Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
National Archives of Sweden
The National Archives of Sweden is the official archive of the Swedish government and is responsible for the management of records from Sweden's public authorities. Although the archives functions as the government archive, it preserves some documents from private individuals and non-public organizations; the mission of the archives is to preserve records for future generations. The National Archives of Sweden is a state administrative authority, organized under the Ministry of Culture; the head of The National Archives, known as the Riksarkivarie in Swedish, works alongside of staff responsible for strategic issues, overall coordination and development. The position is held by Karin Åström Iko; the structure of the organization is divided into five departments: the Regional Department, National Department, Department of Conservation and Digital Infrastructure, Department of Public Information Management, Administrative Department. The Regional Department includes Regional Archives located in seven cities: Gothenburg, Härnösand, Uppsala, Visby, Östersund.
The National Department includes the main branch Marieburg in Stockholm, Arninge located just north of Stockholm, other archives that have been incorporated into the National Archives, including the Military Archives and the Heraldry Board. The National Archives of Sweden is one of the oldest public authorities in Sweden, with roots that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Beginning under King Gustav Vasa, an archive was created from collected older documents, some documents that were received, documents drawn up in the Royal Office. On October 18, 1618 Axel Oxenstierna, the Lord High Chancellor of the Privy Council, issued a Chancellor's Order to appoint a special secretary, along with two writers, to be responsible for the archive, thus creating the National Archives as an institution. Over time, the archive became less important for the activities of the Chancellor, more valuable for historical researchers. However, it wasn't until 1878 that the National Archives was established as an independent authority.
In 1697 a fire at the Tre Kronor castle in Stockholm destroyed a large portion of the Archives, resulting in a severe loss of items and documents from the Middle Ages. Out of 24,500 books and 1,400 manuscripts, only 6,000 books and 400 manuscripts could be salvaged, respectively. One of Sweden's most famous books, The Silver Bible, or Codex Argenteus, was purportedly thrown out the castle window to save it from the flames; the National Archives was limited to the Royal Office, but over time the National Archives has subsumed responsibility for archives of other central and local authorities. In order to preserve documents from regional and local governments, regional archives were created in seven cities from 1899 to 1935; the Archives of Vadstena was the first regional archive to open in 1899. Regional archives in Lund and Uppsala both opened in 1903, Visby in 1905, Gothenburg in 1911, Östersund in 1928, in Härnösand in 1935; the Regional Archives were merged with the National Archives in 2010 under a joint authority.
The Military Archives were created in 1805. An independent authority, The Military Archives were incorporated into the National Archives in 1995; the archive stores a unique and comprehensive collections of maps, including historical maps of Sweden, hand-written foreign topographical maps, city fortification plans. The National Herald Board was closed in 1953, the state's heraldic operations continued as a department under the National Archives; the department deals with questions about coat of arms design and emblems and continuously produces new heraldic images for newly formed governmental bodies, etc. The head of the National Herald Board held the title of National Herald, but in the new organization the title instead became State Herald. In 2007, the Swedish military altered the image of the heraldic lion depicted on the Nordic Battlegroup's coat of arms, removing the lion's penis to promote a more gender neutral image following protests from female soldiers; the creator of the image at the National Archives, Vladimir A. Sagerlund, made the news in Sweden over his staunch disapproval of the change.
The oldest document in the National Archives is a parchment from a missal, written in England in the late 10th century. The document came to Sweden via the British Christian missionary in Norway. Under King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century, archiving expanded and national registry and chamber books, land records, diplomatic treaties were collected in the National Archives. Scrolls in Cyrillic writing from Novgorod were preserved in memory of the Swedish occupation from 1611 to 1617. There is a wide variety of materials available, including documents from the ministry and central authorities. Documentation of government decisions from the 1840s to 1980s are available to researchers. Around 100,000 maps and drawings of state civilian buildings from 1697 to 1993 are preserved in the archive. Although the primary focus of the National Archives is government records, there are some personal archives, which were in the past obtained via confiscations and seizures, more as donations. Personal collections include feudal archives from the 17th and 18th century, such as the Skokloster collection, Sjöholms and Ericsberg archives, other archives of statesmen and cultural personalities.
There are some archives of non-governmental associations and businesses, as well as news archives. In 2015 the archival holdings amounted to 750 kilometers o
Psalm 51 is the 51st psalm of the Book of Psalms known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "Have mercy upon me, O God". In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, in its Latin translation Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 50 in a different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Miserere mei, Deus", for which it is traditionally known as the Miserere in musical settings. Psalm 51 is one of the Penitential Psalms, it was composed by David as a confession to God. The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant liturgies. Psalm 51 is based on the incident recorded in 2 Samuel, chapters 11–12. David's confession is regarded as a model for repentance in both Christianity; the Midrash Tehillim states that one who acknowledges that he has sinned and is fearful and prays to God about it, as David did, will be forgiven. But one who tries to ignore his sin will be punished by God; the Talmud cites verse 5 in the Hebrew, "My sin is always before me", as a reminder to the penitent to maintain continual vigilance in the area in which he transgressed after he has confessed and been absolved.
Spurgeon says Psalm 51 is called "The Sinner's Guide", as it shows the sinner how to return to God's grace. Athanasius would recommend. According to James Montgomery Boice, this psalm was recited by both Thomas More and Lady Jane Grey at their executions. Verse 19 in the Hebrew states that God desires a "broken and contrite heart" more than he does sacrificial offerings; the idea of using brokenheartedness as a way to reconnect to God was emphasized in numerous teachings by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. In Sichot HaRan #41 he taught: "It would be good to be brokenhearted all day, but for the average person, this can degenerate into depression. You should therefore set aside some time each day for heartbreak. You should isolate yourself with a broken heart before God for a given time, but the rest of the day you should be joyful". Parallels between Psalm 51 and the Ancient Egyptian ritual text Opening of the mouth ceremony have been pointed out by scholar Benjamin Urrutia; these include: Mentions of ritual washing with special herbs Restoration of broken bones "O Lord, open my lips" Sacrifices Several verses from Psalm 51 are regular parts of Jewish liturgy.
