A) 0ld Croatian hereditary nobility
B) Austrian-Hungarian grants
C) Venetian grants to Dalmatian nobility
further detailed breakdown of the various parts of
I. Hereditary nobility;
2. Feudal nobility;
3. List of nobility or grant of Coat of Arms - 1438;
4. Habsburg nobility grants - 1527-1740;
5. Austrian or Hungarian - 1740-1806;
a. Start of military orders or grants to Croatians
on the Military Frontier;
6. Austro-Hungarian-Croatian - 1806-1918.
1. Old Dalmatian
nobility and those escaping from
3. Majority of Dalmatian arms were granted in this period -1718-1797;
5. French occupation took away some privileges 1806-1813;
6. Austrian occupation recognizes only 20% of Dalmatian nobility - 1814-1918.
1. Old Croatian hereditary titles;
2. Feudal nobility - 1377-1463;
3. Hercegovinian nobility to 1482.
The original grants were lands given to the nobility under a strict feudal system. Later Coats of Arms were granted, then finally lists were published as Nobility Lists or Rolls of Nobility.
Titles of Nobility
Titles of the nobility varied somewhat due to the influence of foreign rulers and the time period involved. For the convenience of the American reader, the below outlines the titles in English, Croatian, French, Italian and German:
English Croatian French German Italian
Prince Knez Prince Furst
Duke Vojvoda Duc Herzog Duca
Marquis Margrof Marquis Markgraf Marchese
Count Grof Comte Graf Conte
Baron Barun Baron Frei herr Barone
Knight Vitez Chevalier, Ritter Cavaliere
Noble Plemic Noble Edler Nobile
titles were somewhat different in various parts of
Old Croatian Hereditary Nobility
Knez -- Prince
STUDY AND SCIENCE OF CROATIAN COATS OF ARMS
study of Croatian coats of arms and other historic sciences on the professional
level started in
twelve chief Croatian clans, presumably descendants of the original tribes that
had taken possession of the country in the sixth or seventh centuries, were the
mid winter of 1249 the Mongols rode across the frozen
A certain number of plemina (clans) and bratsva remained free. They came to constitute free communities which operated under the general aegis of the lords of the surrounding territories. Sometimes these communities acquired titles of group nobility, Plemenite opcine. Often, too, they had serfs of their own. Communities of this kind such as those of Turopolje, Pokupje, Draganic, Domagovic, Cvetkovic, and of the Korana region, occupied entire villages and succeeded in conserving their privileges until 1848.
Austrian Military Grants
Nobility grants (Nobilitationen), 1636-1753. These include the bestowal of certain rights of nobility in return for special military service such as thirty years of service or valor in the face of the enemy.
Arms were also granted by the Austrian and Hungarian Crowns and the
of the most common devices found on Hungarian-Croatian shields is a symbol of
the many Turkish invasions of
Both countries share the same characteristics in heraldry. Eagles, with one or two heads, are prominent in both German and Austrian-Croatian arms.
Although the heater shield is common in Italian arms, the more ornate jousting shields are often also used. A commoner's helmet is steel-colored, the visor lowered, seen in profile. Crests are rarely used.
Science of Heraldry
Family Coat of Arms
basic components of any armorial achievement are the shield, crest and motto.
Of these three the shield is the most important since the arms are depicted on
the it. The crest, when it exists, surmounts the arms and is usually shown on a
wreath of the two main colors of the shield. Historically, the crest was
attached to the top of the knight's helmet and acted as an additional form of
identification in battle. Mottoes were often a
war-cry or slogan used in battle, and later adopted by the clan. They
are not hereditary and no one is compelled to bear one, nor is any authority
needed to adopt a motto, the matter is left purely to the personal pleasure of
the individual. When a motto exists it is usually shown on a scroll beneath the
shield. Though not necessarily part of the coat of arms, three additional
features of the heraldic achievement deserve mention, namely, the helmet,
mantling and wreath. The helmet serves to remind us of the turbulent days of
Heraldry in its origin and purpose was a visual art. Its main tinctures or colors were: gules or red, symbol of martial fortitude and magnanimity; azure or blue, symbol of loyalty and truth; sable or black, symbol of constancy and grief; vert or green, symbol of hope and joy; and purpure or purple, symbol of royalty and justice. The chief metals used were or (gold), depicted as a bright yellow, symbolizing generosity and elevation of mind, and argent (silver) depicted as white indicating peace and sincerity. The furs of heraldry signify a mark of dignity, in addition to the symbolisms attached to their various colors. The furs are: ermine, ermines, erminois, pean, vair, countervair, potent and counter-potent. Simple coats of arms are usually the most ancient, often consisting of a single division of the shield into two colors or one color and a metal.
From its simple and practical origins, Heraldry gradually developed into a highly sophisticated art. As the number of coats of arms multiplied, an ever increasing number of objects, animals, birds and even mythical creatures began to be depicted on shields. These devices were often symbolic of some glorious deed or praiseworthy act of the owner and were founded on fact or tradition appertaining to the bearer's or his ancestors. Sometimes, religious symbols or devices forming a play on the bearers name or occupation were used.
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