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The Coat of Arms of Citerna

[image ALT: A coat of arms depicting a well, and behind it a shadoof or asilla.]

A landscape with a round well of white stone and a coping of ochre bricks, flanked sinister by a forked tree couped, in the fork of which a water carrier's yoke with a brown handled pot at each end, all proper; the dexter pot hanging over the well flanked by two mullets or.

20c tile on the façade of a building
in the frazione of Pistrino.

I have for now no strict information on the origin, meaning or date of these arms, although as a general rule naturalistic arms are very late. Here we have a bit of a mixture: everything naturalistic except for the very heraldic mullets, which in the absence of further information for now, I'm going to suspect of having been the original arms.

It is clear, however, that the well is intended to remind you of the placename Citerna, a cistern. This is probably a case of punning arms rather than due to any actual cistern since the origin of the name Citerna is unknown: while a Latin cisterna or cistern appears likely, it is not attested, and at least one scholar (G. Donnini) has maintained that the placename is a corruption of Citerone.

Note also the water-carrier's yoke: it is a very old device, going back to Greek and Roman antiquity, and before that to the Egyptians. The well itself as shown in this instance of the arms is of a general type seen thruout Umbria.

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Page updated: 4 Mar 01