In the previous postcard I told you about Gordio's Knot and the two roads before the problems that arise: untie and/or cut. And incidentally brought one of his influences: the reference to this old story about Alexander the Great, on the coat of arms of the Catholic Kings, specifically, the ...

The Arrows of Isabel La Católica

The Arrows of Isabel La Católica

In the previous postcard I told you about the Gordio's Knot and the two paths to the problems that arise: untie and/or cut. And incidentally brought one of his influences: the reference to this old story about Alexander the Great , on the shield of the Catholic Kings , specifically, the yoke of > the Gordias cart and the broken rope that surrounded it, which appears in it. But there is another emblem in that one, that of Queen Elizabeth , a bundle of arrows, also tied by a piece of string. In the note for Spanish readers that in the previous postcard, El Nudo de Gordio , contributed this issue was noted. (1)

1 The arrows of Isabella the Catholic, a much older emblem

Searching the Web, references to the arrow beam of Isabella the Catholic

I have found multiple explanations to the choice by the queen, of that emblem. (2) And beyond, other historical references to the use of similar emblems and previous historical anecdotes, attributed to other protagonists. (3) (4)

But in all of them there is a common denominator: the union of equals generates a force that the individuals that form the group do not possess, when they act separately. And its opposite: the force that provides the union of equals, disappears when you try to exercise alone.

2 The beam of arrows that could not be broken

Some time ago I saw a TV movie on TV that was a "remake" of Spartacus , a famous film about thirty years ago, directed by Stanley Kubrick strong>. The current version does not beat the original model but one of its scenes, which was not in the first film, I liked a lot.

It's this: After many months of rebellion, at a time when the group heterogeneous of slaves and gladiators faces a very serious situation and in which flight and desertion appears between them as something more than an option, the leader, Spartacus, shows his captains, an arrow and tells the strongest of all of them that break it, which makes that very easily. He then gives him a wad of arrows and the strongest can not break it. Then, Spartacus addresses everyone and makes the following reflection that even today, in very different circumstances, also applies to us:

- " Separately, we are arrows that anyone can break a one, grouped in a "bundle", no one can with us . "

Notice that they are the same arrows. And that is its grouping into "a bundle", a union, an amalgam ... And that is what gives it, to all of them, a much more resistant structure.

3 The bundle of arrows real estate

I suggest you think about this image of the wad of arrows frequently. Especially if you are one of those who "do not collaborate" with other real estate companies, or if even belonging to a network or group does not do it, or does it only sometimes.

Do not hesitate, the value that The grouped sale structure produced among its associates is similar to the simile of the used beam.

As soon as it can "partner" with other real estate companies under some form of shared sale and enjoy the synergy that occurs when a Volunteer and enthusiastic group, decide to work together.

Follow health!

Miguel Villarroya Martín, May 14, 2016/Madrid. Spain/RdP. 013/


(1) See: The legend of the Gordian knot .His personal badge consisted in the representation of the Gordian knot attached to the yoke, cut (referring to the story of Alexander the Great ), accompanied by the nickname "both mounts", which started the phrase "both mounts cut and untie", noting that the means used to solve a problem are not important against the solution of this. Probably this currency was suggested to Fernando II of Aragon by the great humanist Antonio de Nebrija . " Read the complete note and note the figures that are provided in it. They are very interesting. As it is known, the yoke -of Gordio's cart- and the rope broken by Alejandro that surrounded it, have disappeared from the current shield of Spain.

That we now complete with:

And also the arrows of Queen Isabel La Católica, tied with the same rope, disappeared, which referred us to another anecdote from Alejandro : " The emblem of the arrows was on the other hand chosen by Isabel the Catholic as a symbol, and it seems that it could also have a relationship with another legend of the classical world. According to it is said, a philosopher (of unknown name) once gave Alexander the Great a lesson that served him during all his conquests. The philosopher took a certain number of arrows and split them in half one by one quite easily. However, he then took the same number of arrows and tried to split them all at once, but it was impossible. This fact gave Alejandro a great lesson, that union is strength. " See on the web: My corner of the bay.

This story about Alejandro also tells of other forms: " Isabel also admired Alejandro, who was one of the historical references in the Renaissance. In his obsession with the unity of the kingdoms of Spain, he remembered a legend that told of Alejandro. A philosopher, in his presence, had taken several arrows one by one, and broke them with ease. Afterwards, he took several at the same time, together, and could not break the beam they formed. With this, he wanted to indicate to Alejandro that he would only be able to keep his empire if he kept it together, because that was the only way he could be strong. " Read in: MemoriaBLAU.

(2) The reader Interested can see a very excellent introduction to this topic in the essay of Sagrario López Poza : Companies or currencies of Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón (the Catholic Monarchs), of the University of A Coruña (Spain).

(3) But similar things are told, in addition to Alejandro , of some other characters. See for example the one we provide in reference to Spartacus or José Chamorro who attributes it to Gengis Jan: " An arrow alone can be easily broken. Many arrows together can never be broken ". This same author provides another reference: the Japanese film of 1985, by Akira Kurosawa, Ran (Chaos), in: ADYNATA, The Emblems of the Catholic Kings.

On the web : an article entitled: Exciting memory of Mongols and Scythians. Doña Isabel's beam: a remote root. Published on January 28, 2011, by Yusuf ibn-al-Rahman, in which it says: " There is, however, a surprising reference to the many years before the Catholic Monarchs, in a report collected in the" Mongyol-a 'Tobca'an'uca, the oldest classic literary work that the Mongolian people have conserved, dated in 1240.

Bill Shagdaryn Bira who, in this Chronicle, written with the intention of describing the more or less mythical history of the Mongol khans, the origin of Genghis Khan and the glory of the Golden Horde, refers to a popular story among the Scythians, that of the five arrows tied in a beam: " One spring day, while boiling the dried meat of a lamb, the mother called her five children and made them sit in a row.Each one broke his arrow and threw it to the ground. Then he tied another five arrows in a single beam and told them again: "Break it." "Eventually everyone tried to break the bundle of arrows, but none succeeded." "You, my five children," he said, "were all born of the same womb. If you separate, like the first five arrows, anyone can destroy you. But if you remain united for the same purpose, like arrows tied in a beam, who can defeat you? "

He also tells that Plutarch referred to how the Scythian king Skilur (2nd century- I before Christ), summoned his children before his death and asked each of them to break a bundle of darts, to which they refused; then the king broke them one by one, warning them that together they would be invincible. "

The message is clear: unity prevails, while disintegration destroys. An old message, but very topical. "

We also saw this story in the Unesco Courier September 1989 issue

(4) Image: Coat of arms of the Catholic Monarchs. The image used was taken from Wikimedia and in it was a Public Domain image. We thank that organization for its courtesy for the free use of it.

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