The Book Project
The workshop shall not lead to the usual kind of conference proceedings. The idea is rather to write some kind of a “Companion to the history of heralds” together.
While there are already two good collections of papers on heralds, there has not been a structured overall assessment of the history of heralds so far, an overview on the history of heralds that could bring together the different results of research into a common structure.
The planned publication should thus work as an introduction into the history of heralds, presenting the actual state of the art, and demonstrating at the same time the very promising perspectives of this topic for future research, including all the openings it offers for other fields of research, in history but also beyond.
It would be ideal if the book combined larger introductive texts with a good number of small case studies (on persons, sources, events, etc.) which would exemplify the statements made in the general text passage in the most illustrative way.
How could this book be organised? As a base for the joint discussion, I would propose the following plan:
- General historical development of the office (from 12th to 18th c., its spread over Europe, the inner hierarchy of the office, social backgrounds, etc.);
- Particularities of the office and its history (the oath, the habit, the office names, its immunity, privileges, etc.);
- Functions, duties and missions (different fields of function, competences and knowledge, the link between heralds and heraldry, etc.);
- The writings of heralds (chronicles, reports, treatises, armorials, poems, etc.);
- The perception of the office of arms by the heralds themselves and by others (legends of origins, satirical poems, etc.).
But – importantly – this is just a proposition, open to be discussed by all the participants of the workshop and those who are interested in the subject.
Or, to rephrase the question: What do you think should be part of such an introduction into the History of Heralds? What is important to know dealing with heralds? What are the great guiding lines and perspectives of this subject? Which misunderstandings should be cleared up? What links should be established, which main lines of the topic should be revealed?
Please feel free to comment, specify, discuss, …
 Bertrand Schnerb (ed.), Le héraut, figure européenne (XIVe-XVIe siècle), Lille 2006 (= Revue du Nord 366-367) ; Katie Stevenson (ed.), The Herald in Late Medieval Europe, Woodbridge 2009.