Former arms of the House of Medici

Medici_ancien

In use 1363? – 1465

Blazon: Or eight torteaux*

*Positioning of the torteaux seems to have been flexible; various depictions show them as 3, 3, and 2 or 1, 3, 3, and 1.

The alleged origin stories of the Medici arms are as entertaining as they are varied. One holds that one of the Medici ancestors was ennobled by Charlemagne after defeating a giant, and the torteaux represent the dents left on his shield. Another ties the arms to the family name; “medici” means “doctor,” so this theory holds that they represent pills or glasses. A more boring, but more realistic, hypothesis points out that the arms of the Moneychanger’s Guild are gules bezanté; the Medicis may simply have swapped the tinctures.

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One thought on “Former arms of the House of Medici

  1. Pingback: Former arms of the House of Medici | European Heraldry

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