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Illyrian armorials

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Illyrian Armorials (Serbian: Ilirski grbovnici) are a group of armorials compiled from mainly fictional medieval coats of arms, among which there can be found several actual coats of arms, during the late 16th to mid 18th century. They are all copies based on alleged lost original of the Ohmučević Armorial (Ohmučevićev grbovnik), commissioned by Petar Ohmučević (died 1599), a person of Ragusan origin, who went to become an admiral of Spanish court and navy at some point between 1584 and 1594. It is an example of the earliest ("Interconfessional") form of Illyrism idea and notion of so-called "Illyrian Empire", which formed the ideological basis for both the later rise of nationalism in the Balkans among its South Slavs, and the idea of unification.

The armorials combine historical (late medieval) with fictional coats of arms to construct the notion of an "Illyrian Empire". This fictional Empire happened to coincide exactly with the sphere of interest of the Spanish Empire in the Balkans at the time, and hence also Petar's own. Petar Ohmučević personal goal was to confirm his own "Illyrian" noble origins, after he rose to the rank of admiral in the Spanish navy, and in order to qualify for the greater chivalric orders of Hapsburg Spain at the time, for which was necessary to prove descent from eight noble and purely Catholic great-grandparents. Ohmučević was granted the status of nobleman in 1594, which is taken as the terminus ante quem of the armorial.

Ohmučević's armorial can thus be considered a personal project in inventing and probing one's origin, or even a hoax, as he invented genealogy in order to defraud a Spanish court and qualify for the coveted title. However, its immense influence in becoming the foundation of South Slavic or "Illyrist" heraldry in general, can't be denied. An important source for Ohmučević's heraldic inventions was the Wappenbüchlein by Virgil Solis (1555), which itself contains fictional arms of "foreign kingdoms".

The Illyrian Armorials includes the following armorials, with estimated dates in brackets:

Armorial Date Description
Ohmučević Armorial [sr]
(Ohmučevićev grbovnik)
Belgrade Armorial II
(Beogradski grbovnik II)
1574–1603 in Latin, one of the oldest and finest of the Illyrian Armorials.[1]
Korjenić-Neorić Armorial
(grbovnik Korjenića-Neorića)
1595 in Slavic (Cyrillic) and Latin.[2]
Tasovčić Armorial
(Tasovčićev grbovnik)
Berlin Armorial
(Berlinski grbovnik)
Palinić Armorial
(Palinićev grbovnik)
end of 16th, beginning of 17th in Slavic (Cyrillic) and Latin
Althann Armorial
(Altanov grbovnik)
1614 based on an older armorial, copied in Vienna, made for Austrian feldmarschall Althann.[3]
London Armorial
(Londonski grbovnik)
Skorojević Armorial
(Skorojevićev grbovnik)
1633 in Latin, based on Altan Armorial.[4]
Fojnica Armorial
(Fojnički grbovnik)
1675 made for the younger branch of the Ohmučević for Austrian nobility status.[5]
Split Armorial
(Splitski grbovnik)
Kevešić Armorial
(Kevešićev grbovnik)
1740 in Latin.[6]
Saraka Armorial
(Sarakin grbovnik)
1746 in Latin, made by Ragusan Miho Pešić for 'P. M. P'.[6]
Olovo Armorial
(Olovski grbovnik)
end of 17th in Latin, uncoloured, copy of the Korenić-Neorić Armorial, likely by Ivan Benigni.[7]
Vukoslavić Armorial
(Vukoslavićev grbovnik)
1700 in Latin, likely copied along with the Olovo Armorial, made for the Split clergyman Petar Vukoslavić.[8]
Pašković Armorial
(Paškovićev grbovnik)
1820–25 [9]
Festetić Armorial
(Festetićev grbovnik)
1837 in Latin, copy of the Ohmučević Armorial.[10]
Šafarik Armorial
(Šafarikov grbovnik)
1845 in Cyrillic, copy of the Fojnica Armorial, made for Janko Šafarik.[10]
Pašalić Armorial
(Pašalićev grbovnik)
1842 good copy of Fojnica Armorial, made by Filip Pašalić for Ljudevit Gaj.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Palavestra 2010, pp. 68–73.
  2. ^ Palavestra 2010, pp. 73–76.
  3. ^ Palavestra 2010, pp. 90–91.
  4. ^ Palavestra 2010, p. 92.
  5. ^ Palavestra 2010, p. 93.
  6. ^ a b Palavestra 2010, p. 95.
  7. ^ Palavestra 2010, pp. 93–94.
  8. ^ Palavestra 2010, pp. 94–95.
  9. ^ Palavestra 2010, p. 96.
  10. ^ a b Palavestra 2010, pp. 97–99.
  11. ^ Palavestra 2010, p. 99.


  • Kroll, Walter (1986). Heraldische Dichtung bei den Slaven. Harrassowitz. ISBN 9783447026260.
  • Palavestra, Aleksandar (2010). Ilirski grbovnici i drugi heraldički radovi. Belgrade: Dosije studio.
  • Rudić, Srđan (2006). Vlastela Ilirskog grbovnika [The Nobility of the Illyric Coat of Arms]. Istorijski institut Beograd. ISBN 978-86-7743-055-9.
This page was last edited on 10 August 2023, at 16:58
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