The Soldier in Later Medieval England website has added the names of more than 3,500 French soldiers known to have fought in the Battle of Agincourt, the 1415 clash between the English forces of Henry V and the French under King Charles VI (in name only; Charles was suffering one of several bouts of severe mental illness at the time and was not present on the battlefield). The French fighting men are now part of a database which lists more than 250,000 names of English soldiers who fought in campaigns between 1369 and 1453, including Agincourt. All together, the database is the largest list of medieval people ever assembled.
It’s amazing the level of detail the researchers involved in this project have assembled. It’s not just lists of names, but also any additional information. For instance, of the 3,500 French soldiers in the database, researchers were able to determine that 550 died on the field of Agincourt and that another 300 were taken prisoner to be ransomed. The database also records any known geographical origins of the soldiers, their ranks, where they served and when. You can search by name, rank or year of service. There are also biographies of a number of English soldiers of particular interest to researchers and contributors.
Muster rolls were the main source of information — records keep track of the money, if nothing else — and for the English soldiers, Chancery court documents were a rich source, pace Charles Dickens and Bleak House. Soldiers had to purchase letters of protection from the Chancery to ensure they wouldn’t be subject to lawsuits when they were deployed. Very useful information if you’re looking for year of service.
Professor Anne Curry, project Director and Dean of Humanities at the University of Southampton, says: “It is fitting that this new resource has been made available following the major 600th anniversary commemorations of Agincourt in 2015, in which our university played a key role. The Medieval Soldier website has already proved an invaluable resource for genealogists and people interested in social, political and military history. This new data will help us to reach out to new users and shed fresh light on the Hundred Years War.” [...]
Professor Adrian Bell, fellow project Director and Head of the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School at the University of Reading, comments: “Our newly developed interface interrogates sources found in many different archive repositories in England and France. Without our site, searching for this information would require many visits to the National Archives of both England and France, the British Library and Bibliothèque nationale and all of the Archives Départementales in Normandy.”
Even if you don’t have an ancestor who was pincushioned by Henry V’s Welsh longbowmen or stared down the charge of the French heavy cavalry but would still like to learn more about the Battle of Agincourt, the University of Southampton is offering a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the subject that starts October 17th. They’ve run it before and it was very popular, so they’re doing it again to give people who missed the first iteration another chance. I haven’t taken this particular course, but I did do their Archaeology of Portus MOOC (that’s being offered again too) and it was excellent.
After six glorious months as our King and Queen, Their Majesties Kenric and Avelina held their last court on October 1, in the 51st year of the Society. What follows is an unofficial account of the proceedings.
Fiona O’Maille, Eleanor MacCarthaigh, and Saerlaith ingen Taithlig were recognized with the Queen’s Award of Esteem.
Eleanor MacCarthaigh was presented with the King’s Cypher and a scroll by Svea the Short Sighted.
The King’s Cypher was presented to Donovan Shinnock in a scroll made by Eadaoin Chruitire. Donovan also received the Queen’s Cypher and a scroll made by Lada Monguligin.
Filed under: Court Tagged: awards, court report, Kenric and Avelina
It is with great sadness that the Gazette shares the news of the passing of Honorable Lady Adriana Ramstar, former Seneschale of the Western Region of the East Kingdom. You can read her full memorial on the Aethelmearc Gazette.
Filed under: Tidings Tagged: aethelmearc, in memoriam
A cluster of Civil-War era artillery churned up from the sands of Folly Beach in South Carolina by Hurricane Matthew was safely detonated on Sunday evening. The 16 corroded cannonballs were found Sunday morning on the beach at East Ashley Avenue by former Folly Beach mayor Richard Beck who was walking the shoreline taking pictures of the wreckage Matthew left behind.
“I knew they were cannonballs,” he said. “One of them had a very distinct hole in it that went directly into it. Just knowing a little bit about the Civil War, I know that they put fuses in cannonballs for them to explode when they desired them to.”
Recalling a time back in his mayor days when Civil War cannonballs were found in the basement of a home and had to be detonated, Beck called the police to report the find. One of the officers who answered the call is a Civil War reenactor and confirmed the rusted lumps were indeed cannonballs.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Charleston police bomb squad were on the scene by 12:30, but couldn’t do anything until the tide was out. At around 7:00 PM, with the help of the United States Air Force Explosive Ordnance Team, authorities were able to safely detonate the cannonballs. While it’s unlikely the black powder inside of them would have ignited given their age, condition and sodden environment, as a matter of public safety, the policy is to avoid all risks and destroy the ordnance.
“We call it ‘rendering safe’ and we did that right there on the beach front,” [Charleston County Sheriff's Office spokesman [Eric] Watson said. “They’re putting the dirt from the detonation back in the hole and they’re transporting the device to (Joint Base Charleston).”
It’s not a single device, to be clear, but most of the balls are fused together by the corrosion. According to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, some of the cannonballs were detonated on the spot. The rest were transported to a nearby naval base where they were destroyed Sunday night.
Just to give you an idea of the lay of the land, Folly Beach is less than 12 miles from Charleston Harbor (by road; it’s closer by sea). A couple more miles over the water will take you to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861, when Confederate cannon barraged the Union garrison at the fort. Folly Island itself didn’t see a great deal of combat during the war — there was a single battle (more of a skirmish, really) on May 10th, 1863, when Confederate troops scouting the island attacked Union troops they found there — but the island was occupied by 13,000 Union Army in August of 1863. They used it as a supply station, building a fort and an artillery battery in support of the Union troops besieging Charleston. It was a staging area for both Battles of Fort Wagner (July-September 1863), which took place on the adjacent Morris Island. The second Battle of Fort Wagner was famously depicted in the film Glory and the remains of at least 19 men from all African-American units including the 55th Massachusetts, 1st North Carolina Colored Infantry and the Second U.S. Colored Infantry were discovered at the west end of Folly Beach in 1987.
The Honorable Lady Adriana Ramstar, known mundanely as Cecilia Sugar, died on September 30th, 2016 after a short battle with cancer. She was 66.
Though inactive in recent years, Adriana served as Seneschale of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands and also as Seneschale of the Western Region of the East Kingdom in the 1980s, before the founding of the Principality of Æthelmearc.
Adriana was primarily famed as a cook and autocrat, having helped create and organize the long-running Viking Winterfinding event that was held each fall in the Debatable Lands from the 1980s well into the 1990s. Many members of the Society once called her their SCA “Mom” for the assistance and encouragement she provided to them.
Master Morien MacBain recalls Her Ladyship this way:
Adriana Ramstar was a woman who beggared metaphor. When she sailed into my life in the summer of ’88, I was swept into her circle of tarnished young things. In her tiny, crammed walk-up flat she poured out the wine of life for us, and under her aegis we weathered battered relationships, broken hearts, hangovers, and shattered myths-of-self. She showed us the kind beating heart of the Society, and fed us on books, stories of better days, and ramen. She saw things in us that we couldn’t or wouldn’t see for ourselves. Eventually we began to shine, and many of us still carry the glints of that magic of her personality. Wherever shall we find her like again? God rest her sweet soul.
Mistress Amaryllis Coleman recalls her cooking, especially at Pennsic:
Adriana Ramstar and her cadre had the biggest of hearts and were the hardest of workers.
Pennsic storms were terrifying, especially in its earlier years. Yet when the call was made for assistance, Adriana stepped up immediately. At an early Pennsic (XIII?), she agreed to cook for an archery dinner. In spite of the storm, Adriana provided the feast she promised. At one point, she was cooking it in her camp, with a tall friend standing over her and her stove using a cape to shield her a bit while she cooked. Thus, the lucky archers got a hot and delicious meal. There was an impromptu Royal court in the barn, and a local person, Gwilym, had just been given a welcome award by King Morghun, and there was much rejoicing and vivating. At that point, a golf cart drove into the barn and [the driver] demanded to speak to the “person in charge.” Adriana, as “autocrat” stepped forward. The men in the cart both reproached and berated her, saying it was reprehensible that anyone should be enjoying themselves when there was so much real trouble going on. Adriana, while taken aback, recognized the extreme stress the Pennsic deputy was under, and instead of taking umbrage, immediately went back to camp to start cooking again, so that anyone who still needed hot food could be comforted.
