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/ bulla
An ornament worn as a medallion by young Romans; it was offered to the gods when the praetexta (the child's dress) was laid aside on reaching manhood or at the time of marriage. Fashioned by welding together two circular concave sheets of anything from gold to glass, the bulla contained magic spells and acted as a preservative. It is the symbol of the guardian spirit which the the wearer wished to conciliate and decorated the victori- ous commander at his triumph.
From it is derived the name of Papal Bull, which from the second century onwards was applied to documents emanating from the Roman Curia and sealed with round lead seals in the shape of bullae. 'Bull' was also applied to royal enactments. In this context the symbolism derives from its spherical shape, displaying astral perfection, sovereignty and independence.

Peter Greif / March 2, 2006 1:13

greif@sky.ru