Symbol - Liceo G.Peano Tortona
Symbols connecting people
European Bilateral Comenius Project
High School Giuseppe Peano Tortona Italy
High School Grigore Moisil Timişoara Romania
What signs are
The term "Symbol" can be a synonym for "sign"
or it can be related to a particular kind of signs.
The sign is a mark or a shape that always had a
particular meaning, for example in mathematics or
you have to stop!
you are arriving to Belgrade city
Signifier and Signified
The linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (Geneva, 1857 - 1913)
defines the sign an entity with two sides:
“tree” - signifier
mental content - signified
A sign is something that can be interpreted as having meaning which
is something other than itself and which is therefore able to
communicate information to the one interpreting or decoding the sign
A code is a system of rules which gives
to a signifier a conventional meaning.
Italian: porta, uscio
Romanian, Italian, English are different linguistic codes
Semiotics is the science that studies the life of signs
within the framework of social life (de Saussure)
Semiotics studies culture as an "organized system of signs"
The function of sign systems and, among them, of
symbols, is to preserve the collective memory of events,
ideas and values.
For example monuments, public buildings, inscriptions,
tombs are signs of the existence and work of men.
Important contributions to semiotics were given by...
(1908 – 2009), French
anthropologist and psychologist
Jurij M. Lotman
Umberto Eco in “Sign”- 1973, says that a symbol is an
“indefinite sign”, because it has a vague and evocative
relationship with a plurality of meanings.
. images in poetry
. religious symbols (cross, lotus, mandala)
This is a sign
This is a symbol:
The Tree of Life,
at the Italian Pavilion
Milan Expo 2015
A symbol is an element of communication
that expresses the content of ideal meaning
of which it becomes the signifier.
The German philosopher Ernst Cassirer
defines symbol as an “expression of a
spiritual content through signs (Zeichen)
and sensitive images (Bilder)” and explains
that the symbol has “further meaning”, or
a sort of accumulation of meanings that
makes it more evocative than the sign but
Philosophy of symbolic forms (1923-1929)
(1874 – 1945)
In ancient Greece a half of a broken card or ring of clay
was called symbol when it was used like a sort of
receipt and kept by each part in an agreement. The
perfect match of the two halves of the symbol was the
proof of the validity of the agreement itself.
A symbol is a sign of
recognition and also evokes
the meanings of an alliance,
a commitment, loyalty,
Men use symbols to express
ideals, values, common experiences,
both positive and negative. For example:
Symbol of faith: the Chi Ro or Chrismon is
an abbreviation of the name of Jesus Christ
(Χ e ρ) and is an ancient Christian symbol.
Political symbol: Tree of liberty
raised during the French Revolution.
Symbol of progress: the Eiffel Tower,
built by the engineer Gustave Eiffel
for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
There are things designed and built to be symbols.
There are things that collective unconscious
turns into symbols
Monuments are projected and made to be symbols.
Umberto Mastroianni ,
Monument on Italian Resistence (1943-1945),
Symbols can express
the relationship and
complementarity of two
"The tree of knowledge of good
and evil“ (Genesis 2:16), is the symbol
of a mysterious bond between
Good, Evil and Human Freedom
Tao symbol belongs to ancient
Chinese philosophy and shows
the dialectical opposition of Yin and
Yang which is at the base of the
existence of Universe
An allegory is an explanation of complex meanings
by means of images used as symbols
Allegory of Justice
Biagio d'Antonio Tucci (Florence 1446-1516).
The scale (equity),
the sword (force), the orb under her foot
(the world governed by justice), are symbols.
of Turin 1911
The two naked men
symbolize the workers
who founded the
prosperity of Italy,
symbolized by the flag.
Logos can be considered as signs of contemporary man
who mainly lives on images.
They are used as fast and quick reminders
of a particular brand, societies, associations
The symbol named AXIS MUNDI
AXIS MUNDI is a symbol important in itself is also is fascinating its presence in nature, art, religion etc.
From all times people have tried to explore the sky both physical and metaphysical standpoint.
Axis mundi - the central axis of the universe - the sacred space (and inseparable, sacred time), is a powerful symbol concept that
manifests itself in all cultures on our planet. Great scholars of mythology or religion have addressed this issue to some extent:
Mircea Eliade, Romulus Vulcanescu, Vasile Lovinescu, Renee Guenon, Jacques Brosse, Marija Gimbutas, Emile Durkheim, Joseph
Campbell and others.
In Christianity, the symbol of the cross is explained as follows:
- the vertical axis of the cross reflects the connection between earth and heaven
- the horizontal axis represents the human plane of existence, the human world;
- the center of the cross is the point of communication with God.
Each look to that column placed in the center of the community
was a remembering that everything and all come from a unique
source and totally depend on that source.
Even now there are communities that have a very very old tree planted in the center of
the town. And that is a symbol of AXIX MUNDI.
In all spiritual traditions, high mountains rare symbols for AXIS MUNDI too. Climbing
a high mountain, especially if it is difficult, symbolize approaching Divinity.
The tree, natural fountains are also
symbols of AXIX MUNDI.
Symbols of Tortona
Tortona Coat of arms is a solid field
Of red adorned with a central grey
Rampant lion, keeping a rose in its right
paw. A cartouche, underneath, bears the caption
“Pro tribus donis similis Terdona leonis”.
The three gifts are courage,
The Basilica, with the
huge golden statue of the
Virgin with Baby Jesus, has
become a symbol of
religious life in Tortona
The old castle tower, last
Remain of a bigger complex
of buildings, has become the
symbol of the long and rich
history of Tortona
… and symbols of TimiŞoara …
It was built between
1307 - 1315 by Italian
masters to serve as
residence of King Charles
I of Anjou. Today it hosts
the Museum of Banat.
It was built between
1936-1946. His style
elements of Byzantine
architecture and old
It has 11 towers and a
height of 83 m.
It was received as
a gift from the
officials of Rome
The building houses four
major cultural institutions,
Romanian Opera, National
Theatre, German State
Theatre and Hungarian
Theatre, Timişoara being the
only European city where
there are three state theaters
in different languages.
Created by Italian and Romanian students
Coordinating teachers: Giovanni Castagnello, Cristina Bohm,
The project is implemented with the financial support of
The content is entirely the responsibility of its authors.