Painting by Ahn Gyeon (안견/安堅), Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land (몽유도원도/夢遊桃源圖), 1447.


The circle of opposites

The Taijitu (太極圖), the circle representing the fluidity of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang in Taoism, had a corresponding Western symbol, actually predating the Chinese version by seven centuries!
The cultural concepts underlying each of the equivalent graphic representations were naturally different.
The Western one was the emblem of the armigeri defensores seniores, a Roman infantry unit of the Late Empire (circa 430 CE).
Compare for yourself:

The Taoist version

The Roman version

No comments:

Post a Comment