The Illyrian Armorials (Serbo-Croatian: Ilirski grbovnici) are a group of armorials compiled from mainly fictional medieval coats of arms, among which there can be found several actual coats of arms, during the late 16th to mid 18th century. They are all copies based on alleged lost original of the Ohmučević Armorial (Ohmučević grbovnik), commissioned by Petar Ohmučević (died 1599), a person of Ragusan origin, who went to become an admiral of Spanish court and navy at some point between 1584 and 1594. It is an example of the earliest ("Interconfessional") form of Illyrism idea and notion of so-called "Illyrian Empire", which formed the ideological basis for both the later rise of nationalism in the Balkans among its South Slavs, and the idea of unification.
The armorials combine historical (late medieval) with fictional coats of arms to construct the notion of an "Illyrian Empire". This fictional Empire happened to coincide exactly with the sphere of interest of the Spanish Empire in the Balkans at the time, and hence also Petar's own. Petar Ohmučević personal goal was to confirm his own "Illyrian" noble origins, after he rose to the rank of admiral in the Spanish navy, and in order to qualify for the greater chivalric orders of Hapsburg Spain at the time, for which was necessary to prove descent from eight noble and purely Catholic great-grandparents. Ohmučević was granted the status of nobleman in 1594, which is taken as the terminus ante quem of the armorial.
Ohmučević's armorial can thus be considered a personal project in inventing and probing one's origin, or even a hoax, as he invented genealogy in order to defraud a Spanish court and qualify for the coveted title. However, its immense influence in becoming the foundation of South Slavic or "Illyrist" heraldry in general, can't be denied. An important source for Ohmučević's heraldic inventions was the Wappenbüchlein by Virgil Solis (1555), which itself contains fictional arms of "foreign kingdoms".
The Illyrian Armorials includes the following armorials, with estimated dates in brackets:
|Belgrade Armorial II
(Beogradski grbovnik II)
|1574–1603||in Latin, one of the oldest and finest of the Illyrian Armorials.|
|1595||in Slavic (Cyrillic) and Latin.|
|end of 16th, beginning of 17th||in Slavic (Cyrillic) and Latin|
|1614||based on an older armorial, copied in Vienna, made for Austrian feldmarschall Althann.|
|1633||in Latin, based on Altan Armorial.|
|1675||made for the younger branch of the Ohmućević for Austrian nobility status.|
|1746||in Latin, made by Ragusan Miho Pešić for 'P. M. P'.|
|end of 17th||in Latin, uncoloured, copy of the Korenić-Neorić Armorial, likely by Ivan Benigni.|
|1700||in Latin, likely copied along with the Olovo Armorial, made for the Split clergyman Petar Vukoslavić.|
|1837||in Latin, copy of the Ohmućević Armorial.|
|1845||in Cyrillic, copy of the Fojnica Armorial, made for Janko Šafarik.|
|1842||good copy of Fojnica Armorial, made by Filip Pašalić for Ljudevit Gaj.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coats of arms of Illyria.|
- Kroll, Walter (1986). Heraldische Dichtung bei den Slaven. Harrassowitz.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Palavestra, Aleksandar (2010). Илирски грбовници и други хералдички радови. Belgrade: Dosije studio.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Rudić, Srđan (2006). Властела Илирског грбовника [The Nobility of the Illyric Coat of Arms]. Istorijski institut Beograd. ISBN 978-86-7743-055-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)