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heraldry

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Origin of Coats of Arms

Heraldry is the science which teaches us how to blazon or describe in proper terms armorial bearings and their accessories.

Modern writers have long discarded the fabulous origin attributed by medieval authors to the assumption of arms. We now no longer put forward as genuine such arms as those alleged to belong to Adam and Eve, Noah, Judas Maccabeus, Pontius Pilate, or even those attributed to mythical British kings and Anglo-Saxon Monarchs before the Norman Conquest.

In these earlier works on heraldry, the science has suffered much from the foolish and pedantic attempts made by writers to attribute its origin to the Greeks and Romans, and even to find traces of it in scripture in the marks or standards of the tribes of the Children of Israel. It may safely be stated that its introduction was coeval with the use of armour in the middle ages, when it became necessary for men to be able to recognise each other as friend or foe in the melee of the battle. Thus it came that warriors adorned their shields with marks to distinguish each other, and decorated the top of the helmets with crests.


The Right to Arms


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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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