peculiarity of the Russian coat of arms is that the eagle depicted on it has two heads, facing in opposite directions.This image can not be regarded as an exclusively Russian - he was known to the Sumerian civilization, Hittites.There he was in Byzantium.

Byzantine theory

most famous theory links the origin of the coat of arms of the Russian double-headed eagle with Byzantium.It is believed that this coat of arms "brought" to the Russian Sofia Palaeologus - the niece and sole heir of the last Byzantine emperor.Being married to Sophia, the Grand Duke of Moscow, Ivan III had every reason to consider himself the heir of the Byzantine emperors, who died under the blows of the Turks, and, together with the title of the Emperor inherited the coat of
arms in the form of a two-headed eagle.

this hypothesis, contrary to many of the facts.Marriage of Ivan III and Sophia Paleologos took place in 1472, and the double-headed eagle was adopted as the state emblem (the press) in 1497.It is difficult to find a causal link between events separated by 25 years.

no reason to believe that the two-headed eagle was the emblem of Palaeologus, and even more so - the Byzantine Empire as a whole.This character was not on the Byzantine coins, nor on the state seal.Yet, this symbol was used as decor elements.Clothing with the symbol worn by nobility.

as a two-headed eagle coat of arms was used not in the Byzantine Empire, and in its neighboring countries - Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, who sought to oppose it.

Other theories

Some researchers have linked the origin of the double-headed eagle on the Russian coat of arms with the Golden Horde.This symbol is present on the coins Janibek, who ruled in the 14th century.But this theory is debatable: borrowing enemy logos unlikely.

seems more reasonable hypothesis about the two-headed eagle borrowing from Western Europe.In medieval Europe, he was present at the two-headed eagle coins Frederick Barbarossa, the Bertrand III, King of Bohemia Wenceslaus IV, and from 1434 he served as the state emblem of the Holy Roman Empire.

, Ivan III took a course to strengthen the international prestige of the young Muscovite state.To this have been directed such measures as issuing gold coins, introducing European elements in the court ceremonial.It is possible that the adoption of the two-headed eagle as the emblem was also connected with the desire to be on a par with European monarchs, first of all - with the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

In Europe, two-headed eagle appeared in the late 12th century - in the era of the Crusades.It was probably during the Crusades, this character was borrowed by Europeans in the East.In Eastern culture this image originated in ancient times - initially as an element of the ornament, later turned into a symbol of royal power.The two heads of the eagle appeared as the adherence to the principle of symmetry, which is in the eastern culture was associated with the idea of ​​perfection, which was correlated with an understanding of the governor as a "model of perfection."

as the Russian double-headed eagle coat of arms of the image filled with new content.It saw a symbol of unification of Moscow and Novgorod, and now most of it is interpreted as a symbol of unity of East and West, Europe and Asia in the Russian state.