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. HERALDIC RULES - Exceptions

"Moi, je sais le blason, j'en veux tenir école,
Comme si devers l'Inde on eût eu dans l'esprit
la sotte vanité de ce jargon frivole."

La Fontaine’s gentle mockery, in his Fables, has in no way been a deterrent to the ever-growing number of people interested in the science, or art, of armorial bearings.

Given the immense possibilities opened up by computers, it is only natural to make use of such a wonderful means of presenting the rudiments of this science in a vivid manner.
That is the object of our CD-Roms.

Our software is aimed at enabling you:

- to become versed in the principles of heraldry, in consulting our guide.
- to understand the rules of blazoning, in explaining through our glossary those words whose meaning is currently unknown to you.
- to show the design of the various elements which can decorate a shield.
- to initiate you in the study of an armorial stored in the computer.

This study will be restricted to the shield, which is the most significant feature of heraldry. In the Middle Ages, crests were also among the means of recognition, joined later by helmets, crowns, mantles, supports, devices or the smaller cris. But all these external decorations oblige us to depart from the art of blazoning, properly speaking, to enter in the field of ornamentation. So we will stay with the main subject, after nevertheless giving you a sample of the extravagant crests worn by the knights in the tournaments.