As the Fall comes upon us and we prepare for the onset of Winter, Æthelmearc will be choosing her new Arts & Sciences Champion in October. The Kingdom A&S Champions event will be held in the Shire of Angelskeep on October 31st. The event announcement appears in this month’s ÆSTEL and can be found on-line here.
We hope that this grand competition will draw many entrants. It will feature face-to-face judging, in which each entrant will be visited by a small team of judges who will engage the entrant in conversation. Because of this, all entrants MUST be present at the event. No proxy entries will be allowed. We also strongly suggest that entrants complete the short and easy registration form prior to the event.
We will need judges for the competition and we are urgently requesting that any companions of the Fleur and the Laurel who do not choose to enter the competition join us as judges. You will get to meet several excellent artisans and discuss their entries with them at some length. It is a great way to teach AND learn.
The rules for the entrants are as follows:
1. All entrants must be present. No proxy entries.
2. Entrants may enter up to three pieces, all in the same category.
3. Entries may be completed items or items in progress.
4. Because the site is dry, no alcoholic beverages may be entered. However, brewers may enter a work in progress, so long as it does not include alcohol (no fermentation).
5. “Performance” entries may be recorded in advance. Decisions of whether or not to allow this will be made on a case-by-case basis.
6. Entrants are strongly encouraged to pre-register their entries. Registration forms will be available on Facebook, Google+, the Kingdom A&S website, and the Kingdom e-mail list.
7.The populace will be offered the opportunity to vote on their favorite entry.
8. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
a. Research and Project Planning
We sincerely invite the people of Æthelmearc and her neighbors to attend this excellent event!
In service to Æthelmearc and the Arts & Sciences,
Retired electrician Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle have been convicted of possessing stolen goods, namely 271 drawings, collages and paintings by Pablo Picasso. The trove of previously unknown works came to light in September of 2010 when Pierre Le Guennec carried a suitcase full of them to the Picasso Administration to have them authenticated. His story was that either Picasso himself or his wife Jacqueline gave the art to Pierre as a gift for having installed a security system and done some other work around the Côte d’Azur estate.
Picasso’s son Claude found this account unbelievable because while the artist was generous with his prolific work, he routinely signed and dated a piece before giving it to someone. There was certainly no precedent for Picasso handing over hundreds of random, unsigned pieces at one time. Claude pressed charges against the Le Guennecs for receipt of stolen goods.
Pierre and Danielle gave different accounts of how they had acquired this multi-million dollar treasure.
[On the stand Pierre] recalled that one day, in a corridor, Jacqueline Picasso had handed him a closed box containing the works, saying: “Here, it’s for you. Take it home.” He said: “Thank you, madame” and they never discussed it again. During the inquiry, Danielle Le Guennec had separately recalled a different version: that her husband came home with a stuffed rubbish bag, and told her Picasso had given the works to him when tidying his studio.
The Picasso heirs’ lawyer had suggested in court that the couple might have been manipulated by an art smuggling ring. Pierre Le Guennec had claimed that, despite knowing nothing about art, he had personally used books about Picasso to draw up an inventory that was found with the cache of 180 lithographs, collages and paintings and 91 drawings. But in court, lawyers cast doubt over whether he wrote the inventory himself. It contained a note about a similarity to a Picasso work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. But in court, Pierre Le Guennec seemed not to have ever heard of MoMA.
The couple are in the 70s now and won’t be going to jail. They were given a two-year suspended sentence and the collection will be returned to Picasso’s heirs. The court made no determination as to who was responsible for the theft.
Their Royal Highnesses Prince Magnus Tindal and Princess Etain ingen Dalaig invite the archers of Æthelmearc to aim their arrows in a tournament to decide the next Kingdom Archery Champion. This Tournament Shoot will take place at 3pm on Saturday, September 5th at Shoote in the Wyldwood in the Barony of Delftwood. Come and show your pride for your Kingdom and earn your place among the Champions!
If you have any questions about this or any of the things happening at Wyldwood please feel free to contact Aleidis Lanen, the event steward! There are SO many archery ranges you could shoot all day and not do the same range twice! Thrown weapons will also be in full swing! For the full schedule of events please visit the event page at www.delftwood.org.
Their Majesties held both a morning and afternoon court at Equestrian and Thrown Weapons Champions. The Gazette thanks Master Ernst for the following report:
Arnulf Tête de Laine d’ Saint Aubin was inducted into the Order of the Gawain.
