Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art, by John Vinycomb, , at sacred-texts.com
An imaginary fire-breathing monster of great swiftness and strength, invented by the ancient Greek poets. Though mentioned by heraldic authorities, it is not met with in British coat armour; it is described as having the head, mane and legs of a
The origin of the story of the chimera is ascribed to a mountain in Lycia which had a volcano on its top and nourished lions; the middle part afforded pasture for goats, and the bottom was infested with serpents; according to Hesiod it had three heads, that of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. Bellerophon destroyed the monster by raising himself in the air on his winged steed Pegasus, and shooting it with his arrows.
Phillip II. of Spain, after his marriage with Queen Mary of England, assumed as a device, Bellerophon fighting with the chimera, and the motto, "Hinc vigilo," the monster being intended by him for a type of England's heresies which he waited his time to destroy.
The family of Fada of Verona have for arms: Gules a winged chimera argent, the head and breasts carnation (or proper), and the wings and feet of an eagle. The illustration, however, has the head and breasts of a woman, and eagle's wings and feet, and makes it a different creature entirely, and should more properly be blazoned harpy.