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Sagremor: Tincture Gules (3/3)

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 13.07.12
Sagremor - Attributed Arms

We end the study of Sagremor's arms with the first semantic level, the appropriate order to show their organization. This doesn't mean that the author of the blazon has adopted any predetermined sequence. On the contrary, he must have tried several possibilities before completing his work. The parophony is described by Ungaria (lat. Hungary) ~ Ungo (lat. smear with oil) area (lat. area), maybe the most obvious of all three parophonies due to the nickname of Sagremor: the Hungarian. Its visual consequence is rather simple, nearly demanding other components to fill the excessive modesty of a plain shield in red. It must be added that a low discretion index was found: k = 0.25, quite reasonable as before. During the evaluation of this indicator we used the diphthongation of oa inside ungo area, pairing with Ungaria to be transformed into Ungoarea.


The theme of this parophony seems to avoid the habits acquired in Aquincenses ~ Ac quini sentes and in Danubius ~ Da nubis. The indirect composition of the “sky” is took for granted in the background of the stars and the cloud. This disengagement is true regarding the parophony's sematization but not in its enactment itself. A red sky is perfectly feasible during twilight. The occasion will also admit the sight of a cloud and any brighter stars or planets. Nonetheless, ungo is first applied to the surface of the shield specified with area, only then it can be assigned to the heavens as a natural consequence of an admittedly coherent visual structure. The sematization establishes the metonymy:


area > field > shield's field > shield.


We may find a quote of an “anointed” shield in the Second Book of Samuel: “... For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more ...”[1]. A shield made of wood and covered with leather, as in medieval times, demanded a good maintenance and a periodical protection. But it's not the oil that will colour the artefact used by Sagremor but the implicit idea of being made or coated in leather, therefore with a reddish or brownish coloration, likely to inspire the red tincture of a heraldic shield.


The chromatic configuration seems to be arbitrary but this impression disappears after examining our former analyses in depth. A selection of convenient natural colours for the stars outside the quarter will give yellow, white or blue. Likewise the cloud could be white or black, whereas the shield in tanned leather would only allow red. Regarding the covered star it would consent black or maybe white as a “bleaching” of the other stellar tincture, eventually a representation of darkness or fading. A few possibilities exist, we dispose the colours by order: stars + field + quarter + star in the quarter.


Azure + Gules + Sable + Argent (no)
Azure + Gules + Sable + Sable (no)
Azure + Gules + Argent + Argent (no)
Azure + Gules + Argent + Sable (no)
Or + Gules + Sable + Argent (no)
Or + Gules + Sable + Sable (no)
Or + Gules + Argent + Argent (no)
Or + Gules + Argent + Sable (yes)
Argent + Gules + Sable + Argent (no)
Argent + Gules + Sable + Sable (no)
Argent + Gules + Argent + Argent (no)
Argent + Gules + Argent + Sable (yes)


We may see that only two of the twelve hypotheses are completely acceptable. Most of the options are rejected with the application of the law of contrasts. Two other will be at the limit of acceptability due to the inclusion of a black cloud, which we deem less adequate. Besides they show red next to black, although sometimes these tinctures may be found together in heraldry. Finally, two successful combinations remain of which one repeats the same colour in the cloud and in the paired stars. The eighth arrangement is semantically richer, not surprisingly coincident with the actual blazon of Sagremor.


We may be tempted to associate ungo with the ointment used in a royal coronation, as Sagremor descended from the marriage of the king of Hungary with the daughter of the emperor of Constantinople. Even so, the experience advises us to keep the semantic levels of parophony apart from this strict biographical level, yet if only imaginary. The accomplishment of the drawing is isolated from any personal affinity except those established by the metonymization of the referent. In cases where the choice of several heraldic traces is allowed we've noticed a preference for the stylish tendencies of the time, instead of the personal life of an individual. Note that this doesn't happen with evocative arms.


Despite that, we considered the very name of Sagremor with a solution like Sagremor ~ Sacre (fra. coronation) en or (fra. in gold), abiding by the usual procedures, nevertheless. At least this time the anointing would be linked with the enthronement of his ancestors and we could imagine the stars as spots of oil on the royal clothing in red, a colour already used in medieval ceremonies. The component en or would concern the objects needed to keep and apply the ointment, also described by early sources. This solution conflicts with the semantic level proposed before, which favours ungo as an ordinary utilitarian action. Further, we would have to explain the quarter and the black star, a problem unlikely to be solved. It's preferable to imagine here an entirely textual interpretation, redundant with our exposition, not at all attached to the visual semantics. We must wait for more research on the Knights of the Round Table to decide on the presence of a common pattern including the names of the bearers of the arms.


