Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Satan's Coat-of-Arms

Satan's Coat-of-Arms

Attributed arms are coats-of-arms given to legendary figures, or to notable persons from times before the rise of heraldry . Beginning in the 12th century, imaginary arms were assigned to the Knights of the Round Table, and soon arms were given to biblical figures, to Roman and Greek heroes, and to kings and popes who had not historically borne arms. The specific arms could vary, but the arms for major figures soon became fixed.

Notable arms attributed to biblical figures include the arms of Jesus based on the instruments of the Passion, and the shield of the Trinity . Medieval literature attributed coats of arms to the Nine Worthies, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Kind Arthur.

This is the coat-of-arms traditionally attributed to Satan in European heraldry. Blazoned "Gules, a fess Or between three frogs proper" (or with effectively equivalent blazons, such as "Gules, a fess Or between three frogs Vert", "Gules, a fess Gold between three frogs proper", etc.).

In the book The Heraldic Imagination by Rodney Dennys (1975), this is traced back to the late 13th-century Douce Apocalypse manuscript (housed in the Bodlean Library, Oxford), in an illustration to Revelations 20:7-10. The design is based on the "three unclean spirits like frogs" of verse 16:13.

No crest is ascribed to the Devil's arms but I have added a non-Christian royal crown (as he is Prince of Darkness & Prince of the Underworld) and a crest of a bat with spread wings. For the Blazon's motto I have taken the inscription over the gates of Hell described in Dante's Inferno - Abandon All Hope (You Who Enter).

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