A microscopic piece of heraldry necessarily stands condemned, because it merely pretends to hint that the owner thinks himself a person of distinction, instead of performing the true function of enabling the casual observer to identify the owner. Monograms and unostentatious heraldry are therefor the badge of the parvenu, and such heraldry is usually bogus. Genuine arms are almost always displayed boldly and beautifully at every possible opportunity, indoors and out. --
Thomas Innes of Learney, Scots Heraldry, pp. 161-162
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Could It Be?
In a news article whose link was forwarded to me, we have the following somewhat exciting, somewhat scary, sentence: "Estonian researchers think that they've discovered the final resting place of the world's most famous vampire... and they're asking permission to crack open the tomb."
Of course, Vlad III Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, may have been pretty bloodthirsty, but there's no non-fictional evidence that he was a vampire, as in the book Dracula by Bram Stoker published in 1897.
In 1476, during one of his many wars, Vlad suddenly disappeared, and wasn't heard from again.
But now, a group of researchers believe that rather than dying in battle, Vlad was captured and later ransomed to his daughter, who had married a Neoplitan nobleman, and that he lived the rest of his life in Naples, Italy where he was finally buried in the Piazza Santa Maria la Nova Church. A curious carved monument is found there which experts say belongs to Dracula.
The arms on the monument here do not match the arms I have seen elsewhere for Vlad III Tepes, but I don't know the provenance of those arms, either, so for all I know, none of them are his arms.
Naturally, the researchers are appealing to the authorities for permission to open the grave to prove their hunch. Of course, if they do, and if Stoker's tale is based on more than we know, they could end up releasing Dracula from his slumber to reinstate his bloody reign of terror on an unsuspecting world.