"In England we call them rolls of arms: in Spain they are known as armoriales — armorials — or libros de armeria — books of arms, and books seem to outnumber rolls as such. Of nearly 30 Spanish armorials recorded, at least eleven are books, and only one is definitely a roll. Nine are original productions, and six are known only from copies. At least eight foreign armorials contain compilations of Spanish arms." (Collins, W. T., Spanish Armorials, Coat of Arms, No. 161, Spring 1993.)

What does "...and books seem to outnumber rolls as such." mean?

  • For sure I know means of roll of arms and roll and book of arms and... what is I do not understand is mean of the mentioned sentence.
    – user64617
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


In this context, roll is a synonym for scroll, a method of storing information by writing it on a long piece of parchment and rolling it up.

The sentence fragment means that there are more books than scrolls, notwithstanding that they are called "rolls of arms" rather than "books of arms."

  • 1
    And the outnumbering bit is of course simply that there are more books than (sc)rolls. Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 11:04
  • Well yes, but I assumed the slightly more likely point of confusion. Either way, I am tempted to VTC as general reference. Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 11:06

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