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Who Dreamed Up the Heart Symbol?

Discover the Remarkable History Behind the Iconic Heart Symbol

Who Dreamed Up the Heart Symbol?

Who Invented the Heart Shape?

The Symbol of Love and Emotion

The iconic heart shape is a universally recognized symbol of love and emotions. It is often used in art, fashion, advertising and more, to convey emotions such as love, affection, and romance. But have you ever wondered about the origin of this captivating symbol?

Ancient Origins of the Heart Shape

The heart shape as we know it today can be traced back to ancient times. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that the heart was the source of a person's emotions, thoughts, and personality. The heart was also considered the container of the soul and was believed to be the center of one's being. Therefore, the Egyptians revered the heart and believed it to be the organ of love. It was believed that the heart of the deceased was weighed against the feather of Ma'at, the goddess of truth, to determine the destiny of the deceased in the afterlife.

The ancient Greeks also had a symbol for the heart, which was known as the "heart-shaped ivy leaf." It was associated with the Greek god of love and desire, Eros, who was depicted with ivy leaves.

Medieval Era and the Heart Shape

The heart symbol became more popular during the medieval period (5th - 15th centuries). It was in this period that the heart shape started being used as a symbol of love and affection. It was featured in medieval art, architecture, and literature, particularly in the context of the Catholic Church. The heart symbol was used as a representation of the holy love of Christ and the Virgin Mary and as an emblem of faith, hope, and charity.

The heart symbol continued to gain momentum throughout the Renaissance period, and it was widely used in art and literature. Its popularity continued to soar, and by the 18th century, the heart symbol had evolved into the shape that we recognize today.

The Inventor of the Heart Shape

Despite the ancient origins of the heart symbol, it is unclear who exactly invented the heart shape. The symbol has been around for thousands of years and has evolved over time. It is likely that the shape evolved from a combination of different ancient symbols, including the ivy leaf, pine cone, and silphium plant seed.

While it is unclear who invented the heart shape, it is certain that it has become an enduring symbol of emotions and love. Today, the heart symbol is widely used in various ways, including jewelry, clothing, art, and tattoo designs. The shape of the heart has evolved over time, but its meaning has remained the same - love and emotions. Truly, the heart shape is one of the most enduring and iconic symbols of our time.


The heart shape has been used as a symbol to represent love, affection, and emotions for thousands of years. Although its origin is unclear, it has remained an enduring symbol of love throughout history. Today, the heart shape remains one of the most recognized and used symbols in the world, and it continues to evoke feelings of love and warmth in people from all walks of life.

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Early Modern Era

The heart shape that we all know today was not fully developed until the early modern era. It featured a pointy bottom and a curved upper half that symbolized the embodiment of loving someone with your entire being. However, the person responsible for creating the iconic and universally recognized heart shape is still a mystery.

The Iconic Shape Emerges

The heart shape that we know today began to take form during the 15th century. It was during this era that it first appeared in artwork, such as paintings and tapestries, as a symbol of love and affection. The modern-day heart shape was also seen on playing cards and on objects depicting the image of Cupid, the Roman god of love. The design became particularly popular during the Victorian era when people began exchanging Valentine's cards and gifts, which featured the heart shape prominently. From then on, it became an enduring symbol used throughout the world to express love, affection, and romantic relationships.

Theories of Origins

Despite the long history of the heart symbol, its true origin is still a subject of debate. Some historians believe that the heart shape was inspired by the shape of silphium, an extinct North African plant that was once used as a contraceptive. The plant had a seedpod that was shaped like a heart, which became a popular motif in ancient times. Others point to the idea that the shape resembles the Greek letter "delta," which stands for "door," symbolizing a portal to new beginnings. However, the most widely accepted theory is that the heart symbol developed from the shape of the human heart.

The use of the heart symbol in ancient times was far different from its current meaning. Hearts were used in ritual art, burial sites, and other ceremonial objects to represent the spiritual core of a person. The heart shape was also associated with sacrifice, power, and the afterlife. But over time, it has become a romantic symbol of love and affection, which has transformed the heart symbol as we know it today.

Origin is Still Debated

The origin of the heart shape remains a mystery, and it is likely that the design evolved over time through various influences and interpretations. The shape has evolved through centuries of different cultures and artists' influences, with no universal icon being created until the late Middle Ages. Once the symbol was created, it spread globally, undergoing changes and adaptations by various societies and cultures. But despite the symbol's transformation, it continues to represent the same universal emotion - love.

In conclusion, the heart symbol is an example of how something can evolve and change over time. From a spiritual and sacred symbol to the universally recognized symbol of love, the heart symbol has cemented its place in our culture and society. Regardless of its origins, we can all agree that it is a powerful symbol that will continue to express love and affection for generations to come.

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The Heart Shape Today

The heart shape has become a timeless symbol of love and emotion in the modern world. Its popularity has only grown, with its use in everything from jewelry and clothing to social media and advertisements. In this section, we will explore how the heart symbol continues to connect people and convey deep meaning.

A Global Symbol

Recognized worldwide, the heart shape is an iconic symbol of love, affection, and compassion. It is a staple in romantic gestures such as Valentine's Day gifts and anniversary cards. Hospitals and medical organizations also use the heart symbol as a representation of compassion and care.

Moreover, the heart symbol has become a prominent feature in modern culture and serves as a representation of different sentiments and causes. For instance, it is commonly used in charity campaigns dedicated to helping children with heart problems and in associations that promote organ donation. The heart symbol also serves as an icon for creating awareness and support for mental health issues.

Diversity in Interpretations

The heart shape has evolved to encompass a broad range of meanings and interpretations, and its significance varies across cultures and communities. In some cultures, the heart symbol is associated with religious and spiritual significance, while in others, it represents welcome, hospitality, and kindness.

The symbolism of the heart can also change depending on color, with red typically indicating love and passion while pink is often associated with romance and friendship. White hearts may represent innocence and purity, while purple hearts acknowledge sacrifice and bravery.

The heart symbol has even reached beyond its traditional interpretation of romantic love. It is now recognized as a symbol for self-love, self-acceptance, and self-care. People use the heart symbol as a personal affirmation to embrace their flaws and to celebrate individuality and uniqueness.

An Enduring Legacy

The origins and evolution of the heart symbol may be debated, but its significance and impact remain undeniable. Its legacy as a symbol of love, compassion, and care have transcended cultural and historical boundaries.

The heart symbol will undoubtedly continue to be a relevant and meaningful symbol in the future as people continue to find new ways to interpret and use the symbol. The heart shape will always remind us of the beauty and power of love and emotions.

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