Sicilian Folk Stories: Trinacria, the origin of the symbol of Sicily

Apr 18, 2015 2063

by Jonathan Bazzi

The triskelion (known as the triscele in Italian, and also the called triquetra or trinacria, depending on the usage and contexts) is a symbolic figure with an ancient history, formed of three legs (or three intertwined spirals according to other traditions) that start from a common centre point (a head in the Sicilian version).

The name derives from Greek and means simply "three legs", being composed of "tri" (three) and "skelos" (leg). The origins of this symbol come from far, far away, and traces of this type of representation have been found in very different areas and cultures. Frequently depicted in Greek and Roman coins, it is generally considered a symbol of oriental origin representing the Moon, the Sun or movement, with interpretations of its meaning being varied and conflicting. Here's the story of this traditional yet enigmatic symbol.

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