She and her cadre were available to anyone in need, no matter when, who, or how big. They were known to go to events where the groups, being young or new, would be overwhelmed and ready to quit. So instead of being able to lie back and enjoy an event like most of usually get to do, she would come forward and offer their services, then proceed to arrange the kitchen, procure food, cook it, find needed personnel to run activities such as fighting, quests, etc., and people would have a great time and the groups would make money instead of lose it. They even came up with a name for themselves; “Instant Event Flakes.”
Lady Bronwyn Jourdemaine remembers another charitable event:
In 1983, [Adriana helped] put together a toy drive for the children of out-of-work steelworkers. The mills where closing then, and times were hard here.
Sir Alonzio of the Peacemakers commented:
[When] I was very young she allowed me to participate in events. At a time when there were no other children around, she welcomed me to help with setup, teardown, [and] general event things. I was able to work in her kitchens and was actively welcomed. This made a difference to me being willing to play more in the SCA.
Meesteress Odriana vander Brugghe recalls:
The thing that I remember most about Adriana Ramstar was her gracious and expansive sense of family and community. She welcomed each of us with the same unconditional love and warm caring, which was utterly foreign to me at the time. She showed me, as she showed so many, the best parts of the SCA and allowed us to find our own space within it. Her work ethic, her kindness, and her generosity became things that I so very much wished to emulate. I probably spent the better part of a year hanging out at her apartment playing RPGs and learning how to make medieval clothing. Drinking endless pots of coffee and just talking, sometimes for days on end. For me, those years contain some of my happiest memories and those people – those amazing, funny, broken, creative people that she surrounded herself with – made me feel welcome and accepted in a way that I never felt possible. When I, many years later, was looking for a new SCA name, when I found “Odriana” it reconnected me with all of those things that she taught all of us and chose it to remind myself to always be accepting of others, to work hard, to give to others before myself, to always be caring, and, above all, to remember what an enormous difference one person can make in someone’s life.
Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe says of THLady Adriana:
Boss, Sarge, Ma Vader, all these names and more, but to me and so many others she was someone we called friend. She was a mentor, a person we could depend on, and a shoulder to lean on when we needed it. For me, she was the one who, when I showed up to a local event and found that the autocrat and staff hadn’t done their job, Adriana took over and made a feast from scratch. The event has been called “The event I showed up to, and found out I was the autocrat.” She came to the event to enjoy herself, but instead comfortably gave her time and energy to save the event. She was like that. The other memory I have of her is best illustrated by one of the pictures, the one in roman garb (shown above right). Adriana indeed played Roman. Of course that was the time when I and so many young SCAdians were playing “Generic Early Period Celt.” For those of us who were also fortunate enough to have Adriana as a friend, that meant we had our own personal Roman. Good-natured jokes and songs could be directed at Rome while Adriana gamely feigned outrage and played our dignified Roman adversary. The game was fun, and more importantly made us feel we had a place in the SCA. Of course it also meant that if she needed someone to help with an event in any capacity, these unruly Celts were the people she would ask. There may not be many of those badly dressed Celts left – many have left the SCA – but so many others are the leaders and Peers of today, including myself. She gave me a home in the SCA, and I wouldn’t be here today if not for Adriana.
Meesteress Odriana, who is currently seneschal of the Debatable Lands, says “At Agincourt we will be remembering Adriana during dinner. A place will be set for her and we will have a toast to her, where those who remember her will have an opportunity to say a few words about her as they are so moved.”
THLady Adriana’s SCA awards included the East Kingdom’s Silver Crescent for service and Burdened Tyger for autocratting a specific event, Æthelmearc’s Keystone for service, and Debatable Lands Comets for service and arts.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family defray the cost of THLady Adriana’s final medical and hospice care as well as funeral expenses.
Royal Collection conservators have unmasked a hidden self-portrait of the artist in Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraten’s A Vanitas (c.1666–1700). It’s an unexpected find in still life symbolizing the fleeting nature of life and the material things we value. The vanitas was a flourishing theme in Dutch art of the 17th century, and Roestraten’s scene includes some of the most popular imagery of the genre. Coins and a medallion hanging from a Mr. T-like thicket of chains represent all those worldly goods that you can’t take with you, a skull and cinerary urn represent the certainty of death, an open pocket watch on a silk ribbon signifying transience, Democritus, known as the Laughing Philosopher, laughs at human folly from the pages of a book captioned “Everyone is sick from birth / vanity is ruining the world,” and hanging from a string above the table is a glass orb representing the fragility of life.
The rest of the room is reflected in the orb, but before conservation, all you could really see was the light shining through window panes and a bulbous shape that has to be the skull but doesn’t look like much of anything. Still, Roestraten is known for concealing surprise images in his paintings and at least nine of them are tiny self-portraits hidden in reflections in glass and mirrors. Hoping his Vanitas might have just such an Easter egg, Royal Collection conservators set to cleaning it in anticipation of the upcoming exhibition Portrait of the Artist
During the removal of discoloured varnish, Royal Collection Trust conservators found the 3cm-high image of the artist at his easel painted as a reflection on the glass sphere. Roestraten can be seen in the surroundings of his studio, looking directly at the viewer and towards the skull and silver ginger jar in the foreground of the picture.
Anna Reynolds, Senior Curator of Paintings, Royal Collection Trust, and co-curator of the exhibition, said, ‘Vanitas paintings traditionally focus on symbolic objects that are designed to make us think about how we live our lives. The discovery of Roestraten’s reflection, previously hidden beneath a layer of varnish, is very exciting and adds a new element to the work – a sort of pictorial game that encourages us to look more closely.’
A Vanitas with its newly exposed self-portrait will go on display in Portrait of the Artist along with more than 150 artworks from the Royal Collection that feature the artist in his or her own creation. Other stand-out pieces are a self-portrait drawing of Annibale Carracci (ca. 1575-80), the famous profile red chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci attributed to his student Francesco Melzi (ca. 1515-18), Jan de Bray’s The Banquet of Cleopatra (1652) in which he used himself and his family as models, a self-portrait by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1623) and one my personal favorites, Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi (ca. 1638-9).
A thousand-year-old Viking rune stone whose whereabouts have been unknown for almost 200 years was rediscovered next to Hagby Church in Uppland, eight miles west of Uppsala in southeastern Sweden. It was discovered when workers dug a trench a few feet from the church to install a lightning conductor. Uppland Museum archaeologist Emelie Sunding was present to supervise the work in case anything of historical interest was found. When she saw the edge of a large, flat stone slab with some sort of engraving, she suspected it might be a rune stone. When the dig area was expanded and more of the stone exposed, her suspicion was confirmed.
The rune stone is six feet long and more than four feet wide and is decorated with a snake-like creature with almond eyes. Its head and tail come together in the middle of the stone, and the body winds along both long edges, although one edge is broken. The head of a bird is carved opposite serpent. The runes are carved into the animal’s long body, so the missing piece makes the full inscription unreadable. The legible part reads: “Jarl and … stone after Gerfast, his father.” Rune stones were often dedications to deceased loved ones by surviving family members, so it’s likely the missing section includes the names of Jarl’s brothers and sisters.
Although the stone is unsigned, the decorative style is recognizable as the work of a rune carver named Fot who was working in the mid-11th century. He worked in southern Uppland is believed to have carved more than 40 rune stones. Fot was known to be very particular about the stones he used and his runes are long and slender. Most of what we know of his work has survived only in replicas, so an original Fot is a very exciting find.
Uppland is rich with rune stone — more than 1,300 of the 2,700 known Viking rune stones in Sweden are located there — but most of them are fragmentary. Intact rune-decorated slabs are very rare. This one was known from a number of sources long after it was carved. It was first published, as many of its brethren were, in the 17th century. A woodcut of the stone made in the late 1600s by Johan Hadorph and Johan Leitz can be seen in the 1750 book on Swedish rune stones Bautil by Johan Göransson. It was the threshold stone of Hagby Church, installed at the door of the church portico in the 1400s.
It last appears on the historical record in the early 19th century, but much of the original church was demolished in the 1830s and the stone went missing. There were stories of it having been pulled up and dumped into a nearby millstone. Thankfully those were just rumors. The stone wasn’t even moved; it was just covered with soil when the new church went up next to it and people forgot all about it.
