Evolutia simbolisticii blazoanelor in cazul innobilarilor cu acordare de blazon in Transilvania, Banat si Partium in cursul secolelor XVI-XVIII. Studiu comparativ / The evolution of the Representations of the Coats of Arms in Cases of Ennoblement in Transylvania, Banat and Partium During the 16th-18th Centuries. Comparative Study
1 Ianuarie 2013
coat of arms
If during the 16th century the kings of Hungary and the principles of Transylvania rewarded the virtues of their
subjects through the grant of diplomas with coats of arms, this praxis proliferated in the 17th century with the
debut of military campaigns of the two Rákóczi principles of Transylvania. Naturally, the boost of the warriors and
the reward of their faithful services could be easily done through this type of ennoblement.
In time we could distinguish more stages in the process of ennoblement, from far- reaching diplomas in which
are specified the services of the subjects and their virtues, followed by donations of land, with the enumeration
of the situations when they could use the coat of arms, to the simple mention of the ennoblement without the
description of the coat of arms.
As for the coats of arms granted, with a few exceptions the blue enamel of the shields prevailed, symbolizing
nobility, faith, and good morals. e natural figures and the chimeras or artificial ones are of a great variety.
A frequent natural figure used is the human body in different postures, vestimentation and attitudes, whether
illustrating foot soldiers or riders in armour with sword or spear, or foot soldiers dressed in green or red according
to the corps they belong to; a frequent representation due to the political and military realities of the time are the
heads of Turkish either cut off or skewered by the sword or spear. e natural figures from the animal world are
the lion as a symbol of courage, the bear as a symbol of force, the wolf as a symbol of watchfulness and prudence.
Birds frequently appear including the pigeon, the swan, the vulture, the pelican, and the crane, static or flying,
holding branchs, flowers, wheat, rings, crosses or stones.
As for the external ornaments of the shield, generally they use a military helmet, crowned by a royal diadem,
symbolizing the authority of those who confer the coat of arms.
e colours and the metals are the consecrated ones: azure as a symbol of Jupiter, gold for the sun, red as a
symbol for Mars and silver as a symbol of the moon.
In conclusion, the title of nobility for the “armalists” meant from a socio-economic point of view only the
exemption from the taxes they owe for their houses and surroundings which due to their small sizes couldn’t bring
a significant profit.
Of course, the noble status and the awareness of belonging to the caste of noble, gave them the feeling of an
important role than if they had continued to belong to that “statu et conditione plebea”, from which they were
elevated and introduced “in coetum et numerum verorum, natorum, indubitatorum, insignitorumque Regni noştri
Transilvaniae et partium Hungariae eidem annexarum nobilium” as stated in the documents.
During the 18th century we witness a change in point of the representations of the coats of arms due to the
evolution of the political situation and to the praxis of the ennoblement. In comparison with the relatively simple
compositions specific to the ennoblements for military virtues, granted in large number to warriors of modest
origin with recurrence of typical military symbols, at the ennoblement at the end of the 17th century and into
the 18th century we witness a diversification of the representations and a more coherent personalization, with less
frequent similarities between the coats of arms granted to different families.