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Eastern Results from the June 2016 LoAR

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-12 12:31

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the June 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings.  Release of the June letter was slightly delayed by the convergence of 50 Year Celebration and Pennsic.

EAST acceptances

Agnés de la Court. Name and device. Purpure, a chevron embattled between two fleurs-de-lys argent and a raccoon statant gardant argent marked purpure.

Agnés is an attested but unexpected form, more commonly found as Agnes in our period.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a New World raccoon.

Please advise the client to draw the chevron thicker, as befits a primary charge.

Cáemgen Ua Donnchada. Name and device. Vert, in fess two crosses fleury Or, a chief argent.

Cáemgen is the name of an Irish saint.

Please advise the submitter to draw the crosses as wide as they are tall.

Daniel au Loup Rouge. Name and device. Or semy of gunstones, a wolf passant gules and a chief vert.

Eleanor Catlyng. Name change from Eleanor Catlyn.

Both elements are found in Lincoln or Lincolnshire, England, dated to 1566-1567 in the FamilySearch Historical Records, making this an excellent 16th century English name!

The submitter’s previous name, Eleanor Catlyn, is released.

Jeanne Robin. Acceptance of transfer of badge from Christopher Devereux. Argent, two dances gules.

Lorencio Matteo Espinosa. Name.

Nice 16th century Spanish name!

Mael Eoin mac Echuid. Household name La Tavernehous de Mayne Ospitalis.

Mayne Ospitalis (“mayne held by the Knights Hospitaller”) is an attested place name found in Watts s.n. Broadmayne dated to 1244-1332.

La Tavernehous, documented from the 1311 house name la Tavernehous, is somewhat less likely as a designator than either Taverne or HousMayne Ospitalis Inne would also be an authentic form. However, the submitted form is registerable.

Mael Eoin mac Echuid. Device change. Per fess gules and argent, a lion rampant gardant counter-ermine.

The submitter has permission to conflict with the badge of Cosma Drago: (Fieldless) A domestic cat sejant erect counter-ermine.

The submitter’s old device, Gyronny argent and sable, a Maltese cross within an orle gules, is retained as a badge.

Mael Eoin mac Echuid. Badge. (Fieldless) A boot sable.

Nice boot!

Maximillian Elgin. Badge (see RETURNS for household name). Or, in fess a cup gules sustained between two sheep combattant sable.

Millicent Rowan. Name.

Muirenn ingen Dúnadaig. Badge. (Fieldless) A coney courant ermine.

Sorcha Dhorcha. Name.

Nice 15th-16th century Irish Gaelic name!

Viviana Silvani. Name.

Ynys y Gwaun, Canton of. Branch name and device. Per fess argent and Or, a tree eradicated proper between three laurel wreaths vert.

In the case of this name, the mutated form Ynys y Waun is more likely, but the submitted form is registerable.

EAST returns

Corcrán mac Diarmata. Device change. Per chevron argent and sable, two ravens volant to sinister chief and a Thor’s hammer counterchanged.

This device is returned for violating SENA A3D2c, Unity of Posture and Orientation, which states “The charges within a charge group should be in either identical postures/orientations or an arrangement that includes posture/orientation” The charges here are not in a unified arrangement, as the birds are bendwise sinister and the Thor’s hammer in its default orientation.

On redesign, please advise the submitter to draw the per chevron line of division slightly lower.

Maximillian Elgin. Household name Black Sheep House.

This household name is returned for conflict with the registered heraldic title Blak Shepe Pursuivant. The substantive elements are identical in sound.

Olivia Baker. Device. Per chevron inverted Or and gules, seven fleurs-de-lys in chevron inverted, alternately erect and inverted, between a rose and two stalks of wheat counterchanged.

Blazoned on the Letter of Intent as per chevron inverted fleury-counterfleury, what we have here is a group of fleurs-de-lys lying across the per chevron inverted line, with alternating upright and inverted fleurs. This creates identifiability issues as well as an arrangement that is not listed in SENA Appendix J, and so may not be registered without documentation that this is a period arrangement of charge groups. A proper fleury-counterfleury field division (as opposed to an ordinary) would have only demi fleurs-de-lys, issuant from the line of division, alternating upright and inverted.

Ysane la Fileresse. Device. Argent, a mascle azure within a mascle vert, all interlaced with a crampon bendwise purpure.

This device is returned for violating SENA A3E1, Arrangement of Charge Groups. This arrangement, of a long charge extending over and interlaced with two concentric voided charges, is not listed in SENA Appendix J, and so may not be registered without documentation that this is a period arrangement of charge groups. On resubmission, the submitter should address whether the mascle within a mascle arrangement violates the sword and dagger rule.

 


Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: LoAR

22 ancient inscribed gold plates found in Java

History Blog - Sun, 2016-09-11 23:10


Construction workers in the Indonesian province of Central Java have unearthed 22 inscribed gold plates from the 8th century. The crew was digging for an aquifer project in the village of Ringinlarik when they came across a stone box in a rock pile. A small container at 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) long, 13.5 centimeters (5.3 inches) wide, and six centimeters (2.4 inches) high, the box was intact with its lid still on — one of the workers thought it looked like a jewelry box — and its contents apparently undisturbed.

Gutomo, an official with the Central Java Heritage Conservation Agency (BPCB) confirmed the gold found was 18 carats. Each plate has an inscription in ancient Javanese letters. The inscriptions are names of cardinal and ordinal directions of Dewa Lokapala’s wind Gods.

The inscriptions are names of cardinal and ordinal directions of Dewa Lokapala’s wind Gods.

“We recorded eight names of wind Gods. We have also declared the location as a heritage site,” Gutomo said.

Dewas, also known as devatas or dewatas, are minor Hindu deities that govern specific areas of nature and humanity. The Devata Lokapala are the Guardians of the Directions, overseers of the four cardinal points — Indra (east), Yama (south), Varuṇa (west) and Kubera (north) — and four ordinal points — Agni (southeast), Nirṛti (southwest), Vayu (northwest) and Īśāna (northeast). Javanese Hinduism includes a ninth member of the party, representing the center point, and calls them the Dewata Nawa Sanga, or Nine Guardian Gods.

The Guardians are often found painted or carved on the walls and ceilings in Hindu temples, but Java has an even stronger historical connection to these deities because they appear on the Surya Majapahit, a symbol associated with the great Majapahit Empire which ruled over what is now Indonesia from 1293 to 1500. (Old time readers might recall the wonderful Majapahit piggy banks made centuries before pigs became a popular home savings motif in the West.) The Surya Majapahit has been found carved on many Majapahit structures, enough that archaeologists believe it was an emblem of the empire. It’s an eight-pointed star representing the rays of the sun with the major Hindu deities in the circular center and the Guardians on the outer perimeter next to the rays that point in the cardinal or ordinal direction they guard. The plates predate the Majapahit Empire by at least five centuries so they’re not related, but they do attest to the regional significance of the deities.

It’s not clear on what grounds the gold plates have been provisionally dated to the 8th century, but one big clue is a discovery made at the same work site earlier this year: the remains of a candi, the Indonesian word for a stupa, a Hindu or Buddhist temple. The use of volcanic rock and the structure of the temple indicated to archaeologist that it was younger than the Candi Prambanan, a 9th century Hindu temple about 40 miles southwest of Ringinlarik. Metal plates inscribed with incantations and prayers were placed in containers and buried under the foundation of temples along with other offerings to bless the temple, so it’s highly probable these 22 plates were in place when construction on the candi began.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report for the Feast of John Barleycorn

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-09-11 18:09

On a hot and humid morning, Their Majesties, Kenric and Avelina opened their court at the Feast of John Barleycorn in the Crown Province of Ostgardr, Canton of Northpass.