The stone will now be fully cleaned, studied and documented, including the back which, if we’re lucky, might have more carving that hasn’t been seen before because it has been embedded in the earth on its back since the late Middle Ages. Once conserved, the plan is for it to return to Hagby Church where it will be display in pride of place at long last.
An ancient grave unearthed in Jiayi cemetery in China’s Turpan Basin contains the remains of man covered in cannabis plants. Radiocarbon dating found that the man was buried between 2,400 to 2,800 years ago. The remains of a man about 35 years of age at the time of his death were laid to rest on a wooden bed with his head on a reed pillow. Thirteen female cannabis plants, all of them close to three feet long, were laid diagonally on the man’s body. The roots placed below his pelvis, the tops reaching his chin and going up the left side of his face.
About 240 graves have been excavated in Jiayi cemetery. Archaeologists believe it was a burial ground of the Subeixi culture which lived in the oasis between 3,000 and 2,000 years ago. Cannabis has been found in other graves in the Turpan Basin before, most notably a solid two pounds of seeds and powdered leaves found in a shaman’s burial in 2008, have been found in graves from this period before, but this is the first time entire plants have survived and the first time they’ve been found in a shroud configuration.
The plants are in excellent condition, good enough to answer key questions about how cannabis was grown and used for funerary purposes in the region.
Since previous cannabis finds in Turpan burials consisted only of plant parts, it has been difficult for researchers to determine whether the plant was grown locally or obtained through trade with neighboring regions.
The plants in the Jiayi burial, however, were found lying flat on the man’s body, leading archaeologists to conclude that the cannabis had been fresh—and therefore local—when it was harvested for the burial.
In addition, while nearly all of the flowering heads of the 13 female plants had been cut off before they were placed on the body, a few that remained were nearly ripe and contained some immature fruit, suggesting that the plants were collected—and that the burial occurred—in late summer.
The surviving flowering heads also provide clues to the role of cannabis in the Turpan cultures. The fibrous plants might have been valued for their usability in textile and rope-making, for example, rather than inhaled or eaten to alter consciousness. No hemp textiles or artifacts have been found, however, and the buds found in the Jiayi grave are rich in “hairs” THC-heavy hairs, suggesting that they were grown at least in part for their psychoactive properties.
The study of the cannabis in the Jiayi grave has been published in the journal Economic Botany and can be read here for a fee (unless you have an institutional login).
Reporting herald: Lord Kazimierz.
The children who participated in the footrace were thanked for participating.
The winner of the ladies’ foot race, Lady Matilda and the second runner up, The Honorable Lady Lorita DeSiena, were called into court. Lady Matilda was informed that it was her responsibility to host the next foot race in a year’s time.
Lady Aaradyn Ghyoot and Lord Guiemer d’Anglade were inducted into The Order of the Moon.
Her Excellency Countess Svava Thorgeirsdottir was inducted into The Order of the Day Star.
Lord Scrooby was inducted into The Order of Perseus.
Master Karl Meerstappa was thanked him for running the Heavy List tournament.
The new Heavy List Champion, Master Avaldr Valbarnarson, was announced and called into court.
The current Fencing Champion, Don Lupold Jass, was thanked for running the Fencing tournament and congratulated on recently becoming an OGRE.
The new Fencing Champion, Lady Millicent Rowan, was announced and called into court.
The current A&S Champion, The Honorable Lady Lady Raziya Bint Rusa, was thanked her for running the A&S tournament. The new Champions, The Honorable Lady Eadaoin Chruitire for Arts and Morwenna O Hurlihie, for Science were announced.
The Equestrian, Thrown Weapons, and Archery participants were thanked for being involved with the event.
The Dance Mistress Countess Mara, the quire, the musicians, and the dancers were thanked for being involved with the event.
Representatives of the Quintavia Shire, Pomestnik Andreiko Eferiev and Lady Rosina Von Schaffhousen, were thanked them for coming and Their Excellencies offered Carolingia’s protection to their Shire from their neighbors.
Autocrat Don Thomas of Effingham invited event staff to stand and thanked them for their hard work. He talked about the success of the day and encouraged everyone to help with cleanup.
Anyone who this was either their first, second, or third event ever were thanked them for their participation in the SCA.
The Herald announced the success of selling items from Gold Key and that the money would be donated to the Royal Travel Fund.
Filed under: Court, Events, Local Groups
Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Crown Tournament, 1 October, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. As recorded by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with assistance from Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald.
In the afternoon:
At the conclusion of Their Crown Tournament Their Majesties stood upon the field with the victor Duke Timothy of Arindale and his consort, Duchess Gabrielle van Nijenrode and crowned them as Prince and Princess and name them Their Heirs.
Then in the evening, accompanied by Their Heirs, Prince Timothy and Princess Gabrielle, Their Majesties joined the populace for a moment of silence in honor of Lady Adriana Ramstar who died earlier that day at her home.
Their Majesties then gave leave to Their Excellencies of the Rhydderich Hael to hold Their baronial court.
The Tribe of Tuatha Fieren was invited before Their Majesties whereupon they offered tithe and a gift basket full of Æthelmice, then and pledged their service to the Crown and Heirs. They also shared with the populace that this would be their last time conducting the raffle at War Practice but would continue service in other ways to the kingdom. Their Majesties expressed Their appreciation to The Tribe for their longstanding service to the Kingdom.
Next, the youthful Wentliana Verch Meuric was summoned before the Sylvan Throne. Their Majesties told of her help in the kitchens and with retaining, and then inducted her in to the Order of the Silver Buccle. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Mairghread Stiobhard inghean ui Choinne.
The children of AEthelmearc were then called into Court where Their Majesties sent them with His Lordship, Darian of the Wood, to be entertained with trinkets and toys for the remainder of the day’s court.
Lord Wolfgang Starke next approached Their Majesties whereupon he was presented with a new charter for the AEthelmearc Brewers Guild. Scroll by THLady Zofia Kowalewska.
Their Majesties then called to be attended by the Ladies of the Rose and Garnet. The Ladies spoke of the deeds of valor and chivalry done this day upon the lists of Their Majesties crown tourney. They mentioned specifically the deeds of THLord Rouland of Willowbrooke and of THLord Dominic Morland, but above all they sang the praises of THLord Ruslan Igotavich Vornov and bestowed upon him the Shield of Chivalry. Have been regaled thus, Their Majesties invited His Lordship Ruslan to join Their Court.
Baroness Rosemund von Glinde was invited to present herself to Their Majesties. They spoke of her artistry as an illuminator and so commended her efforts by inducting her into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Freihern Helena Mutzhasen.
Next, Lady Zinoviia Ivanova was called before the Throne. Their Majesties spoke her skill at arms and axes, and then inducted her into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll Master Caleb Reynolds.
Having further need of the Bearer of the Shield of Chivalry, Their Majesties sought to be attended again by THLord Ruslan Igotavich Voronov. They spoke of his authenticity in his appearance and his efforts in recreation, and so did induct him into the Order of the Golden Stirrup. Scroll, in the form of a large stone, by Hersir Torvaldr Torvgarson.
Having business of her own to conduct, Mistress Sthurrim Caithness sought audience before The Crown. She was accompanied by Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce da Siena, and before Their Majesties and the populace gathered did present to Baroness Juliana a belt of green and take her as an apprentice. Their Majesties, being well-pleased with the artistry of illumination of Baroness Juliana called for Their Order of the Fleur d’AEthelmearc and, confirming with the group their desire to have Baroness Juliana counted among their numbers, did make it so. Calligraphy and illumination by THLady Zofia Kowalewska with words by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.
THLady Cordelia Colton was next invited to present herself. The Crown spoke of the care and nurturing of the youth of the kingdom, and for her dedication and labors did name her a Baroness of the Court. Scroll by Mistress Gillian Llwelyn of Ravenspur.
Her Majesty then addressed the populace and spoke of the many inspirational deeds done this day. Yet the deeds of one noble stood above the others in Her mind and so THLord Rouland of Willowbrooke was called before Her Majesty and was named as Her Inspiration and presented with a Golden Escarbuncle.
Their Majesties then thanked all those scribes who contributed works this day and for Their Coronation; for their toil and work, and provided them each with a personal token.
