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Sub rosa – meaning “secret”

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Rose in ancient times had a very important symbolic meaning. This flower was associated with numerous religious rituals, imposing the obligation of secrecy on all persons participating in the ceremony.

In ancient Egypt, the rose represented, among others Horus, whom the Greeks later identified with Harpokrates – the god of secrets. In Roman and Greek myths, Venus (Aphrodite) gave a rose to Amor (Eros), who in turn gave it to Harpocrates. The rose also appears in the images of the goddess Isis, who in Roman times was assimilated with the beautiful goddess Venus.

Due to the popularity of the rose motif, Roman patricians eagerly adorned the ceilings of their banquet rooms (triclinium) with paintings of roses, suggesting that those attending feasts under the influence of wine (sub vino), they should remain sub rosa (meaning “secretly”).

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