Lion stylophore

by Mikkal Noptek March. 16, 2014 4959 views

March 06, 2013

The term stylophore comes from Greek, meaning pillar support. The lion stylophore was originally entrusted by the people of the Middle Orient, the Sumerians, the Hittites, the Assyriens and also the Egyptians and the Greeks to guard their holy shrines.

The lion then invaded the churches, ornamenting not only the facades but also the interiors. It could be found on the baptismal font, on the alter, the Bishop??s throne or the pulpit and was considered as a symbol of force and justice. 

The great door was of huge importance in Roman art. Defenders of the great door are specific to Roman art whether it be in the form of lion column support or of multiple aspects on the tympanum.

The idea of defence seems to dominate here, however it is by way of protection rather than prohibition. In Roman art, the lion ??defender? can be explained by the fact that bandits often used to go under cover as pilgrims to go unnoticed.

When the atlantes of the church symbolise wisdom and knowledge, the lions are the defensive and protective element. Successors of a long Mesopotamian and Egyptian tradition, these two symbols no longer have the same significance. They simply invite one to enter the church with respect.

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Agnes Felber 7 years, 1 month ago

They are strangely stylized, aren't they?

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Josy 7 years, 1 month ago

Comme d'habitude en images et en explications vos publications sont merveilles pour moi... Merci à vous

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Finbarr 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice post !

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 7 years, 1 month ago


7 years, 1 month ago Edited