Introduction to Byzantine heraldry of the 10th-12th centuries

Dr. Oleh Odnorozhenko, senior researcher at the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography, is one of the most reputed specialists in the field of the auxiliary sciences of history (heraldry, sphragistics, genealogy, etc.). He is notably known as author of 16 monographies and more than 100 articles, dealing with mediaeval and early modern history. He is also an editor-of-chief of the Ukrainian revue “Сфрагістичний щорічник” (= Sphragistic yearbook), and an organizer of the anniversary Kyiv international sphragistics conference.

Dr. Odnorozhenko has just published the volume Де, коли й чому виникли герби? Вступ до візантійської геральдики Х-ХІІ ст. (= Where, when and why did coats of arms appear? Introduction to Byzantine heraldry of the 10th-12th centuries) (Folio Publishers, Kharkiv, 2022, 320 p.). Mentioning the generally accepted premise that heraldry appeared in the second quarter of the 12th century „somewhere between the Rhine and Loire”, the author points out that it was the quantity of armorial Western preserved artifacts that gave the impression that heraldry is a Western phenomenon. However, achievements having heraldic features were used in late medieval Byzantium, the Russian land, Cilician Armenia and the Balkans. Approaching in this context the evolution, typology, and purpose of these achievements, the author tries to find answers to questions that inevitably arise: Did these early heraldic monuments appear under the influence of the West or did they develop on local soil?; From what time can we trace their existence?; Did they constitute a certain system similar to Western heraldry?; How were the sign systems of the Roman East and the Latin West similar and different?

More on the volume here:–HII-st

Excerpts from the book below: