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Primitive Arms of Portugal and León: An Article

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 31.08.12


Estudos de Heráldica Medieval

I had the honour and privilege to be included among the authors of a collection of articles - Estudos de Heráldica Medieval (Studies of Medieval Heraldry) - edited by Instituto de Estudos Medievais from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Centro Lusíada de Estudos Genealógicos e Heráldicos from Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa, published by Editora Caminhos Romanos with the coordination of Prof. Doutor Miguel Metelo de Seixas and Profª Doutora Maria de Lurdes Rosa.


It will be presented next 14th September by 9:00 pm at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, along with the Open Day of Medieval Heraldry, promoted by IEM, CLEGH and Instituto Português de Heráldica. The program will take all day long: in the morning, after 10:00 am, at Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa (Rua da Junqueira 188 a 198, Auditorium 1); in the afternoon, after 3:00 pm, at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Avenida de Berna, 26-C, room Multiusos 2, Building I&D, 4th Floor).


Primitive Arms of Portugal

My modest contribution - Armas Primitivas de Portugal, novos Contributos - tries to be a condensation of the work developed during my MSc thesis, somewhat outdated by recent investigations, nevertheless largely unknown in several specialized circles. Further, we correct a few inaccuracies and add an important semantic level corresponding to our first king and another referring to his residence, the latter still uncertain to be entirely accepted. Simultaneously we develop similar considerations on the arms of the kings of León, that seem to share some organizational behaviour and possibly identical heraldic traces.


The primitive coat of arms of the Portuguese kings was thoroughly analysed in its core, therefore it is possible to say with some confidence, necessarily supported by historical proof, that they must actually correspond to a parophonic intention of whoever had been the creator of the blazon, seemingly still during the reign of D. Afonso Henriques. I consider as reasonably demonstrated the following heraldic traces and respective semantic levels:


The eleven "plates", corresponding to the river Mondego,

The blue tincture of the escutcheons, representing the city of Coimbra,

The escutcheons, associated with D. Afonso Henriques.


The number, disposition and orientation of the escutcheons are also discussed, as well as the white tincture of the main field, still waiting for more substantiation that may support or reject them. Remember that the text of the thesis in Portuguese may be downloaded in the menu bar at the top of this page (download), where we also find answers to the most frequent objections (discussion). I will be present in the presentation of the book in Lisbon, being at your disposal for any relevant questions.

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Published at 23:36

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© Carlos Carvalho da Fonte 2009-2017




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Agosto 2012