[1] 2 Sm 1, 21.



Attributed Arms R Sagremor
Territory M Hungary
Imaginary Language V Ungaria (latim)
Denominant A Ungaria
Graphemization A U | N | G | A | R | I | A
Phonemization A u | N | G | a | 4 | i | a
Pairing A u | N | G | a | 4 | i | a
A u | N | G | oa | 4 | e | a
Coefficient of transposition A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0
Coefficient of character A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0
Coefficient of position A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 0.0
Addends A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0
Discretion index A k = 0.25
Phonemization A u | N | G | o | | a | 4 | e | a
Graphemization A U | N | G | O | | A | R | E | A
Designant A ungo | area
Action + Geometry E smear with oil + area
Simple monosemy S red
S smear the shield with oil
Simple metonymy S area > field > shield's field > shield
Tincture H reddish Gules
Immanence C leather
Contrast C or, argent
Number H two
Figuration H mullets (of five points)
Tincture H or
Connective H and
Placement H on
Number H a
Separation H quarter
Tincture H argent
Number H a
Figuration H mullet
Tincture H sable
Number H (the three mullets)
Disposition H (set two and one)


(next analysis in this blog is here)

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Published at 17:35

Sagremor: Quarter Argent (2/3)

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 09.07.12
Sagremor - Attributed Arms

We will proceed with the characterization of Sagremor's arms at this third semantic level. After establishing the Hungarian coordinates of the referent's metonymy, it would be natural to follow the same principles, obeying the restrict typology defined in the almost two thousand heraldic traces already studied. For Sagremor we've found the metonymization of its referent into a territory at the first semantic level, into a gentilic at the second and finally into a hydronym hereunder.


Continuing with the Latin verbalization, this time we are before the majestic river of Budapest, our denominant is now Danubius (lat. Danube). It provides a rather favourable discretion index: k = 0.14, parophonic to the designant da (lat. tell) nubis (lat. cloud). The iu in Danubius is taken as a diphthong for the i is short, both appearing in a single cell paired with another i of nubis. Note that the maximum quantity of phonemes will count eight instead of seven for this reason. Still, the verb do (lat. give) has a number of meanings, some of which could be used in this situation. We think, however, that the imperative form of the second person is the most suitable, meaning “Tell!” or “Explain!”.


Danubius ~ Da nubis, generates a simple monosemy: it is responsible for the silvery quarter. It's quite true that the alteration of the tincture from gold into sable at the corresponding star will also be its responsibility, but only as a secondary outcome in the pre-defined constitution of the heraldic traces. A redundant metonymy occurs just like in the preceding level. This time tell isn't associated with any heraldic trace but with the actual parophonic function of the shield using the association: tell > cant > canting arms, which in fact they are. The second component: nubis, leaves no place for doubt, either through its meaning or through its complementarity with the other elements. Nothing more appropriate than this meteorological phenomenon after defining a stellar subject, thus achieving an attractive heraldic composition.


The cloud is conveniently white and hides the light by “passing” before one of the stars, transforming its golden tincture; a sematization where light opposes obscurity. Furthermore, the separate star will be placed precisely at the centre of the quarter, conditioning the location of the other two, as referred. The demand for an iterative process during the generation of these medieval emblazonings is clearly felt. It would be impossible to define this arrangement of cloud and stars with two hermetic and independent structures. The emblazonment also establishes that the mullet must lay on top of the quarter, contrarily to the semantic context. This let us understand that not always the formal expressive description will be an adequate guide to grasp the content behind it. I believe this will be the main hindrance to free the heraldic science from those conventionalised interpretations influenced by relatively late regulations.


It seems that the drawing embodies another immanent characteristics of clouds: movement; maybe simultaneously with other complementary phenomena that appear along the heraldic traces. The nebulosity must not occupy the whole field: it would loose much of its expressive strength. So we peremptorily exclude the obstruction of all three stars. Only the opposition yellow × black allow us to perceive the visual plot clearly. By seizing only a piece of the field, a cloud tatter hurries to hide only one star at the first quarter, a typical distribution. This positioning will promote an optical unbalance perceived through the asymmetry of the chromatic extensions. The unbalance translates into movement and will contribute to the semantics of the arms through another metonymy: cloud > movement > unbalance > asymmetry. The alternative of using an implicitly stable white base, for example, would be pointless.



