Difference between revisions of "King Arthur -- Attributed Heraldry"

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Although Arthur (if he existed) ruled, or fought, centuries before the advent of formal [[heraldry], once there were [[herald]]s and coats of [[arms]] it was, to the ''cognoscenti'' of that period, utterly unthinkable that Arthur and his knights had not been entitled to bear coat-arms and had indeed done so. More, since the major route of transmission of Arthurian lore was through minstrels and bards, who needed to hold the attention of an audience, and were therefore thankful of details of colour and image, it became also an essential, in telling the stories, that heraldry become involved.
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Although [[King Arthur|Arthur]] (if he existed) ruled, or fought, centuries before the advent of formal [[heraldry]], once there were [[herald]]s and coats of [[arms]] it was, to the ''cognoscenti'' of that period, utterly unthinkable that Arthur and his [[knight]]s had not been entitled to bear coat-arms and had indeed done so. More, since the major route of transmission of Arthurian lore was through [[minstrel]]s and [[bard]]s, who needed to hold the attention of an audience, and were therefore thankful of details of colour and image, it became also an essential, in telling the stories, that heraldry become involved.
   
 
The following are '''some''' of the heraldry ascribed to the Arthurian heroes:
 
The following are '''some''' of the heraldry ascribed to the Arthurian heroes:
   
*King '''Arthur''' :- Setting aside the bearing of the image of the Virghin Mary on his shield, Arthur is generally ascribed ''Azure, three crowns or''. A later misreading expanded this to 13. 3 is correct.
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*'''King Arthur''' :- Setting aside the bearing of the image of the Virgin Mary on his shield, Arthur is generally ascribed ''[[Azure]], three [[crown]]s [[or]]''. A later misreading expanded this to 13. 3 is correct.
*'''Guenevere''' is ascribed the arms ascribed to her father, '''Leodegrance''': ''Sable, a lion passant or''.
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*'''Guenevere''' is ascribed the arms ascribed to her father, '''Leodegrance''': ''[[Sable]], a [[lion]] [[passant]] [[or]]''.
*'''Lancelot''', du Lac : ''Argent, three bendlets Gules''. His father '''Ban''' was given ''Argent three bends gules'' which Lancelot then inherited on Ban's death.
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*'''Lancelot''', du Lac : ''[[Argent]], three [[bendlet]]s [[Gules]]''. His father '''Ban''' was given ''Argent three [[bend]]s gules'' which Lancelot then inherited on Ban's death.
*'''Galahad''', his son, ''Argent, a cross gules''
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*'''Galahad''', his son, ''[[Argent]], a [[cross]] [[gules]]''
*'''Perceval''' : ''Purpure, semee of crosses or''. Or ''crosslets'' -- take your pick: it's all ascribed. His father '''Pellinor''' was given ''Or semee of crosslets azure''
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*'''Perceval''' : ''[[Purpure]], [[semee]] of [[cross]]es [[or]]''. Or ''[[crosslets]]'' -- take your pick: it's all ascribed. His father '''Pellinor''' was given ''[[Or]] semee of crosslets [[azure]]''
*'''Kay''', or ''Cei'', as Arthur's [[senechal]] : ''Azure, two keys addorsed or''
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*'''Kay''', or ''Cei'', as Arthur's [[seneschal]] : ''[[Azure]], two [[key]]s [[addorsed]] [[or]]''
*'''Urien''', [[king]] of [[Northumbria]] : ''Azure, a lion rampant argent'' or ''Azure a lion or armed and langued gules''. Either way it's a metal lion rearing on a blue field.
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*'''Urien''', [[king]] of [[Northumbria]] : ''[[Azure]], a [[lion]] [[rampant]] [[argent]]'' or ''Azure a lion [[or]] [[armed]] and [[langued]] [[gules]]''. Either way it's a metal lion rearing on a blue field.
*'''Morgan''', his wife : arms based upon her father Gorlois : ''Sable, between three lions heads gules, a fess gules''
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*'''Morgan''', his wife : arms based upon her father Gorlois : ''[[Sable]], between three [[lion]]s heads [[gules]], a [[fess]] gules''
*'''Morgawse''', widow of King '''Lot''' of Orkney, was ascribed Gorlois arms, dimidiated by Lot's : ''Argent a canton gules dimidiated Sable, between three lions heads gules a fess gules''
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*'''Morgawse''', widow of King '''Lot''' of [[Orkney]], was ascribed Gorlois arms, dimidiated by Lot's : ''[[Argent]] a [[canton]] [[gules]] [[dimidiated]] [[Sable]], between three [[lion]]s heads [[gules]] a [[fess]] gules''
*Their sons, the Orkney family, were given ''Purpure a double-headed eagle or'' which the eldest '''Gawaine''' bore undifferenced, and his brothers '''Gaheris''', '''Gareth''' and '''Agravaine''' bore differenced. Their half-brother, '''Mordred''' either bore those arms, differenced by a ''chief argent'' or the blank ''sable'' shield of the traditional Enemy of Good.
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*Their sons, the Orkney family, were given ''[[Purpure]] a double-headed [[eagle]] [[or]]'' which the eldest '''Gawaine''' bore un[[differenced]], and his brothers '''Gaheris''', '''Gareth''' and '''Agravaine''' bore differenced. Their half-brother, '''Mordred''' either bore those arms, differenced by a ''[[chief]] [[argent]]'' or the blank ''[[sable]]'' shield of the traditional Enemy of Good.
*'''Tristan''' : ''Vert, a lion rampant or''
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*'''Tristan''' : ''[[Vert]], a [[lion]] [[rampant]] [[or]]''
*'''Uthur Pendragon''' : ''Or, tweo wyverns addorsed vert'', in reference to the "Pendragon" aspect, which was understood as a patronym rather than as a title.
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*'''Uthur Pendragon''' : ''[[Or]], two [[wyvern]]s [[addorsed]] [[vert]]'', in reference to the "Pendragon" aspect, which was understood as a [[name|patronym]] rather than as a title.
*'''Palamides''' takes ''Chequy argent and sable'', his father Esclabor king of Babylon taking ''Chequy or and gules''
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*'''Palamides''' takes ''[[Chequy]] [[argent]] and [[sable]]'', his father Esclabor king of Babylon taking ''Chequy or and gules''
   
 
Much of the above comes collectively from Michel Pastoureau, who collected the information and published it in 1983
 
Much of the above comes collectively from Michel Pastoureau, who collected the information and published it in 1983

Revision as of 13:17, 22 July 2005

Although Arthur (if he existed) ruled, or fought, centuries before the advent of formal heraldry, once there were heralds and coats of arms it was, to the cognoscenti of that period, utterly unthinkable that Arthur and his knights had not been entitled to bear coat-arms and had indeed done so. More, since the major route of transmission of Arthurian lore was through minstrels and bards, who needed to hold the attention of an audience, and were therefore thankful of details of colour and image, it became also an essential, in telling the stories, that heraldry become involved.

The following are some of the heraldry ascribed to the Arthurian heroes:

Much of the above comes collectively from Michel Pastoureau, who collected the information and published it in 1983