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The tetragrammatic cross, even though it was considered at the time by some to be the arms of the Paleologue family, it was in fact the arms of the Byzantine empire. The motif of a croos [sic] between four objects is derived from Constantine's labarum and has long figured on Byzantine coins, since the 6th c.
The B's of the tetragrammatic cross have been mostly interpreted as flints or firestones (purekbola in Greek), but also as letters. It is possible that they were initially letters, and later assimilated to firestones. The interpretation of the four B's standing for the motto "Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileonton" (king of kings, ruling over those who rule) may well be posterior.
Originally posted by Nygdan
This is a symbol that I have seen on a college campus. I don't know what it is for, I suspect its for a frat or an academic society. Its a sheild, with four capital Bs on it. In the center is a ring, with a serpent partly in the ring. The lower loop of the serpent is beneath the ring, I beleive, and the ends are overlying it. There is an upright bar behind the sheild with some sort of pommel or something on it.
Is this familiar to anyone?