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Illyrian arms

Reference code
Illyrian arms
before 1595
Level of description
Extent and format
Vellum; ff. iv + 303.
Leather binding, brown (rebacked).
Scope and content
'Rodoslovie navischenikh i svetikh otatsa i vlashtitikh..' (fol. 2).

A collection of the arms of the leading families of Illyria (Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, etc.), said according to the bilingual titlepage (fol. 2) to have been compiled by Stanislas Rubchich, king of arms to Emperor Stephen Nemanja (i.e. Stephen Dushan, 1331-55) and to have been transcribed from an ancient manuscript written in Illyrian characters in the monastery of St Basil on Mount Athos (?Hilandar), Serbian, written in Bosnian cyrillic, and Latin. The collection is found, with some variations, in a number of manuscripts, in two recensions.

The present exemplar is the earliest known and closely related to a Zagreb manuscript (the Korjenich-Neorich collection) dated 1595 (see the facsimile in Ivo Banac, Grbovi biljezi Identiteta (Zagreb, 1991)). It appears to have been made for a member of the Milienovich family whose arms with identifications in decorative cartouches are at fol. 63 (the name 'Letiezza' is written under Milienovich in smaller letters).

Contents:- Titlepage, bilingual but not literally translated, fol. 2; index of names, fols. 3-4; coloured figures with arms of:- St Jerome as patron of Illyria, fol. 5; St Stephen and Stephen Nemanja (Dushan) described as patron and leader (dux, voevod) of Illyria, fol. 6; BVM and child as patron of Illyria, fol. 7; St Stephen as patron of Bosnia, fol. 8; arms of Stephen Nemanja (Dushan), fol. 9v; arms of Illyria, fol. 11v, Macedonia, fol. 13v, Bosnia, fol. 15v, Dalmatia, fol. 17v, Croatia, fol. 19v, Slavonia, fol. 21v, Bulgaria, fol. 23v, Surbia, fol. 25v, Rascia, fol. 27v, Primordia et Kumania, fol. 29; arms of leading families, fols. 30v-302v. Coloured arms throughout. Bilingual identifications, with some errors in transcription. Arms of at least two families missing (stubs before fols. 218, 227 once contained arms of the families of Barzoevich and Tesevchich according to the index).
Previous reference number(s)
Serbian; Latin
Related units of description
See J. A. Goodall, 'An Illyrian armorial in the Society's collection', A.J., 75 (1995), 255-310, for a full description of the contents, and an account of other sources.