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Present State of Research

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 25.02.12

Numerous developments occurred since the presentation of the thesis, more than two years ago. I mention firstly those strictly linked to its contents. Some of these developments correct inaccuracies, as the transmission of the Scottish tressure and the verbalizations for the single-headed eagle of the Holy-Empire or even the Castilian fortress. Others complete what was already proposed but then only partially interpreted: broken designants - Cenomanum ~ Senum... - or heteronymic polysemies as in Reuss ~ Kreuz. A great amount of them amplify the interpretations of the corpus to additional heraldic traces included in the same arms, more or less conspicuous: the rest of the Hungarian partition, the tinctures for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Danish blue lions. The new circumstances lead to the reduction of the respective discretion indexes, stressing, furthermore, new semantic interactions within the coexisting traces. In the table below, the first of these developments were designated as rectifications (R), the second as additions (A) and the third as extensions (E), followed by their proper location (page and line). We list all the results gathered for our first studies, referring by Y (yes) or N (no) its state relatively to the types mentioned previously. These data may be updated as long as new elements are available and the information keeps relevance.


County of AnjouNYY102-
County of AntwerpNNY92-
County of AthollNNN99-
Balliol (Toponymical reference)NNN88-
County of BarNYY87-
County of BarcelonaNNY10228
County of BarcelonaYNY10232
Duchy of BavariaNNN10814
Duchy of BavariaNNN108n51
Duchy of BavariaNNN10815
County of BeaumontNNN99-
Kingdom of BohemiaYNY9310
Kingdom of BohemiaYYY9313
Kingdom of BosniaYNY113-
Duchy of BrabantNNY102-
Duchy of BrittanyNNN105-
Kingdom of BulgariaNNY109-
Duchy of BurgundyNYN9521
Duchy of BurgundyNNN9522
Duchy of BurgundyNNN105-
Duchy of BurgundyNNN106-
County of Burgundy INNY91-
County of Burgundy IINNY106-
County of CalwNNN95-
Kingdom of CastileYYY109-
Kingdom of CastileNYY101-
County of CharolaisNNN107-
County of ClareNNN106-
County of Cornwall IYNY106-
County of Cornwall IINNY99-
Kingdom of DenmarkYNY103-
County of DiezNNN113-
Kingdom of England INNN107-
Kingdom of England IINNN107-
Kingdom of England IIINNY1028
Kingdom of England IIINNY10215
Kingdom of FranceNYY141-
Kingdom of FranceNNY97-
Kingdom of FranceNYY101-
Duchy of Guelders INNY11322
Duchy of Guelders IIYNY11324
County of GuînesNNN95-
County of HesseNNY103-
Holy Empire IYYY95-
Holy Empire IINNY90-
County of HoyaNNN111-
Kingdom of HungaryNNY100-
Lordship of IrelandNNN93-
Lordship of IrelandNNN905
Lordship of IrelandNNN904
Kingdom of JerusalemYNY93-
Jerusalem (Attributed Arms)NNN91-
County of KatzenelnbogenNNN110-
County of KentNYY90-
County of KirchbergNYY98-
Viscounty of LabourdNYY110-
Latin EmpireNNN90-
County of LauffenNNY107-
Kingdom of LeónNYY101-
Principality of LiechtensteinNNY105-
Prince-Bishopric of LiègeNYY96-
Grand Duchy of LithuaniaNYY108-
Duchy of LorraineNNN89-
Landgraviate of Lower AlsaceNNY101-
Duchy of Lower AustriaNNY111-
County of LuxembourgYNY9526
County of LuxembourgYNY9527
Kingdom of MajorcaNNN106-
Kingdom of MannNNY96-
County of Marche INNY113-
County of Marche IINNN113-
Margraviate of MonferratoNNN105-
Margraviate of MoraviaNNY106-
County of NassauNNY113-
Kingdom of NavarreYNY1002
Kingdom of NavarreNNY10031
Kingdom of NorwayNYY113-
Norway (Attributed Arms)NNN110-
County of OrkneyNNN100-
Kingdom of PolandNNN8915
Kingdom of PolandNNN8918
Portugal (Attributed Arms I)YYY96-
Portugal (Attributed Arms II)NNY100-
Quincy (Toponymical reference)NNN106-
County of RantzauNYY105-
County of RennesNNY98-
Viscounty of RochechouartNNY110-
Salerno (Attributed Arms)YYY100-
Republic of San MarinoNYN94-
County of Savoy INNN111-
County of Savoy IINNN99-
Duchy of SaxonyNNY101-
County of SchauenburgNNY89-
Canton of SchwytzYNY89-
Kingdom of ScotlandYNY10824
Kingdom of ScotlandYNY10821
County of SolmsNYY113-
County of SpiegelbergNNN108-
Kingdom of SwedenYNY96-
Landgraviate of ThuringiaNYY9824
Landgraviate of ThuringiaNYY9828
County of TonnerreNNN112-
Duchy of TrakaiNNY112-
County of VermandoisNNY92-
Kingdom of WalesNYY8937
Kingdom of WalesYNY8938
Principality of WallachiaNNY10922
Principality of WallachiaYNY10923
County of WerdenbergNNY101-
County of WinchesterNNN106-
County of ZiegenhainNNN98-

