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Elements of Romanian Heraldry

Transylvania
Introduction   Moldavia   Walachia   Transylvania   Romania

For a long time, although having a different position inside the Hungarian kingdom and latter when being subject of the Ottoman Empire, Transylvania did not have a heraldic representation to symbolize it. The Transylvanian coat of arms appeared toward the end of the 16th century. The heraldic shield was divided horizontally through the middle. Inside the upper half there was an emerging wing spread black aquila and inside the lower one seven donjons disposed four and three. Transylvania had been colonized by the Hungarian kings with Secui (Turkoman people that accompanied Hungarians during their migration) in the 10th century and with Germans come from Saxony in the 12th century. The Germans established here either built cities near previous human settlements or raised existent boroughs to fortress condition, seven of all. That's how the German name of Transylvania appeared, Siebenbürgen (meaning seven boroughs). So, the seven donjons on the Transylvanian coat of arms stand for seven cities. Latter, just like on the other two Romanian principality coats of arms, the main element became flanked by the astral bodies: a sun at right and a waxing moon at left (presently waning on the Romanian coat of arms). (Remember once again in heraldry we report to the left or right of the shield, coat or representation, not the left or right of the beholder.)

Coat of arms of Transylvania on Habsburg copper greschl 1765 (Kupfer-Greschl) - Maria Tereza

In 1659 the Diet of Transylvania tore apart the coat of arms, the furnitures being dealt between the privileged nations: the emerging aquila was decided to be symbolizing the Hungarians, the seven boroughs the Saxons and the moon and sun the Secui. The Romanian proposal to include a representation of Dacia on the coat was not accepted. Complete shame, I guess, the only aborigines in Transylvania not to have a representation of their own! The eagle had been present in the Transylvanian heraldry prior to establishing a coat of arms for the principality. Given that most of the Roman legions in Dacia had been stationed in the latter Transylvania, it is fairly reasonable to assume that actually the aquila was a living symbol and not a symbol arbitrarily just made up.



Introduction   Moldavia   Walachia   Transylvania   Romania

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section by Adrian Homutescu