A Complete Guide to Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies PDF

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Armory is the science of which the rules and the laws govern the use, display, meaning, and knowledge of the pictured signs and emblems appertaining to shields, helmets, or banners.

Heraldry has a wider meaning, for it comprises everything within the duties of a herald; and whilst Armory undoubtedly is Heraldry, the regulation of ceremonials and matters of pedigree, which are really also within the scope of Heraldry, most decidedly are not Armory.

“Armory” relates only to the emblems and devices. “Armoury” relates to the weapons themselves as weapons of warfare, or to the place used for the storing of the weapons. But these distinctions of spelling are modern.

The word “Arms,” like many other words in the English language, has several meanings, and at the present day is used in several senses.

may mean the weapons themselves; it may mean the limbs upon the human body.

Even from the heraldic point of view, it may mean the entire achievement, but usually, it is employed in reference to the device upon the shield only.

Of the exact origin of arms and armory nothing whatever is definitely known, and it becomes difficult to point to any particular period as the period covering the origin of the armory, for the very simple reason that it is much more difficult to decide what is or is not to be admitted as armorial. {2}

Until comparatively recently heraldic books referred to armory indifferently to the tribes of Israel, to the Greeks, to the Romans, to the Assyrians, and the Saxons; and we are equally familiar with the “Lion of Judah” and the “Eagle of the Cæsars.”

In other directions, we find the same sort of thing, for it has ever been the practice of semi-civilized nations to bestow or to assume the virtues and the names of animals and of deities as symbols of honor.

We scarcely need to refer to the totems of the North American Indians for proof of such a practice.

They have reduced the subject almost to an exact science, and there cannot be a shadow of a doubt that it is to this semi-savage practice that armory is to be traced if its origin is to be followed out to its logical and most remote beginning.

Equally is it certain that many recognized heraldic figures, and more particularly those mythical creatures of which the armorial menagerie alone has now cognizance, are due to the art of civilizations older than our own, and the legends of those civilizations that have called these mythical creatures into being.

Language English
No. of Pages712
PDF Size57.2 MB

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