Talk:Herby szlachty polskiej

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Something about Polish heraldry[edit]

Polish nobility, (Szlachta), has its origins in Middle Age warrior clans who provided military support to the King, the Dukes or the Overlords. Exceptions apart, all Polish families belonging to the same noble heraldic clan had used (and have used) the same Coat of Arms. Polish original word Herb (shield, coat of arms, family crest), makes reference to the Heraldic clan as well to the Coat of Arms at the same time, although there is a proper Polish word: Ród (clan, tribe or large family).

The Polish clan had not mean consanguinity or territoriality, as do Scottish clan, but to the fact to belong to a same Warrior Group (or Knight´s Brotherhood). For that reason, there were hundreds of different families in the same heraldic clan and all of them had been entitled to use the same coat of arms. Nevertheless, in daily life, (from the 17th to the 20th centuries), the sense of belonging to a family had predominated. This is indicated by the organization of most of Polish armorials, which are arranged by specific families and not by Coat of arms (or family crest). It is known that a sense of belonging and attachment to the crest lineage existed in the old Polish consciousness and had survived from the Middle Age, but it was probably more ceremonial and symbolic than daily. Especially since there were fairly frequent instances, particularly among the poorer nobility in 19th century, of accidentally (and sometimes deliberately) identifying themselves with various Coat of arms to the heraldry offices of the partitioning countries (Prussia, Russia and Austria). In this way, members of a single family sometimes formally became members of various Coats of arms. Also in those times, Magnate families and some wealthy gentry families obtained titles (Prince, Count, Baron) and “their own” Coats of arms, (in fact, simple variations of their original Herb), from the partitioning monarchies, the French empire, the Pope and other kingdoms. Polish Coats of arms have got a name of their own, which have becoming usually from their old War Cry or their drawings. Contrary to other countries, only Nobility had entitled to use Coat of arms, in turn, to hold a family crest was meaningful of nobility. Nevertheless some prominent burgher families had a shield sometimes (Hansa merchants mainly). Those burgher coat of arms had been not allowed to use the Polish nobleman crown and were (and still are) in foreign armorials (Germans, Dutchs, etc.) yet not in Polish armorials properly. Polish coats of arms were divided in the same way as their western counterparts. However, since the coats of arms had been granted originally to clans rather to separate families, there was no need to join coats of arms into a single one when a new branch of the family was formed. Thus Polish escutcheons are rarely parted.

Example HerbPodzialWPas.png HerbPodzialWSlup.png HerbPodzialWSkos.png HerbPodzialCzterodzielny.png HerbPodzialSercowy.png
English name Parted per fess Parted per pale Parted per bend sinister Parted quarterly Parted quarterly with a heart
Polish name w pas w słup w skos czterodzielny sercowy


About Polish clans, Polish surnames and Coat of arms[edit]

Caro Giovanni:

I presume you are the author of this proposal: "move|:Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland".

The matter is that there is none Coat of arms from a Polish family.

We got a problem with the translation of the Polish word "Herb" which means, at the same time the Clan and the Coat of arms (the drawing) of this clan. So, Coats of arms belongs to the clans and not to the families. Please, if you have any time, see Polish clans, Polish Heraldry.

As an example: Korwin is not my family's Coat of arms, it is the Clan to which the Szwedowski family belongs, and the Coat of arms (the drawing) used by the clan Korwin. The Polish nobility surnames came from the Renascence, but the Polish nobility clans came from the Middle Ages, even before the Christening of Poland itself. That means we (Szwedowski family) were Korwin time before to use our actual surname (if you believe in the legend...)

As another example: Sapieha is the surname of a well known princely family, but his Clan is Lis and Lis (the fox) is also their Coat of arms. (Even if as princes of the Holly Roman Empire they use nowadays a variation). In Polish Heraldry a Variation is not another Coat of arms, it is just another drawing of the same Coat of arms. In Poland they call it a "odmiana".

So we have a problem with the Category name. We can keep the Category:Coats of arms of families from Poland and add a note at the top explaining all of this, and copy the full Category:Polish nobility coats of arms images, (and later empty and erase this Category). Or keep my work, linking it to the Category:Coats of arms by families, as I did, and empty and erase the other one.

In both cases it is OK for me. Be free to choose what do you prefer.

Best regards my friend. --Gustavo 23:41, 13 mar 2007 (CET)

Polish clans[edit]

My proposal had only to do only with the syntax of the phrase, not with the contents. All other nations have infact: Category:Coats of arms of ..... of NameoftheNation. So if clans and families are two different things in Poland, there should simply be in Commons two Categories: Category:Coats of arms of clans of Poland (which can be a sub-category for Category:Coats of arms of Poland on a par with Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland) and Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland. I must add that coats of arms should be categorized by family, in such a way to include also non-noble families, because in ancient times also bourgeois had coats of arms. Category:Coats of arms of the nobility of Poland can be a sub-catgory within Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland.

Please note: Next time you need to contact me or anyone else about Commons, please use either the messege page in Commons, or write the comment in the appropriate "discussion" page such as this one. I am working at it:wiki very little, in this period. I am duplicating this exchange of messages there anyway. Best wishes. --G.dallorto 11:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

A request[edit]

Dear Gustavo Szwedowski, since you seem to be learned in Polish heraldry, I have a request to make you. I noticed that in the category: Category:Coats of arms to be classified there is a lot of unsorted Polish coats of arms. I was wondering whether you felt like picking them out and placing them in the appropriate category. (Yesterday I catalogued all Italian coats of arms that were in this category).

Furthermore, since the Category:Polish nobility coats of arms images must be renamed into Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland anyway, I was wondering whether this could be the occasion to create sub-catgories to make it easier to browse the category. Nowadays, it is too big a category. I arranged the Italian coats of arms by states and by families, but of course other criteria could be used, including the alphabetical one (e.g. subcategories like: Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland - Letter A, :Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland - Letter B and so on. I leave you to decide about, since you are more learned in the matter than I am. Thank you in advance. --G.dallorto 12:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


To create a new category the method is very simple: just write the name of it at the bottom of the picture you want to move into it (of course you have to delete the name of the category you don't want it to belong to any longer). For instance: write: Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland - Letter A (or whatever). When you save the page, you will see a red link (meaning the category does not exist yet) in the page. Just click on the red link, write into the blank space any explanation you might want to appear in the category you are creating (e.g. "This pages is for coats of arms of families of Poland whose family name begins with letter A") and sub-categorise it (in this case, this new page must belong to Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland, of course, otherwise nobody will find it. Save the page, and it is done.

For Civic unsorted coats of arms, you could temporarily store them all into Category:Coats of arms of cities and villages of Poland, wich is however now too big a category and will have to be split into sub-categories and sorted in the future by regions and provinces. But at the moment it is better that Polish municipal coats of arms be sorted and poured here than into Category:Coats of arms to be classified, where nobody will be able to find them.

If you have to answer me, I prefer you to answer me here. Currently I am working on Commons, and I am contributing to it:wiki very very little. So don't bother about it:wiki.

I hope I was of some help. And as for your 4,000 coats of arms... well, I don't sure envy you ant the task you want to fulfil. It's an awful lot! :-)

Best wishes.--G.dallorto 14:15, 20 March 2007 (UTC)