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Masterclass Heraldry (3 ECTS)

Heraldry is often viewed as an antiquarian auxiliar science, or even as a hobby similar to stamp collecting. However, many scholars who are doing research into medieval manuscripts, are confronted with coats of arms or other heraldic items which more often than not challenges their knowledge of these particular cultural expressions. Moreover, there are new approaches in heraldry which contribute to current debates in the cultural and social history of the later Middle Ages. Therefore, this course explores how heraldry can serve both as a research tool and as an object of study for medievalists. It traces the development of heraldry from its origins in the second half of the twelfth to the early sixteenth century, introduces the basic terminology used to describe a coat of arms, and develops a typology of the available sources. Armorials will receive special attention both as objects for research and as a research tool for identifying coats of arms. Several methods used to identify an anonymous coat of arms will be put into practice. Lastly, the course will survey the new approaches in which heraldry contributes to the cultural and social history of the Middle Ages.


- Prof. dr L. Duerloo (Antwerp)
- Dr M. Damen (UvA)


Register by sending an email to ozsmed@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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