There being no further business, this court of Their Majesties was closed.
Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta
Greek police have busted a large-scale criminal organization that trafficked in looted antiquities. More than 2,000 artifacts, most of them coins dating from as early as the 6th century B.C., were confiscated in the bust. There are 2024 coins, 126 assorted artifacts, the oldest of which is a marble Cycladic figurine from the 3rd millennium B.C. Other artifacts include gold jewelry, three gold plates weighing a total of 110 grams, bronze arrow tips, a bronze animal figurine, a glass vase, five Byzantine icons, a Byzantine cross, and two medieval statues of a male warrior and a woman which were found hidden in a well in Nemea.
Led by the police directorate in Patras, southwestern Greece, authorities investigated the operation for 14 months. More than 50 people are believed to have been part of the ring which ranged all over the country and covered every part of the traffic from illegal excavations to illegal export. The gang found artifacts by digging at or nearby known archaeological sites and by using satellite imagery to identify new potential sites. The worker bees would dig at night to avoid detection, and the leaders of the ring would then arranged for the sale of the artifacts by directly negotiating with auction houses and private buyers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK.
Thanks to extensive documentation found in the bust, police have the full receipts on who bought what when. The dirty auction houses, which Greek authorities are not naming because of laws protecting suspects from exposure before trial, not only knowingly ginned up bullshit ownership histories (heyo Swiss private collection!), they also conspired with the looters to artificially jack up the bids during live auctions to squeeze more money out of buyers and even went so far as to give these bastards tens of thousands of euros so they’d have the cash to buy black market artifacts, mainly coins, that they hadn’t themselves excavated.
Underscoring the wide range of the criminal conspiracy, police also found a cache of weapons — modern shotguns, rifles, pistols, air guns, bullets, a silencer, plus an antique pistol and antique swords — 21 metal detectors, 73 cellphones, 17 computers, currency measuring scales, piles of cash in euros, dollars and Kuwaiti dinars and counterfeit plates. But wait, there’s more! Seven cars and some cannabis, to be precise.
Two of the leaders of the gang, a 54-year-old father and 27-year-old son, were arrested Sunday at the Greek-Bulgarian border. Police found 946 ancient coins and 32 ancient artifacts hidden in the bumper of their car. Another 24 members of the gang were arrested as well. It seems this outfit has been operating for at least 10 years.
Two rare Egyptian mummy portraits with a dramatic history will be sold at Christie’s Antiquities auction in New York on October 25th. One is an encaustic on wood portrait of a woman, identifiable from her hairstyle (a single braid wrapped around her head) and earrings as dating to the 2nd century A.D.; the other, also encaustic on wood, is a portrait of a bearded man from the 2nd century A.D. The pre-sale estimate for the woman is $150,000-250,000, for the man $100,000-150,000.
They are being offered for sale by the Mosse Art Restitution Project which represents the heirs of Rudolf Mosse (1843-1920), a German Jewish publisher and philanthropist who amassed an extensive collection of art and antiquities in his lifetime. The portraits were part of that collection, probably acquired thanks to his sponsorship of archaeological excavations by German Egyptologist Heinrich Karl Brugsch. Brugsch died in 1894, so if the portraits did come through him, they left Egypt legally in the 19th century which is not something you see every day with mummy portraits.
Mosse published the liberal newspaper the Berliner Tageblatt. After his death, his daughter Felicia’s husband Hans Lachmann-Mosse took over as publisher. When the Nazis came on the scene, the newspaper under editor-in-chief Theodor Wolff was heavily critical of them. Then came February 1933, the Reichstag fire and the quick series of legislative changes that instituted single party rule and suspended civil liberties. In the beginning of March, 1933, Hans Lachmann-Mosse succumbed to pressure to take Wolff off the masthead and drastically shift the direction of the paper to the political right. Wolff, who was Jewish (he was Rudolf Mosse’s cousin, in fact), liberal and the founder of one of the parties that would soon be outlawed, had already fled by then, taking off for Austria the day after the fire.
Hans’ efforts to go with the flow were wasted, of course. He and Felicia were forced to flee, leaving the great Mosse collection behind to be preyed upon by Nazi art gluttons. The collection was confiscated by the state and sold at auction. The Egyptian portraits were acquired by none other than Erich Maria Remarque, author of the classic World War I novel, All Quiet on the Western Front.
The Nazis hated Erich Maria Remarque. Even before the Nazi takeover of Germany, Joseph Goebbels excoriated Remarque’s novel and dispatched Hitler Youth to cause gross disruptions — releasing large numbers of mice, throwing stink bombs — in theaters showing the extremely popular and critically acclaimed Hollywood movie of the book. Remarque was derided as a crypto-Jew (he was Catholic from a long line of Catholics), a Marxist (he wasn’t even a leftist, just a pacifist) and a coward who hadn’t even seen combat in World War I (he was wounded on the Western Front, taking shrapnel in his leg, back and neck). Remarque’s books were officially banned on May 10th, 1933, just over two months after the passage of the Reichstag Fire Decree that all but abolished civil liberties. He was burned in effigy in front of Berlin’s opera house, and his books were thrown on the great bonfire alongside those of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann.
Remarque moved to his villa in Switzerland. His collection of art and Egyptian antiquities, now including the two Mosse mummy portraits, went with him. After his death in 1970, his collection passed to his wife Paulette Goddard-Remarque, famous in her own right as a silent movie actress and Charlie Chaplin’s ex-wife who starred in with him in Modern Times and, in a lovely middle finger to Hitler, in The Great Dictator. She sold the portraits to the University of Zurich. Researchers at the university identified them last year as having been part of the Mosse collection and they were restituted to the foundation.
This kind of deep background is unusual for mummy portraits, not just because there are celebrities involved, but because when they crop up in the market, they often have very little in the way of documented history. For instance, this exquisitely beautiful portrait of a woman from ca. 55-70 A.D. that sold at Christie’s in 2006 for $262,400 has a single line in the Provenance category: “Thierry Cambelong, Switzerland, 1970s.” It’s every art dealer’s favorite mythical Canadian girlfriend, the Swiss private collection vaguely dated to the 1970s so it won’t fall afoul of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Interestingly enough, if you Google “Thierry Cambelong,” all you get are four entries from antiquities auctions. This mummy portrait of a striking young man from ca. 80-140 A.D. has even less to go on in terms of ownership history. There is no provenance category at all, only a reference to it having been published in a 1999 book on Romano-Egyptian funerary art.
On the first of October, Anno Societatis 51, in the Barony of Bergental, there was a Coronation. By the hands of King Kenric III and Queen Avelina III, Duchess Anna Ophelia Halloway Tarragon was crowned Queen Anna III. There was a brief pause in the Coronation ceremony as Brion sang “My Queen” to Queen Anna, bringing her – and several among the attending staff and audience – to joyful tears. Queen Anna then crowned Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon as King Brion III. They took the fealty of Their Great Officers of State, and of House Runnymede, and of Their Champions, and the people of the East and swore fealty to all of them in return. Rightfully crowned, they then called for Duke Kenric aet Essex, Duchess Avelina Keyes, and Lady Aethelthryth Kenricing and gave them gifts in return for the time they served the Kingdom. They then installed the Queen’s Guard and the Lords and Ladies in Waiting to their stations, before retiring to sit in State. Some little while later, the first Court of Their Majesties Brion III and Anna III was opened.
Duchess Rowan de la Garnison, Ambassador from Their Majesties Marcus and Marguerite of the Kingdom of AEthelmearc, was called before the Crown. She presented the words of Their Sylvan Majesties, words of friendship and unity, and gifts of the produce of their lands, cloth of their colours, and jewels. Duchess Rowan was warmly thanked for the gifts and instructed to bring Their Oriental Majesties’ own words of friendship back with her.
Their Majesties then called for the children of the East. King Brion spoke to the children, saying that if they wanted a toy from the chest, they must pursue scholarly deeds. He called for his Champion of Horse, Baroness Lillian Stanhope, and sent the children to follow her and learn something of horsemanship before each could take a toy.
Queen Anna then called for Duchess Aikaterine FitzWilliam who, though not present, was thanked for the splendid Coronation garb she created for the Crown.
