Bordeaux Bilge

The standard explanation for the Crescent on Bordeaux’s Coat of Arms demonstrates historians have neither a flare for fact nor fiction.

Crescent Confusion
The “shape of the river” explanation for Bordeaux’s Crescent is particularly poor as the “shape of the river” Garonne is neither unique nor remarkable.

Originally Port de la Lune (Port of the Moon) is the name given to the harbour of Bordeaux since the Middle Ages, because of the shape of the river crossing the city.

On the blazon of Bordeaux, a crescent represents it.

In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image.

The “shape of the river crossing the city” explanation lacks historical credibility because in the “Middle Ages” Bordeaux was confined to an “elongated quadrilateral” on the West bank.

Translated with

The Castrum

After having been an open city, Burdigala took refuge behind a solid rampart whose construction can be dated between 278 and 290.

The castrum had the shape of an elongated quadrilateral bordered on 450 m in the east by the Garonne, limited in the west by the rue des Remparts, the long southern side merging over 700 meters with the current course of Alsace-et-Lorraine, the northern side standing at an equal distance between the rue Saint-Rémi and the rue Porte-Dijeaux, on the one hand, and the course of the Stewardship, on the other hand.

The Tutelle pillars and the amphitheatre remained outside the ramparts.

The powerful wall, more than 9 metres high, was flanked by semi-circular towers every 50 metres and larger towers at the four corners.

It was apparently pierced by four gates, one of which, the Porta Navigera, opened onto the Garonne.

A heap of debris from the various monuments had been used for the basement.

The 2,350-metre perimeter wall contained a city of 31 to 32 hectares.

The castrum was not a new city.

It contained the broad outlines of urban planning for the open city.

Ausone, a 4th-century Bordeaux poet, described the city as follows:

Its square-shaped ramparts rise in towers so high that their ridge pierces the clouds in the sky. Inside, one can admire the well traced roads, the well-aligned houses, the wide squares worthy of their fame, the gates that answer in a straight line to the crossroads…

The population is estimated at 15,000.

This figure is lower than that of the open city, but one must take into account the very populous Saint-Seurin district, which remained outside the walls, and the devastation wreaked among the population during the barbarian raid.

Bordeaux – Unesco Nomination File – 2007

The evidence suggests there are two Crescent narratives.

1. The Port of the Moon Narrative
The Port of the Moon narrative begins in the 15th century [when Bordeaux was only on the West bank] using derivative iconography that employs three interlocking Crescents.

Translated with

The first written records of the Port of the Moon date from October 8, 1459 in a text in Latin published in the Archives Historiques de Gironde, pages 444 and 448: “ad portum de Luna ante dictam villam nostram Burdegale” and “in portu de Luna, prope Burdegalam saltem”.

The expression Port of the Moon associated with the Château de la Lune, i.e. the first Château Trompette, seems to be then applied itself to the nascent Carthusian port where the curve of the river really unfolded.

Bordeaux – Unesco Nomination File – 2007


Two of the interlocking Crescents in the Port of the Moon emblem represent the horns of Dionysus that were “shaped like a crescent moon”.

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne in the Gironde department in Southwestern France.

Being France’s most prominent wine region, with 3,37 Billion € turnover it is both the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region hosting the world’s most renowned estates, and a prominent powerhouse exercising significant influence on the world’s wine and spirits industry, although no wine production is conducted within the city limits.

Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.

Second birth

During her pregnancy, Semele rejoiced in the knowledge that her son would be divine.

Semele prayed to Zeus that he show himself. Zeus answered her prayers, but warned her than no other mortals had ever seen him as he held his lightning bolts. Semele reached out to touch them, and was burnt to ash.

But the infant Dionysus survived, and Zeus rescued him from the flames, sewing him into his thigh.

At his birth, he had a pair of horns shaped like a crescent moon.

