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Lochac KLoI - 2023-04-25

3: Ariston Hegelochou -Resub Device

OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in March of 2017, via Lochac.

Purpure, two Greek Sphinxes sejant respectant Or

Consulting Herald Matthijs van der Horst.
Submitter is from Rowany.

We depict a Greek Sphinx without human mammaries, which was part of the grounds for return. There is extensive examples of this in period art, attached.

Sphinxes are widely attested as icons and devices in Classical and Hellenistic Greek culture. There is plentiful archaeological evidence for a consistent and coherent depiction of Sphinges in the form of gemstone carvings (figs. 1 and 2), numismatic sources (figs. 3, 4, and 5), monumental funerary statuary (figs. 6, 7), and dedicatory statuary (fig. 8). Many of these depictions are strongly associated with specific communities - most obviously Cypriot Greek and Phoenician poleis, and Thebes in Greece proper - and constitute iconography that identifies those communities.

In addition, there is specific evidence from published academic work (see fig. 9) of opposed Sphinxes being used as iconography in Hellenistic Seleucid administration, in the form of Bullae: clay or bitumen seals used to notarise papyrus documents used for administration (note 1). Such seals may have been associated with state functions, but have also been frequently found in extensive private archives, indicating their use as representations of specific individuals' personal approval or authority (note 2).

As such, the depiction of a pair of winged Sphinxes - which are not depicted specifically as Gynosphinxes, but remain gendered only in facial features and hairstyle, if at all - constitutes a historically precedented mode of `heraldic' identification and display for individuals as well as communities in Ancient Greek societies (note 3).

(1) See Herbert, Sharon C. "The Hellenistic Archives from Tel Kedesh (Israel) and Seleucia-on-the-Tigris (Iraq)." Bulletin 15 (2003). [ ] . See also Hameeuw, Hendrik, and Sam Van Overmeire. "The seleucid bullae from Uruk in the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels." Mesopotamia 49 (2014): 113-142; Hicks, Jennifer Rose. "Hollow archives: Bullae as a source for understanding administrative structures in the Seleukid empire." PhD diss., UCL (University College London), 2017.

(2) Ibid.

(3) The College of Arms' previous response to a 2017 submission ["This device is returned for violating SENA A2C1 which states that "Elements must be drawn in their period forms". Blazoned on the Letter of Intent as "Greek sphinxes" the creatures lack the identifying leonine tail and, because of their posture, it is impossible to determine whether they have a woman's chest or not. On resubmission, the submitter should also use a proper heraldic posture."] does not reflect appropriate Ancient period iconographic practice, as shown in several of the attached figures in this document, and may also have been based on a naïve understanding of the Greek terminology: androsphinx does not mean `male sphinx' or imply a gendered male/female typology of sphinges, but rather distinguishes human-headed sphinxes from Egyptian part-leonine monsters whose heads were those of rams or hawks; as the figures appended clearly show, depictions of `gynosphinges' did not have distinct breasts. See Falkener, Edward. The Museum of Classical Antiquities: A Quarterly Journal of Architecture and the Sister Branches of Classic Art. Vol. 2. JW Parker and Son, 1853.

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