Their Majesties called for Jehannette Bouchart. They spoke of her work as a tourney herald, as kitchen staff, and as a retainer for the Crown. Wishing to reward such works, They Awarded her Arms and made her a Lady of the Court. To commemorate this, Lady Jehannette was given a scroll created by Duchess Thora Eiriksdottir.
Drake MacGregor was brought before the thrones and Their Majesties praised him as a workhorse, quietly getting things done and striving to better himself. In recognition of his accomplishments, They Awarded him Arms, making him a Lord of the Court. A scroll by Baroness Mari Clock van Hoorne was presented to Lord Drake so that he would remember the day.
The Crown then asked for Lord Pádraig Ó Riain, who came forward. They spoke of the many years he had been involved in the Society, his time as Seneschal, his running of events and his work setting up and breaking down events for others. Wishing to recognise his many works, Pádraig was made a Companion of the Order of the Silver Wheel and given a scroll crafted by Heather Rose de Gordoun.
Celia le Taverner was summoned and Their Majesties spoke of her time attending previous Royals and her time spent braiding hair for others, and how she made others feel good about themselves. The King and Queen wished to reward such works and Awarded her Arms and gave the new Lady Celia a scroll with calligraphy and illumination by Lady Aesa Lokabrenna Sturludottir and words by Lord Arthur le Taverner.
King Brion then announced the winners of the tourney held that day. Duke Brennan mac Fearghus was called forward as the winner. He was presented a glass in recognition of his feat. His Majesty then called for Lord Corwin Blackthorn and praised his comportment in the lists and gave him a glass that he might remember his accomplishment.
The business of the day finished, King Brion and Queen Anna thanked the people of Bergental and the people of the East for supporting Them and attending Their Coronation. On that note, Court was closed and Their Majesties processed out.
Master Rowen Cloteworthy
Filed under: Court Tagged: coronation, court report
Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron et Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Final Court at the 23rd Annual Harvest Raid, and Coronation of Their Heirs, Marcus and Margerite, 23-24 September Anno Societatis LI, in the Shire of Heronter. As recorded by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Premier Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Principal Herald, and Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta.
In the evening on the 23rd, Their Majesties and Her Highness Princess Margerite announced that Ronan O’Connall had, on the preceding Sunday, been accorded the rank of Master Bowman and presented with a scroll by Katherine Täntzel to commemorate the occasion.
Their Majesties also invited Sir Ian Kennoven before Them, and then convened those members of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel present.They then commended him unto the Order’s care to continue to advise him as he considered induction into their number.
In addition, Her Highness Margerite passed on the mantle of Kingdom Chancellor of Youth to Her successor, The Honorable Lady Cordelia Colton. Their Majesties thanked Her Highness for Her service even as she took up the burden of royalty, and further expressed confidence that Her Ladyship Cordelia will fill the role admirably. Court was then suspended.
Upon the morning of the 24th, Their Majesties bid all draw nigh to bear witness to Their Coram Regibus Ultima.
Their Majesties brought before them Duke Christopher Rawlyns, Sir Maghnus de Cnoc an Iora, Baron Tofi Kerthjalfaddson, and Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful. The Crown then proclaimed that these gentles, and The Honorable Lady Rosalia Iuliana Andere, were charter members of the Royal Livery Company of Engineers, the Royal Academy of Engineers, and the Royal Corps of Engineers, the Terms of the Charter agreed upon and signed by Their Majesties and the Charter Members.
Next, Their Majesties called for Rhys Penbras ap Dafydd, who was not present. Nevertheless, Their Majesties deemed his dedication and skill worthy of recognition with an Award of Arms. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
Their Majesties sought Theodoric of York, and commended him on his archery and fletching. To accord his skills with fitting recognition, They Awarded him Arms. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Eleanore Godwin.
Next did Their Majesties summon Alexander Logan of Argyll. Her Majesty told with relish the tale of Logan’s chivalry at Pennsic, when Princess Leah was sore in need of a token to give to a champion. In addition to this timely assistance, Their Majesties noted his service to his household and as a retainer, and therefore deemed it proper to Award him Arms. Scroll unsigned.
Their Majesties then desired the attendance of Láegaire Mac Conaill Meic Shiadahail. Citing his contributions to the Gazette and his dedication to fighting, Their Majesties were minded to Award him Arms. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.
Then Their Majesties sought Alexia Cavalier. Mindful of her skills with sword and needle, her training as a marshal, and her construction of fencing armor, They Awarded her Arms. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.
The Honorable Lord Guillaume le Noir was next summoned to attend Their Majesties. They spoke with admiration of his unfailing courtesy, his selflessness, and his consistent kindness: hallmarks of the Order of the Cornelian, into which Order They were moved to induct him. Scroll by The Honorable Lady Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.
Their Majesties then called for Jing Hao, who being not present, was Awarded Arms in absentia for skill in fencing. Scroll by Zhang Ming Li.
Next, Their Majesties expressed to Their Excellencies, Brandubh and Hildarun of the Debatable Lands, Their need to borrow Lady Rivka bat Daniyal in order to speak with her. Once she had been (temporarily) relinquished, Their Majesties noted that there is rarely a time when she is not seen contributing–if not retaining, then singing, acting in Commedia, embroidering, and much more. Service of such dedication merits praise, and thus did They induct her into Their Order of the Keystone, whereupon Baron Brandubh presented her with an ancestral medallion of her lineage. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope upon wording by Lord Robert pour Maintenant.
Their Majesties summoned Lady Elzbieta Traidenyte before Them. Noting with pleasure her efforts to provide tasty, well-researched, and non-alcoholic drinks, They named her a Companion of the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by The Honorable Lord Ælric Ravenshaw.
Their Majesties next called for Master Juan Miguel Cezar and the other members of the Order of the Scarlet Guard in attendance. At the Crown’s urging, Master Juan Miguel announced that earlier that morning, Their Majesties had signed the Scarlet Guard Accord, which will extend an equivalency among archers in Orders of High Merit in other kingdoms. The details of the Accord will be published elsewhere.
Seeing the archers of the Scarlet Guard arrayed before Them, Their Majesties noted the absence of one whom They would see join the Order. They thus called Baroness Mariana Maria Pietrosanti to come forward, and inducted her into their number. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
Next, Their Majesties desired to see The Honorable Lord Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndyfyrdwy. Their Majesties recounted the years that this gentle has supported Barony, Canton, Principality, and Kingdom, and the number of arenas where he has enhanced the Dream and broadened our activities. Mindful of these long and tireless contributions, They deemed it meet and proper to name Rhiannon a Baron of Their Court. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.
Their Majesties, aware that Lady Marguerite de Neufchasteau had met with unexpected calamity, invited Baroness Sadira of Thescorre to take Their words to her. They then spoke of Lady Marguerite’s cooking and rewarded her skill by naming her a Companion of the Sycamore. Scroll by Mistress Gillian Llewellyn of Ravenspur.
Following this, Their Majesties desired to be attended by Their Officers of State. Knowing that Their time was growing short, Their Majesties thanked these diligent stewards of the realm, for making Their reign all They wished it would be.
Upon the officers’ withdrawal, His Majesty was seized by a feeling of weakness, and concluded that perhaps, as His beard had greyed and He had grown old in His time on the throne, it would be appropriate to pass the title off to his eldest male heir. Thus was Joshua Ætheling brought before his Royal father, and offered the Crown as his inheritance. Much to His Majesty’s dismay, the Prince Royale declared that he would rather just sing! His Majesty immediately dismissed Joshua back to the Debatable Lands, and called him Ætheling no more.
His Majesty then expressed desire to bequeath the realm to his next son, Ian Ætheling, but Her Majesty reminded Our Monarch that the second Prince Royale was on crusade in the Midrealm. Hearing this noble pursuit, His Majesty also dismissed his second son, and revoked his title of Ætheling.
Faced with a lack of male heirs, His Majesty began to seek an alternative, when Princess Leah presented herself before the throne, declaring that His Majesty’s patriarchal primogeniture was unjust and more importantly, far behind the times. Chastened, His Majesty offered the Princess the throne. “I just want to ride my horse, shooting arrows into the sunset, with my hair flying in the wind!” she replied.
