Heraldry puzzle Spain

Heraldic used by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain 1492-1504 (so till the death of Isabella) ...

The "Tanto monta" is explained here ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanto_mont ... o_Fernando
... the castle refers to Castile and the lion to the kingdom Leon (which belonged to Isabella). The other two signs refer to Aragon (vertical stripes) and Aragon Sicily (eagles with vertical stripes). The fruit at the bottom stands for Granada, which was just conquered in 1492.I don't know, for which specific aspect the surrounding eagle stands.


I'm more interested in the 5 arrows with a bow at the other side ...

The 5 arrows were used by the Rothschild family. "The first appearance of a bundle of arrows representing the family was in the Austrian patent for arms of 1817 that placed the brothers on the first rung of the nobility." There were 5 Rothschild brothers in the business, so the reason was given for 5 arrows as symbol of unity. If any of the thought of the anti-Jewish connection of Isabella in the year 1492.


also this, whereby there was a family debate if the arrows should point downwards or upwards

http://www.rothschildarchive.org/ib/?do ... faq_5arrow

Then there was the Falange, the Spanish Fascist movement, in the 1930s ...


... which their choice of the symbols clearly related to the symbol of Ferdinand and Isabella. The movement also turned against Jews.


There is a big number of bows with arrow in heraldry ...
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... n_heraldry
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... n_heraldry

.. but a bow in very relaxed state is a rare object.

Such a relaxed bow is at the picture of the Moon card in the PMB addition, as we earlier - likely with some right - assumed, referring to the moon goddess Diane.


I remember dark, that we earlier had also other relaxed bows. Mike ? Do you remember one ...

Re: Heraldry puzzle Spain

Hi Huck, Glad to see you're still going strong here.
I have to say that I do not see a bow string in this womans hand. I recall reading someone somewhere speculating that this figure is diana with a bow string. But I see 2 cords which disappear up under her clothes. They have knobby ends. But I see no reason at all to believe that it is a bow string. Why would it be attached under her clothes?
As for the woman holding a moon, she might be associated with diana, but there is not much else here than that crescent. Diana is usually wearing the crescent as a tiara.

Anyway, I just had to throw my 2 cents in here, because I really feel the identification of the cord(s) as a bow string is a false lead. I think it is wishful thinking.
Deliver me from reasons why you'd rather cry - I'd rather fly...
Jim Morrison - The Crystal Ship

Re: Heraldry puzzle Spain

hoo wrote: Anyway, I just had to throw my 2 cents in here, because I really feel the identification of the cord(s) as a bow string is a false lead. I think it is wishful thinking.
Well, it was discussed here (or at aeclectic, I've trouble to find it) and it dropped to my mind, when I saw this heraldry of Isabella and Ferdinand. I think, you're right, that is a doubtful. I remember (dark), that one of the cords itself was interpreted as a bow (I can't recall, where and when it was discussed).


Thinking about it, I realize, that a relaxed bow plays a major role in the scene, in which Ulysses comes back to home and all the guys in his home desiring Penelope are not able to set the bow to action. But Ulysses as the true king can and he shoots his arrow through 12 rings (zodiac symbol ?) and then kills all the admirers of Penelope ... I think, this were 108. 12 and 108 makes 120, which altogether makes 10 years in 120 months. As the poet or poetess had it, Ulysses fought 10 years in Troy, and 10 years he needed to find back home to Ithaka.

Well ... once, long ago, the Muslim forces entered Spain and desired Penelope (= Spain) long centuries and in 1492 Ulysses (= Ferdinand and Isabella) had cleared the space, in other words, they took Granada. So they might have felt.
Taking Granada was also the starting signal for Isabella and Ferdinand to invest in the idea of Columbus and his three ships. And this became a great success ... so the Ulysses legend might have been meaningful to them, as this was also a sea-journey story.

Another important symbol in later heraldry (as it has the Bourbon-center, which tells, that it's after 1700) had been the Pillars of Hercules ...


The Spanish Coat of Arms is a composition of six other coat of arms:

Gold castle in a red background of Castile
Red lion in white background of León
The red and yellow stripes of Aragon
The golden chains of Navarre
The pomegranate flower of Granada
The fleur-de-lis of the House of Bourbon. The escutcheon represents the currently reigning dynasty — today that of Bourbon-Anjou.