Leon d’ Saint Aubin was inducted into the Order of the Gawain. Scroll by Constance de St. Denis
Rodulf d’ Saint Aubin was inducted into the Order of the Gawain. Scroll by Sorcha Dhocair inghean Uí Ruairc.
Ysabella DeCoventry received her Award of Arms. Scroll by Aaradyn Ghyoot.
Tiernan Shepard was awarded a Burdened Tyger. Scroll by Aesa Lokabrenna Sturladottir.
Wynefryd Bredhers was awarded a Burdened Tyger. Calligraphy by Mari Clock van Hoorne.
Jared of Sarisberry was inducted into the Queen’s Order of Courtesy. Scroll by: Jan Janowicz Bogdanski
Brenden Crane was inducted into the Queen’s Order of Courtesy.
The following Gentles received the award of the Golden Lyre:
Nejla Hatice Saime Dogan was granted a Court Barony.
Anna Dokeianina Syrakousina was granted a Court Barony. Scroll by: Nest verch Tangwistel
Wentliana Benegrek was granted a Court Barony. Scroll by: Leonete d’Angely
Nest verch Tangwistel was directed to Augment her arms. Scroll by Jon Blaecstan
Colin MacKenzie stepped down as EK Thrown Weapons Marshal, and Leon the Navigator stepped into the position.
Magnus DeLondres was declared the Queen’s Thrown Weapon Champion. Scroll by Charis Accipiter.
Kazimerz was declared the King’s Thrown Weapon Champion. Scroll by Jonathan Blaecstan.
Randal of the Dark was declared King’s Equestrian Champion. Scroll by Kayleigh Mac Whyte.
Duncan Kerr was declared Queen’s Equestrian Champion. Scroll by Kayleigh Mac Whyte.
Eleanor Fitzpatrick and Katherine Stanhope were made the Premiers of the Order of the Golden Lance of the East. Eleanor’s Scroll by Vettorio Antonello, Katherine’s scroll forthcoming
Isabella Natale was Awarded Arms. Illumination by Lorita de Siena, calligraphy by Nest verch Tangwistel
Terren of Tir was inducted into the Order of the Laurel. Scroll by: Heather rose De Gordoun
Maria Pagini was inducted into the Order of the Pelican Illumination by Harold von Auerbach calligraphy by Aud Lifsdottir
Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier was inducted into the Order of the Pelican. Scroll by Eleanore MacCarthaigh.
Siubhan Wallace was inducted into the Order of the Pelican Illumination by Lisabetta Medaglia Calligraphy by: Eleanor Catlyng.
Filed under: Equestrian, Thrown Weapons Tagged: champions, court, equestrian, thrown weapons
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has a collection of beautiful Belgian laces made during World War I at the behest of future President of the United States Herbert Hoover. Hoover’s name is nowadays most commonly associated with the lack of relief for the destitute of the Great Depression — the notorious tent cities of the homeless and poverty-stricken were famously called Hoovervilles — but before he was president Herbert Hoover was actively involved in relief efforts. As head of the Food Administration under Woodrow Wilson, Hoover was in charge of the administration’s food and fuel conservation programs during the war, but before that, when war first broke out in 1914, Hoover ran the Committee for Relief in Belgium (CRB) which organized the distribution of food supplies to ten million people in occupied Belgium.
Hoover wasn’t in government at the time. He wasn’t even in the United States. He was living in London, a wealthy mining engineer and investor who translated Renaissance mining tracts with his wife Lou in his spare time. That translation is considered the standard for its clarity of language and extensive scholarly footnotes and is still in print today. He was drawn into relief work after World War I broke out and tens of thousands of American citizens suddenly found themselves stranded in London. Hoover organized a committee to get them back home and was so effective that in October of 1914 the U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James asked Hoover to take on a far more onerous job: keep all of Belgium from starving to death.
Belgium had been invaded by Germany at the start of the war and famine immediately became a very real prospect. The small country only produced enough food to supply 20-25% of the population, but whatever food was available was requisitioned by the occupiers to supply the troops. Britain put Germany and the occupied countries under blockade making food imports nigh on impossible.
