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The Babylonian gods are given animal-human forms, and often appear in the form of lions, crocodiles and bulls.The following ideographic symbols were employed in alchemy to symbolize elements known since ancient times. Not included in this list are spurious elements, such as the classical elements fire and water, and substances now known to be compounds. Many more symbols were in at least sporadic use: one early 17th-century alchemical manuscript lists 22 symbols for mercury alone.
A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences. All communication (and data processing) is achieved through the use of symbols. Symbols take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas, or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs. For example, a red octagon is a common symbol for "STOP"; on maps, blue lines often represent rivers; and a red rose often symbolizes love and compassion. Numerals are symbols for numbers; letters of an alphabet may be symbols for certain phonemes; and personal names are symbols representing individuals. The variable 'x', in a mathematical equation, Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture.
Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one's cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturallyThe word symbol derives from the Greek σÏμβολον symbolon, meaning "token, watchword" from σÏν syn "together" and βÎ¬λλω bállÅ " "I throw, put." The sense evolution in Greek is from "throwing things together" to "contrasting" to "comparing" to "token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine." Hence, "outward sign" of something. The meaning "something which stands for something else" was first recorded in 1590, in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene. (Source: learned. Burke goes on to describe symbols as also being derived from Sigmund Freud's work on condensation and displacement, further stating that symbols are not just relevant to the theory of dreams but also to "normal symbol systems". He says they are related through "substitution", where one word, phrase, or symbol is substituted for another in order to change the meaning. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)