Centaur

Centaur passant (Period)

Centaur passant (Period)

Leonine sagittary passant drawing a bow (Period)

Leonine sagittary passant drawing a bow (Period)

The centaur is a monster from Greek myth, with the body and legs of a horse and the torso, arms and head of a human.  Male and female centaurs are found in Society heraldry; blazons of posture (e.g., “passant”) refer to the equine portion, not the human.

Nearly all of the period heraldic examples of the centaur show it with a bow and arrow, as in the arms of Bardi, c.1550 [BSB Cod.Icon 278:81], or in the crest of Mackonele of the Yles, c.1601 [Bedingfeld 147].  Such cases may also be blazoned a “sagittary” or “sagittarius”.

A “leonine-centaur” (or, with a bow, a “leonine-sagittary”) has the body of a lion, instead of a horse; it’s found in the attributed arms of King Stephen of England, c.1097 [Dennys 119].

The illustrations show a centaur passant and a leonine-sagittary passant drawing a bow.

Chuluun the Scribe bears:  Gules, two sagittaries salient addorsed Or.

Tatiana Aleksandrovna bears:  Or, a female centaur passant within a bordure gules.

Piers of Malmesbury bears:  Per pale gules and azure, in pale two leonine sagittaries passant argent.

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