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in Heraldry.

(1) Couchant. Lying down; head erect, and tail beneath him. Emblematic of sovereignty.

(2) Coward or Coué. With tail hanging between his legs.

(3) Dormant. Asleep, with head resting on his fore-paws.

(4) Passant. Walking, three feet on the ground; in profile. Emblematic of resolution.

(5) Passant Gardant. Three feet on the ground; full face. The “Lion of England.” Resolution and Prudence.

(6) Passant Regardant. Three feet on the ground; side face turned backwards.

(7) Rampant. Erect on his hind legs; in profile. Emblematic of magnanimity.

(8) Rampant Gardant. Erect on his hind legs; full face. Emblematic of prudence.

(9) Rampant Regardant. Erect on his hind legs; side face looking behind. Emblematic of circumspection.

(10) Regardant. Looking behind him; emblematic of circumspection.

(11) Saliant. In the act of springing forward on its prey. Emblematic of valour.

(12) Sejant. Sitting, rising to prepare for action; face in profile, tail erect. Emblematic of counsel.

(13) Sejant Affronté (as in the crest of Scotland).

(14) Statant. Standing with four legs on the ground.

(15) Lion of St. Mark. A winged lion sejant, holding an open book with the inscription “Pax tibi Marce, Evangelista Meus.” A sword-point rises above the book on the dexter side, and the whole is encircled by an aureola.

(16) Lion of Venice. The same as the lion of St. Mark.

Then there are black, red, and white lions, with many leonine monsters.

A lion at the feet of knights and martyrs, in effigy, signifies that they died for their magnanimity.

The lions in the arms of England. They are three lions passant gardant, i.e. walking and showing the full face. The first lion was that of Rollo, Duke of Normandy, and the second represented the country of Maine, which was added to Normandy. These were the two lions borne by William the Conqueror and his descendants. Henry II. added a third lion to represent the Duchy of Aquitaine, which came to him through his wife Eleanor. The French heralds call the lion passant a leopard; accordingly Napoleon said to his soldiers, “Let us drive these leopards (the English) into the sea.”

⁂ In heraldry any lion not rampant is called a lion leopardé.

The lion in the arms of Scotland is derived from the arms of the ancient Earls of Northumberland and Huntingdon, from whom some of the Scotch monarchs were descended. The tressure is referred to the reign of King Achaʹicus, who made a league with Charlemagne, “who did augment his arms with a double trace formed with Floure-de-lyces, signifying thereby that the lion hence-forth should be defended by the ayde of Frenchemen.” (Holinshed: Chronicles.)

Sir Walter Scott says the lion rampant in the arms of Scotland was first assumed by William of Scotland, and has been continued ever since.

“William, King of Scotland, having chosen for his armorial bearing a Red Lion rampant, acquired the name of William the Lion; and this rampant lion still constitutes the arms of Scotland; and the president of the heraldic court … is called Lord Lion King-at-Arms.”—Tales of a Grandfather, iv.

A marble lion was set up in honour of Leonidas, who fell at Thermopylæ, and a Belgian lion stands on the field of Waterloo.

Lions in classic mythology. Cybʹele (3 syl.) is represented as riding in a chariot drawn by two tame lions.

Pracriti, the goddess of nature among the Hindus, is represented in a similar manner.

Hippomʹenes and Atalanta (fond lovers) were metamorphosed into lions by Cybelē.

Hercules is said to have worn over his shoulders the hide of the Nemʹean lion, which he slew with his club. Terrour is also represented as arrayed in a lion’s hide.

The Nemʹean lion, slain by Hercules. The first of his twelve labours. As it could not be wounded by any weapon, Hercules squeezed it to death.


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Lingua Franca
Lining of the Pocket
Linnæan System
Linne (The Heir of)
Linsey-woolsy Million (The)
Linspe (French, 2 syl.)
Lion (as an agnomen)
Lion (as an emblem)
Lion (grateful for kindness):
Lion-hunter (A)
Lion-killer (The)
Lion Sermon (The)
Lion Tamer (The)
Lion and Unicorn
Lion and the True Prince (The)
Lion of God
Lion of St. Mark