They called forth their Viceroy and Vicereigne, Guy avec Cheval and Johanne aff Visby and, after thanking them for their long years of service, allowed them to step down from their posts.  They then summoned forth Sudder Saran and Lada Monguligin and invested them as the new Viceroy and Vicereigne of the Crown Province of Ostgardr and presented them with scrolls by Kayleigh MacWhyte.

They then called forth Barbeta Kirkland and bid her sit vigil in contemplation of being elevated to the Order of the Laurel.  Court was then suspended.

That afternoon court was reopened.  Guy aven Cheval and Johanne aff Visby were again summoned forth and thanked for their service.  Sir Guy was made a Baron of the Eastern Court and gifted by His Majesty with the gift of six pearls that might be affixed to his coronet and a scroll by Elizabeth Greenleaf.  Baroness Johanne was then thanked with a scroll by Alys Mackyntoich and Elizabeth Elenore Lovell which granted to a pension appropriate to her station from the duties, fees, and other revenues from the lands of Brokenbridge.

Their Majesties then called forth the children of the East to receive gifts from the royal toybox.  Whereas in the past the children chased the toybox bearer like a pack of wild wolves, on this day their actions were described by His Majesty as a swarm, as they descended upon Baron Dansk from all directions swiftly bearing him to the ground before he could take a single step.

Cailleach Dhé ingen Chiaráin was then called into court and was Awarded Arms for her service and presented with a scroll by Aaradyn Ghyoot.

Newcomers to the Society were then summoned forth and received diverse tokens from their Majesties.

The Guild of Athena’s Thimble was then invited into court where they made Her Majesty a gift of a wool Hedeby shoulder bag.  The bag was hand spun, woven, and dyed as were the threads used for the embroidery.  The wooden stretchers were hand made out of Curly maple with strawberry leaf accents in the center. The strap was made from grey silk with wool embroidery of three keys from Her Majesty’s personal heraldry. The side of the bag was decorated with twin eagles based on a Swedish find and chosen due to Her Majesty’s love of the birds.

Their Majesties then called forth Stephan O’Raghaillaigh and inducted him into the Order of the Apollo’s Arrow for his skill with a bow and service as a marshal.  He was presented with a scroll by Svea the Short-sighted.

Ceinwen ferch Llewellyn ab Owain was then summoned, and her skill at embroidery remarked upon by Their Majesties.  She was then made a Companion of the Order of the Silver Brooch and presented with a scroll by Marieta Charay.

One Gunnar Alfson was summoned into court and his prowess as an armored fighter was much praised.  He was then inducted into the Order of the Silver Tyger.

Jenna Childerslay was then summoned into court but could not be located as she was laboring in the distant kitchens.

Their Majesties then summoned forth Brochmail of Anglespur and made him a Companion of the Order of the Silver Crescet for his service to the Shire of Midland Vale and the Kingdom as a whole.  He was presented with a shiny scroll by AEsa Lkabrenna Sturladottir with words by Aislinn Chiabach.

Barbeta Kirkland was summoned back into court to answer the question put before her that morning.  Members of each peerage spoke of her skill as a lacemaker, her contributions to the Guild of Arachne’s Web, and her enthusiasm and passion for her art.  Upon hearing these words, Their Majesties asked her if she would join the Order and she assented.  The Order of the Laurel was summoned, and Barbeta was awarded the regalia of a medallion, coif, and apron to show her new station and she then swore fealty to the Crown of the East.  These events were memorialized in a scroll by Alexei Dmitriev and Sarah Davies and a painting by Eleanore MacCarthaigh.

At that time, Jenna Childerslay having been located, she was called into court.  Despite her protestations of innocence, Their Majesties spoke of her great service to newcomers to the society and inducted her into the Order of the Silver Crescent and presented her with a scroll by Palotzi Marti.

His Majesty then addressed the populace of Ostgardr, speaking of the warmth of their welcome and the enjoyment of the day, and court was then closed.

To the above I, Baron Yehuda ben Moshe, bear withness as the Herald of record.  These events were witnessed by Master Ryan Mac Whyte and Baroness Maria Erika von Ossenheim


Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

From the Tyger Clerk of the Signet

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-09-11 12:23

Greetings to all,

I am nearing the end of my first term as Tyger Clerk of the Signet. Since I do not plan on requesting a second term, I am now accepting applications for the position. The applications are due by November 30th. At that time the King and Queen will chose my successor after consulting with the Kingdom Seneschal and me. My term ends at Kingdom 12th Night, and at that time if a successor is chosen they will step into the role.

According to Kingdom law the Tyger Clerk of the Signet:

  • Coordinates the production of scrolls requested by The Crown.
  • Promotes the development of calligraphers and illuminators in the East Kingdom and warrants said scribes to perform Signet Office work.
  • Maintains accurate records of scroll assignments.

Therefore you will need to interact with a large number of scribes of differing backgrounds and skill levels. After receiving recommendations, usually from a scheduler appointed by the King and queen, you will write out an assignment and find an appropriate scribe to do the work. Currently the East Kingdom has 103 active scribes. Therefore interpersonal skills are a must.

The Signet also keeps accurate records of all assignments and backlogs. Multiple databases are used to keep the records straight and the ability to use excel, google drive, sheets and docs is needed. You will be expected to keep dockets for the reign, each individual event, backlogs, and past assignments.

Finally, the Signet should promote learning and enjoyment of the scribal arts with the Scribal Tea at Pennsic, Scholas, Competitions, class tracks and displays among other events.

Please send applications to signet@eastkingdom.org by November 30. Thank you for your attention.

Nest verch Tangwistel

Tyger clerk of the Signet


Filed under: Official Notices Tagged: job opening, Tyger Clerk

CBS This Morning to preview National Museum of African American History on Monday

History Blog - Sun, 2016-09-11 09:54

CBS This Morning will broadcast live from the Smithsonian’s new National Museum Of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on Monday, September 12th. The much-anticipated and hard-won museum doesn’t officially open until September 24th and the crowds are certain to be enormous for the forseeable future, so this is a chance to get a preview tour of the museum, and a thorough one at that. Guests include museum director Lonnie Bunch, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Civil Rights icon Representative John Lewis, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, historians and donors.

The 2-hour broadcast will be presented with limited commercial interruptions and feature interviews with lawmakers, historians, and curators who were part of bringing the museum to life.

Viewers will get a preview of the roughly 36,000 artifacts highlighting African American life, music, sports, and politics.

“It’s going to take you on a historical journey. They’re going to have a slave house. Slave ships. Emmett Till’s coffin. So you go from that, to the election of President Barack Obama all in one building,” said host Gayle King.

CBS This Morning streams live here. I don’t know if the full broadcast will be made available on the website after broadcast or if they’ll save it for CBS’ subscription streaming service.

The museum will be throwing a three-day music festival on the grounds of the Washington monument the weekend before the opening. Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration features musicians from a panoply of African American musical traditions including jazz, gospel, R&B, brass band and hip-hop. The lineup includes Public Enemy, The Roots, Living Colour and Meshell Ndegeocello. The food concessions look to be scrumptious too.

