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  1. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #1

    there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Dear friends,

    Today I was in the Hermitage together with tourists and when we were in the Big Throne Room (also called St. George's Room) I showed them usual the image of a double-headed eagle, which was the symbol of the Russian Empire before the Revolution of 1917. When we come to that exibit I usually say the following:

    "In the centre of the velvet piece on the wall there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle, who is holding a/the sceptre and an/the orb in its talons".

    I would use "the" in all the cases, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Quote Originally Posted by milan2003_07 View Post
    Dear friends,

    Today I was in the Hermitage together with tourists and when we were in the Big Throne Room (also called St. George's Room) I showed them, as usual, the image of a double-headed eagle, which was the symbol of the Russian Empire before the Revolution of 1917. When we come to that exhibit I usually say the following:

    "In the centre of the velvet piece on the wall there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle, who is holding a/the sceptre and an/the orb in its talons".

    I would use "the" in all the cases, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks
    As you can see above, I would use the indefinite article in each case. Note my other corrections above, in red.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Good evening,

    I agree with Emsr2d2, but have one extra point.

    Traditionally in English, this part of any set of royal crown jewels is always known as the "orb and sceptre". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb_and_Sceptre

    So, in English those words need to be said in that order: "........a double-headed eagle, holding an orb and sceptre in its talons".

    It will sound odd to English speakers the other way round.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    I'm a native speaker and I didn't know that!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Sorry Ems, that's probably my history background showing through!

  6. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Dear emsr2d2,

    Thanks a lot for the reply! Believe mу I know about "as usual" and "exhibit". Just misprints because of fast typing. . Anyway, thanks for the corrections!

  7. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eckaslike View Post
    Good evening,

    I agree with Emsr2d2, but have one extra point.

    Traditionally in English, this part of any set of royal crown jewels is always known as the "orb and sceptre". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb_and_Sceptre

    So, in English those words need to be said in that order: "........a double-headed eagle, holding an orb and sceptre in its talons".

    It will sound odd to English speakers the other way round.
    Very interesting indeed! I'll remember that and next time I will say "an orb and sceptre". However, another fact interests me: if you have item A and item B you can normally say either "A and B" or "В and A" and it won't make any difference. Why do we have to follow a fixed word order here? Why not say "a sceptre and (an) orb" just meaning two different items?

    Thanks

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    It is evidently a fixed expression. That is why the word order doesn't change.

  9. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: there is an/the image of a/the double-headed eagle ...

    Yes, you are right, with most objects it makes no real difference.

    I think with the orb and sceptre, the difference is that the two are nearly always mentioned together as a pair. They are usually seen together in heraldry, as in the Russian Imperial eagle you mentioned.

    it is so ingrained within the concept of royalty here going back to William the Conquerer, and I think even earlier, that it has become a long used idiom, but only to do with those two items. If they are just mentioned in a long list it may not matter, but I would still always put them in the list as something like "crown, orb and sceptre". Here is a picture of William wearing the crown and holding the orb and sceptre in 1066 as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry completed around 1077.
    http://tinyurl.com/o6ubogz

    You probably know the symbolism of the orb and sceptre, but just in case you don't I will say what they represent. The orb represents the world, and it has a cross on top to represent Christianity. The monarchs held one in order to show that they were defenders or supporters of the faith. The sceptre is the symbol of a king's right to rule and dispense justice, and initially, no doubt would have represented his divine right to rule. (see page 226 here http://preview.tinyurl.com/q8ozl3t and note that the book is called "Crown, Orb and Sceptre").

    I think in this way they represent both heavenly and earthly power.

    Given the fact that the royal houses of Europe intermarried so much, I would imagine that this symbolism is probably going to be pretty universal.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 31-Jul-2015 at 00:13.

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