That was the Gordian knot Hoover had to cut through. He was able to arrange for the relief supplies to be shipped to Belgium where the CRB monitored their distribution by the Comité National de Secours et d’Alimentation (CNSA), the Belgian organization dedicated to famine relief. The CRB personnel weren’t just passing the time of the day. They had to be involved in every step of the distribution process because as occupied Belgians, CNSA personnel were legally bound to follow German orders. The primarily British and American CRB staff was under no such obligation. Their job was to ensure the food made it to Belgian plates and they did it well. The CRB raised funds, shipped 5.7 million tons of donated food past Germany’s unrestricted U-boat warfare and then literally fed Belgium from 1914 through 1919.
Hoover’s concern wasn’t just to keep Belgians from mass starvation. He also arranged for thread to be distributed to Belgian lace makers and for the sale of their finished lace to buyers in Allied countries. Belgium had been famous for its delicate handmade laces since the 17th century, and while industrialization and mass-production had hobbled the traditional craft, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium instituted promotional and improvement programs had helped spur a revival of interest in handmade lace just before World War I.
The Belgian lace committees worked closely with the “Commission for Relief of Belgium” as the work on behalf of the lace makers became even more important during World War One. Several famous Belgian artists were enlisted to make new designs. Among them were Isidore de Rudder, his sister Maria de Rudder, Charles Michel, and Juliette Wytsman, who designed some of the War Laces that are now part of the collection at the National Museum of American History.
World War One laces often included names of people, places, inscriptions, and dates; a characteristic not usually found in other lace work. The lace often incorporates the coats-of-arms or national symbols of the Allied Nations as well as the nine Belgian provinces in recognition of the help received. It was hoped that these distinguishing elements would appeal to generous people around the world who might buy these laces in support of the Belgian people.
Sometimes the appeal was even more direct. This exquisite banner panel features a pair of cupids holding a banner inscribed “Augusta-Virginia,” the name of the mother of the Vicomtesse de Beughem. The Vicomtesse, an American married to a Belgian aristocrat, was one of four women in charge of the Lace Committee. It is believed she commissioned the banner in honor of her mother, Augusta Virginia Mitchell. One of the other three women, Mrs. Brand Whitlock, wife of the US ambassador to Belgium, commissioned this table cloth with the seals of the United States, Belgium and the Whitlock family crest.
The program ultimately kept 50,000 lace makers in Belgium working from 1914 through 1919.
The war laces in the Smithsonian collection are not on public display, but they have been digitized and can be viewed online. It’s a gasp-generating browse, even though I dearly wish the pictures were larger. I know, I know… I always wish the pictures were larger, but the minute details of this lace just beg to be viewed in extreme closeup. It’s a little awkward to navigate, but you can feast your eyes on the minutiae by clicking on the name of the object. This takes you the catalogue entry. Scroll down to the bottom for additional images. Those are detail images, so while you can’t see the whole piece zoomed all the way in to the stitching, you can explore the a section of the lacework in satisfying detail.
One of my favorites is Table Mat With English Scene which has an unbelievable allegorical depiction of the coronation of British King George V in 1911. The image started out as a cartoon by Bernard Partridge published in Punch Magazine which was the converted into lace using the Point de Gaze technique. The Isidore de Rudder Designed Pillow Top goes in a completely different direction, commemorating the battle at the Yzer River with a glorious sea creature design in Point de Venise needle lace. I love the Monogrammed Fan Leaf with Designer’s Name because while it has the monograms of Belgian King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth writ large on either side of the Belgian Lion, it also has the names of designer Juliette Wytsman and the manufacturer Maison Daimeries-Petitjean in very petite cursive under the monogrammed initials. It’s incredible to me that it’s even possible to write your name so small and clear in Point de Gaze needle lace. Oh, and here’s one for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Collar with Peace Doves.
Never let it be said that there is nothing to do in Æthelmearc! This next weekend brings you three great events all around the Kingdom.
The Shire of Sunderoak invites you to join us as we spend the weekend of September 4 – September 6 creating a Fireside Feast at Breakneck Campground (1757 Cheeseman Road, Portersville, PA. 16051).
Saturday will be filled with the opportunity to take open air cooking classes. Any wishing to join us for the evening meal may bring supplies and prepare their own dish over an open fire or bring a prepared dish from home. Modern fare as well as period food is welcome. Fire pits and wood will be provided for those cooking on site, please contact Raven to reserve a spot. Saturday’s evening meal will be served buffet style. There is no feast hall on site, so bring your own table & chairs or eat picnic style. All offerings will be provided by attendees. In years past we have been amazed at the bounty that is put before our guests here at Fireside. In the spirit of the event we will be holding a canned food drive benefiting Butler Area Food Cupboards!