At a loss for how to ensure the security of the Kingdom, His Majesty called for His Seneschal, Duke Christopher Rawlyns, who reminded him of a tournament held not long ago, and that the winner of that tournament, Prince Marcus, was the lawful Heir to the Sylvan Throne. Prince Marcus also came forward to assert his claim and fill the void
Hearing these words, Their Majesties were gladdened to know that They would not leave the kingdom unattended. His Majesty asked the Prince for a little time in which to conclude Their business, and the Prince granting this request, withdrew.
Their Majesties called forward Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter and Mistress Katla úlfheðinn, heads of the Household of Stormhaven. They were not in attendance but Lady Raven Whitehart stood for them. Throughout the reign, House Stormhaven was a consistent support to the Crown, and therefore, Their Majesties wished to bestow unto the Household a Sigil of Æthelmearc.
Their Majesties also bestowed Sigils unto the following gentles: THL Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie, THL Hara Kikumatsu, THL Elsa Taliard, Countess Alexandra of Clan Donald, Sir Magariki Katsuichi no Koredono, Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir, Baroness Betha Symonds, Mistress Baga Aleea, Mistress Irene von Schmetterling, THL Ottilige Rappoltsweiler, Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe, Countess Elena D’Artois, Dux Magnus Tindal, Mistress Chrestienne de Waterdene, Countess Genevieve du vent Argent, THL Elss of Augsburg, Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful, Master Alaric MacConnal, Meisterin Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen, Mistress Filipia Capriotti, Master Ambros Kyrielle, THL Guillaume le Noir, THL Ælric Ravenshaw, Herrin Gesa von Wellenstein, Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes, Mistress Mahin bint Tabrizi, Hlaefdige Cynewyn Æthelweardeddohter, Meisterin Felicitas Flußmüllnerin, Mistress Elisabeth Johanna von Flossenburg, THL Madeleine de L’Este, Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope, Master Juan Miguel Cezar, THL Alime bint Yorgi, Herrin Dominique Von Weißenthurn, Señora Elena de la Palma, Dame Elsbeth Anne Roth, Lord Hrolfr Fjarfell, and Mistress Antoinette de la Croix.
Then Their Majesties brought forward Meisterin Fredeburg, Captain of Her Majesty’s Guard, and those others who stood as guard during the reign. Her Majesty thanked them for their service and for attending any and all who came within the Royal Presence, their protection and their willingness to keep Her safe, and then She released them from Her service.
Their Majesties called once more for the attendance of Master Alaric MacConnal and The Honorable Lady Elss of Augsburg, Head Retainers, and all those others who served as retainers to the Royal Court throughout the reign. With gratitude for their selfless service, Their Majesties released them all, and asked them to withdraw.
Finally, Their Majesties bid Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful quit her place behind the thrones and come before Them. Kameshima-kyō Silver Buccle released her from her duties as Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, and Their Majesties thanked her for fulfilling the position, serving the Crown, and setting an example for others to follow.
Their Majesties then called for Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite. Heirs to the Sylvan Thrones.
Their Highnesses swore to use Their royal power to love all that was true and fair, to be true to Their people, and to protect the Realm. As Their last acts as King and Queen, Thomas Byron and Ariella crowned Marcus and Margerite the 39th monarchs of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
Thus ends the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron et Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc.
In Honor and Service,
The lineage of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was read.
Kameshima-kyō Silver Buccle did call Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta before him and, upon receiving his oath, did name him Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald. Orlando Jewel of Æthelmearc then swore his service and fealty to Their Majesties.
Their Majesties invited before Them Mester Meszaros Janos and Baroness Rowena Moore and named them Their Majordomo and Head Retainer.
Their Majesties invited before Them Count Sir Robin Wallace and Countess Ysabeau de l’Isle and named them Chivalry Advisor to the Queen’s Guard and Mistress of the Wardrobe.
Their Majesties did call for Don Jacob of Dunmore, and for his service to the Crown, they did name him a Baron of the Court. Scroll by Duchess Dorinda Courtenay. Thus recognized, Her Majesty named Baron Jacob as the Captain of Her Guard. The Captain then assembled Her Majesty’s Guard.
The Great Officers of State were invited, and swore to execute the duties of their several offices to the best of their ability.
The Barons and Baronesses of the Debatable Lands, Thescorre, Rhydderich Hael, Delftwood, Blackstone Mountain and St. Swithin’s Bog each presented themselves before Their Majesties and did swear to keep the several lands appointed to them in the name of the Kingdom.
The Royal Peers and the Companions of the Orders of Chivalry, the Laurel, the Pelican and Defense each did come forth and give their allegiances to the Crown and Kingdom.
Their Majesties did request an audience with Baron Sir Thomas Byron of Haverford and Baroness Sir Ariella of Thornbury. For their service as monarchs, Their Excellencies were granted the titles of Earl and Countess and the station of Royal Peers. Scroll in progress by Master Morien ap Rhys with wording by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.
Furthermore, Her Excellency was created a Companion of the Order of the Rose. Scroll by THL Ismay Ponde.
The Order of the White Scarf was summoned before Her Majesty, and as is custom, presented Her with the badge of their Order and pledged their service to Her as their inspiration.
In the evening…
Their Majesties addressed the assembled populace and expressed Their gratitude for those in attendance and the many labors by hands who served to make this event possible.
Their Majesties then expelled Dan Heyman, known in the Society as Dan of the Debatable Lands; Derek Holton, known in the Society as Bluestar, and James Henry Shaffer IV, known in the Society as Cadan Buri, from participation in any SCA activity.
Their Majesties then called forth all children present and, thanks to the efforts of Sir Óláfr Þorvarðarson and the generosity of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, provided the children with trinkets and treasures for their entertainment during court.
Master Fridrikr Tomasson was next invited into court whereupon he shared with the populace news of the upcoming Arts and Sciences championship. He encouraged the populace to consider entering the competition or serving as a judge. He shared that one could register for either activity online. He also announced that, for the first time, there would be a youth champion selected.
Duke Timothy of Arindale next was summoned to Court where he told of the prowess and valor displayed upon the field today as combatants vied for the honor to serve as the Heavy Weapons Champion. In the end, Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn was victorious and, being called forward and receiving his oath, was invited by Their Majesties to join Their court.
Maestro Antonio de Luna was then called forward to tell of the thrown weapons events of the day. He announced that a Dr. Seuss tourney was held and that Lord Valentin Lyme was the winningest winner of the day.
Next, Duke Mathew Blackleaf was invited to share news of the day’s Æthelmearc 500 tourney. His Grace shared that the day’s fighting was intense and the final results were close, but Duke Maynard von dem Steine emerged victorious.
Their Majesties, having learned of an ambassador from Their cousins from the Kingdom of Lochac did call for Countess Beatrice Maria Malateste to approach the Sylvan Throne. Her Excellency spoke of the well-wishes of her King and Queen, and bestowed upon Their Majesties Æthelmearc tokens and gifts of esteem. Their Sylvan Majesties spoke fondly of the generosity, graciousness, and friendship of Their Majesties Lochac and bid her Excellency carry Their words back to her crown.
Lord Ho Chi, emissary of the Barony of Gotvik of the Kingdom of Drachenwald, was then called before The Crown. He also shared words on behalf of his baron and baroness to Their Majesties and presented gifts and tokens of esteem, and an offer of hospitality should the Crown or subjects of Æthelmearc ever find themselves with the borders of Gotvik. Their Sylvan Majesties then spoke of Their gratitude for the kindness shown and bid Lord Ho Chi carry Their words back to his baron and baroness.
Next, Their Majesties sought audience with Lady Aine ny Allane, Baron Ichijo Honen, Lord Borislav Novgorod, Sir Marek Viacheldrago, Lady Sybilla Detwyller, and Tegan Rhodes. Their Majesties spoke of the service these fine gentles gave by providing help to members of the Society during the recent flooding in the lands known as southern West Virginia. In recognition of their selfless service, Their Majesties bestowed upon each of them the Æthelmearc Award of Excellence. Tokens made by the hands of Lady Astrid Vigaskegg.
Angelo was then called before Their Majesties, who spoke of his service to the fighter community and to younger children. Their Majesties then saw fit to induct him into the order of the Silver Buccle. Scroll by Lady Giselle of the Rhydderich Hael.
