(as an agnomen).
ALP ARSLAN [the Valiant Lion, son of Togrul Beg, the Perso-Turkish monarch. (Reigned 1063-1072.) ALI was called The Lion of God for his religious zeal and great courage. His mother called him at birth Al Haïdara, the Rugged Lion. (A.D. 602, 655-661.)
ALI PASHA, called The Lion of Janina, overthrown in 1822 by Ibrahim Pasha. (1741, 1788-1822.) ARIOCH (fifth of the dynasty of Ninu, the Assyrian), called Arioch Ellasar —i.e. Arioch Melech al Asser, the Lion King of Assyria. (B.C. 1927-1897.)
DAMELOWIEZ, Prince of Haliez, who founded Lemberg (Lion City) in 1259. GUSTA'VUS ADOLPHUS, called The Lion of the North. (1594, 1611-1632.)
HAMZA, called The Lion of God and of His Prophet. So Gabriel told Mahomet his uncle was enregistered in heaven.
HENRY, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, was called The Lion for his daring courage. (1129-1195.) LOUIS VIII. of France was called The Lion because he was born under the sign Leo. (1187, 1223-1226.)
RICHARD I. Coeur de Lion (Lion's heart), so called for his bravery. (1157, 1189-1199.)
WILLIAM of Scotland, so called because he chose a red lion rampant for his cognisance. (Reigned 1165-1214.)
(as an emblem). A lion is emblem of the tribe of Judah; Christ is called “the lion of the tribe of Judah.”
“Judah is a lion's whelp: ... he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” - Genesis xlix.9.
Sir George Davis and the Lion. Sir George Davis was English consul at Florence at the beginning of the 19th century. One day he went to see the lions of the great Duke of Tuscany. There was one which the keepers could not tame; but no sooner did Sir George appear than it manifested every symptom of joy. Sir George entered its cage, when the lion leaped on his shoulder, licked his face, wagged its tail, and fawned on him like a dog. Sir George told the great duke that he had brought up the creature; but as it grew older it became dangerous, and he sold it to a Barbary captive. The duke said that he had bought it of the very same man, and the mystery was solved.
Half a score of such tales are told by the Bollandistes in the Acta Sanctorum.
The lion an emblem of the resurrection. According to tradition, the lion's whelp is born dead, and remains so for three days, when the father breathes on it and it receives life. Another tradition is that the lion is the only animal of the cat tribe born with its eyes open, and it is said that it sleeps with its eyes open. This is not strictly correct, but undoubtedly it sleeps watchfully and lightly.
Mark the Evangelist is symbolised by a lion, because he begins his gospel with the scenes of John the Baptist and Jesus in the Wilderness. Matthew is symbolised by a man, because he begins his gospel with the humanity of Jesus, as a descendant of David. Luke is symbolised as a calf, because he begins his gospel with the priest sacrificing in the &demple;. John is symbolised by an eagle, because he soars high, and begins his gospel with the divinity of the Logos. The four symbols are those of Ezekiel's cherubim.
(grateful for kindness):
ANDRROC'LUS. (See under Lion as an emblem.) SIR IWAIN DE GALLES was attended by a lion, which, in gratitude to the knight, who had delivered it from a serpent with which it had been engaged in deadly combat, ever after became his faithful servant, approaching the knight with tears, and rising on his hind-feet like a dog.
SIR GEOFFREY DE LATOUR was aided by a lion against the Saracens; but the faithful brute was drowned in attempting to follow the vessel in which the knight had embarked on his departure from the Holy Land.
ST. GERASIMUS. (See under Lion as an emblem.)
ST. JEROME. (See under Lion as an emblem.)
Lion 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.
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 Achaicus, 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 henceforth should be defended by the ayde of Frenchmen.” (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 &Thermopylae;, and a Belgian lion stands on the field of Waterloo.
HIPPOM'ENES and ATLANTA (fond lovers) were metamorphosed into lions by Cybele. HERCULES is said to have worn over his shoulders the hide of the Nemean lion, which he slew with his club. TERROUR is also represented as arrayed in a lion's hide.
(a public-house sign).
Au noir lyon la fleur-de-lis Prist la terre de ca le Lys.
Godefroy de Paris.
Blue, the badge of the Earl of Mortimer, also of Denmark.
Blue seems frequently to represent silver; thus we have the Blue Boar of Richard III., the Blue Lion of the Earl of Mortimer, the Blue Swan of Henry IV., the Blue Dragon, etc.
For who, in field or foray slack, Saw the blanche lion e'er fall back? [Duke of Norfolk].
The winged lion. The republic of Venice. Its heraldic device.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Lion from Fact Monster: