Arms
(4,402 words)

1. Definition, origin, and forms

In the Western society of estates (see Estates, society of) of the Middle Ages and early modern period, (coats of) arms (German Wappen from Middle High German wâpen, French armoiries [1]) were important symbols of rank and status, the descent and relationships of an individual, a family (Family coat of arms), or a corporate body. They came into being around 1100 in the regions of (Central) Europe where feudal society had its de…

Cite this page
Walther, Gerrit, Lück, Heiner and Biller, Josef H., “Arms”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_030030>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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