Category: Research Tips


La base de données Bibale, un outil pour des recherches héraldiques

Depuis le printemps de 2014 il existe un outil en ligne qui mérite d’être porté à l’attention aux personnes intéressées en héraldique. Il s’agit de la base de données « Bibale », qui est conçue et alimentée à la Section de codicologie, histoire des bibliothèques et héraldique de l’Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT). BIBALE (pour BIBliothèque médievALE) est une base de données qui a pour objectif de...


Die Wappen des Konstanzer Konzils in der Welt

Richentals Chronik des Konstanzer Konzils ist sicher die bekannteste Quelle zum Constantiense, und um so erstaunlicher ist es, dass das in mehreren frühen und wichtigen Abschriften dieser Chronik enthaltene Wappenbuch bislang so wenig Aufmerksamkeit gefunden hat, wie Tina Raddatz gerade geschrieben hat. Das Wappenbuch der Richentalchronik ist aber nicht die einzige heraldische Quelle zum Konstanzer Konzil. Werner Paravicini hat schon ein vor einigen Jahren [1] auf drei weitere Handschriften...


Evaluating armorials (IV) – Grünenberg, the unfortunate armorist

The last post in the series on evaluating armorials is a case study of the famous Grünenberg armorial, in which different elements that have been discussed in the previous posts return.   There is one question that is seldom asked: How reliable is the studied armorial  – or to rephrase it: Can we trust a single occurrence of a coat of arms? The answer would in any case be...


Evaluating armorials (III) – Comparing armorials

In the first two parts of this series on evaluating armorials, many mistakes regarding coats of arms and legends have been discussed. This third part deals with the topic of comparing different armorials, and in this process the incorrect coats of arms prove to be quite useful. Comparing armorials can be important for several reasons. As we have seen in Steen Clemmensen’s previous blogposts, it is not uncommon to...


Evaluating armorials (II) – Variant coats of arms

The first part of these series on evaluating armorials dealt with the identification of coats of arms in armorials. It appeared that many armorials were copied and that copyists were prone to make mistakes. This sometimes leaves the researcher with different coats of arms for the same family. This post deals with the problematic of these variant coats of arms more thoroughly by discussing their origins and how they...


Dictionary of heraldic terms used in Steen Clemmensen’s ‘Evaluating armorials (II) – Variant coats of arms’

Steen Clemmensen’s blogpost contains some heraldic terms that might, for the uninitiated, look like a secret language. The purpose of these particular vocabulary and the fairly strict manner of describing a coats of arms (= blazoning), is that it should enable a reader or an artist to imagine and recreate a coat of arms in an exact manner. In order to make the article intelligible for the novices, we have...


Evaluating armorials (I) – Identifying coats of arms

Having edited a number of armorials and shown several of them to be dependent on the same sources, the editors of Heraldica Nova asked me: How does one evaluate an armorial and its contents? The short answer is by having common sense, lots of reference materials and treating armorials as non-verbal prose. In this first part of this series on how to evaluate armorial, I will deal with the...


How to evaluate medieval armorials and their contents? A new series of blogposts by Steen Clemmensen

For identifying medieval coats of arms, medieval armorials are very important sources. They have been transmitted to us in a fair number (for a list of digitised armorials see here on our blog), they are relatively easy accessible and – contrary to the other important source for coats of arms such as seals – they show the colours of the blasons. So if you are trying to identify a specific coat...

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