Tickets to the National Museum Of African American History and Culture on grand opening weekend (September 24-25) are no longer available. Free timed passes were offered through ETIX, but they flew off the proverbial shelves. Because interest is so high and the crowds sure to be huge, the museum is continuing to issue timed passes through the end of the year to ensure visitors can enjoy the experience without being crushed and buffeted in the traffic. Starting Monday, September 26th, visitors can get a timed pass at the museum when they show up on the day, but of course they’ll have to wait until their allotted time, and that’s no guarantee they won’t have a long line to wait in or that they’ll be ushered in the doors precisely on schedule. Advanced passes for September and October released on September 6th, and have already all been snapped up. ETIX only has passes available now for November and December.

The NMAAHC’s website was redone recently and is excellent, with large swaths of its collection digitized. Very much worth a long, leisurely browse.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Event Announcement: Heralds and Scribes, October 8th

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2016-09-10 18:00

The Shire of Coppertree is pleased to announce Heralds and Scribes to be held Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016!
The Shire will offer a day of classes and good company at the First United Methodist Church, 400 N. George St., Rome, NY 13440.

Those interested in teaching on topics including illumination and calligraphy, heraldic designs, calling court and tourneys, submitting and passing heraldry, and more please contact:

– Heraldry class coordinator THL Solveig Throndardottir (Barbara Nostrand) at keystoneherald@aeheralds.net

– Scribal class coordinator, Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon (Pauline Hassinger) at yvianne@zoominternet.net

E-mails should include your name, contact information, class name, class length, and a short class description. Please note if there is any cost to the participants, or if you have any other special requests. There are a limited number of class slots available, so register your classes early.

A delectable day board will be prepared by Rowan de la Garnison. Menu includes: Beef and Onion Pasties, Chicken and Leek Pasties. Fresh fruit, cheese, hard boiled eggs, bread, butters, dill pickles, Cold Pickled Salad (Compost), Welsh tea cakes, and Shortbread.

Merchants are welcome. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

The site is “dry” and handicap accessible. Adult event registration is $15, or $10 for SCA members. Please show proof of membership at the door. Registration for ages 7-17 is $8, children age 6 and under are guests of the shire. Checks may be made payable to “SCA-NY Inc – Shire of Coppertree” and sent to Shire of Coppertree, c/o Susan Schiffer, 9658 Elpis Road, Camden, NY 13316.

Autocrats for the event are: Ewa of Caer Cinniuint (Naomi Starsiak), arts@coppertree.aethelmearc.org, 315-527-8902 (no calls after 9:30 p.m. please), 121 Cider St. Oriskany, NY 13424; a nd Aerin Wen (Jen DeVincenzo), chronicler@coppertree.aethelmearc.org, 6333 Overhill Drive, Rome, NY 13440.

Directions: Take your best route to the NYS Thruway. From points west, take exit 33 Verona/Rome/Oneida and take 365 east to South James St. Turn left onto Erie Blvd. West, then right onto N. George St. From points east, take exit 31 Utica and take the right hand route toward Route 49 West. Once on Route 49 W., take the Routes 49, 69 W / 26 N. exit toward downtown Rome onto Erie Blvd East. Continue straight onto Erie Blvd W. Turn right onto N. George St. The church will be on your right.

After the event:
Dining options in Rome:
Caribbean Restaurant: 401 W. Dominick St.
Coalyard Charlie’s (steak and seafood): 100 Depeyster St.
DiCastro’s (Italian): 615 Erie Blvd W.
Franklin Hotel (Italian): 301 S. James St.
Kings Buffet (Chinese buffet): 1142 Erie Blvd W.
Mitsuba (sushi): Mohawk Acres, 1790 Black River Blvd
The Savoy (fine dining): 255 E. Dominick St.

For overnight accommodations, Rome has a Hampton Inn, 1352 Floyd Ave., and a Wingate By Wyndham at 90 Dart Circle. (please avoid the Relax Inn). There are also a variety of hotels and dining options off Thruway Exit 33 in Verona, and Exit 31 in Utica.

Online Announcement


Categories: SCA news sites

Unique 3rd c. epitaph of Jewish woman translated

History Blog - Sat, 2016-09-10 00:16

An Egyptian epitaph from the 3rd century A.D. has been recently translated revealing a unique combination of descriptors. The epitaph is part of a collection of Greek and Coptic artifacts in the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. The collection was donated to the library in 1989 after the death of the collector, Doctor Aziz Suryal Atiya, an eminent Coptic historian who taught history at the University of Utah and founded the university’s Middle East Center in 1959. The Aziz S. Atiya Middle East Library, an internationally renown center for research in Middle Eastern history with the fifth largest collection in the United States, has hundreds of thousands of books, manuscripts and rare artifacts.

The inventory note for the epitaph described it as a “Coptic inscription, dating from the dawn of the use of the Greek alphabet, not earlier than the second century, but not later than the third.” The small limestone slab, seemingly unremarkable, was left untranslated for more than 25 years until it caught the eye of Brigham Young University adjunct professor of ancient scripture Lincoln H. Blumell. He realized the description was wrong, that the inscription was in ancient Greek, not in Coptic using Greek letters.

The inscription reads:

In peace and blessing Ama Helene, a Jew, who loves the orphans, [died]. For about 60 years her path was one of mercy and blessing; on it she prospered.

It’s the combination of the honorific “Ama,” a title used to describe Christian women, mainly nuns, in late ancient Egypt, with her Jewish identification that is unprecedented.

“I’ve looked at hundreds of ancient Jewish epitaphs,” Blumell said, “and there is nothing quite like this. This is a beautiful remembrance and tribute to this woman.” [...]

Considering the unique use of dual-faith identifiers and the timeframe alone, the epitaph is unique with no known parallels.

Additionally, Blumell notes there is even more to the inscription. Scholars have noted from other inscriptions that Egyptian women during this timeframe had a life expectancy of 25 years. To live 60 years, as noted in the inscription, was incredible. Also, during a time when any sort of social programs were unavailable to orphans, taking care of them was seen as a very noble pursuit. Serving the widows and orphans is a common call to action in the New Testament.

I had doubts about that life expectancy statistic. I thought it might be a misinterpretation of average life expectancy, an average which is extremely low in places and times when infant and child mortality was high. The average age of death skews far younger because so many children died young. Once people managed to survive to adulthood their real life expectancy was significantly higher. I was wrong. According to ancient census data from Egypt in the first three centuries A.D., fully 61% of women were dead by the age of 30. Men had it only slightly better with 59% dying before they hit their 30s. Helene was one of fewer than 6% of Egyptian women from this period who lived to see 60.

Blumell has published his findings in the forthcoming issue of the Journal for the Study of Judaism.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

A Royal Whim for Coronation

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-09-09 17:16

Tournaments to test the skills of our gentles of coat armor, and to bring honor to those who inspire them, are most encouraged throughout the realm.

Their Royal Highnesses Brion and Anna invite all who would compete to take the field the day of Their coronation in a celebration of honor, chivalry, and perseverance. The list will feature a matched weapon
contest. To experience the breadth of skills of our Eastern combatants, Their Highnesses ask members of our heavy weapon armored combat community to pair up with a members of the rapier community and as a team compete. Team arrangements can be made in advance or the day of the contest.

Entrants should be prepared to match weapon forms selected by Their Highnesses for the pleasure of the nobles in attendance.