Attributed Arms R Sagremor
Hydronym M Danube
Imaginary Language V Danubius (Latin)
Denominant A Danubius
Graphemization A D | A | N | U | B | I | U | S
Phonemization A d | a | n | u | b | iu | s
Pairing A d | a | n | u | b | iu | s
A d | a | n | u | b | i | s
Coefficient of transposition A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0
Coefficient of character A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0
Coefficient of position A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 | 0.0
Addends A 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.5 | 0.0
Discretion index A k = 0.14
Phonemization A d | a | | n | u | b | i | s
Graphemization A D | A | | N | U | B | I | S
Designant A da | nubis
Action + Meteorology E tell + cloud
Redundancy, simple metonymy S tell › cant › canting arms
S tell
Simple monosemy S quarter
S cloud
Tincture H Gules
Number H two
Figuration H mullets (of five points)
Tincture H or
Connective H mullets + mullet and
Placement H under the cloud on
Number H 1 a
Separation H tatter quarter
Immanence C cloud
Placement C first quarter
Symmetry C asymmetric
Simple metonymy S cloud › mobile › unbalance › asymmetry
Tincture H whitish argent
Immanence C cloud
Contrast C gules, sable
Number H 1 a
Figuration H 5 pointsmullet
Filling C quarters' area
Symmetry C quarter's vertical axis
Centrality C quarter's diagonals
Tincture H obstruction sable
Immanence C cloud
Contrast C argent
Opposition S light × darkness
Number H (the three mullets)
Disposition H (set two and one)


(next article in this series is III/III)

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Published at 19:05

Sagremor: Mullets (1/3)

Published by Carlos da Fonte, em 02.07.12
Sagremor - Attributed Arms

Being the imaginary arms of a character that equally doesn't belong to the domain of tangible persons, historical considerations won't be as important as in real circumstances; this doesn't mean that they should be entirely arbitrary. There are distinct versions describing Sagremor, we will only retain the most consensual, seeming to correspond to the arms seen above, certainly inspired in the legend. Sagremor, known as “the Desirous”[1], “of Hungary” or “of Constantinople” was one of the Knights of the Round Table, son of the king of Hungary and Wallachia, who arrived at the court of King Arthur to join his widowed mother, Indranes, daughter of Adrian, emperor of Constantinople, now married with the king Brangore[2]. This short biography is sufficient to inspire our analysis, especially since the parophonic methodology must, above all, determine quite well the geographical residence at the birth of a blazon. Besides, Sagremor was used by us as a paradigm to establish a comparison boundary, in order to measure the discretion index[3]. So, this study wasn't chosen to make our task easier, a supplementary advantage.


Latin should be the language of choice to activate the process of verbalization ahead of us. We mistrust the aptitude of the author of the arms to understand Hungarian and, again, we may verify how distant he was from the theme of the drawing, possibly living within the Anglo-Norman or French influence. The referent's metonymy in this second semantic level uses the Latin gentilic of those born in the Hungarian capital by the time of King Arthur, Aquincum, at the modern city of Buda, although their continuity may not be verified. Nevertheless, the plot of the Arthurian legends is typically contemporary to their medieval authors. Then Aquincum must refer Buda as a translation into Latin, not the very Aquincum. I believe Aquincenses doesn't describe the Hungarian subjects of that city but, particularly, the familiar roots of Sagremor. It would be viable to use the singular, Aquincensis, to better focus the individuality inspiring us.


The calculation of the discretion index doesn't bring anything new. We won't get into any details this time, the previous analyses will suffice to understand the procedures used. Note that the final value, k = 0,31, is perfectly credible, allowing us to consider the parophonic hypothesis. Once obtained: Aquincenses ~ Ac quini sentes, we may then analyse each component.


The additive conjunction ac (lat. and) is not a mere parophonic trick. As a matter of fact it makes the whole ac quini sentes depend from other semantic levels that may eventually appear. In this respect it is a redundancy for, in reality, heraldic traces rely upon their own sematization. Let us say that we don't know the original sequence by which these traces were formed. It's perfectly possible that, in general, it was an iterative process, gradually adjusting towards a satisfactory solution. The component quini (lat. five each) denotes the number not only as a quantity but also that it refers to more than one figuration. Inherently it suggests that these five sub-elements must be included in an arrangement, interpreted as a star polygon. After the establishment of a numeral and a conjunction we would need more concision at the third component, allowing the determination of something more substantive for the drawing of the blazon. These considerations induced us to prefer sentes (lat. thorns, briars) instead of sentis (lat. feel, understand) or the declined sentus/sentis (lat. thorny) or even replacing the parophonic censes (lat. count, assess).


A simple monosemy emerges in the sematization stage but it's not immediately apparent. Only the metonymy: five thornsfive pointsmullet will build a clear association between the designant and the heraldic trace. The choice of a geometrical or astronomical subject instead of a branch, a pierced mullet or a caltrop, may raise the suspicion of an extreme simplification, often seen in older armorials. Without entirely discarding this influence, we must stress that the third semantic level, to be studied in the next post, demands a sidereal theme.


