03-08-13 Vox Populorum

2013 03-08 Vox Populorum

This is the Minnesota state senate chamber. Though it isn’t legible in this photo, there is text in the semi-circle above the Speaker’s podium. In Latin it says, “Vox Populorum Est Vox Dei.” Translated it means “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” That’s got to be encouraging for the senators who may think that when they pass legislation, they are speaking for God.

As my loyal readers may remember, this isn’t the first photo I’ve posted of the capitol building in St. Paul. But, unlike the others, it isn’t HDR. The reason is that visitors only have access to this balcony when on a guided tour. And our tour only had a few minutes in this room.

Also, unlike my other capitol building photos, which reveal an obsession with symmetry, there is little linear symmetry in this photo. But there is unity. When I stepped into this room, I was immediately struck by all of the circles that are present. To me, the circular shapes make this room much more friendly and inviting. Was that the architect’s intent?

Though I don’t know the architect’s intent, I do know that the circle has long been a symbol of unity, wholeness and even of femininity. (Back off, Freud!). And, in some circles (pardon the pun) the circle is a symbol of God. And in writing this sentence, today’s post has made a complete circle (pun again?). God is mentioned in the first paragraph. And the last sentence ends with the word “God.” Or should I say “Deus?”

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One thought

  1. Thanks for the interesting photos. The circular images are amazing!
    I apologize for this “Cliff Claven” moment, but I was reminded of two circle stories.
    Long ago, I read that Michelangelo (Or was it Galileo? Ether way, a dead Italian) would draw a perfect circle, as only he could do, in the dust outside his friends’ homes to alert them he had visited.
    The circle is also a powerful symbol in Native American cultures, from art, to living arrangements, to religion, and seating at councils.

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