QuestionQuestion

Provide information, including images if possible, about the crosses representing each medieval guild.
1. Schwarzhäupter (Black Heads)
2. Blazon of the Paris Furriers
3. Wiener Gewerbewappen Buchdrucker (Viennese Commercial Book Printers)
4. Zunftwappen Dachdecker (Roofer Coats of Arms)
5. Stemma dell’arte dei giudici e notai (Coats of Arms for Judges and Lawyers)
6. Chaine de Rotisseurs (Guild of Roasters, or Chefs)

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1. Schwarzhäupter (Black Heads): The Schwarzhäupter, also known as the Brotherhood of Black Heads, was a 14th century Prussian guild based in Riga. They were unmarried shipbuilders, merchants, and craftsmen who originally banded together as a military outfit, based upon their coat of arms. The Prussian cross emphasized their nationality and was loosely based on older Crusader square crosses. The three “black” figures looked African, indicating that this guild engaged in trade with African merchants. The “black” people in the coat of arms could also symbolize the persecution they faced in a foreign land (as Riga was not a part of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1340s). By the early 15th century, the Riga government considered the Black Heads a valuable paramilitary force and gave them the legal right to defend the city from naval invasion....
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