753 Tiflis

This minor planet is named after the city of Tbilisi, Georgia. This city occupies an interesting position, both geographically and historically. It has long been an important site along the trade routes that connect Europe and Asia, and so its nature is a tempestuous fusion of East and West.

The symbol of this minor planet is a simplification of the ancient symbol that appears on the coat of arms and flag of Tbilisi. It is a left-facing bird, representing a juxtaposition of a sparrow-hawk and a pheasant, whose asymmetric wings together resemble the letter თ, the first letter in the Georgian spelling of Tbilisi. The story with the birds is that a king's hunting bird, a falcon or sparrow hawk or something, caught a pheasant, but both died when they fell into some hot springs. The king thought that was so cool that he build the city of Tbilisi by the springs.


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