Site opens Friday at 6 pm and closes Sunday at 2pm. It is a damp site – no glass containers please. Site is pet friendly ALL animals must be on a leash at ALL times – failure to do so will result in a warning followed by removal from site. Owners are expected to police their animals waste.
A Shoote in the Wyldwood
Come join the Barony of Delftwood for our annual Shoote in the Wyldwood! Camp with us for the weekend (we have lots of room!) or come enjoy a day. There will be archery, thrown weapons and atl atl happening through out the weekend. Come and enjoy some of our many open ranges! Its a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the end of summer!
Returning features: – Archery, thrown weapons, and atl atl – Merchants – A heavy list for pick up practice – The Embroidery Challenge – Camping and fun! – Yes we have a HOT shower on site!
Largess Dirty Dozen Derby We will be holding the Lord Jarrah Memorial Largess Derby at Shoote in the Wyldwood. It is a friendly competition where each entrant makes 12 items for largess and displays them at the event. There will be prizes for populous vote (Lord Jarrah won last year) and a judges choice winner. Everyone goes home with a prize just for entering! All items will be donated to the Barony largess. If you have any questions please contact: Lady Wylde Wysse (nwent514-AT-gmail-DOTcom).
The event location is: Wildwood Sports Center 5740 Fikes Road Elbridge NY 13112
Birthday Battle & Ball
The Shire of Nithgaard is turning 38, and we will be celebrating with heavy fighting, fencing, music & dance, Arts & Sciences, games, and various other diversions. The entertainments will be accompanied by an excellent feast planned by our Shire’s chief cook! Please come to our Birthday Battle & Ball!
Early registration pricing: $8.00 base (includes dayboard) + $10.00 for the feast At-the-door pricing: $8.00 base + $12.00 for the feast Surcharge for non-SCA members: $5 (does not apply to discounted minors) Minors 5-17 are half price; children under 5 are free. Please make checks payable to “SCA PA, Inc. – Shire of Nithgaard” and mail to the shire exchequer: Mistress Phiala O’Ceallaigh (mka: Sarah Goslee)m 1336 Old Boalsburg Rd., State College, PA 16801 (phone: 814-769-9300).
If you have any accessibility concerns or requests about the event or site, please contact the event steward Oribe Tsukime at email@example.com or 814-574-2220. For information related to food allergies and dietary restrictions, please contact our Head Cook THL Henry of Maldon as soon as possible.
In 2012, archaeologists discovered the remains of 27 Anglo-Saxon warriors and their grave goods at Barrow Clump in Salisbury, England. Recently experts used an army field hospital x-ray machine to examine a 6th century sword found at the site. (photos)
A hoard of Viking-era silver ingots and coins discovered in Wales has been officially declared treasure at a coroner’s inquest. The hoard was found in March by metal detectorist Walter Hanks in a field in Llandwrog, north-west Wales. Consisting of fewer than 20 coins and coin fragments, three complete ingots and one partial, it’s a small trove of outsized historical significance because of its age and rarity.
Fourteen of the coins are silver pennies minted in Dublin under the reign of the Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin Sihtric Anlafsson, aka Sigtrygg Silkbeard (r. 989-1036). Eight of them date to 995 A.D.; the other six, three of which are fragments, were minted in 1018 A.D. Sihtric’s coins are very rare discoveries on the British mainland. There are also fragments of three or four silver pennies from the reign of Cnut the Great, the Danish King of England who reigned from 985 or 995 through 1035. The Cnut coins were probably produced in the mint at Chester.
Archaeologists believe the hoard was lost or buried between 1020 and 1030. The Bryn Maelgwyn hoard, unearthed in 1979 near Llandudno in Conwy, north Wales, was buried around that time — after 1024 — and it too contains coins minted by Cnut and Sihtric: 203 Cnut silver pennies and just two Sihtric silver pennies. The Bryn Maelgwyn coins are thought to have been Viking booty rather than a savings account, however, unlike the Llandwrog hoard. The weight of the ingots is 115.09 grams out of a total hoard weight of 127.77 grams. That means fully 90% of the weight of the hoard is in the ingots which suggests the hoard’s main role was silver storage.
