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  • Writer's pictureSadhana Sridhar

The Heart Symbol?

I always imagined the emoji heart [♥] beating in me and everyone else until I saw a four-chambered heart diagram in my 8th-grade textbook.

From text messages to jewellery, we've come across the heart symbol [♥] everywhere and in most cases, it would indicate "love", especially a romantic relationship.

For years, we've been trying to understand why the heart symbol is associated with love. There are several speculations based on Greek, Roman and French texts and paintings ofcourse.

Although the Silphium theory is compelling, the heart symbol might be a result of artist (of the Middle Ages) attempts to recreate the organ mentioned in ancient medical texts.

"Fin' Amor" from the 12th-century and the 13th-century European courts are also gripping theories…


"The Heart Offering" [1338-1344]; Illustration from The Romance of Alexander, Bodleian Library, Oxford, England.

Here is my version, inspired by my 8th-grade textbook diagram…

When Hearts Meet

Except, I am not particularly good at establishing symmetry and remember taking a fair bit of time to get it right...



So, what is your interpretation of the heart symbol ♥ ?

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