A prize will be awarded to the members of the victorious team that day.


Filed under: Events

Long-disputed Grolier Codex is genuine

History Blog - Fri, 2016-09-09 02:40

A new study of the Grolier Codex, a pre-Hispanic book of Maya hieroglyphics whose authenticity has been in doubt since it first came to light under extremely shady circumstances in 1971, has determined that it is genuine and may even be the oldest of only four ancient American codices known to survive.

The earliest conclusively dated Maya text, painted on pyramid walls in San Bartolo, Guatemala, dates to 300 B.C., and since the writing system was well-developed by then, it goes back even further. There is evidence of Olmec writing and paper production from the first millennium B.C. Murals and carved reliefs are most of what remains today, even though for centuries Maya scribes recorded astronomical observations, histories, religious texts, mathematical calculations, calendars and much more on pages made of the inner bark of fig trees. The Spanish conquistadors were suspicious of what they didn’t understand, so naturally they destroyed it, sending the Maya’s long, rich literary tradition up in smoke.

Diego de Landa Calderón, future bishop of Yucatán, saw heresy and idolatry everywhere among the freshly converted and in their mysterious hieroglyphic texts. When he and his inquisitors weren’t torturing literally thousands of Maya nobles and commoners alike, they were burning their books.

We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction.

He wasn’t alone in his zeal. On top of that, the Spanish occupiers outlawed the production of paper, ensuring that what was lost could not be easily recreated. A handful of Maya codices were sent to Europe as curiosities. Today three of them are extant: one in Dresden, one in Madrid and one in Paris.

In 1971, a previously unknown Maya codex was displayed at the Grolier Club in New York City. Eleven pages of fig bark paper, each stuccoed on both sides but painted only on one, had numerical and calendrical glyphs on the left side of every page and a single large illustration of a figure on the center right. The text describes the movements of Venus.

The codex was part of an exhibition curated by archaeologist Michael Coe who had a crazy story to tell about how he managed to get his hands on such an incredible rarity. A friend told him that Mexican collector Josué Sáenz had acquired what seemed to be a genuine Mayan codex in 1966. Coe went to Mexico City, met with Sáenz and examined the codex, ultimately finding it plausibly authentic. He asked the collector how he had found it and Sáenz told him quite the origin story.

Someone had contacted Sáenz, goes the tell, offering to sell him an ancient codex if he would fly to an unnamed destination to see it and tell nobody. So, accompanied by two men, he clambered into a tiny plane whose compass was covered with a cloth. This rudimentary device to hide the location failed because Sáenz recognized the destination as the foothills of the Sierra de Chiapas. (Blindfolds, people. Have TV and movie kidnappings taught us nothing?) There he was shown the codex, a wooden mask and a sacrificial knife the sellers claimed to have found in a dry cave somewhere undetermined. Even though his expert considered the codex and artifacts fakes, Sáenz went with his gut and bought them.

Eventually the Mexican government made a legal claim on the codex and Sáenz donated it to the nation. It has been kept at the National Museum in Mexico City ever since, out of public view for its own protection.

The only pre-Hispanic codex found in the 20th century, the discovery of one that survived the conflagration without having been shipped across the Atlantic was explosive, but immediately its authenticity was questioned, and indeed how could it not be when it sprang up out of nowhere courtesy of looters, and that’s assuming the cloak-and-dagger background story was accurate. There were anomalies in the document as well. The figures are drawn in Mixtec style with Toltec attire, and the numbering system is inconsistent. Also, none of the three confirmed authentic codices are painted only one side of the pages.

Radiocarbon dating of the bark paper found it was made around 1230, so it was definitely genuine, but it was always possible that looters had found blank pages and had someone draw something Mayanesque on them to make them saleable. Michael Coe published the results of his investigations into the codex in 1973 (pdf).

The debate has raged ever since. Now researchers, led by Brown University’s Stephen Houston, have reexamined everything about the codex in an attempt to answer all the questions raised about it.

The Grolier’s composition, from its 13th-century amatl paper, to the thin red sketch lines underlying the paintings and the Maya blue pigments used in them, are fully persuasive, the authors assert. Houston and his coauthors outline what a 20th century forger would have had to know or guess to create the Grolier, and the list is prohibitive: he or she would have to intuit the existence of and then perfectly render deities that had not been discovered in 1964, when any modern forgery would have to have been completed; correctly guess how to create Maya blue, which was not synthesized in a laboratory until Mexican conservation scientists did so in the 1980s; and have a wealth and range of resources at their fingertips that would, in some cases, require knowledge unavailable until recently. [...]

The codex is also, according to the paper’s authors, not a markedly beautiful book. “In my view, it isn’t a high-end production,” Houston said, “not one that would be used in the most literate royal court. The book is more closely focused on images and the meanings they convey.”

The Grolier Codex, the team argues, is also a “predetermined rather than observational” guide, meaning it declares what “should occur rather than what could be seen through the variable cloud cover of eastern Mesoamerica. With its span of 104 years, the Grolier would have been usable for at least three generations of calendar priest or day-keeper,” the authors write.

That places the Grolier in a different tradition than the Dresden Codex, which is known for its elaborate notations and calculations, and makes the Grolier suitable for a particular kind of readership, one of moderately high literacy. It may also have served an ethnically and linguistically mixed group, in part Maya, in part linked to the Toltec civilization centered on the ancient city of Tula in Central Mexico.

The study has been published in the journal Maya Archaeology. It includes a facsimile of the entire codex.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Officer Profile: Kingdom Seneschal

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-09-08 21:51

As part of our on-going series of Kingdom Officer profiles (see below), the Gazette interviewed Duke Christopher Rawlyns, the Kingdom Seneschal.

Photo by Master Thorpe


SCA Name/Persona
Christopher Rawlyns.  I’m a mid 14th century English Knight serving Edward of Woodstock, who many of you will know as the Black Prince.

How did you become interested in becoming Seneschal?
Mistress Cori [the previous Kingdom Seneschal] asked me. I figured I could do the job, as I had been Earl Marshal and had three reigns as King, so I had a pretty decent idea of how the Kingdom ran.  I also had a good working knowledge of the SCA governing documents.

What exactly do Seneschals do? What does the Kingdom Seneschal do?
Seneschals are basically the chapter presidents in the eyes of the Corporate side of the SCA. The Kingdom Seneschal oversees the local and regional Seneschals and works with the Crown to maintain Law and assure that the Kingdom operates within the Governing Documents of the Society. The Seneschal also works very closely with the Exchequer to assure that Society and Kingdom financial policy are followed.

Do you have a general philosophy about how you do your job?
In general, I tend to be a minimalist.  I would prefer that I never be involved in any aspects of operations of local groups. However, that is sometimes unavoidable.  I would prefer to help people problem-solve on their own rather than “fixing” problems when they get to my desk.

Who are your deputies, and what are their roles?
I have deputy seneschals for each region, as well as a Law and Policy Deputy.  They are responsible for each of the regions of the Kingdom in the case of the Regional Deputies. The Law and Policy Deputy keeps track of changes to Law and Policy that are made at Curias. [ed. note: The Curia Regis is a meeting held by the Crown at least once per Reign, for the purpose of conducting the Kingdom’s business.]