On either side of the Coat of Arms are the Pillars of Hercules, the mythological name given to the Straits of Gibraltar. The banner round the pillars says "Plus Ultra" which means more beyond' in Latin, referring to the Americas and the former Spanish territories.

Hercules visited in his tenth work (Ranke Graves decribed it as 10th work, I remember; this source ...
.. assumes, that it's the 11th work, and wikipedia has it as 12th work - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_apple - there are confusions about the row o the works already in very old times) the Titan Atlas and the garden of the Hesperides which had a tree with golden apples and a snake with 100 heads called Ladon around it. Atlas was located at Atlas mountains, so Hercules had to cross the sea in a golden cup made by Hephaistos (perhaps at Gibraltar). It was very hot at this day ... and Heracles threatened Helios with his famous bow and arrows to have it a little cooler.
Hercules had the job to fetch 3 apples. But he couldn't enter the garden. So he shot Ladon and asked Atlas to fetch the apples for him (only Atlas could enter the garden). Atlas couldn't, as he had to carry the heaven. So Hercules took the heaven, Atlas entered the garden and fetched the apples. But when Atlas returned, he felt very happy not to carry the heaven. So he attempted to leave Hercules with the heaven and promised to bring the apples himself. But Herakles tricked him ...so finally it was as before: Atlas had to carry the heaven.




Card 19, Tarocco Siciliano; Sicily had been long time in its history under Spanish influence

Herakles used twice the bow in the story (against Helios and against Ladon), but the bow never had an installment problem as in the Ulysses saga.


The garden of the Hesperides with snake Ladon story definitely has similarity to the Genesis story in the bible with another tree and another snake and Adam instead of Atlas.
Apples and Tree appear as "Pomegranates" in Granada ... and is as this again part in the Spanish heraldic.

Adam (bible mythology) had a problem with his sons, Kain and Abel.


That's again Tarocco Siciliano, card 18 before card 19 with a clear Atlas. The usual story has Kain using a stone ..


http://www.medienwerkstatt-online.de/lw ... 356&edit=0

... so one might have doubts about the correct identification. Tarot de Marseilles has also twins ...


... , which are not aggressive to each other, but there is a wall. Romulus and Remus had been the twins of Rome, and they produced another twin-murder-case, and the discussion had about the walls of Rome.
The death of Remus

Livy gives two versions of Remus' death. In the one "more generally received", Remus criticises and belittles the new wall, and in a final insult to the new city and its founder alike, he leaps over it. Romulus kills him, saying "So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall". In the other version, Remus is simply stated as dead; no murder is alleged. Two other, lesser known accounts have Remus killed by a blow to the head with a spade, wielded either by Romulus' commander Fabius (according to St. Jerome's version) or by a man named Celer. Romulus buries Remus with honour and regret
One may think of the condition, that the Spanish suits have other batons than the Italians.


It's a Moon card ... so the motif might well be the moon goddess Selene with her always sleeping lover Endymion, just good for 50 daughters, which she got from him. The baton (penis symbol ?) lies relaxed beside him.


The Star shows a horseman, carrying the star. That's Minchiate influence:



The next cards, Tower and Ship, in the Tarocco Siciliano are replacements of c. 1750 on the wish of an older lady Duchessa Rosalia Caccamo, who originally likely came from Castelforte in the North of the kingdom of Naples married than to Sicily and likely had been ruling in Castle Caccamo near Palermo at the end of her life.


The unbroken Tower ...


... was reported as a relative common type of Tower in Sicily by Michael Hurst (if I understood this correctly). The ship motif is near to the Minchiate card 21, Water.
Death is on horse, as in many other decks inclusive Minchiate. Hermit with lantern OR hourglas, unusually at no. 12. The hanging man (unusually no. 11) hangs at his neck ...


Relating Tarocco Siciliano to Minchiate, one can detect, that there are similarities, if one groups the trumps:

Group Fools
Minchiate: unnumbered Fool
TS: 2 Fools (one of them Misero)
Comment: Minchiate has 41 special cards (20+20+1-structure), TS has 22. The Misero is an "additional card"

Group highest trumps
Minchiate: World and Fame
TS: Atlas and Jupiter
Comment: Very different

Group 18-13
Minchiate: Sun-Moon-Star-Tower-DEVIL-Death
TS: Sun-Moon-Star-Tower-SHIP-Death
Comment: Equal, but the Devil is exchanged with

Group 12-11 Hanging Man and Hermit
Minchiate: 12 Hanging Man 1 Hermit
TS: 12 Hermit and 11 Hanging Man
Comment: They are EXCHANGED IN ROW

Group 10-9
Minchiate: 10 Chariot 9 Fortune
TS:10 Fortune 9 Chariot
Comment: They are EXCHANGED IN ROW

Group 8-5
Minchiate: 8 Justice - 7 Force - 6 Temperance - 5 Love
TS: 8 Love - 7 Justice - 6 Force - 5 Temperance
Comment: They are EXCHANGED IN ROW; the cardinal virtues stay in their row, but the relation of cardinal virtues to Love is EXCHANGED.

Group 4-1
Minchiate: 4 Grandduke Toscana - 3 Emperor - 2 Emperor - Magician
TS: 4 Constancy - 3 Emperor - Emperor - Magician
COMMENT; Whow - whow - whow ... I got it ... :-)

This curious figure .... which surely puzzled not only me ...


... called Constancy is very clearly referring to Constance, daughter of Manfred, King of Sicily, and granddaughter of Frederick II., Emperor ...



Constance of Sicily, Queen of Aragon (1249-1302)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_ ... _of_Aragon

In the heraldry Sicily is designed with


Sicilian herald in c. 1400

... with one part Aragon and one part Empire (in the case, that the eagle really referred to the Empire; the eagle also was used ...:

... by Manfred, king of Sicily.

In the shield of Isabella and Ferdinand (1492) ...

... Sicily is found in this two parts ...



... still referring to the moment of 1282 called "Sicilian Vesper", the riot, which - after some additional wars - ended the short French dominion in Sicily and turned it to a reign by Aragon, finally officially accepted in 1301, when Constance was still living.


Francesco Hayez, Dalla serie "I vespri siciliani", scena 3 (1846)

Indeed, in the course of time, "Sicily in Aragon (or Spanish) hands" became a CONSTANT factor with only few interruptions till Garibaldi in 1861, when Sicily became part of "Italy".

So Constance or Constantia gave honor to her name, opening a condition, which endured more than 500 years. Enough, to honor her in a Tarocco Siciliano at a place, which in the Minchiate was given to the Grand duke of Toscana.

Re: Heraldry puzzle Spain

hoo wrote:Hi Huck, Glad to see you're still going strong here.
I have to say that I do not see a bow string in this womans hand. I recall reading someone somewhere speculating that this figure is diana with a bow string. But I see 2 cords which disappear up under her clothes. They have knobby ends. But I see no reason at all to believe that it is a bow string. Why would it be attached under her clothes?
As for the woman holding a moon, she might be associated with diana, but there is not much else here than that crescent. Diana is usually wearing the crescent as a tiara.

Anyway, I just had to throw my 2 cents in here, because I really feel the identification of the cord(s) as a bow string is a false lead. I think it is wishful thinking.
Hi hoo,

We discussed this at length HERE. Marco made some exciting discoveries! (It begins at the third post on page 2.)

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: Heraldry puzzle Spain

After finding Constance, queen of Aragon, presented in the Tarocco Siciliano, I attempted to get a clearer picture about Constantia, the allegory in art.

Generally I thought and still think, that this Constantia looks like Minerva, similar to the Mantegna Taroochi Nr. 28, Philosophia.


Between the coins of Claudius, emperor of Rome, I found versions with Constantia ...

sitting Constantia

standing Constantia

... also one with Minerva ...


The article Mos Maiorem (= "ancestral customs") counts Constantia as a "traditional Roman value" ...
Gravitas and Constantia. Gravitas was dignified self-control. Constantia was steadiness or perseverance. In the face of adversity, a “good” Roman was to display an unperturbed façade. Roman myth and history reinforced this value by recounting tales of figures such as Gaius Mucius Scaevola, who in a founding legend of the Republic demonstrated his seriousness and determination to the Etruscan king Lars Porsenna by holding his right hand in a fire.
In 14th century Giotto painted the frescoes of the Arena Chapel and between them 7 Virtues and 7 Vices. A Virtue Constantia wasn't included, but between the Vices we find an Inconstantia ...


... paired to the virtue of Fortitudo. At a copyright photo here ...
http://www.shutterstock.com/s/geniality ... d=35801551

we see then the pair Fortitudo-Constantia (now two virtues) somewhere in Vienna, I would estimate roughly from 17th/18th century.

In my not very intensive research I didn't find much of Constantia during 15th or 16th century (Alciato hasn't a Constantia), but in 17th century suddenly the interest in this figure seems to have increased.

A sort of movement seems to start with "La Galerie des Femmes fortes" from Pierre Le Moyne as a prolongation of earlier "femmes illustres".

Pierre Le Moyne's La Gallerie des femmes fortes is a "collection" of twenty famous women from ancient, biblical and recent history. A chapter is devoted to each woman, containing a narrative of her life and a moral commentary on the virtues the woman exemplifies. The Gallerie is dedicated to Anne of Austria, who was queen regent of France at the time of its publication.


Zenobia was queen of the Roman colony of Palmyra, in present-day Syria, from 267/8 to 272 CE, after her husband was assassinated. As regent for her young son, she led a military conquest of Asia Minor and declared independence from Rome, although she was eventually defeated and taken captive.

So this is Queen Zonobia and not an allegorical Constantia. But we see the similarities. And we see, that the time plays a big role (1647), cause in 1643 the French king Louis XIII died and the new king Louis XIV had been just 5 years old. So there were now more 15 years with a dominant "female element" (Anne of Austria) in French history and so Constantia-Fortitudo got a chance:

Anne of Austria as "first Lady" in the book with 20 other ladies following (each with story and picture) . ... :-) so that is nearly a Tarocchi, though not printed on cards.


Nicolaus Poussin ...
... made a self portrait in 1650

Th description says ...
http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/p ... elfpo.html
In the self-portrait at the Louvre the artist, wearing a dark green gown and with a stole thrown over his shoulders, is shown in a slightly different pose than in the earlier version in Berlin: posture is erect, his head turned to present an almost full-face view. His facial expression is more solemn, but also less decided. Instead of funeral symbolism, the setting is the artist's studio, lent strangely abstract quality by a staggered arrangement of three framed canvases, one behind the other, whose quadratic structure is echoed by the dark doorframe behind them. It is apparent that the canvas nearest to us is empty, except for a painted inscription. At the left on the second canvas there is a woman in front of a landscape, wearing a diadem with an eye; a man's hands are reaching out to hold her shoulders. This has been interpreted as an allegory: painting crowned as the greatest of arts.

A tiny but highly significant detail is the ring Poussin is wearing on the little finger of his right hand, which rests on a fastened portfolio. The stone is cut in a four-sided pyramid. As an emblematic motif, this symbolized the Stoic notion of Constantia, or stability and strength of character.

The female figure in the background isn't mentioned in the commentary. She looks like another version of Constantia.


Some more of this story ...

Possin was the painter of the motto "Et in arcadia ego"


A further example from the year 1659, this time "German literature":

Verlachte Venus
aus Liebe der Tugend und Teütsch-gesinneten Gemühtern zur Ergetzung, sonderlich auf Begehren der Hoch- Tugend Edelen und Ehren- wehrten Constantia
aufgesetzet von Iacob Schwigern.

From the description I know, that the hero with the name "Siegreich" (= "Victorious") has a discussion with female shepherd called Constantia. It's about love, but it only imitates shepherd literature and it is "only" a moralization. Constantia has very big role in the book.

Finally ...


"Bahá'í Ethics in Light of Scripture: Volume 2: Virtues and Divine ..., Volume 2" by Udo Schaefer
http://books.google.com/books?id=06iVrK ... ue&f=false
The title sounds strange, but its remarks about the change from Fortitude to Constancy is well expressed and meets my own suspicions about the development just by "a quick research". The article starts at p. 29.


So there are two arguments (and even a third, as you will see):

1. Once there was a real Constance (Constance of Aragon), rather important for the history of Sicily under Spanish control and so "with reason" as a legendary figure inside the Tarocco Siciliano

2. A contemporary mood in 17th century, which favored the virtue Constantia as a "new virtue"

3. A third "Constancy" development is given by the condition, that in the Spanish Monarchy repeated in 1665 that, what has happened in French monarchy before. The old king died, and the new king was to young to take the reign (in Spain in 1665 4 years old).
In French, where this happened in 1643 (Louis XIV. 5 years old) we saw, that a period of female dominion started. Something similar happened after 1665 in Spain and possibly the Tarocchi activities in Sicily depended on it. Francesco Caetani, Viceroy in Naples, who is said to have introduced Tarocchi to Sicily, had married c. 1661 in second late marriage the "Pimentella", an older lady of some importance for the women Habsburg courts in Vienna and Spain.

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