Their Majesties spoke of Their wish to speak with Baroness Slaine an Einigh, who then presented herself before the Court. Their Majesties spoke of her quiet service; of retaining and running events. Having earned Their favor, Their Majesties then inducted her into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.
Baroness Rowena Moore next presented herself before Their Sylvan Majesties who spoke of her willingness to give repeatedly of her skill, time, and love to the people of her barony and of the kingdom. For these good works Their Majesties did name her a companion of the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by the hands of The Honorable Lady Renata Rouge.
Lord Aaron the Swift was then called forward. His Majesty spoke of Lord Aaron’s prowess on the field and of the renown he has earned among the fighting community, and so inducted Lord Aaron into the Order of the Golden Alce. Scroll unsigned.
Next Their Majesties wished to have words with Lady Sara Ballengee. They spoke of her courtesy and kindness toward others, and being pleased with Their subject in these ways did bestow upon her a Cornelian so that others might know of the esteem of The Crown. Scroll by Helena Mützhasen.
Baroness Bronwyn nic Gregor was then invited before Their Majesties, who spoke at length regarding her quiet and ongoing service. They spoke specifically of her time at troll, of being a welcoming presence for newcomers, and her assistance with the list tables to ensure tournaments run well. Their Majesties then called for the Order of the Millrind and did induct Baroness Bronwyn into that esteemed order. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.
Their business not yet being concluded with the Order of the Millrind, Their Majesties bade Their order tarry a bit longer and called for Duchess Morgen of Rye. Their Majesties told of the leadership and inspiration of Duchess Morgan and, seeing it right and proper, did make her a companion of the Order of the Millrind. Scroll illumination by the hands of The Honorable Lady Isabel Fleuretan. Calligraphy by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.
Next, Sir Ian Kennovan was summoned before Their Majesties. When asked for his answer as to whether he wished to be counted among the companions of the Order of the Laurel, Sir Ian did answer in the affirmative. Therefore, the Order of the Laurel was invited to join Their Majesties in Their Court. Duke Mathew Blackleaf then came forward as a royal peer and spoke of Sir Ian’s exceptional service, how he inspires others, and how he has an understanding of the nuances of the kingdom. Speaking for the Order of Chivalry Sir Otto of Westphalia spoke of how Sir Ian’s chivalry is not just confined to the list, but that he is honorable and humble in all aspects of his life and conduct. Master Anias Fenn spoke on behalf of the Order of Defense regarding that nebulous something that Sir Ian has to inspire others who are in his presence. Master Filippo de Sancto Martino spoke for the Order of Pelican to Sir Ian’s service when no one else watches, how he has persevered and learned through failure and is not afraid to fail, how he finds ways to overcome the impossible, and serves with joy while living The Dream. Mester Meszaros Janos spoke of Sir Ian as one who is both skilled as an artist and a scientist and how rare a trait this is. He spoke of how Sir Ian will bring this trait to the Order and how the Order and the Kingdom would benefit. Hearing the words of these peers, Their Sylvan Majesties were moved to induct Sir Ian into the Order of the Laurel. They called for a hood to cover his head, a pin to let others know of his new station, a wreath of laurels to crown his brow, and a fruitcake to fill his belly. Having regaled him thus, Their Majesties received his oath and proclaimed him to the populace as a Companion of the Order of the Laurel. Scroll, in the form of a round shield, was constructed by Master Caoinleán Seanchaidh and Mistress Cynthia Love of Tower, with words by Duchess Dorinda Courtenay.
Her Majesty then called for Viscount Edmond Dracatorr. She spoke of a particular fight His Excellency fought during the tourney for the kingdom heavy weapons championship. Her Majesty remarked on not just the prowess, but the conduct toward his opponent, and so was moved to name Viscount Edmond her inspiration this day and for this she bestowed upon him a Golden Escarbuncle.
There being no further business, the court of Their Majesties was closed.
In Honor and Service,
After the magnitude 6.9 Irpinia earthquake devastated Naples and its environs in 1980, damaging the ancient city of Pompeii, authorities invited international researchers to help thoroughly document the ruins. The Swedish Pompeii Project was founded in 2000 with the aim of recording and studying a full block of the city, Insula V 1. Since 2010, the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University has been working on the project, ushering in a new approach that combines archaeological finds, photographs and data recorded at the site and makes 3D models out of them.
“By combining new technology with more traditional methods, we can describe Pompeii in greater detail and more accurately than was previously possible”, says Nicoló Dell’Unto, digital archaeologist at Lund University.
Among other things, the researchers have uncovered floor surfaces from AD 79, performed detailed studies of the building development through history, cleaned and documented three large wealthy estates, a tavern, a laundry, a bakery and several gardens. In one garden, they discovered that some of the taps to a stunning fountain were on at the time of eruption – the water was still gushing when the rain of ash and pumice fell over Pompeii.
The researchers occasionally also found completely untouched layers. In a shop were three, amazingly enough, intact windows (made out of translucent crystalline gypsum) from Ancient Rome, stacked against each other. By studying the water and sewer systems they were able to interpret the social hierarchies at the time, and see how retailers and restaurants were dependent on large wealthy families for water, and how the conditions improved towards the end, before the eruption.
You can already peruse 3D models of the structures on the entire block on the Swedish Pompeii Project website, but they’re still a tad on the minimalist side at this point. One structure, however, the grand house of Caecilius Iucundus, has been virtually reconstructed in glorious detail. They recreated it as it was before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. laid waste to the city while simultaneously preserving it.
Here is a quick overview of the project and model:
Here is a quick walkthrough of the 3D reconstruction of the house:
And here is the money, a beautifully thorough 11-minute tour through the ruins and reconstruction of the house of Caecilius Iucundus:
To the gentle folk of Æthelmearc, Greetings!
We hope to see many gentles at Champs!
An archaeological excavation of the ancient Greek city of Teos on the west coast of modern-day Turkey has unearthed a marble tablet inscribed with an incredibly detailed leasing contract. The tablet was discovered west of the early 2nd century B.C. Temple of Dionysus, the largest temple to Dionysus in the ancient world which according to Vitruvius was built by famed Hellenistic architect Hermogenes of Priene. One of 400 tablets discovered at Teos (200 unearthed since 2010), the stele is five feet long and contains an impressive 58 lines of Greek text.
The inscription covers the minutiae of a lease on property in the city’s gymnasium. In ancient Greece, the gymnasium was an open-air facility for training for athletic contests like the Olympics and other public games, general physical education, scholarly disquisitions on and discussion of philosophy, art and literature. As all public games were religious festivals whose outcomes held portentous meaning to the participating cities, the gymnasia were usually carefully regulated by the local authorities.
The tablet illuminates the pivotal role played by the gymnasium in Teos as well as exploring previously unknown details about the city’s laws and social order. The gymnasium students, known as Neos, had inherited a substantial property from a resident of Teos. He donated his land, all of the buildings on it, the slaves attached to it and an altar to the Neos who were not kids, but citizens between the ages of 20 and 30. Of course maintenance of property, buildings, human chattel and religious shrines takes money, which the Neos didn’t have, so they had to rent the land in order to keep it.
Because of the altar on the land, the property was categorized as holy and therefore exempt from taxes. The Neos wanted use of the holy altar, so they included a codicil allowing them access to the altar three days in the year. They put the land up for auction — just for lease, not for sale — and it was rented to the highest bidder. The tablet records the name of the previous owner and of the lessor. One guarantor and six witnesses, three of them city administrators, were required to validate the agreement.
“This inscription reveals the structure of the Gymnasium and that the Neos were able to own a property. This is first and only example in the ancient world. Almost half of the inscription is filled with punishment forms. If the renter gives damage to the land, does not pay the annual rent or does not repair the buildings, he will be punished. The Neos also vow to inspect the land every year,” said [Professor Mustafa Adak, the head of Akdeniz University's Prehistoric Languages and Cultures Department].
“There are two particularly interesting legal terms used in the inscription, which large dictionaries have not up to now included. Ancient writers and legal documents should be examined in order to understand these words mean,” Adak said.
The Neos were citizens closely involved in the political life of the city. The renter would not have been wise to mess with them because all those punishments literally carved into stone could and certainly would be enforced.
I love that the legalese on the tablet retains its impenetrability even to experts in ancient languages 2,200 years after it was written.
