ime can sometimes pass very quickly. I know it has for me for any of a number of reasons and so it has been a while since the last issue of "The Heretical Herald". I still hope to come out with a new Issue moderately frequently, at least 4 a year. I did decide that each turn of the SCA Calendar will bring a new Volume number and hence this is Volume 2 with the passing of the old year last May 1st.
I'm still breaking one of the rules of journalism and not really knowing my target audience. I do know it is people interested in heraldry. But in reality should I be aiming at novice heralds, advanced heralds, non heralds, or just keep it varied and have articles aimed at heralds at all sorts of levels. I tend to the later and hope to have things of interest to heralds of all levels. Of course I really don't know where I fit in. I pretend to be a slightly advanced herald, but also often feel like a novice. I think that many heralds that I look up to also feel that way. There always seems to be some area that you feel a bit week in and something new to learn or come to a new understanding of.
'm putting together an article on Rolls of Arms available on the Web, "Rolling Down the Aisle!". I'm sure there are more than the ones I will be mentioning, but what I mention will give a start. I'll be focusing on three basic sorts: SCA Rolls, Period Rolls with modern artwork, and Period Rolls with Period Artwork. They all have some merit, but also limitation.
While hunting down some Online Rolls of Arms I considered some of the techniques I use to search for things on the Web and included a short article with some tips on hunting stuff down on the Web in "Hunting Rare Bits!"
Of course it is the Heart of Tourney Season and I hope some of the more Bookish Heralds take some time to get to their outside Heraldic roots and give their voices wing on field and dale fielding important announcement both on the eric and off. A wee bit of Sun in its Splendor will do wonders to recharge the batteries before retreating back to the cloisters. Time for the titmouse to roar like a lion and scare the cotehardes off unsuspecting folks.
Entry from An Tir: Roll of Arms:
Rosemary Willowwood of Ste. Anne
his one is fairly straight forward, both personal and byname. This device is from the first quarter of the devices by registration date in the An Tir Roll of Arms.
I'm still hoping that others will submit some interesting "Canting Arms" for this column. Until there are submissions I'll be entering some that I find myself starting with this issue. I've been keeping to devices which Cant off of the personal name of the person they are registered to. I am considering whether in future to also look at bynames. Though with the bynames often being descriptive or locative and such it feels like fishing in a barrel.
olls of Arms provide very good examples of period heraldic designs which can inspire and be used as a pattern for the creation of good period style heraldry. Charges used on them and tincture combinations used on them are appropriate for SCA Heraldry. Of course first of all you must find good examples of period armoury and ensure that they are from the period that SCA Heraldry covers.
In addition to period rolls of arms you can also check out the assorted SCA rolls of arms. They will also give you some idea of what people in the SCA have registered before you. One caution is that the Rules and Regulations of the SCA College of Arms have changed over the years and what was once acceptable in the past may not be acceptable if submitted today. You have to know the Rules for Submission (RfS) and also understand how to delve through the Precedents of the SCA College of Arms to know if something once used in a device would still be acceptable. Of course you can also ask a Herald. That is what they are there for after all.
omething to keep in mind when looking for examples of Period Heraldry is whether the actual artwork is from period or whether it is reconstructed. This may or may not be important to you. Very often heraldic devices are recreated for the web and so do not necessarily reflect how the device looked in antiquity. On the other hand you will get a look at the device with clear line and without any colour degradation due to age and environment. If the herald recreating the roll did their job, you will also get a good indication of proportion and such as well. Of course this can be told by looking at a device and if it is drawn big, bold, and balanced it likely is in heraldic proportion. When I say balance I am meaning the more static heraldic balance and not the modern artistic dynamic balance. (But that is meat for a future article if someone wants to write it.)
Following are some Rolls of Arms that are on the Web:
An interesting site I have found with rolls of arms from the Europe in the Thirteenth Century is "Studies in Heraldry" by Brian Timms. The link to his main page has a number of interesting pages linked to it including the one of main interest on Early Rolls of Arms.
This site has very many examples of Coats of Arms from Thirteenth Century Europe and their blazons. Eventually the author hopes to have a listing of more than 4000 records with information including the name of the bearer of the arms, the date of his death if known, the blazon of the arms, a reference to the roll or rolls in which the arms are found, and the original blazon. There is indication that along with the updated image of the device there would also be the original artwork. The page is actively being worked on with some changes even being made in June of 2004.
I find it would be an excellent place to spend time just looking at the sorts of devices that were used in period and all on one site!
