1. What is the value of the arms and seals for history?
On coins, flags, pages of books, pictures, weapons, and sometimes on dishes and other objects, special conditional images happen. Sometimes such images are whimsical and complex: lions, leaning against city walls, eagles with outstretched wings and sharp claws, dragons and snakes, sabers, spears, lilies and roses, keys and gates.
And sometimes they are very simple. For example, ordinary polygons with lines and crosses. Such images are called Coats of Arms, and the science that studies them is heraldry. For centuries, the rules of creating the arms. For example, an obligatory element of the emblem, which determines its shape, is a shield. According to the form of the shield, researchers find out the place and time of the creation of the coat of arms. In heraldry, only certain colors are used – red, blue, green, black, – having symbolic meaning.
Today, the coat of arms is one of the symbols that every state has. State emblems depict, in addition to bank notes, still on flags, seals, official documents. The main element of the modern coat of arms of Ukraine is the Trident, whose history reaches deep antiquity. Researchers see it as a falcon, an anchor, an onion and arrows, a helmet, an ax or a fishing device, the top of a grain spike or a symbol of three natural elements – air, water and earth.
The trident is depicted on coins of the late 10th century. the great Kiev prince Vladimir Svyatoslavovich. As a symbol of the power of the prince, this sign was spread on our lands for several centuries.
Print – This stamped out of hard material, as well as its print on paper, gold, sealing wax.
As a sign of the princely family, the trident was widely used on the Pechets, with which international treaties were held together. The value of seals for a historian is that they help establish the time, place of origin and authenticity of documents. Inscriptions on seals are the most accurate source in the definition of posts, titles, names of historical figures, names of territories and institutions.
Archaeologists were lucky enough to find the seal of Prince Yaroslav the Wise with his image.
In Cossack times, almost on every seal of the Zaporozhye Army, one could see a Cossack coat of arms – a figure of a Cossack with a musket and a saber. The oldest print of the press has come down to us since 1595. Throughout the whole existence of the Cossacks this symbol remained unchanged. It is present not only on seals, but also on flags, portraits, icons, pages of manuscript and printed books. His coat of arms also had hetmans – rulers of Cossack Ukraine.
2. What are coins about and what is numismatics?
A rich source of studying the past are coins. They were often decorated... with portraits of rulers, holiday scenes, images of everyday details, heroes of legends and myths. Images and inscriptions on coins help to establish the dates of events, the territory of ancient states, the names of their rulers, who traded with whom, what clothes they wore in antiquity. Extremely useful coins are also for studying the history of urban development.
Coins explore the science of Numismatics. Most often, ancient coins fall into the hands of numismatists from archeologists – from coin treasures. Treasure is considered any number of coins – from several to tens of thousands. However, for an historian an invaluable source is every coin that was lucky enough to “read”, that is, to decipher and interpret.
Coining of coins has long been a sign of the power of the state and was carried out according to certain rules. A piece of silver was placed on an anvil and beaten with a hammer with a relief pattern or an inscription on it. Subsequently, coins began to be minted in special workshops – monetary.
The oldest coins found on our lands were made by the Greeks, who moved to the Black Sea coast two and a half thousand years ago. Greek settlers founded their cities here – Tiru, Olvia, Panticapaeum, Kerkinitidu, Chersonese, etc. In every Greek city they minted their own coins.
3. What kind of money did our ancestors use?
The history of money reaches an extreme antiquity. Of course, money did not always look like coins. At one time, various things served as money. Share your assumptions about which ones. For this purpose our ancestors used furs of animals, primarily martens and squirrels.
When trade became more vibrant and more diverse, people began to use more convenient metal money. Our ancestors from the middle of the 11th century. There were bars of silver of a certain weight and shape, the so-called hryvnia. It was this money that gave the name to the modern Ukrainian monetary unit. Modern hryvnia, of course, differ in form from the ancients, taking the form of generally accepted in the world of paper money. As for the ancient hryvnia, they were not the same in different cities. So, in Kiev they were made flat, hexagonal. The cost of hryvnia was determined by their weight.
There were coins of our ancestors and coins of both foreign production and of our own. The first of our coins, as you already know, began to be minted at the end of the 10th century. the Kiev prince Vladimir the Great. Archaeologists have found coins of silver and gold. On the coins of Vladimir on one side is depicted Jesus Christ, and on the other – the prince himself, who sits on the throne. The image is supplemented with the inscription: “Vladimir is on the table” or “Vladimir is on the table, and this is his silver”.