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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Issue no. 2 / 2010  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:  The importance of bells for the human communities was not exclusively determined by their sound; the imprints, the messages engraved onto the metal body of the bells had also a special significance for the community. The messages from the bells offered us a large spectrum of information from the chronological, religious and also laic point of view, their analysis permitting the possibility of registration of a series of attitudes and behavior. The inscriptions from the Transylvanian bells were including, among other, the names of the persons that supported the acquisition of such cult object, either a religious or laic personality, either a commoner. Likewise the metal of the bell served for the purpose of pointing out the prestige of a character, the hierarchies established among the humans. Additionally, the imprints of the names of some Emperors, Kings, Metropolitans, or Bishops served also for carrying out the chronological delineation. Other times, the bells mentioned the parish that owned the cult object therefore the inscription was marking the ownership, the property. The bell was part of the community, serving it, was mentioned into its registry of possession, and its estrangement was improbable. Happy moments or sad ones, tragedies that affected the community or the country were furthermore imprinted onto the bells. The analysis of the inscriptions from the bells was an extra illustration of the diversity of functions performed by the bells, of their involvement in the daily lives of Romanian communities from Transylvania.

Keywords: Bells, Transylvania, Imprint, Function, Significance, Symbolism
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