Symbols are often identified as an international language and, to some extent, they are. But that language is far from universal. Different symbols can mean radically different things in different contexts - a cross, a crane or a swastika could each have a distinct meaning for a Buddhist, an art historian or a student of the occult, for example, and none of those meanings would be quite the same.
1000 Symbols offers you a full explanation: an introductory alphabetical index is followed by groupings of related symbols, every one with an extended definition of its history and its cross-cultural meanings. Whether you are baffled by the relevance of the winged staff held by Mercury in a classical painting, or wonder why the Hebrew menorah has seven branches, this comprehensive reference dictionary will give you the information you're looking for, and place the explanation in both its historical and cultural contexts.