Symbols were just as important in medieval society as logos and trademarks are today. They came in many different forms:
- Religious: e.g. Apostle John the lion, Sir Gawain and the pentagram.
- Business: the trademarks or personal signs of a craftsman, objects used to indicate skill in a certain craft.
- Heraldry: the devices and badges of nobility and those allied with them.
Symbols were commonly used in a metaphorical sense to associate virtues or characteristics with a certain symbol or item. For instance, peacocks might have been considered to exemplify vanity, so a haughty noble may be called a peacock.
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