Pithon erect (Period)

Pithon erect (Period)

The pithon is a reptilian monster, essentially a bat-winged serpent.  It is sometimes called an “amphiptère”, especially in French blazon.  When leaping, it may also be called a “jaculus”; if the wings are feathered (bird’s) wings, rather than bat-wings, it should be blazoned a “winged serpent”.  No heraldic difference is granted between the two forms.

The pithon is a period charge, found in the arms of the Portuguese poet Camões (d.1580) [Woodward 294].  Brooke-Little has shown [Her.Alph 170] that the heraldic pithon is a variant of the wyvern, and in some cases was drawn as such; thus no difference is granted in the Society between the two monsters.

Society heraldry doesn’t seem to define a default posture for the pithon; “erect” is the most common, in which posture the wings are addorsed, as in the illustration.

When the natural constrictor-type serpent is meant, the term “natural python” is used.  For related charges, see dragon.

Llywela o Landaff bears:  Or, a pithon erect purpure.

Reynald il Bianco bears:  Per chevron inverted sable and gules, overall a winged serpent erect displayed argent.

Ilya Azhtelstinevich Gryaznie bears:  Per bend sinister vert and argent, a jaculus, his wings above the line of division, counterchanged.

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