What is the Æthelmearc Kingdom Seneschal’s role for Pennsic?
The Æthelmearc Seneschal is part of the Pennsic Seneschal Group for the Seneschals of Æthelmearc, the East and the Middle work to formulate the policy within which the Pennsic War functions.  The host kingdom Seneschal is the ultimate legal authority for Pennsic. The role of the Æthelmearc Seneschal is unique here. At Pennsic 47 (2018) the Seneschal of Æthelmearc will be the Seneschal of both the host and sponsoring Kingdoms as Pennsic takes place on Æthelmearc land. Also, the Æthelmearc Seneschal is the only Seneschal who may remove Society sanction from the event, as Pennsic takes place in this Kingdom.

How would someone get involved in the seneschalate? Why would they want to?
If you are interested in being a seneschal, I would suggest that you speak to your local seneschal. They are often looking for deputies who may eventually replace them when they step down.

Being a seneschal is simply another means of serving the society. Most of this service is to the “non-game” side of the Society though. Nonetheless, it is vital to the functioning of the Society. It is service that is often done “behind the scenes”, although, at Kingdom events such as Crown and Coronation, the Kingdom Seneschal often has a very visible role in the proceedings.

What is an example of something you think the general populace should know, but don’t?
Most issues should be solved on a local level by the people who understand them the best.

Are there any changes coming?
We are going to start taking an in-depth look at the zip codes that belong to each group within the Kingdom. Before the end of my term, I would like each group to have a definitive set of zip codes that clearly belong to that group. It is my goal to resolve any “shared” zip codes within this Kingdom. Local seneschals should look for upcoming emails about this from their regional. Ideally they should also dust off their zip code list as we will soon be asking for them.

____________

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Categories: SCA news sites

Eastern Results from the May 2016 LoAR

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-09-08 11:37

EASTERN RESULTS FROM THE MAY 2016 LoAR

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the May 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings.

EAST acceptances

Alys Mackyntoich. Heraldic will.

Upon her death, all items registered solely to Alys, including any registered after the issuance of this heraldic will, will be released.

In addition, the household name Sisterhood of Saint Walburga and its associated badge, (Fieldless) A standing seraph gules, haloed and charged with a cup held to its breast Or, will revert solely to Brunissende Dragonette.

An Dubhaigeainn, Barony. Badge. Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure, a duck naiant contourny argent billed Or.

The submitter has permission to conflict with the device of Signý Ingadóttir: Per chevron ermine and purpure, in base a swan naiant contourny argent.

Antonii Machinevik. Name and device. Or, a wolf dormant contourny sable and a chief enarched vert.

 

Antonii Machinevik. Alternate name Kenny Lockin of Logan.

 

Arne Ulrichsson. Name and device. Per fess embattled gules and sable, three crosses fleury and an eagle Or.

Arne was documented in the Letter of Intent as a German given name, which is compatible with the Swedish last name under Appendix C of SENA.

The submitter may wish to know that Arne is found in Sweden dated from 1341 (SMP, s.n. Arne), so this name is also wholly Swedish.

Ayleth le Frye. Name.

Both elements are dated to 1332, making this an excellent 14th century English name!

Brynjolfr Rorikssen. Name and device. Quarterly argent and vert, a ram’s head cabossed quarterly sable and argent.

Rorik was documented as a possibly normalized Frisian given name, but no documentation to support the formation of the patronymic byname was provided in the Letter of Intent. The byname Rorikessone is found in the Diplomatarium Danicum, dated to 1411. Rørikssøn is found in the same source dated to 1401, in a text written in Old Danish. The patronymic ending -sen is found in this source, in an Old Danish text dated to 1401. Therefore, Rorikssen is a reasonable early 15th century Danish spelling.

The submitted form Brynjólfr is an earlier Old Norse form recorded in Iceland. The submitter may wish to know that the Danish form Bryniolff is documented to 1409 in Diplomatarium Danicum. If the submitter prefers this form of the name, he can submit a request for reconsideration.

Dragonship Haven, Barony of. Badge (see RETURNS for order name). (Fieldless) A woman passant contourny maintaining a drinking horn Or.

 

Dragonship Haven, Barony of. Order name Order of Saint Martin of Dragonship Haven and badge. Azure, on a sun argent a capital letter M azure.

Submitted as Order of Saint Martin, this order name conflicts with the registered branch name March of Saint Martin. We have added the branch name of Dragonship Haven is order to clear this conflict and register this name.

As the branch name was added, we decline to rule whether the submitted form presumed upon the island of Saint Martin (claimed for Spain by Columbus in 1493) or the 14th century Brotherhood of St. Martin founded by a cathedral in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Dragonship Haven, Barony of. Badge. (Fieldless) In saltire a pair of scissors and a smith’s hammer argent.

 

Dragonship Haven, Barony of. Badge for Order of the Keel. Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure, a hulk Or and in chief two clouds argent.

Please advise the submitter to draw the ship larger, as befits a primary charge.

Gelleys Jaffrey. Device. Per bend sinister sable and azure, a bear statant erect contourny Or maintaining a glaive argent.

Johannes Mikkinen. Device. Quarterly azure and sable, four wolves rampant argent.

Nice device!

Kiena Stewart. Name reconsideration from Kiena Stiward.

 

Leifr Skáldason. Badge. Argent, a trebuchet vert and a chief embattled gules.

 

Lijsbet van Catwiic. Badge. Paly argent and purpure, a winged camelopard statant Or.

 

Lijsbet van Catwiic. Blanket permission to conflict with badge. Paly argent and purpure, a winged camelopard statant Or.

The submitter grants permission to conflict for any armory that is at least one countable step different from their registered armory.

Lottieri Malocchio. Badge. Per chevron sable and gules, a tower between three decrescents argent.

 

Lyssa ingen Fháeláin. Device. Vert, an owl displayed and in base a stringless hunting horn Or.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a bird other than an eagle in the displayed posture.

 

Magnus Thorfinnsson. Device. Per saltire arrondi azure and sable, two ravens respectant Or.

 

Marieta Charay. Device. Azure, a leaf Or and in base two mice sejant erect respectant argent, a bordure Or.

 

Nadia Hart. Name and device. Or, a badger rampant contourny sable marked argent maintaining a snake palewise vert, a bordure sable.

Both elements are dated to c.1600, making this a nice English name for the end of our period!

Niall Gorm. Name and device. Per bend argent and vert, a stag rampant contourny sable and a sword inverted argent.

Nice 15th century Gaelic name!

Niall Gorm. Badge. (Fieldless) On a stag rampant contourny argent a sword inverted sable.

 

Remy le Bastard. Device. Sable, a pall gules fimbriated between three crescents horns outward withina double tressure overall Or.

Please advise the submitter to draw the fimbriation and double tressure thicker.

Richard Holland. Device. Azure, in pale three lions passant gardant and on a chief Or three fleurs-de-lys azure.

Nice device!

Rúadán mac Paidín. Device. Per bend sinister gules and sable, a stag’s head cabossed and a broad-arrow argent.

 

Sabiha al-Nahdiya. Badge. Per pale wavy sable crusilly formy and argent semy of water bougets gules.

 

Tatiana Hopfen. Name.

Tatiana is the name of a 12th century Italian saint, known at least until the early 17th century.

This name combines an Italian saint’s name with a German byname. This is an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C of SENA.

Terren of Tir. Name.

Submitted as Terren of TIR (where TIR is an acronym), the name was changed in kingdom to Terren Tir with the submitter’s permission to use an attested byname.

Commenters were unable to document or construct the byname in the submitter’s preferred capitalization, so we could not restore the name to the submitted form.

