(urth) Tzadkiel's ship

Stanislaus sbocian at poczta.fm
Thu Nov 29 09:16:44 PST 2007

Remember that heraldry works by symbolism. In good heraldry you don't use naturalistic depictions. The whole idea is to have a picture which can be adequately described by words, so that any particular reproduction of it (by an artist working only from the description) would be identifiable. In heraldry it is the description which is important. A particular picture painted by a particular artist has no independent meaning, and any  rendering, provided it follows the rules, is as good as another. 

 If you use one word to mean both sea and spaceships, you would use only one symbol to mean both - simply because your painter would have no idea which one you meant. If "ship volant" is a standard heraldic description (and it looks like it) it would be depicted in a standard manner - as a "heraldic ship" (probably some kind of sailing ship).

Eg, that is why you have heraldic animals - they often started as inaccurate descriptions of normal animals and got codified. Eg heraldic panther:


"In heraldry the panther is commonly used in a form known as the Panther Incensed. In this form the panther is depicted with flames coming from its mouth and ears, representing the panther's sweet odor. "

This is taken from the symbolic description of panther in the Physiologus:


"Many, yea numberless, are the tribes throughout the world whose natures we can not rightly expound nor their multitudes reckon, so immense are the swarms of birds and earth-treading animals wherever water, the roaring ocean, the surge of salt billows, encompasses the smiling bosom of earth.

We have heard about one marvelous kind of wild beast which inhabits, in lands far off, a domain renowned among men, rejoicing there in his home amid the mountain-caves. This beast is called panther, as the learned among the children of men report in their books concerning that lonely wanderer.

He is a friend, bountiful in kindness, to every one save only the dragon; with him he always lives at enmity by means of every injury he can inflict.

He is a bewitching animal, marvelously beautiful with every color. Just as, according to men holy in spirit, Joseph?s coat was variegated with hues of every shade, each shining before the sons of men brighter and more perfect than another, so does the color of this beast blaze with every diversity, gleaming in wondrous wise so clear and fair that each tint is ever lovelier than the next, glows more enchanting in its splendor, more rare, more beauteous, and more strange.

He has a nature all his own, so gentle and so calm isit. Kind, attractive, and friendly, he has no thought of doing harm to any save the envenomed foe, his ancient adversary of whom I spoke.

When, delighting in a feast, he has partaken of food, ever at the end of the meal he betakes himself to his resting-place, a hidden retreat among the mountain-caves; there the champion of his race, overcome by sleep, abandons himself to slumber for the space of three nights. Then the dauntless one, replenished with vigor, straightway arises from sleep when the third day has come. A melody, the most ravishing of strains, flows from the wild beast?s mouth; and, following the music, there issues a fragrance from the place?a fume more transporting, sweet, and strong than any odor whatever, than blossoms of plants or fruits of the forest, choicer than aught that clothes the earth with beauty. Thereupon from cities, courts, and castle-halls many companies of heroes flock along the highways of earth; the wielders of the spear press forward in hurrying throngs to that perfume?and so also do animals?when once the music has ceased.

Even so the Lord God, the Giver of joy, is gracious to all creatures, to every order of them, save only the dragon, the source of venom, that ancient enemy whom he bound in the abyss of torments; shackling him with fiery fetters, and loading him with dire constraints, he arose from darkness on the third day after he, the Lord of angels, the Bestower of victory, had for three nights endured death on our behalf. That was a sweet perfume throughout the world, winsome and entrancing.  "

Hello brunians,

Thursday, November 29, 2007, 3:29:05 AM, you wrote:

> I picture it as a polygonal hull with masts on all sides.

> .

>>> On Nov 28, 2007 1:12 PM, Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> wrote:

>>>> Severian-the-Autarch might
>>>> still call such a picture "a ship" in his writing of the incident, but
>>>> the
>>>> actions and thoughts he attributes to Severian-the-boy are consistent
>>>> with
>>>> seeing a drawing resembling watercraft visible nearby or in books and
>>>> art
>>>> available to him.

>>> But we are given to understand that people of Sev's time don't
>>> even distinguish between riverine craft, pelagic craft, and
>>> cosmic craft - they are all "ships" to these people, and you
>>> might "sail" to Lune as easily as to  Bes Pelargic.

>> Then the ship on the tomb could be a picture of any thing remotely
>> resembling a non-wheeled vehicle?

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Best regards,
 Stanislaus                           mailto:sbocian at poczta.fm

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