Fojnica Armorial

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The combined coat of arms on the first page of a fictional "Illyrian Empire", based on the one found in the Ohmućević Armorial. The divisions are labelled with letters as follows: (A) Macedonia, (B) Slavonia, (C) Bosnia (the star-and-crescent of "Illyria" is present in an inescutcheon in the Bosnian coat of arms), (D) Bulgaria, (E) Dalmatia, (F) Serbia, (G) Croatia, (H) Rascia, (I) "Primordia", with an added imperial double-headed eagle (labelled J)

The so-called Fojnica Armorial (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Fojnički grbovnik/Фојнички грбовник, also known as Ilirski grbovnik "Illyrian armorial") is an early modern roll of arms of the Balkans. The manuscript is named for the Franciscan monastery in Fojnica (some 20 km from Sarajevo, Bosnia Eyalet, now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), where it was kept.

The presence of the manuscript in the Fojnica monastery is first attested in the year 1800. Alexander Soloviev dated it to in between 1675 and 1688, i.e. in the context of the revolts against Ottoman rule during the Great Turkish War. Other scholars have proposed dates of the late 16th or early 17th century.[1] The title page of the armorial itself purports a creation date of 1340.

The manuscript is an important source of the classical heraldry of the Balkans peninsula, alongside the Korenić-Neorić Armorial of 1595, and the "Illyrian Armorial" (Society of Antiquaries of London MS.54) collected by Edward Bourchier, 4th Earl of Bath before 1637.

The manuscript contains a total of 139 coats of arms. It begins with a depiction of the Bogorodica, saints Cosmas and Damian, and Saint Jerome. There follows a title page, written in Cyrillic, which attributes the work to one Stanislav Rubčić, in honour of king Stephen Nemanja, with the date 1340. There is an added note in Latin, dated 1800, which testifies that the manuscript had been kept in Fojnica monastery "from time immemorial". Then there is as page showing a combined coat of arms consisting of eleven parts. After this, there are ten coats of arms of late medieval realms of the region, Macedonia (Macedoniae), "Illyria" (Vllvriae), Bosnia (Bosnae), Dalmatia (Dalmatie), Croatia (Crovatiae), Slavonia (Slavoniae), Bulgaria (Bvlgariae), Serbia (Svrbiae), Rascia (Rasciae) and "Primordia" (Primordiae), followed by coats of arms of noble families.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Sima M. Ćirković, The Serbs, Wiley-Blackwell, 2004, ISBN 978-0-631-20471-8, p. 133.
  • B. Belović, O heraldičkom spomeniku u Fojničkom manastiru (a heraldic monument from Fojnica monastery"), Zastava, 59/1928, 100, 3, 101, 3.
  • Dubravko Lovrenović, Fojnički grbovnik, ilirska heraldika i bosansko srednjovjekovlje ("the Fojnica Armorial, Illyrian heraldry and mediaeval Bosnia"), Bosna Franciscana, br. 21, god. XII, Sarajevo, 2004, 172-202.
  • FOJNIČKI GRBOVNIK = THE FOJNICA ARMORIAL ROLL (facsimile edition), Rabic, 2005, ISBN 978-9958-703-58-4.

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