The Latin phrase archiepiscopo de Tyr (“archbishop of Tyre”) is found in ‘The chronicle: 1187-1214’, Annales Cestrienses Chronicle of the Abbey of S. Werburg, At Chester (pp. 36-49, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/lancs-ches-record-soc/vol14/pp36-49), dated to 1188. Tyre was part of the Crusader state of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. At least one archbishop of Tyre was English, so the vernacular of Tyr is an appropriate 12th century English form of the attested locative phrase. Tir is a reasonable interpolation of the attested forms TyrTire, and Tyre, all found in the Middle English Dictionary. Therefore, we have changed the byname to of Tir, which is identical in sound and closer to appearance to the submitted form, in order to register this name.

Þorsteinn Hroðbjartsson. Name.

 

Tighearnán Blackwater. Name change from Tighearain Blackwater and badge. Azure, a talbot’s head erased ermine and a bordure counter-compony gules and argent.

Blackwater is grandfathered to the submitter.

The submitter’s previous name, Tighearain Blackwater, is released.

Vivien de Valois. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for 15th century French. Both the given name and byname are dated to 1421, so this name meets the submitter’s request.

Wynflæd æt Hamtunscire. Name.

Submitted as Wynflaeaet Hamtunscir, the given name was changed to Wynflæd to match the documentation that could be found.

The correct form of the locative byname is æt Hamtunscire, using the dative form of the place name instead of the nominative (base) form. We have made these changes in order to register this name.

 

EAST returns 

Dragonship Haven, Barony of. Order name Order of Freya’s Cup.

In 2013 we ruled:

In August of 2005, the use of orders named after pagan deities and “saints” was allowed but ruled a step from period practice. Under SENA, there are no steps from period practice for names. Given that order names were derived from classical references (like the Golden Fleece) and from the names of saints, we will continue to allow order names to use the names of pagan gods and other figures that would have been venerated in those places that had order names. [East Kingdom, Order of Artemis, June 2013, A-East]

NPN1Cd1 of SENA states:

The name phrase must be shown to be a form by which the entity was known in that time and place. Generally this means finding it in the literature of that time (so a Renaissance Italian Bible, or an English publication of an Arthurian romance). In the case of a saint’s name, evidence for their veneration through the naming of churches is generally sufficient. Only the form of the name used in that culture is permitted under this allowance.

For example, the Greek mythological object known in English as the Golden Fleece was known to the medieval French as the Toison d’Or. It is Toison d’Or that was borrowed for the name of the period Burgundian order. Similarly, the saint known in her lifetime as Æhelthryth was venerated by late period English people as AudreyAudrey is the form allowed in late period English context to create a name like the College of Saint Audrey.

By long precedent, we do not allow the creation of lingua Anglica forms of given names. We have to document the name Freya, and cannot register the form Freya’s Cup because it uses a modern apostrophe. In addition, NPN1C2 of SENA states that the substantive element is a name phrase; the entire phrase must be either in a period form or a lingua Anglica form, but not a mixture of the two. Therefore, we need to document Freyas as a period genitive (possessive) form for the same time and place as the period English term Cup. Unfortunately, we could not find evidence that the spelling Freya was known in England at a time when order names were used there. Without this documentation, we cannot register Order of Freyas Cup.

Cup was not documented as a period form. This spelling is found in the MED, s.v. cuppe, dated to around 1425.

Upon resubmission, the submitter might like to know that the mythological Freya is found in Stephani Johannis Stephanii, Notae uberiores in Historiam Danicam Saxonis Grammatici (a Latin edition of Gesta Danorum from 1645), in earlier Latin translations of Gesta Danorum, and in various adaptations of the Gesta Danorum published in France in the 16th century. Therefore, Order of Freya could be registered as a Danish or French order name. English forms of the goddess’ name are documented in the late 13th to mid-15th centuries in the Middle English Dictionary: Freafriefrye, andffre. Something like Order of Freas Cup would also be registerable as an English order name. We are returning this order name so that the barony can consider its options.

 

EAST pends 

Esa Gray. Name.

The question was raised whether this name presumes upon that of 19th century botanist Asa Gray, one of Charles Darwin’s collaborators and founder of Harvard’s department of botany.

PN4D1 of SENA states:

Individuals whose names are recognized by a significant number of people in the Society without having to look them up in a reference are generally important enough to protect. Individuals recognized only by specialists in a subject are unlikely to be important enough to protect. Individuals who are only recognized with the assistance of reference books are unlikely to be important enough to protect.

Individuals whose work and/or life are still influential today are generally important enough to protect. Those whose work significantly shaped the course of world history, science, or the arts are generally important enough to protect. This is generally measured by examining measures like the length of encyclopedia articles about the person and his/her work, numbers of search engine hits for the individual, and the like.

We are pending the name to allow commenters to discuss just how prominent an individual needs to be to have “significantly shaped the course of world history, science, or the arts”, given that the names of many such individuals may only be known to specialists.

On the one hand for the present submission, Asa Grey’s name is largely known only by specialists. On the other, Asa Gray’s work clearly “shaped the course of world science”. In particular, Gray authored or co-authored the first editions of Gray’s Manual, still the standard text on North American plants. He also formed one of the first global networks of naturalists, was a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences, and arranged for Darwin’s On the Origin of Species to be published in the United States. He also defended the highly controversial theory of evolution and attempted to reconcile it with the prevailing theological teachings in a series of essays entitled Darwiniana. He is widely considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century.

If Asa Gray is important enough to protect, the present submission will be returned for presumption, as the two names can be identical in sound.

This name does not conflict with the registered name Aislinn Grey. One syllable has been substantially changed in sound and appearance under PN3C2 of SENA.

This name also does not conflict with the registered name Emma Grey. Both syllables of the given name have been changed in sound in appearance, so this name is clear under PN3C1 of SENA.

This was item 12 on the East letter of February 29, 2016.

 


Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: LoAR

Polling Response Deadline – Friday, September 9

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-09-08 11:17

Responses to the second poll of Their Highnesses Brion and Anna need to be sent before midnight,  Friday, September 9th, when the polls close.

Polls are sent to the members of the Orders of High Merit and the Peerages so that they may provide input to the Crown on future members.  Orders which conduct polls include the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Defense, Silver Crescent, Tygers Combattant, Sagittarius, Maunche, Golden Rapier, and Golden Lance.

If you are a member of one of the Orders of High Merit or the Peerage and are not currently receiving polling emails, please sign up via the instructions on the East Kingdom Polling Lists page. Please note that the discussion lists and the polling lists must be subscribed separately.


Filed under: Announcements

Event Update: A&S Championship, October 15th

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-09-08 09:25

From the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Fridrikr:

Gentles All,

Æthelmearc’s Kingdom A&S Championship is coming up on October 15th in Sunderoak.  See the online Event Announcement.

ENTER the competition! It’s fun, exciting, and educational! Note that this year, brewing and vinting entries are welcome!

JUDGE – If you’re a Laurel or a Fleur (or the equivalent), help us out by donating your day to JUDGE the competition.

REGISTRATION FORMS can be found here.

Come to the Championship and see the finest artisans of Æthelmearc!

