Heraldry Basics

Maybe my readers want to understand heraldry too…

Nicholas C. Rossis

Any of you writing fantasy will appreciate Toni Šušnjar’s post on heraldry, shared on Mythic Scribes.

The History of Heraldry

Heraldry basics | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

As Toni explains, distinctive personal insignia on shields had been used to identify warriors in battle since 9th-century BC Phrygia. But this insignia was not heraldry as it was not hereditary (familial).

Heraldry appeared in the mid-12th century and flourished during the 13th and 14th centuries. Formal heraldry in England first appeared in 1127 when Henry I gave a shield to his son-in-law, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, as a wedding present. However, early shields were simple devices with one or two colors and had no principles of heraldry or any semblance of standardization.

Who Could Bear Arms?

Heraldry necessarily became more complex as more and more people were given the right to bear arms.  By the 13th century, many members of the bourgeois class were given the right…

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