Die Wappenrolle von Zürich is an interesting site which actually uses images from the Zurich Roll of Arms for illustration. There are about 450 coats of arms included and 28 standards which make for a substantial base of data. Also included with the shields are helmets and crests which is a nice bonus. The site isn't as current as the "Studies in Heraldry" page having been created in 1996, but the material it is based on hasn't changed either.
Because this site out of Zurich is in German it is a bit hard to navigate. But it has some nice period miniatures from The Manesse Codex written in Zurich in the first half of the 14th century. "Die Miniaturen der Manesseschen Liederhandschrift und andere Bildquellen" has a link on it to a gallery of the miniatures that is a bit easier to navigate from. The page is titled "Tempera Nostra - das Mittelatter lebt" and I suggest taking this way in and browsing through the images.
According to "Studies in Heraldry" mentioned above, earlyBlazon.com is about "The history and heraldry of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade." I haven't looked at the site as much as I'd like to yet, but it seems interesting. Take the link towards the bottom of the menu labelled "Armory" and you'll find a graphic menu where the devices are divided by heraldic characteristic such as charge and field division. They are also arranged by countries, knights and events. The devices are recreated and done up with an odd stucco texture but are interesting examples of period device design. If you click on a link below a coat of arms you will be taken to a page with information on the bearer of the shield including their life span which will tell you when they bore that shield. That is something useful in determining if what you are seeing is period.
The SCA Rolls of Arms are useful to see what has been registered though of course the rules have changed over time and you might not be able to register today what you could in the past.
The An Tir: Roll of Arms is a nice collection of over 1600 heraldic devices which can be searched and displayed in a number of different ways. There are a few special listings including categories such as Knights/Masters; Laurels; Pelicans; Branch Arms; Rolls of the Princes and Princesses of An Tir; Kings and Queens of An Tir; and Black Lion Heralds (Kingdom Principal Heralds). This Armorial is being kept up to date having been updated since February 16, 2004.
The Kingdom of Calontir Armorial has over 1000 heraldic devices displayed. I'm unsure as to how up to date the Armorial is as it has a December 03, 2003 date listed.
Originally called "The Newmarch Book of Arms", the "Kingdom of Meridies Illuminated Armorial" is reported to have 154 devices recorded. There are interesting links to a Royal Genealogy of the Known World and past Meridien Rulers. This armorial is dated as of August 14, 2002.
The "Kingdom of Outlands Online Roll of Arms" is another SCA Kingdom online Armorial. It is being kept current and has a last modified date of June 3, 2004.
You can find the West Kingdom Roll of Arms online here. They currently have over 500 devices displayed and links to a number of resources.
The Kingdom of Lochac has their Lochac Roll of Arms online and is recent, updated as recently as June 28, 2004.
More and more smaller groups are putting up pages with their member's heraldic devices displayed. Tir Righ is one such group that is well under way with such a project on the "Tir Righ Populace Pages".
hen hunting down Rolls of Arms online I used a few very simple tools. I thought I might mention them here while I was thinking of them.
Of course using the various search engines like "Google" comes immediately to mind. It might take some practice to word your search best. Try variations on a word. For instance "Herald" "Heraldry" "Heraldic". Grab your thesaurus and try some different angles if you are coming up dry or getting bored with your current search. Keep an eye open for alternate key words while you are looking at pages that almost fit. I find it very useful to open the search links into a separate window or tab and so not loose track of my search window.
Something else I have found to be very useful in my searching for information on this and other topics is to look for the "Links" page on the sites that I find that are already useful. In that way you make use of the research already done by others. You don't always have to re-invent the wheel. For instance one Site with information on Online Rolls of Arms often held links to other Online Rolls of Arms. It is much like making use of the Bibliography of a Reference to seek out further information on a subject.
It can also be useful to search out the names of authors and researchers on a subject or topic online. There may be further resources keyed to their name.
Don't forget that there are more resources than the Internet. You can still seek out information in Libraries, whether Municipal, University, College, or other Educational Institute; and some Book Stores now have rather liberal policies when it comes to looking through books from their shelves. Some in fact have seating and tables comparable or superior to those in libraries just for reading books in their stores.
SCA web sites also have a wealth of information and links to great amounts of information as well.
But REMEMBER! Keep notes on where you found your information and document the URLs and information so you can find the sources again in the future. Even try to do so when you might not be using the information now because often you will want to come back to the source for other tidbits you can remember seeing during your search.
The Heretical Herald is an independent Publication not associated with the SCA Inc.
or any College of Arms or College of Heraldry either in the SCA or elsewhere.
It will be published on an irregular basis as material warrants.
-H. Herald editor
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