In service,
Fridrikr


Categories: SCA news sites

Athena Parthenos moved to new digs in New York

History Blog - Thu, 2016-09-08 02:48

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented more than 265 artifacts from the Hellenistic period in the exhibition Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World. As the title suggests, most of the pieces on display came from Pergamon, an ancient city of the Aegean which is now in western Turkey. The largest and most dramatic object on display was a monumental statue of the goddess Athena, on loan from Berlin’s Pergamon Museum.

The exhibition closed on July 17th, but the Pergamon Museum agreed to extend the loan of Athena and another colossal piece, the fragmentary head of a youth, for two more years. The Berlin museum is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment and will be closed until 2019, so this arrangement is advantageous for both parties.

On August 4th, the statue of Athena was moved to the southern side of the Met’s Great Hall and the installation process was filmed because it’s cool.

The statue was modeled after the famous monumental gold and ivory statue of Athena by Phidias that stood inside the Parthenon in Athens for a thousand years from the 5th century B.C. until the 5th century A.D. Phidias’ vision of the patron goddess of Athens was iconic in antiquity and it was widely copied for centuries. This version was made around 170 B.C. and it’s not an exact replica. It’s smaller in scale — 12 feet high to the original’s 40 feet — with a more simple helmet, no shield, no column on the side and therefore probably no small figure of Nike in Athena’s hand outstretched just above the column, and no serpent sidekick which was a symbol of Athena as protector of the Acropolis and thus not relevant to Pergamon’s interests. On the base is a carved relief with six figures depicting the birth of Pandora, as on the pedestal of the original. The base of the Pergamon statue is heavily damaged, however, with significant chunks of the relief missing.

It was discovered in the Sanctuary of Athena in Pergamon in 1880. The body was found behind the North Stoa in front of the largest rooms in the sanctuary which may have housed the Pergamon Library. The head was found in a courtyard in front of the remains of the North Stoa. The body, head, base and arms of the statue were made separately and joined together, which is why the head fits in like a puzzle piece as you can see in the installation video. The arms are now lost.

The monumental statues will be on display in the Great Hall until fall of 2018.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

An Interview with Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-09-07 18:24

On September 24th in the Shire of Heronter, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite will be crowned King and Queen of Æthelmearc. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope interviewed Their Highnesses to learn more about them, their SCA careers, and their personas.

Prince Marcus Eisenwald joined the Society in 1993 in his native Nordmark, aka Stockhlolm, Sweden, though he had participated with boffer groups as early as 1987. His persona is that of a German Landsknecht foot soldier from 1523-1525. During that time period, he says, younger sons of nobility could gain experience and money serving as officers in the military. He received his AoA in 1996 and was made a Court Baron in 1997 after serving as the second and last Governor of the Crown Principality of Nordmark before it became a full Principality. Marcus reigned as King of Drachenwald in the summer and fall of 2003, and then again in the winter and spring of 2009. In between, in 2007, he was knighted. He also did a stint as Earl Marshal of Drachenwald.

Marcus’ interests include German costuming and scribal arts as well as fighting. While still in Nordmark, he served as Scroll Clerk (Signet) for the Principality. He also enjoys woodwork and other arts; he currently has his sights set on learning to make shoes. He appreciates people who really go the extra mile to be authentic, and says he would love to camp in the Enchanted Ground some day, though currently having a young child and being royalty makes that impractical.

As a former Drachenwalder, His Highness has a unique perspective on Æthelmearc. He notes that both Kingdoms have distinct differences in culture and atmosphere. He appreciates the fact that Æthelmearc has so many people willing to step up and make things happen, and admires the energy and service he sees on display in our Kingdom. The thing he misses most about Drachenwald is the easy access to museums with actual period artifacts, which makes it much easier to do research.

Photo by Lady Christina Mary Lowe, aka Jinx

Princess Margerite Eisenwald joined the SCA in 1992, and is looking forward to being Queen on her 25th anniversary in the Society at next March’s Ice Dragon. She found the SCA through Duchess Liadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh, who she’s known since they were in 6th grade. Her persona is primarily late Roman, though she has forays into other periods and places and believes in taking the best from a variety of cultures. Once the protégé of the late Mistress Michaele del Vaga, and a member of Count Robyn Wallace and Countess Isabeau de L’Isle’s household, Anephedros, Her Highness received her AoA in 1994 and was made a Court Baroness in 2005. Over the years she has served as a local and Kingdom officer, including a stint as Kingdom Seneschale, and has autocratted and served as head tollner or cook for numerous events. She is currently the Kingdom Minister of Youth, but will be passing that office to THLady Cordelia Colton before she is crowned Queen.

Margerite claims she is “not arts inclined” but admits to enjoying costuming, cooking, and beadwork. She says Mistress Michaele taught her how to plan a feast, and credits Michaele with persuading her to run a feast at the first Æthelmearc Æcademy with Mistress Mathilde des Pyrenees.

Marcus and Margerite first met at Pennsic. Duchess Anna Blackleaf introduced them because they had both been through gastric bypass surgery and Her Grace thought they might be interested in sharing their experiences. Obviously they hit it off, and while the distance proved a bit of a barrier, Marcus says they had a few visits back and forth as well as a lot of Skyping before deciding to get married. Then they faced the choice of where to live: in the U.S. or Sweden. At the time, Marcus was working for Swedish TV while Margerite had a Master’s degree and worked as a teacher here. They decided it would be too difficult for Margerite to get work in Sweden, and His Highness was looking for a career change, so he moved to the Shire of Heronter and went back to school there, studying mental health counseling. He now works as a drug and alcohol counselor while Her Highness continues teaching 4th graders.

Prince Marcus with Ingrid. Photo by Jinx.

Their Highnesses have a daughter named Ingrid who is a very energetic four-year-old. Sometimes jokingly referred to as “The Dread Empress,” Marcus notes that, if she’s not sleeping, Ingrid is constantly on the move. Although a little shy with adults she doesn’t know well, Margerite says Ingrid enjoys playing with other children. Her Highness said she and Prince Marcus are “fairly strict” parents who want Ingrid to grow up successful and good-natured.

When asked about their goals for their upcoming reign, Princess Marguerite said they want to see their subjects shine. She encourages people to take risks and try new things, working outside their comfort zone. Prince Marcus believes that many people worry too much about failing. For fighters, he recommends that they try new weapons forms, fighting in tourneys with their least favorite weapon because they will learn more from the experience.

Princess Margerite says she would like people to know that they welcome help from gentles across the realm. Since they don’t have a large household, they will be looking for people in the groups they visit to assist them, especially as retainers, which they hope will be a good way for them to meet new people and for their subjects to get to know them better. They and their daughter have no food allergies or dietary restrictions (though, like many young children, Ingrid can be somewhat particular about her food), and look forward to attending feasts throughout the Kingdom.


Categories: SCA news sites

Call for Letters: Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:47

Photo by Arianna.

From Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope, Interim Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal:

Greetings unto the Youth Fighters of AEthelmearc and their Parents!

Per Kingdom law, I am calling for letters of intent for the office of Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal. I took over the last three months of Sir Thorgrim’s term, but that term is up in September, at which time Their Highnesses will appoint a new officer. I plan to apply for the position, but any interested parties are encouraged to send a letter of intent with their qualifications by Coronation (September 24, in the Shire of Heronter) to all of the following:

Applicants for the office of Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal must be paid members of the SCA and warranted youth combat marshals, with current SCA Background Checks and, if living in Pennsylvania, PA Clearances. For more information on the background check and warranting requirements, go to youthcombat.aethelmearc.org/.

