Talk:Attributed arms

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Good article Attributed arms has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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April 9, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on March 23, 2008.
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Other potential images[edit]

"curiously labelled 'Sent Myhell armys'"[edit]

In the 15th-century, the Shield of the Trinity with argent device on a field of gules was considered to be the Arms of God Himself, while other color variations (especially on a non-gules field) were reserved for lesser heraldic uses, so it's not necessarily all that curious... AnonMoos (talk) 14:38, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

(Dennys, 95) called it a "curious variation". Gimmetrow 01:29, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but he didn't really specify unambiguously what he found most curious about it.
Mr. Dennys undoubtedly has or had a deeper knowledge of a broader range of areas of heraldry than I do; but on the other hand, it seems that I know of more 15th-century uses of the Shield of the Trinity in different colors and different heraldic contexts than he did in 1975, and I don't find that one to be too curious. AnonMoos (talk) 23:25, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, just saying where that came from. Gimmetrow 02:19, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Still don't really see what the word "curious" adds to this article. It's one of the almost inherently subjective kind of words which Wikipedia policies normally tend to discourage except in quotes (or other direct attributions to sources). I'm not normally a stickler for the exceptionless enforcement of such policies, but in this case I'm not sure that use of the word is justified. Michael is the angel who is traditionally depicted as being most militantly aggressive in directly combatting the forces of evil, and the metaphors of the spiritual warfare of Ephesians chapter 6 were inevitably applied to such combat. So since the "shield of the faith" of Ephesians verse 6:13 was identified from the 13th-century on with the Shield of the Trinity diagram, it therefore would not have been particularly strange to imagine Michael as wielding a shield with this diagram on it. The fact that the archangel Michael is not himself God was sufficiently indicated (to those in the know concerning 15th-century conventions in the use of the Shield of the Trinity) by the fact that the shield attributed to Michael did not have an argent-on-gules color scheme. I don't see anything too strange in all this... AnonMoos (talk) 06:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I was puzzled why you were making a big deal about this, since I thought the word was gone. Then I found it. Gimmetrow 06:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I eliminated both original uses of the word "curious" in my edit of 15:38, 23 March 2008, and then one instance was re-added back in... AnonMoos (talk) 06:49, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


You are going to have to expand the lead to have any hope of passing GA. See WP:Lead. -- Secisek (talk) 19:22, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Good Article review[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    I've made a few minor (I hope) improvements, but spelling & grammar mostly look OK. Is "labelled" (double l) valid en-UK, or does that need to be corrected? I confess I don't understand the criticism above regarding the lead, which seems in keeping with the article size. Would it be possible to add a sentence in the lead explaining why it was felt necessary to attribute arms? Obviously it's an outgrowth of the same tendency that led medieval people to illustrate ancient scenes in contemporary dress, but I couldn't come up with an adequate expression myself.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Pretty well referenced. Is there a ref for the Lloyd of Stockton quarterings? ISTR Fox-Davies discussing the use of attributed Welsh arms.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Addresses major aspects of topic: Popes are mentioned in the "History" section, but there's no example of attribution of papal arms elsewhere in the article. Could one be given, perhaps changing "Kings" to "Kings and Popes"?
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    I think this will be ready to go for GA if you can address the points I've mentioned above. Choess (talk) 01:25, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Replies: 1) The phenomena is a little more complicated than contemporary dress. They didn't just show Alexander in generic 13th-century armor, but also with what we would think of as a logo. It was more like an iconographic emblem. But saying that is technically OR. 2) Same cite as found in the quartering article (Neubecker). 3) I don't have a papal example at the moment. The only mentions I've found say that it was done, and give the earliest known non-attributed papal arms. Will check Fox-Davies regarding Welsh. Gimmetrow 04:34, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

"As heraldry filtered into Wales through warfare, trade, and even inter-marriage, arms were assumed by some Welsh magnates, such as Gruffyd ap Llewelyn (the Great). More often, they were attributed to chieftains who had ruled in pre-heraldic times. To the bards, and to Welsh society in general, it seemed that they would have been of armigerous status whenever they lived, and that their descendants were entitled to the arms -- whether real or attributed -- of their noble progenitor." -- The Complete Book of Heraldry by Stephen Slater (ISBN 1843096986), page 189.

Reasons for attributed arms[edit]

"From the 15th to the 17th centuries, heraldic writers increasingly sought to bestow arms on those of high rank in history and legend. Rulers, saints, and Biblical characters and legendary figures, both good and bad, were assumed to have borne arms, as their like did in more recent times. ...the heraldic writers felt that it was their duty to invent retrospective arms for those who were thought to be worthy of them." -- The Complete Book of Heraldry by Stephen Slater (ISBN 1843096986), page 108.
AnonMoos (talk) 06:45, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Google Books suggests there's a reference to papal attributed arms in Jane Turner's "Dictionary of Art", v. 14, p. 416, but it's just out of view. I may be able to check myself in a few days. WRT to the phenomenon of attribution, I mention it because I was thinking that a lay reader, not familiar with the mindset of the Middle Ages, might be puzzled as to why they were "making up history." I'll give it some more thought, but I think we're almost wrapped up. Choess (talk) 02:20, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
That text seems off (it refers to Para 3 which is something else), but immediately before is a section on attributed arms which says some family arms were attributed to important ancestral relatives, and gives Leo IX as an example. The description there suggests that arms were attributed mostly because something was expected, and that consistent patterns emerged only for a relatively few figures. In other words, they had to be in some dress, which included arms, but for most characters it didn't matter what. For some popular characters, the details caught on enough to become a stable emblem. Gimmetrow 04:14, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I think we're good to pass. Choess (talk) 01:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

A.C. Fox-Davis: Art of Heraldry references[edit]

You emphasize; the rise of heraldry; pre-dating heraldry; pre-heraldic Kings, as such; pre- C12th attributed arms are imaginary. The correct term for this usage is; “heralds.”