First birth

Though Diodorus mentions some traditions which state an older, Indian or Egyptian Dionysus existed who invented wine, no narratives are given of his birth or life among mortals, and most traditions ascribe the invention of wine and travels through India to the last Dionysus.

With the third Crescent in the port emblem representing Bordeaux.

Translated with

The seal of Bordeaux in the 13th century already included a crescent moon.

Bordeaux – Unesco Nomination File – 2007

2. Bordeaux’s Single Crescent Narrative
If wine has only been produced in Bordeaux since the 8th century then it’s likely the origins of Bordeaux’s single Crescent pre-dates the 8th century.

Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century.

The evidence indicates the Crescent has a long history.

The crescent shape is used to represent the Moon, and the Moon deity Nanna/Sin from an early time, visible in Akkadian cylinder seals as early as 2300 BC.

The Egyptian logograph representing the Moon also had a crescent shape …

The crescent was well used in the iconography of the ancient Near East and was used transplanted by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC as far as Carthage in modern Tunisia.

The crescent and star also appears on pre-Islamic coins of South Arabia.

And the Crescent in France has been associated with Astarte aka Ishtar.

Croissants have long been a staple of Austrian and French bakeries and pâtisseries.

Crescent-shaped breads have been made since the Renaissance, and crescent-shaped cakes possibly since antiquity. [4]

4. “Qu’est-ce que la Bible? d’après la nouvelle philosophie allemande”,
translated by August Hermann Ewerbeck. 1850. p. 327.

“Hebrew women, in the time of Jeremiah, made in honor of the pagan goddess Astarte (queen of heaven, queen of the moon) cakes, probably in the form of a crescent.”

Astarte is the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess Astoreth (Northwest Semitic), a form of Ishtar (East Semitic), worshipped from the Bronze Age through classical antiquity.

The name is particularly associated with her worship in the ancient Levant among the Canaanites and Phoenicians.

Other centers were Cythera, Malta, and Eryx in Sicily from which she became known to the Romans as Venus Erycina.

A bilingual inscription on the Pyrgi Tablets dating to about 500 BC found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etruscan Uni-Astre, that is, Juno.

At Carthage Astarte was worshipped alongside the goddess Tanit.

Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with sex, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar.

She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

In 217 BC, in the early stages of the Second Punic War with Carthage, Rome suffered a disastrous defeat at the battle of Lake Trasimene. The Sibylline oracle suggested that if the Venus of Eryx (Venus Erycina, a Roman understanding of the Punic goddess Astarte), patron goddess of Carthage’s Sicilian allies, could be persuaded to change her allegiance, Carthage might be defeated.

Caesar was so “un-Roman” even his coins looked Carthaginian.


Therefore, it’s possible Bordeaux’s single Crescent is associated with the goddess Ishtar and Les Piliers de Tutelle was a temple dedicated to Ishtar [aka Astarte aka Tanit aka Venus Erycina aka Uni-Astre].

Tanit was a Punic and Phoenician goddess, the chief deity of Carthage alongside her consort Baal-Hamon.

She was equivalent to the war goddess Astarte, and later worshipped in Roman Carthage in her Romanized form as Dea Caelestis, Juno Caelestis, or simply Caelestis.

The symbol of Tanit is the crescent moon; in her temple at Carthage was preserved a famous veil or peplus which was venerated as the city’s palladium.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica – Volume 5 – Carthage (ancient city)


Translated with

Les Piliers de Tutelle – The Pillars of Trusteeship

The function of this monument, which has been the subject of various assumptions, remains, in fact, still unknown.

Bordeaux – Unesco Nomination File – 2007

The Crescent associated with Ishtar, Astarte, Tanit, Venus Erycina, Uni-Astre, and others deities may [or may not] ultimately derive from Shiva.

Shiva also known as Mahadeva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism.

The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, and the damaru drum.

