The lion together with the eagle is the most represented animal in the ancient classical and Middle Eastern tradition. It stands for strength, nobility, majesty, braveness and passion. In the Christian tradition it’s the symbol of the evangelist Mark and it’s the partner of some saints, in particular the ones of the desert. In the Physiologus, an ancient book about animals, the lion is linked with the resurrection of Christ. In Medieval art it was represented at the feet of the effigies on tombs of powerful men, as a symbol of braveness. The lion is linked to the cardinal virtue of Fortitudo and the author Cesare Ripa considers it attribute of Ethic and of the Govern of itself. Moreover Ripa always chooses it to represent strength, but only when it is exposed to the Eloquence or Justice, in other cases he chooses the elephant. In general in the following centuries the body of the animal, or some of its parts, like the head or the paws, are used largely in the funerary context.

Click here to introduction at funerary symbols.

Traduzione a cura della classe 5 H del Liceo Scientifico “Augusto Righi” di Bologna, nell'ambito del progetto di scambio culturale con il Liceo "Europaschule" di Bornheim, Germania, maggio-ottobre 2014. 

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