Female Bum Behind Valentine Symbol?
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Feb. 13, 2006 — The familiar double-lobed heart symbol seen on Valentine's Day cards and candy was inspired by the shape of human female buttocks as seen from the rear, according to a professor of psychology who studied the origin, history and symbolism of the Feb.14 holiday.

Galdino Pranzarone of Roanoke College in Salem, Va., told Discovery News that he analyzed "essential literary and speculative evidence from mythology and secondary sources," which led to his theory. He believes one rather obvious bit of evidence is that the heart symbol does not directly duplicate the heart human organ.

"The twin lobes of the stylized version correspond roughly to the paired auricles and ventricles (chambers) of the anatomical heart," Pranzarone said, but added that the organ "is never bright red in color" and its "shape does not have the invagination at the top nor the sharp point at the base."

Pranzarone indicated that the ancient Greeks and Romans could have originated the link between human female anatomy and the heart shape. The Greeks, he said, associated beauty with the curves of the human female behind.

"The Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, was beautiful all over, but was unique in that her buttocks were especially beautiful," he explained. "Her shapely rounded hemispheres were so appreciated by the Greeks that they built a special temple Aphrodite Kallipygos, which literally meant, 'Goddess with the Beautiful Buttocks.' This was probably the only religious building in the world that was dedicated to buttock worship."

He admitted that it was possible that the heart symbol represented both male and female glutes (the group that includes the three large muscles of each buttock that control thigh movement), but he said, "I think the Valentine's heart more closely fits the rounded female anatomy rather than the angular, compact and slimmer male butt."

Valentine's Day-type heart symbols first became popular in 15th century Europe as a suit designation on playing cards. It is possible that the Renaissance fondness for classical literature and history brought forth the Greek interest in the female buttocks shape, which Pranzarone indicated also mirrors the basic outline of female breasts.

In the past, other researchers, such as art historian Erwin Panofsky, have claimed that the Valentine heart shape dates to prehistoric times and was first observed in Spanish Stone Age cave paintings.

During the 14th century, a handful of scholars described the heart as being an inverted pinecone with its tip pointing downwards. This description was even included in the earliest editions of "Gray's Anatomy." The noted Italian artist Giotto (1267-1337) also sometimes depicted hearts like pinecones.

Eric Jager is a professor of English at the University of California at Los Angeles and the author of "The Book of the Heart," which includes information on early heart imagery.

Jager told Discovery News, "I think Dr. Pranzarone's theory is very amusing," but suggested that other historians might have mulled over the buttocks/heart shape link before.

Pranzarone admitted that "any interpretation of this kind of material is purely speculative. We were not there when goddesses, symbols and paintings were originally created.

He added, "Hey, it's only Valentine's Day. Most people enjoy it and don't get too serious about it — unless you don't get the Valentine you were expecting."

Ягодицы Афродиты как символ любви

Символ сердца, используемый для обозначения любви, не имеет никакого отношения к анатомическому сердцу. Ученый из США уверен, что графическое сердце древние греки фактически срисовали с женских ягодиц. Голдино Пранзароне – профессор одного из колледжей в Вирджинии – в числе прочего изучает происхождение Дня всех влюбленных.

Работая в этом направлении, он проанализировал "важнейшие литературные свидетельства и гипотезы из мифологии и вторичных источников" и пришел к выводу, что символическое сердце – это женский зад.

Как пояснил исследователь в интервью Discovery News, греки особенно ценили в женской красоте именно задницу. "Греческая богиня красоты Афродита была красива всеми частями тела, но особенно – ягодицами, – рассказал он. – Ее округлые формы настолько ценились в Греции, что в часть Афродиты Каллипиги – буквально Прекраснозадой – построили специальный храм. Вероятно, это было единственное в мире религиозное строение, посвященное воспеванию ягодиц".

Впрочем, Пранзароне заметил, что греческий символ любви не имел такой выемки сверху, не был сильно заострен снизу, и тем более не окрашивался в красный цвет. Исследователь предположил, что современный символ возник позднее: когда греческое начертание переняла католическая церковь. Тогда же графическое сердце было увязано с анатомическим, считает профессор.

Источник: Семен Столяров


back to list

Хостинг от uCoz