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Countess Elizabeth Bathory in 1580 at age twenty.
© 2015-2019 ElizabethBathory.Org
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Countess Elizabeth Bathory's Fortress Čachtice ruin, Slovakia, present-day.
© Jozef Borovsky
Imgage source photography: ID 18175803 © Tomas1111 | Dreamstime.com
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Bathory of Ecsed Coat of Arms - Elizabeth Bathory's family coat of arms. The three white stripes represent, according to some, three wolves' teeth, or three dragon claws. It's probably the latter. Why, exactly? Well, that's lost to history now. The dragon, however, is easily explained. It's the King of Croatia, Bohemia, Romans (Germany), Hungary, and Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund Luxembourg's symbol of his societatis draconistrarum (Society of the Dragon). The Bathorys used the wolves' teeth and dragon motif in their coat of arms in various forms right until their extinction by the Habsburgs in the seventeenth century.
In medieval symbology of the Knights Templar (c. 1119 to c. 1312), Satan was represented by the lion. All Templar knights were forbidden to hunt any wild animal except for the Lion. Furthermore, Muslims were represented by the dragon armorial. The Templars were, of course, exterminated as heretics, not for their beliefs, but because the French kingdom was bankrupt as a result of waging futile crusades. Templar wealth was confiscated by the French King during the Avignon Papacy era - with the blessing of the Avignon Pope.
The Bathory crest includes the dragon, emblem of the societatis draconistrarum (Society of the Dragon). It is the first such elitist, and purely secular organisation in history. The Society of the Dragon was the government of Sigismund's new Hungary. Its emblem was the Dragon of Saint George which encircled the member's ancestral coat of arms, symbolising that Draconists, as the members were known, are beyond any relation with the "natural" world. By the power of the dragon, they were imbued, on a cosmic level, as bringers of stability or disorder, stasis or dynamism, life or death as the champions of Hungary. The society had a triple purpose - to safeguard the king's reign, to destroy the papal schism, and all enemies of Hungary - the latter was open to interpretation an any given day. Its exclusively elitist members solemnly vowed themselves loyalty to each other, by their titles, lands, and mutual protection which extended beyond death. Draconists, therefore, swore to uphold an eternal covenant.
Why did Sigismund choose an extinct heretical symbol for his knightly order? Read about it in the Chrysalis Books.
The coat of arms depicted here is a modern representation, but its based on the real historic medieval Serbian Lazareviċ design from about the same time when the Bathorys were inducted into the order.
Artwork/Design: © Jozef Borovsky