I refer secondly the work made outside the dissertation's ambiance, then briefly approached within the corpus, building the sampling universe of 711 heraldic traces. Since then, more than 1500 new armorial traces have been analysed by applying the parophonic methodology. Some of these blazons appear in the map that follows, although somewhat displaced to the present nationalities. They emphasize a remarkable geographical dispersion, seeming to indicate a comprehensive phenomenon and possibly its establishment with the beginning of heraldry.



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Published at 11:24

Objection I - The Clustered Plates

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 24.02.12

Q: Wouldn't the occurrence of plates, clustered as in a pinecone during the same period studied in the thesis, refute your proposition?

A: These escutcheons, compared to grapes or pinecones by Baron Pinoteau, appear as an agglomeration of plates inside the escutcheon, in a much larger quantity than the typical eleven. The fact that they do exist is inconsistent with the solution given in the thesis, I concede, disagreeing, however, on its refutation. As these studies don't belong to the field of exact sciences but instead to human sciences, other factors must be taken into consideration, inevitably.

I believe that during the initial establishment of those symbols some indecision may have transformed the main idea. Either because the referents' metonymy has changed, as I suspect it has occurred with the carbuncle - still recalling Guimarães - or because the referent had a different motivation, as in the maravedis of Sancho I - celebrating the census paid to the Holy See - or even because the verbal accommodation leaded to an alternative perception, as it seems to be the case for the cluster of plates. Another factor to influence that hesitation, patent in the design of the seals, must have been the early birth of the Portuguese coat of arms. As there wasn't a harmonic regulation, embodied later in the institution of the officers of arms, it would still be acceptable to exhibit distinct versions for the same referent. Moreover they seem to appear first in the remote Flanders where triangular Portuguese escutcheons were documented, for example.

Those representations, although keeping the denominant in the parophony Mondeci ~ Undecim, would not produce the usual eleven plates or beads. The designant changed and, consequently, the heraldic trace also has changed, this time using Mondeci ~ M Undecim (lat. one thousand and eleven). As it was unfeasible to draw such a number explicitly, a figurative metonymy was applied: the cluster of plates. Calling it a semé, as proposed by the Marquis of Abrantes, would mean the same: an uncountable quantity.

See about this subject:


PINOTEAU, H. - Nouvelles Recherches sur les Origines des Armes de Portugal - in Genealogia e Heráldica: Actas do 17º Congresso Internacional das Ciências Genealógica e Heráldica , Lisbon: Instituto Português de Heráldica, 1989 , Vol. II, pp. 421–442.


TÁVORA, L. G. de Lancastre e - Apontamentos de Armaria Medieval Portuguesa VII: Da Origem das Armas de Portugal (à Guisa de Recensão) - Armas e Troféus, Instituto Português de Heráldica, Lisbon, V Série - Tomos III e IV, pp. 49–97, 1982–1983.

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Published at 15:16

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