Heraldry is everything within the duties of the rise of heralds from circa C12th; Armory is a science of arms; rules and laws governing use, display, meaning, and knowledge of pictured signs and emblems appertaining to shield, helmet or banner, from circa 4000BC. The pre-C12th science of Armory is not imaginary it is the "Shorthand of History".(AC F-D)

Arms were attributed to many kings pre-dating; “C12th Heralds” including Edward the Confessor. The Anglo-Saxon pennies from the earliest period of issue till the reign of Edward the Confessor have nearly all a cross on them. In the times of Richard II, heralds assigned the arms of Edward the Confessor in reference to the reverse of King Edward’s coins known as the “Sovereign.” It is so called by reason of the King represented on the obverse side seated on his throne, with Sceptre in his right hand and Orb surmounted by a cross in the left. The reverse of King Edward’s coin had the angled cross with four birds.

A five bird’s achievement of arms assigned to Richard II may be in devotion to the Saint. Historically, it seems more relevant this attribution pertained to regnal descriptions of the later Edward’s I and II &c., being a cause of the “Saint” (canonized 1161) and later; “the confessor” descriptions. The College of Arms (R. 22, 67) and (in Latin) the Abby booke of newborough, state Richard II also assigned the arms of Edward the Confessor with two Ostrich feathers and the Royal Crest to Thomas de Mowbray. The comparison between the arms of King Edward (b1004/5: r1024-1066); Thomas de Mowbray (*figs 692, 699, 823, 824) and Arms of England (1195-1340); shows the scientific and historical armorial link between the pre-1066 Anglo-Saxon Kings and post-1066 Norman Kings &c.Stephen2nd (talk) 00:43, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

What would you suggest to address these concerns? Gimmetrow 04:37, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
To address these concerns, it is relevant to note that many books are written by those not having complete knowledge of their subject, or for ulterior motives. Some statement may appear in a text book, copied into book after book, and accepted as correct, when it is not. In addressing my own concerns; I used my skills; (Electronic circuitry & US scholarships student: Computer logic, flow-charts & Philosophy logic; 3.5 GPA. ‘79/’80) in 20 years of cross-referencing all of Judge AC.F-D writings and illustrations with the illustrations in ‘Fairburn’s Crests,’ ‘Complete Peerage’s,’ genealogical and York Minster records &c. Unfortunately, for many reasons, these research investigations are not published, per se.
Kudos, as an article provocateur, yours is indeed a good article, especially for discussion. I accept the concept that sceptisism in heraldry, and indeed, histories and sciences exists, morover, that some (but not all) attributed Arms/Coat of Arms/Heraldry, are imaginary. But, good research and investigation, into what were previously classed as fables, myths, legends and falsehoods, constantly goes on, scientifically and historically, determining these previous imaginations into present day facts, and every day adds to our knowledge. PS: Congrats on your 2nd anniversary as a Wikepedian :)Stephen2nd (talk) 16:30, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I guess I don't quite see what you're getting at. These arms are called "attributed" (in French, "imaginary") because these arms were, as far as we know, not used by the individual, although they were often based on something associated with the individual. Thus there really was a coin minted during the Edward's reign (and this origin is mentioned in the article). That's actually one historical value of attributed arms - they reveal what people of the time actually knew about the individual they were assigning arms. Gimmetrow 22:11, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Gimmetrow. What I'm getting at is: Do PC historians use “imaginary” to evade answers to questions of non-PC historic facts? My point being, irrelevant of the semantics of “attributed;” in French as “imaginary”, as meaning in English; existing only in the imagination. Edwards Arms were not imaginary. AoH; p97. Fig 201. (M.S. Harl, 5805, f, 392): Armorial Bearings of Thomas de Holland: “Azure, a cross flory between five martlets or.” Being the arms of Edward the Confessor. This is a difinitive statement of fact by A.C F-D, without the use of the term “attributed.” Having said as much, I would be most pleased if you or anyone could offer any opinions to these non-PC questions on the history of these Edwards arms.
Richard II, Mowbray’s and Holland’s, use of five martlets, with the original Edward’s achievement of four martlets, suggests an existance of a prior; three, two and one martlet. However, there are no known Saxon kings prior to King Edward, depicting such martlets. Edwards four martlets may suggest 62 year old Edward had four heirs as his descendants, in line with your statement of; attributed arms used as in the arms of their descendants. My own corroborated A.C. F-D research, may even suggest in the magic of heraldry, that these 1st, 2nd and 3rd symbols, may represent the symbolic origin of the Royal “Standard.” { -(1,2,3.)- ST a ND a RD-} Also suggesting that the fourth or (4th) TH, may symbolise the Cipher/Cypher of KING + HT = KNIGHT. Per se ? RegardsStephen2nd (talk) 14:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Some medieval images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons[edit]

As part of the late 15th-century Wernigerode/Schaffhausen armorial. For example File:Wernigeroder Wappenbuch 018.jpg to File:Wernigeroder Wappenbuch 020.jpg are the coats of arms of the Nine Worthies, File:Wernigeroder Wappenbuch 021.jpg is the coats of arms of the Three Magi, File:Wernigeroder Wappenbuch 014.jpg is the coat of arms of death, File:Wernigeroder Wappenbuch 010.jpg is the coat of arms of God, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 02:48, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Also the William Peraldus manuscript illustration mentioned in the article is available at various levels of detail: AnonMoos (talk) 02:43, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

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