Verses 3, 4, 9, 13, 19, 20, 21 are said in Selichot. Verses 9, 12, 19 are said during Tefillas Zakkah prior to the Kol Nidrei service on Yom Kippur eve. Verse 17, "O Lord, open my lips", is recited as a preface to the Amidah in all prayer services. Verse 20 is said by Ashkenazi Jews before the removal of the Sefer Torah from the ark on Shabbat and Yom Tov morning. In the Sephardi liturgy, Psalm 51 is one of the additional psalms recited on Yom Kippur night. Verse 4 is part of the Ushpizin ceremony on Sukkot. In the Siddur Avodas Yisroel, Psalm 51 is the Song of the Day for Shabbat Ki Tavo; this psalm is said on Wednesday nights after the recital of Aleinu in Maariv. The entire psalm is part of Tikkun Chatzot, it is recited as a prayer for forgiveness. Verse 4 is quoted in Romans 3:4 The most used psalm in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches, Psalm 50 it is called in the Greek language Ἥ Ἐλεήμων He Eleḯmon, begins in Greek Ἐλέησόν με, ὁ Θεός Eléïsón me, o Theós. In the Daily Office it is recited in each of three aggregates.
In the Divine Liturgy it is recited by the deacon while he censing the entire church at the conclusion of the Proskomedie, known as killing Satan. It is a part of many sacraments and other services, notably, as a penitential psalm, during the Mystery of Repentance. In the Agpeya, Coptic Church's book of hours, it is recited at every office throughout the day as a prayer of confession and repentance. In Western Christianity, Psalm 51 is used liturgically. In the Roman Catholic Church this psalm may be assigned by a priest to a penitent as a penance after Confession. Verse 7 of the psalm is traditionally sung as the priest sprinkles holy water over the congregation before Mass, in a rite known as the Asperges me, the first two words of the verse in Latin; this reference lends a striking significance to the Mass as Sacrifice, given that Hyssop was used for the smearing of blood on the lintels at the first Passover. In the Divine Office, it was traditionally said at Lauds on all ferias, it is otherwise said as part of the weekly cycle on Wednesday at Matins.
In the Liturgy of the Hours, it is prayed during Lauds every Friday. A section of verse 17 is used as the invitatory antiphon the Liturgy of the Hours. Parts of Psalm 51 are used as a responsorial psalm in both the Revised Common Lectionary and the Roman Catholic Lectionary on Ash Wednesday and on other days; the Miserere was a used text in Catholic liturgical music before the Second Vatican Council. Most of the settings, which are used at Tenebrae, are in a simple falsobordone style. During the Renaissance many composers wrote settings; the earliest known polyphonic setting dating from the 1480s, is by Johannes Martini, a composer working in the Este court in Ferrara. The extended polyphonic setting by Josquin des Prez written in 1503/1504 in Ferrara, was
Norroy and Ulster King of Arms
Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is the King of Arms at the College of Heralds with jurisdiction over England north of the Trent and Northern Ireland. The two offices of Norroy and Ulster were separate, but were merged in 1943. Norroy King of Arms is the older office, there being a reference as early as 1276 to a "King of Heralds beyond the Trent in the North." The name is derived from the French nord roi meaning "north king". The office of Ulster King of Arms was established in 1552 by King Edward VI to replace the older post of Ireland King of Arms, which had lapsed in 1487. Ulster King of Arms was not part of the College of Arms and did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal, being the heraldic authority for the Kingdom of Ireland, he was King of Arms of the Order of St Patrick. Norroy and Ulster King of Arms now holds this position, though no new knights of that Order have been created since 1936, the last surviving knight died in 1974. Heraldic matters in the Republic of Ireland are now handled by the office of the Chief Herald of Ireland.
The arms of The new office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms were devised in 1980 based on elements from the arms of the two former offices. They are blazoned: Quarterly Argent and Or a Cross Gules on a Chief per pale Azure and Gules a Lion passant guardant Or crowned with an open Crown between a Fleur-de-lis and a Harp Or; the current Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is Timothy Duke, who succeeded Sir Henry Paston-Bedingfeld in 2014. Ireland King of Arms Irish heraldry Heraldry Officer of Arms Dr. Edward MacLysaght Citations BibliographyThe College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street: being the sixteenth and final monograph of the London Survey Committee, Walter H. Godfrey, assisted by Sir Anthony Wagner, with a complete list of the officers of arms, prepared by H. Stanford London, A History of the College of Arms &c, Mark Noble, List of Ulster Kings of Arms The College of Arms CUHGS Officer of Arms Index Chief Herald of Ireland
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, state, organization or corporation; the Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, therefore its genealogy across time. The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields; the ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields. Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal. Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade.
Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies; the arts of vexillology and heraldry are related. The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer; the sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in the mid-14th century. Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms; some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms has been controlled by the College of Arms.
Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, protect their use as trademarks. Many societies exist that aid in the design and registration of personal arms. Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos; the French system of heraldry influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy there is not a Fons Honorum to enforce heraldic law; the French Republics that followed have either affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of municipal body. Assumed arms are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage is now always the mark of an heir apparent or an heir presumptive; because of their importance in identification in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was regulated. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, other establishments. In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.
In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility and chivalry. It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal. In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still working out of Dublin Castle; the last Ulster King of Arm
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t