If so, plan to attend Æthelmearc AEcademy and War College, hosted by the gracious Shire of Nithgaard on Saturday, November 12.
Don’t see your favorite topic listed? Sign up to teach!
Class slots are filling up quickly! Only 12 time slots remain, so please register ASAP and avoid disappointment. (NOTE: If you do not receive a message thanking you for registering your class, please contact me; that means your registration did not go through.)
If you’ve never taught at Æcademy (or if it’s been a while), no problem! It’s easy to register — Just go to the Æcademy registration website and supply the requested information about yourself and your class.
If you’ve never taught a class (or have taught but are still a bit nervous about teaching), please check out our resources for teachers.
If you are considering teaching a class but are hesitant because it is financially prohibitive, please consider applying for the Countess Aidan ni Leir Stipend:
In memory of Countess Aidan ni Leir, a stipend of $100 will be awarded to one Fall Æcademy teacher who best meets the criteria described below. The stipend is to be used to defray the cost of non-consumable teaching materials for a hands-on class for a minimum of 6 people.
(“Non-consumable teaching materials” are tools and supplies that would be used multiple times and would remain with the teacher after the class has ended. It does *not* include supplies for which students would pay a fee for or which they would take with them.)
Items purchased with the money would be the property of the teacher who is awarded the stipend.
In addition to teaching at Fall Æcademy, the teacher who receives the stipend must also teach the class at least once more, in a different region in the Kingdom.
Those wishing to submit a proposal should include the following:
This offer is open to anyone teaching at Fall Æcademy, no matter whether this is your first time teaching the class … or your fourteenth. You do not have to have an arts award to submit a proposal.
The deadline for submitting proposals is 11:59 p.m., Thursday, October 20th. The more persuasive your proposal, the better your chance of being selected.
By Sunday, October 30, I will contact everyone who has submitted a proposal.
If your proposal is selected, at Æcademy you will hand me a receipt for the supplies you purchased for the class, and I will hand you a check for $100.
Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me at ae DOT aecademy AT aethelmearc DOT org
Feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be interested in submitting a proposal.
Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor, Æthelmearc Æcademy
P.S. — Here’s the link to the Facebook events page.
You can grab one of twelve chances to help the East Kingdom and send a message to our Kingdom and beyond! The East Kingdom Calendar is again seeking sponsors for each month. Past sponsors have paid tribute to mentors, celebrated household occasions, and expressed their love of the East. Individuals or groups can sponsor a page for $125, and in return they create an up to forty word message for that month as well as receive a free calendar and note cards. Proceeds from this year’s calendar will support both the reign of King Brion and Queen Anna, as well as their heirs.
The calendar was started in 2014 by Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For with assistance by Baroness Lucie Lovegood of Ramesgate. Baroness Lucie, who is helming the project this year, described its growth. “People now look forward to seeing the incredible scribal talents showcased in the calendar. The success and the reach of the calendar has grown. This project has reached 12 Kingdoms and been shipped to New Zealand and beyond. We are so thankful to the scribes for sharing their time and talents with the Knowne World.”
This year’s calendar focuses on horoscopes and will be celebrated by a medieval astrological descriptions of great creativity written by Master Christian von Jaueregk. Photographs of the artwork can be seen at the Calendar webpage. The artists and their months are as follows:
January – Aquarius (by Mistress Kayleigh Mac Whyte)
Calendars will be available for pre-order starting on the Day of Their Highnesses Brion & Anna’s Coronation, Saturday, October 1st. They must be purchased in advanc. More information is available at the calendar’s website. For more information on sponsoring a month, contact Baroness Lucie Lovegood of Ramesgate, who expressed her thanks for all the support the project has received over the years. “The calendar started as a trial with the thought that we may be able to help offset some of the expenses that the Crown face in over the course of their service to the Kingdom. There are so many expenses that are not covered by the Royal Travel fund, and this private fundraiser gives the Monarchs the ability to travel to foreign wars, off-set costs of hospitality when their Royal Cousins visit, and help with various needs of the Kingdom. We had no idea it would be as successful as it has been, which is due to the wonderful people of the East.”
The rest of the 2017 East Kingdom Project staff are:
Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences
Boston-born Thomas Appleton was apprenticed to cabinet maker Elisha Larned when he was a youth, a trade that he would not pursue but that nonetheless taught him key skills for his true vocation. He switched to organ building in his early 20s, getting a job in the workshop of William Marcellus Goodrich in Templeton, Massachusetts, in 1807. Goodrich would become known as the father of organ building in New England and Appleton was an apt pupil. He went into business with piano makers Hayt and Alpheus Babcock in 1810, but the company went under in the economic recession following the War of 1812. Appleton’s collaborations with Goodrich from 1810 through 1820, on the other hand, were very successful. Together they built organs, pianos and claviorgans which dominated the Boston market. During the three decades Goodrich’s shop was in operation — 1803 to 1833 — only three organs were imported into Boston because he (and later he and Appleton) were able to fill the city’s considerable demand for high quality instruments.
Appleton struck out on his own again in 1821. Over the next two decades, he did what is generally held to be his best work. According to the Organ Historical Society, Appleton “brought the hand-made organ to the zenith of craftsmanship.” Thomas Appleton lived a long, fruitful life, dying in 1872 at age 87. During his lifetime, he built 35 organs for Boston churches and organizations, and more than 100 for other cities.
One of the latter was an organ he built in 1830, the only instrument he made that year, for South Church in Hartford, Connecticut. It was a two-manual organ with 836 pipes in sixteen ranks and an 18-note pedalboard. The façade pipes were covered in gold leaf and the instrument was cased in an extraordinary Greek Revival case 15 feet tall. The church replaced this majestic instrument with a larger model in 1854, moving the original somewhere else. It popped back up again in 1883, when it was acquired by the Sacred Heart Church in Plains, Pennsylvania. The installer, Emmons Howard, added nine notes to the pedalboard at that time.
The Appleton pipe organ was used in the Plains church until it was replaced by an electronic organ decades ago. The church thankfully did nothing at all to the Appleton instrument and it was left to gather dust in the rear gallery. That’s where it was, all but obscured by clutter, when a young organ buff happened upon it in 1980. He alerted Alan Laufman of the Organ Clearing House, an organization founded by the Organ Historical Society to rescue endangered pre-electric organs, who recognized it as the very special instrument it is. The date “1830″ inside the case made it clear that this was the organ Appleton built for South Church, now the earliest surviving Appleton pipe organ.
Two years later, the organ was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of no more than four two-manual Appleton organs known to survive, this one was the earliest and the only one with ironclad documentation identifying it as an Appleton. It had some condition issues after so many decades of neglect — cracks in the air reservoir, dried leather on the bellows, plywood nailed to some of the mahogany veneer surfaces, bad paint jobs on others, a few broken pipes — but nothing but a few stopknob labels, a few of the keyboard ivories and bits of the moldings were missing. The giant hand-pump handle was still there. Even the initials of the choir boys tasked with pumping it were found carved on the back of the case.
Organ expert Lawrence Trupiano was tasked with restoring the organ, an exacting job to be sure, but at least there was nothing to rebuild, no modern pieces needed to replace broken or unusable origins. He regilded the façade pipes, fixed the broken pipes, renewed the mahogany case and brought it back to its original splendor. Laurence Libin, the Metropolitan Museum’s curator of musical instruments, described it as “the finest and best preserved and possibly the largest early 19th-century American instrument still intact.”
The restored Appleton pipe organ was installed in the equestrian court of the André Mertens Galleries for Musical Instruments at the Met in 1983. Since then it has been played regularly for gallery visitors and special events. In February of this year, the André Mertens Galleries closed for refurbishment. The Met took the opportunity to do some conservation work on the organ. Over the course of three weeks, the Appleton pipe organ was completely dismantled, under the hawkeyed supervision of Lawrence Trupiano. Its needs will be seen to and it will be back in place for the reopening of the gallery in 2017.
Meanwhile, enjoy this time-lapse video of the dismantling process which serves some hardcore reverse-IKEA realness accompanied by the strains of Louis Vierne’s “Divertissement” from 24 Pièces en style libre, Op. 31, performed on the Appleton organ by Paolo Bordignon on November 4th, 2015.