Despite simplicity we need to acknowledge the effect of all complementary agents, intrinsic to the formation of our heraldic traces. As we may see, the mullets' rays are symmetric and oriented according to a horizontal stability, in the only position available where there is simultaneous “support” of two points. Furthermore, each placement depends fundamentally from the situation of the black mullet. It appears at the centre of the quarter and restricts the position of the second mullet, aligned with the first and at the same distance from the border. The third should rest at the vertical axis, also obeying to the homogeneity of distances. The disposition “two and one” follows the general shape of the shield and, for the very same reason, it's always favoured for the arrangement of three figurations, unnecessary to declare in the emblazonment. Dimensional harmony is kept by the proportionate occupation of the field and an absolute equivalence of all figurations.


This version of the arms of Sagremor strictly follows the rule of the tinctures[4]. This law will help us to understand later why such tinctures were chosen. For now we will only emphasize the connection of the stars' golden metal with a luminous source, a common correlation that appears recurrently in the analyses made in the past. It's also possible that the figurations were taken for planets, given their apparent magnitude and brightness, which tends to be yellowish. An emblazonment describes: “de gueules à 2 planètes d'or, au franc-canton d'argent à une planète de sable[2].


It would be feasible to use other tinctures as argent or azure but the conjunction of all colours needed for the drawing wouldn't advice it. On the other side, the presence of a black star, unexplainable by its luminous immanence, is perfectly coherent if we let you know in advance that it represents an opposition: darkness. This darkening is semantically transitional and for this reason the second level must be represented by all three mullets or. Finally, we refer that from now on we will show some or all the traces of other semantic levels by using a dark khaki colour[5]; it will stress only the elements that belong to each discussion.


[1] Translation of desreezdérangé.


[2] MERLET, Lucien - Coutumes des Chevaliers de la Table Ronde - Mémoires de la Société Archéologique d'Eure-et-Loir - Vol. VI - Chartres - Petrot-Garnier Libraire - 1876.


[3] Based on the suggestion of Michel Pastoureau for the canting arms Sagremor ~ sycomore, at the edge of reasonableness in our view, becoming an adequate boundary for the acceptance or rejection of other parophonies: “Pour doter Sagremor d’armoiries la solution la plus simple aurait été de lui donner une figure parlante, en occurence un sycomore”, see Bibliographic References (PASTOUREAU, 1986, p. 25).


[4] See also another version, almost certainly misrepresented: SCOTT-GILES, Charles W. - Some Arthurian Coats of Arms - Coats of Arms - nº 64-65, 1965/1966 - Baldock: Visited 27th of June 2012, available in: <http://>, 2012.



[5] This colour will hardly appear in any blazon, avoiding ambiguities and providing enough contrast with heraldic tinctures.



Attributed Arms R Sagremor
Demonym M Budans
Imaginary language V Aquincenses (Latin)
Denominant A Aquincenses
Graphemization A  A  |  Q  |  U  |  I  |  N  |  C  |  E  |  N  |  S  |  E  |  S 
Phonemization A a  |  k  |  w  |  i  |  N  |  s  |  e |  N  |  s  |  e  |  s
Pairing A a  |  k  |  w  |  i  |  N  |  _  |  s  |  e |  N  |  s  |  e  |  s
A a  |  k |  w  |  i  |  N  |  e  |  s  |  e  |  N  |  t  |  e  |  s
Coefficient of transposition A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0
Coefficient of character A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0
Coefficient of position A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0
Addends A 0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0|0.0|1.0|0.0|0.0
Discretion index A k = 0.31
Phonemization A a | k |  | k | w | i | N | i |  | s | e | N | t | e | s
Graphemization A A | C |  | Q | U | I | N | I |  | S | E | N | T | E | S
Designant A ac | quini | sentes
Qtty + Geometry + Geometry E and five + thorns + each
Redundancy S there are other semantic levels
S and
Simple monosemy S mullets
S five thorns
Tincture H Gules
Number H 3 -1 = 2two
Simple metonymy S 5 thorns > 5 points > mullet
Figuration H 5 points mullets (of five points)
Immanence C star
Symmetry C radial
Orientation C stability
Placement C mullet sable
Tincture H light or
Immanence C star
Contrast C gules
Connective H and
Placement H on
Number H a
Separation H quarter
Tincture H argent
Number H a
Figuration H mullet
Tincture H sable
Number H each, 3(the three mullets)
Disposition H 2 & 1(set two and one)
Filling C shield's area
Symmetry C shield's axis
Centrality C fess point


(next article in this series is II/III)

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Published at 12:24

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