The duties of the position are outlined in the Kingdom Youth Combat policies, available on the Kingdom website at aethelmearc.org under the Earl Marshal.

In service,

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope
Interim Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal


Categories: SCA news sites

Icelandic goose hunters find Viking sword

History Blog - Wed, 2016-09-07 00:57

Five friends on a goose hunting weekend in the Skaftárhreppur district near the Skaftá river in South Iceland, killed nary a single goose, but they did bag a Viking sword. It wasn’t even buried, but found on the surface of the soil. One of the hunting party, Runar Stanley Sighvatsson, said: “It was just there, waiting to be taken up.” That is probably the result of last year’s severe glacial floods eroding the old lava fields which had enveloped the sword for hundreds of years and carrying it to the field where it was found.

Runar Sighvatsson and another of the hunters, Árni Björn Valdimarsson, notified the Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland of their find and on Monday delivered the sword to Kristín Sigurðardóttir, director of the Cultural Heritage Centre. Judging from a picture of the sword Valdimarsson had posted on his Facebook page, Sigurðardóttir estimated the weapon dated to the 10th century. Her initial examination confirmed that it is a type Q sword from 10th century, possibly the first half of the 10th century. She suspects the sword was probably buried in a grave.

The hunters came across it before it had been exposed for long, so while it is corroded, there’s a bend in the blade and the tip has broken off, all the parts are there and the sword is in excellent condition. There are even splinters of wood still attached to the handle.

“There might be some remains of scabbard on the blade but we will know more about this when the conservators have done a thorough search. The goose hunters that found the sword discovered another object which we have not analyzed yet,” [Sigurðardóttir] added.

“Our archaeologists have now gone to evaluate whether this [area] is a pagan grave.”

Finding a Viking sword anywhere is immensely exciting, but particularly so in Iceland where only 22 other Viking-era swords have been found. The last one was discovered more than 10 years ago.

The precise location of the find is being kept secret to keep treasure hunters away and give the agency the chance to explore the site for any other archaeological materials that might be there. Meanwhile the sword will go to the National Museum in Reykjavík for further study and conservation.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Royal Thanks for Siege of Glengary

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2016-09-06 15:21

Unto the Kingdom do Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina, Send Greetings.

We were so very happy to spend this weekend within Our glorious Shire of Sylvan Glen. The Siege of Glengary was superbly organized by Lady Laurentia Caledonia, and We had the opportunity to see and participate in numerous arts that were new to Us. We especially thank those gentles who allowed theÆthelings and the Princess Royale to be involved.

Our royalty Liaison, Ursula of Rouen, made sure that We were well cared-for throughout the day. A vegetarian lunch was made just for Us (under the supervision of Mistress Alfrun Ketta and her husband), and We are still munching on the leftovers today. The feast by Lady Arianna del Vallone and her staff was amazing, as every meat dish had a delicious vegetarian counterpart for Us.

The site was marvelous, the weather was beautiful, and everyone seemed relaxed. And We were pleased to host so many of Our good friends from the neighboring Kingdom of Atlantia. Borders mean nothing to our SCA friendships.

In Service,
Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc


Categories: SCA news sites

Mary Rose remains and artifacts in stunning 3D

History Blog - Tue, 2016-09-06 00:37

I love a good 3D scan of historical and archeological materials. Be it the Apollo 11 command module, Revolutionary War-era gunboat, Anglo-Saxon stones, Pictish stones, Chinese oracle bones, a king’s grave, or a centenarian ham and peanut, I have spent untold hours turning, zooming and flipping 3D models. So when I say that the recently uploaded 3D scans of one skull and nine artifacts from the Tudor warship the Mary Rose are the best I’ve ever seen, that’s saying something.

It’s been a banner year for the Mary Rose, the flagship of Henry VIII’s navy which sank off the coast of Portsmouth on July 19th, 1545, and whose intact hull still containing the remains of the crew and 19,000 artifacts was raised from the Solent in 1982. This summer, after more than three decades of constant conservation, the stabilized ship was displayed to the public in all its glory in an extensively renovated exhibition hall of the Mary Rose Museum. The museum opened in 2013, but because the ship was still being renovated, it was partially obscured by an intricate network of pipes, sprayers, sheets of glass and scaffolding. Now it can be viewed from three balconies and wall to ceiling windows that give visitors the chance to observe the hull from multiple angles.

The new Mary Rose exhibition humanizes the vast archaeological treasure of the ship by featuring the stories of members of the crew whose remains and/or belongings were discovered on the ship. While their names are unknown, their roles could be deduced by the locations in which they were found (the cook in the galley, the Master Gunner near a gun on the deck), from osteological analysis (the longbow archers suffered from a shoulder blade condition still found in archers today), or from their stuff (the purser had a chest full of coins, the carpenter had his tools).

Yesterday the Mary Rose Museum launched a new website, Virtual Tudors, which focuses on one of those featured crewmen, the carpenter, and the artifacts found with him. He was in his mid-to-late 30s when he went down with the Mary Rose. He was a strong, well-muscled man 5’7″ tall who suffered from arthritis in his spine, ribs and left collar bone. He also had terrible teeth with extensive plaque build up and an abscess in his upper jaw so severe and painful that he could only have been able to chew on the right side of his mouth. Nearby were found a leather shoe (one of nearly 300 shoes found on board), an oak grooving plane (one of 22 found), a poplar whetstone holder and more.

The website is a collaboration of the Mary Rose Trust, Swansea University and Oxford University. For the general public, the skull of the carpenter, the shoe, plane, whetstone holder, plus two knife handles, two carved panels, a wooden spoon, a wooden mirror, and a section of the ship’s rigging have been 3D scanned and uploaded to the site. For the skull alone, 120 high resolution pictures were taken with a 39-megapixel camera. They were then stitched together to create a 15-megapixel 3D model. The level of detail is unbelievable. I must have stared at the rope from the rigging for a solid 30 minutes at the most extreme zoom, and I’ve barely started.

The digitization team is hoping that this project will have research advantages as well. Besides the publically viewable models, another 9 skulls have been scanned exclusively for examination by osteologists all over the world.

Each participant will be given a questionnaire to see what their assessment is of the skulls, which the UK team will then compare.
If the results are good, Dr Johnston said, they might help tackle scepticism from some in the field who insist that physically interacting with specimens is essential.

“Do you really need to hold the skull, or can you tell a lot from the digital one? There’s the potential to speed up science dramatically – but this needs to happen first.”

Because the pool of expertise can be much wider once resources like these are online, there is also the possibility that a new discovery will emerge.

“It might be that somebody in, I don’t know, Arizona, has a particular speciality and they say, ‘Do you realise that this person here has such-and-such a condition?’ It’d be very nice if that happened,” said Swansea biomechanist Nick Owen, who has previously studied the skeletons of archers from the Mary Rose.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

From the Æcademy Chancellor

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-05 10:00

Greetings unto the most talented and erudite Kingdom of Æthelmearc from
Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy!

Good Gentles,

My current term of office as Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy ends at Twelfth Night 2017.

I intend to apply for a second two-year term.

That being said, anyone interested in applying for the position of Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy is welcome to submit a resume to the Crown and the Kingdom Seneschal by October 1. If you are interested in applying for this position, please send your resume to this address.

I would be delighted to answer questions about the position and its
obligations; please contact me at chancellor@aeans.aethelmearc.org.

Yours, in Service,
Alicia


Categories: SCA news sites