P. N. Oak claimed Christianity is a Vedic Cult.


Garuda is a legendary bird or bird-like creature in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology. … features prominently in Shaivism mythology, Shaiva texts such as the Garuda Tantra and Kirana Tantra, and Shiva temples as a bird and as a metaphor of atman.

Either way:

Review the evidence and draw your own conclusions.

The evidence from Bordeaux suggests Christianity began to branch out in the 15th century.

The Basilica of Saint Severinus (or Basilique Saint-Seurin de Bordeaux, in French) is a church built in Bordeaux at the dawn of the 11th century.

Twice in 1566 and 1698, parts of the church’s vault structure collapsed causing serious damage.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the architect Jean-Baptiste Augier was charged with rebuilding and bracing them with pillars equipped with stone belt courses.

During this repair, he ordered that the floor be backfilled because of its considerable unevenness (nearly three meters). These repairs led to the burial of the crypt and a major modification of the ground of the western porch which dated to the 11th century.

Like many churches, the Basilica of Saint Severinus was largely stripped of its medieval furnishings. Despite this, some elements remain such as a number of alabaster altar pieces from the 15th century.

Dictionnaire Raisonné de L’Architecture Française du XIe au XVIe Siècle
Tome IV : Crypte – Eugène Viollet-le-Duc – 1875


Henry I (1100 to 1135)

It is on record that this king enacted especial regulations with regard to the coinage, but of what precise nature numismatists are not agreed.

He, however, abolished the oppressive tax called moneyage, alluded to at page 31 : and to prevent falsification of money, grown excessive, enacted that, in addition to the loss of the right hand, the guilty party should suffer also loss of sight and further mutilations.

The Gold, Silver, and Copper Coins of England
Henry Noel Humphreys – 1849

It’s evident the Christian and Islamic faiths share a [right] hand hewing heritage.


… the right hand, as the dominant hand of most individuals, was used for eating, handling food, and social interactions.

The left hand would then be used for personal hygiene, specifically after urination and defecation.

These rules were imposed on all, no matter their dominant hand.

Through these practices, the left hand became known as the “unclean” hand.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Arabian Horizon, Hecker Horizon, Heinsohn Horizon, History, Roman Chronology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bordeaux Bilge

  1. A couple of comments here, if I may:
    Re Dionysos: In J E Harrison’s Prolegomena she points out the confusion re Dionysos, his origins and meaning. She makes a point that Dionysos is of the grain not the grape (ch viii dionysos). In her other book ‘Themis’ in introduction she indicates that the Greeks knew the myth was imported and “their divinity was shorn of each and every ‘ mystical or monstrous ‘ attribute.” Ie obfuscated no end.
    Dionysos appears in the near east – on Severan coins- as the child born in a winnowing basket. However that myth is millennia older than the Greek or Thracian forms of the myth. The basis of the myth are really agrarian science not cult. (For an introduction see my book ) The earliest clear reference to the child in the Liknon is the Malta statuette from pre 3200bce.

    A second point of confusion is the name Inanna (Sumerian?). The semitic equivalent is Asht’art (the others are variants from other interpretations/readings) Asht’art is probably a compound name sounding ‘Ashet Art’ which means ‘that which gives life, or life of land; otherwise as ‘mother earth’.
    Just these past days I got a sort of confirmation. A 2020 paper/book Wasserman, Nathan (2020). The Flood : The Akkadian Sources. In one of the more ancient Akkadian texts of the flood story it starts with the word Inanna (pg 17). The god who gave away the secret of the great calamity to be inflicted is addressing ‘mother earth’. The rest of the line are in my mother tongue (old rural). It reads “mother earth, listen a little moment”. In the older version of the legend the addressee is not Noah or his older versions but mother earth and all the natural progeny.

    Think about Dodwell, earth’s changing obliquity, the abruptly frozen mammoths, and now quite a growing number of other ‘collateral’ victims.

  2. Pingback: Arabian Horizon: Battle of Yarmouk | MalagaBay

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