Compagnia del Chiodo from Blasone o sia armalario

Dublin Core


Compagnia del Chiodo from Blasone o sia armalario


Shielding bearing the crown of thorns


The represented coat of arms, which displays the crown of thorns, appealed to the knight and his sponsor as defenders of Christianity. According to the Gospel, a crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus leading up to the events of the crucifixion. The gesture was intended to both cause pain as well as to mock the religious figure’s authority. In Christianity the crucifixion assumes particular significance, as Jesus died for the sins of man. Subsequently, the placement of the crown of thorns on a crest, and its evocation of the crucifixion, serves as allegory for medieval understandings of sin. In particular, throughout the Middle Ages many knights considered their suffering on the battlefield as a form of absolution. Similar to the way in which Jesus’ suffering was thought to have exonerated humanity from its wrongdoings, the suffering of knights was considered to achieve a similar outcome. As a result, a shield containing the cross of thorns not only acts as a profession of faith but informs understandings of the religious appeal of warfare.


Jay Tucker


Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Oversize Ms. Codex 1487
Blasone o sia armolario


19th Century


Kaeuper, Richard W. Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry. Univ Of Pennsylvania Pr, 2014.






Jay Tucker, “Compagnia del Chiodo from Blasone o sia armalario,” War & Conquest in Medieval Europe, accessed February 23, 2024,