An Introduction into Textual Heraldry.


Daria S. Staroskolskaia

Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences


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For citation: Staroskolskaia, Daria S. An Introduction into Textual Heraldry // Graphosphaera. 2021. Vol. 1. P. 169–179. URL:

DOI: 10.32608/2782-5272-2022-1-169-179

Abstract: Evidently, a coat of arms is associated with an image, and heraldry is primarily a system of visual signs. However, not long after appearance of first coats of arms painted on shields, they started to be described by means of language and thus their verbal equivalent, blazon, appeared. Heraldic signs in a textual form easily found their way into contemporary narratives. The research of narrative heraldic sources started only in the early 20th century, and studies of blazon are relatively few compared to the massive of works on heraldry. However, heraldic narrations can become a source of completely new data. Modern heraldic science addresses deeper anthropologic issues, and besides the arms themselves, it investigates the cultural and social aspects of their application. Visual sources are not always able to fulfill such needs. Thus, the research of heraldry in literature of different epochs is a promising direction, further forming our idea of coats of arms in historical context.

Key words: heraldry, blazon, coat of arms

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Published on  December 12th, 2023