#RELATIONSHIP:Matters of the heart - WELCOME TO FACTS ZONE NEWSPAPERS

WELCOME TO FACTS ZONE NEWSPAPERS

BRANDISHING YOUR CURIOSITY WITH FACTS

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#RELATIONSHIP:Matters of the heart

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Even as many can be thinking about the mysteries of the heart this Valentine's Day, JOHN O’ROURKE tackles a greater unromantic question about our beating tickers: where on the earth did our universally acknowledged coronary heart shape stem from?

The origins of this easy shape have mystified pupils and lecturers for generations. The hearts that beat in all of our chests undergo handiest a passing resemblance to this simple apple-like form that graces Valentine's Day cards across the world.

For any such sine qua non of Western way of life, we understand remarkably little about its entry into our cultural lifestyle. Even as billions will right away interpret Milton Glaser's iconic 'I ❤ big apple' as a career of affection for the big Apple, the ancient Greeks would more than possibly have been baffled by means of its use on this manner.

"you notice this shape on thousands of extant items of historical Greek pottery, however the coronary heart symbol as we see it today is a medieval or renaissance invention," says Prof Peter Stewart, the head of Oxford college’s Classical art research Centre, who encounters this most easy layout on a daily foundation.

On a vessel like this Athenian skyphos cup from the Getty Museum’s collection, long-established in Athens within the past due 5th century BC, the coronary heart-fashioned motif is very commonplace.

Prof Stewart says: "What we usually see is an summary version of a leaf – specially it’s usually understood to be an ivy leaf, even though in a really sketchy rendering. A whole lot of the imagery is associated with Dionysus, the god of wine. The vases on which we discover those motifs are often designed for drinking wine, notionally for a symposium."

But is there any way to link this lifestyle with our personal idea of the love coronary heart? Should it also have hyperlinks with fertility for example? "regrettably there isn’t clearly any link with fertility – the hassle is that you can hyperlink any Greek deity with fertility," says Stewart.

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