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The scepter of Tsar Boris III. of Bulgaria

The scepter (also scepter , from Greek σκῆπτρον skēptron staff; σκήπτειν sképtein to support) is part of the coronation insignia . It is a rod made of valuable metal , usually richly decorated with precious stones . It is the symbol of a ruler of an empire and was originally worn by emperors and kings , and later also by princes . The scepter can have a different crown. Consequently, particular in heraldry pin , eagle , cross , crown , lily , Schwurhand and orb common than end form.

Rulership sign

The scepter is already mentioned in the Bible, where it indicates the power of government and sovereignty. The scepter in the Bible differs there from the commanding staff that a king can give to someone as a sign of authority (e.g. Psalm 60: 7, 108: 8).

On Roman coins, sceptres were insignia of power of images of gods and goddesses, primarily the Roman Providentia .

At the coronation of the Roman-German emperor the scepter was carried forward by the ore chamberlain . Analogous to this, the state treasurer carried the scepter of the Archduchy of Austria forward in a hereditary homage .

In the Middle Ages, bowing the scepter was a sign of granted royal grace, and kissing it was a sign of submission.

The peculiarity of the scepter of the Austrian Empire is that it consists partly of narwhal tooth (see: Austrian Imperial Crown ).

The professional woman of Appenzell Innerrhoden carries the scepter ahead of the government

In Switzerland , sceptres still serve as symbols of secular power on ceremonial occasions at city and canton level. Due to the republican character of the constitution, they are never supported by elected members of the government, but always by a woman . The city ​​of Bern z. B. had a new scepter made in 2004 after the old one was lost; it was found again in 2019 in the estate of a woman.

In Poland , the berło - an insignia derived from a mace or morning star and held like a scepter - is traditionally the symbol of the highest military ranks. Today it is the symbol of the Marshal of Poland.

Even the President of Ukraine receives at his inauguration next to a chain of office , the Bulava (Булава), which is still regarded there as an important symbol of power.

From Mace derived Office rods ( ceremonial maces ) are also in the British parliamentary system and the Anglo-American universities in use.

Napoleon with scepter

France is a peculiarity : the French king carried two or three sceptres with him: a man-high and two short ones, one of which passed into a hand as a symbol for justice (“main de justice”) and the other at the top instead of the hand the justice wore a lily . In the times of the empires and the July monarchy, the scepter with the fleur de lys was abolished. In a painting by François Gérard from 1805 there is a corresponding representation of Napoléon Bonaparte in coronation regalia.

A cobalt blue scepter is the emblem of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin ; it can be found on every product from this traditional manufacturer.

Another form are the university sceptres that have been emerging since the Middle Ages .

Cure scepter

The scepter found its way into heraldry as a common figure and as a gem . Especially as a sign of the title of arch chamberlain in the Holy Roman Empire, it can already be proven on the seals of Friedrich I and Friedrich II from 1466. This scepter has also found its way into the Kurbrandenburg coat of arms and has withstood frequent changes and coat of arms increases (1536, 1575, 1708, 1804, 1817). In Brandenburg it became known as the cure scepter. The scepter came onto the eagle breast of the Brandenburg eagle after many variations on different coat of arms places until 1864. The cure scepter in the muzzle of this eagle, which has been in the right muzzle since 1827 (official error), should always be the same as that on the eagle's breastplate. In this context, the office of treasurer (not ore ) became important. It has been noticed by the baronial von Weinsberg family since the 15th century after the von Falkenberg family died out . It was lent to Count Eitel Friedrich von Zollern as early as June 1505 . Contractually, with the consent of the emperor, the position was extended to include Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg .

Historical constellations

Historical constellations that have the term scepter in their name:


The Chinese Ruyi scepter have less of the function of a symbol of power than that of a lucky charm and talisman .


Sceptres are a rare form of crystals, but at various times a later generation has formed on normally grown (often idiomorphic) crystals. They arise from rapid growth or from an abrupt break in growth. The second crystal forms at a lower temperature.

See also

Regimental wood


Web links

Commons : Zepter  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See Genesis 49:10.
  2. Meyers Konversationslexikon. Fourth edition. Publishing house of the Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892.
  3. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Der Bund. February 26, 2008, p. 23.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  4. Peter Brand: The scepter returns. In: MAZ - The magazine for the employees of the city of Bern. Issue 2/2019 , p. 4 f.
  5. Meyers Konversationslexikon. Fourth edition. Publishing house of the Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892.
  6. ^ "Scepter mineralogical" in the Mineralienatlas WiKi