Herb Korab

Research Heraldry Herb Korab

Herbarz Polski translation

Korab herb

For each herb [clan shield, coat of arms] the blazon or verbal description of the arms is first given in authentic heraldic style, followed by a translation from the Polish description by Niesiecki. The right and left sides of a shield are identified from the standpoint of the bearer, i. e., the one holding the shield. His right would be your left and vice versa. The tinctures (colors) in heraldry are as follows: azure = blue, gules = red; sable = black; or = gold, argent = silver; vert = green. In heraldry all charges (pictures) on a shield are assumed to be facing dexter (right side) unless otherwise specified. In Polish heraldry all animals or birds are assumed to be in their natural coloring unless otherwise specified.


Arms: gules, within a double prowed ark, or, a stonemasoned tower proper with a top embattled. For a crest, the charge of the arms.


There should be an ark of gold in a red field, with a gray mast; the same is seen in the crest. Thus it is described in Paprocki's Gniazdo cnoty [Nest of Virtue], p. 509; in O herbach, p. 462; in Bielski, p. 113; in Okolski, volume 1, p. 413, and volume 2, p. 179; in Klejnoty, p. 56; and in the manuscript of Kojalowicz. At one time there was a sail on the mast, such as is commonly seen on ships; later, for new services, a tower was inserted in place of the mast, with a crenellated (embattled) top.


Paprocki says in Gniazdo that these arms were brought to Poland from Germany, by a knight named Miorsz; but in his later book on arms he states that the arms came from England with that same knight. Bielski also speaks of England; others say Robert, Bishop of Kraków, first brought them to Poland. Parisius surmises that these arms were acquired by descendants of Sarmatian Vandals when they devastated France with Prince Krok in the 5th century and overran many port cities. St. Prosper added that they did so by "good judgment. The cities were not located on rivers to the sea; the barbarians overcame artifices, and their arms grew mighty in their fury." From this Parisus concludes that those who took part in this expedition were given Korab as their arms... Or it may have happened in the time of Emperor Justinian, of whom he says, based on Cedrinus, that when the Slavic Huns [sic] attacked Thrace, always successfully, he had great ships built and put in the river Danube, to bar the way for the invaders. The Slavs, however, sank some of the ships, and captured others; perhaps those most responsible for this received the Ark in their arms in commemoration. From all this one can conclude that in dealing with such ancient events we can surmise more than we can prove. What is sure, as Bonnani wrote in Ordines Equest. [Knightly Orders], p. 85, is that once King Louis of France established a new cavalry for a holy war; each member was to wear around his neck a ship on a golden coin, and the order was called Equites Navis [Knights of the Ship].


Of this family Długosz expresses his opinion that members of the Korab clan were "upright and moderate."


Forebears of This House


Robert was castellan of Sieradz circa 1081. His son Robert, or as some spell it, Rupert, oversaw several monasteries of Wroclaw, Silesia (in Vitae Episcoporum Cracov. [Lives of the Krakow Bishops], Starowolski erred by writing Vladislaviensis [Wladyslaw] instead of Vratislaviensis [Wroclaw]); he was chosen by the Wroclaw chapter to be bishop of Wroclaw. That he discharged that office worthily is shown by the fact that in 1142-in an example rarely seen in those times-he was unanimously elected and invited by the canons of Kraków to take over their diocese. He administered it, too, with pastoral solicitude, devotion to church discipline, and humility, as if he held no high office; he was particularly generous to the poor, and was beloved in the eyes of all. He enlarged the Krakow cathedral from the very foundation, and consecrated it; and with all this he served only two years in that position before he paid his debt to mortality, in 1144. See Starowolski, loc. cit., and Paprocki.


Mrokota oversaw monasteries of Poznan, and the Poznan, chapter elected him bishop of that diocese; having tended the flock entrusted to him in a saintly manner for ten years, he passed on into eternity in 1196 and was buried in the Poznan, cathedral; see Długosz, Vitae Episcoporum Posnan. [Lives of the Bishops of Poznan]. Others include Jan Radlica, bishop of Kraków, among the forbears of this house, but I will speak of him under the Radlickis.


Zbislaw was wojewoda [royal governor] of Sieradz in 1242. Piotr was a castellan in 1400, but Paprocki does not say of what district. I spoke of Zbislaw in volume one. Okolski includes Baldwin, Bishop of Kraków, among the members of clan Korab, but Starowolski associates him with the Aichingiers, which is where I spoke of him.


Sedziwój or Sandek of Korab arms was rector of the Academy of Krakow and Gniezno canon, a man devoted to God. It was he who, when King Kazimierz lost a battle at Chojnice, prayed ardently before the crucifix and begged God with tears in his eyes to reveal to him the reason for this unfortunate war. All night long he persisted, wearing a hair-shirt, sighing to God, and it was revealed to him that none other than the King was to blame for the army's defeat in this time of need-the King's sins were the sole reason. He was ordered to go to the King and remind him of them, if the King mended his ways, God promised better success from then on. If not, he was to foretell certain doom and the vengeance of God. Sandek went in simple clothes, barefoot, to Brzesc; there he went before the King, rebuked him for his disobedient life, and proclaimed his sins, which God had revealed to him. This Sandek died in Klodawa. Długosz, book 13, p. 162. Pruszcz, no. 83, from Acta Academ. Cracov. [Records of the Academy of Krakow], Vosdasius in Ethica 1. 3, 1453. In Archiepiscopi Gnesn. [Gniezno Archbishops] Damalewicz says later this Sedziwój became a regular canon in Klodawa, and was rector of the monastery there in 1476, and there many of his manuscripts remained.


Bearers of These Arms


Gorzycki Nadslawski
Boguslawski Hordziejowski Orzeszko
Bojemski Jankowski Ostrowski
Bronowski Kalowski Piatkowski
Brzozowski Karpinski Piecznowski
Chajecki Karski Pierucki
Chociszowski Kobierzycki Poradowski
Chojecki Kocielkowski Radlicki
Chrzanowski Koldowski Rajski
Chwalibowski Kotowiecki Rusocki
Chyzanowski Kowalski Skarszewski
Czacharowski Krapiewski Skulski
Czartkowski Krynicki Śliwnicki
Czepiel Kucharski Sobocki
Czerniecki Laskowski Sokolowski
Dabrowski Lutenski Tarusz
Drozdowski Łabęcki Wojslawski
Ejsmont Laski Zadzik
Gadkowski Lobeski Zdzenicki
Galeski Lopatecki Zeromski
Gliniecki Loza  
Gloskowski Milaczowski  
Gniazdowski Molski  
Godziatkowski Morawski  


[Added by the 19th century editor, Bobrowicz:] In addition to the families listed here, Dunczewski, Kuropatnicki, Malachowski, and Wieladek and others give these families in their armorials as also using these arms:

























Copyright © 1999 Leonard J. Suligowski. Used by permission. This article originally appeared in Rodziny  (May 1999), the journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America.