outside a really rough, uninviting pub.
You may be familiar with the two-headed eagle of the Scottish Rite.
The painter, an erstwhile cross-stitcher, re-creates in dainty brushstrokes the ceremonial silk cloth embroidered with polychrome yarns; she heightens the color and omits the crown and two-headed eagle of the original in favor of an open central space.
I want to see the two-headed eagle of Albania hanging from that building.
On page 46, the "heart-surgery-colored" Albanian flag bears "the image of what's either a two-headed eagle or a very angry freak-show chicken.