Dr Mark Redknap, Head of Collections and Research in the Department of History and Archaeology at the National Museum Wales said the find will help historians to form a picture of the eleventh century Gwynedd economy.
He said: “There are three complete finger-shaped ingots and one fragmentary finger-shaped metal ingot. Nicking on the sides of the ingots is an intervention sometimes undertaken in ancient times to test purity, and evidence that they had been used in commercial transactions before burial.
“At least four hoards on the Isle of Man indicate that bullion retained an active role in the Manx economy from the 1030s to 1060s, and the mixed nature of the Llandwrog hoard falls into the same category. As such it amplifies the picture we are building up of the wealth and economy operating in the kingdom of Gwynedd in the eleventh century.”
The National Museum Wales is hoping to secure the hoard. The Bryn Maelgwyn hoard is at the Cardiff branch of the Nation Museum, so it would be in excellent company. First the valuation committee must decide the fair market value of the hoard. The museum will then try to raise the price, ideally through a Lottery Fund grant, which will be divided between the finder and the landowner.
Fall Crown Tournament – Call for Letters of Intent / Tournois de la couronne – des lettres d’intentions
Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through the following link (preferred) or by email to TRH Prince Brennan and Princess Caoifhionn with a copy to the Kingdom Seneschal. If by email, a joint email is preferred.
The Letter of Intent must be received by Coronation, October 3, 2015.
If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort:
If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.
TRHs also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.
In Service to the East, I remain
Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Salutations à tous ceux qui désire participer au Tournois de la couronne de L’automne.
La lettre d’intentions doivent être reçues par la Couronne avant le 3 Octobre 2015.
Si les lettres sont envoyées par courriel, elles doivent inclure les informations suivantes pour le combattant ainsi que pour son /sa consort :
Si les deux candidats sont des combattants, cela doit être mentionné de façon explicite.
Le Altesses Royales demandent également aux combattants d’amener leurs écus d’armoiries pour l’arbre de la liste.
Au service de l’Est, je demeure
Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Filed under: Announcements, En français, Heavy List
A new restoration of Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli (1470-5) by Sandro Botticelli has redeemed the reputation of a much later artist, Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Lucille Ball hue of Smeralda’s hair was long thought to be an alteration done by Rossetti after he bought the painting in 1867. Experts at the V&A conserving the work for next year’s
It was Rossetti’s own words which placed him under scrutiny. In a letter dated three days after he bought the painting, Rossetti told his secretary “I have been restoring the headdress, but don’t mean to tell.” The hair was thought to have suffered the brunt of Rossetti’s sneaky intervention, but when V&A conservators removed the top layer of discolored varnish, they saw that there were fewer layers of paint than they expected to find. Analysis of the paint confirmed it was tempera and that the red pigment of the hair was applied by Botticelli’s hand. The only areas Rossetti appears to have retouched were some areas of the face and the cap.
Infrared reflectography revealed interesting details about Botticelli’s process. He drew incised lines on architectural features like the pillars, window framing and door which add depth and precision and help ensure the perspective looks accurate. For Smeralda’s garment, Botticelli first used liquid sketching to rough out the clothing before covering it in a wash of paint with high carbon content to enhance the shading.
When Rossetti acquired the painting from a Christie’s auction, Botticelli’s genius wasn’t as widely recognized as it had been during his lifetime. The 19th century saw a gradual revival of appreciation for the Renaissance master, and the pre-Raphaelites played an important role in the reevaluation of Botticelli’s significance. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin and Edward Burne-Jones collected Botticelli paintings and drawings, which goes to show how different the market was for his work back then. Rossetti paid £20 for Smeralda Bandinelli (plus £4 to have it professionally cleaned). When he sold it to collector Constantine Alexander Ionides just 15 years later, the sale price had leapt to £315. It hasn’t been sold since and isn’t likely to be ever again — Ionides included it in his bequest of 82 paintings to the V&A in 1901 — but Botticelli’s Rockefeller Madonna set a record for the artist when it sold at auction for $10,442,500 in 2013.
The upcoming exhibition looks at Botticelli’s work, how it was seen in his time and how, after three long centuries of obscurity, it came back to prominence through the work of artists influenced by him. There are more than 50 original works by Botticelli in the exhibition. Pre-Raphaelite reimaginings of Botticelli like Rossetti’s La Ghirlandata and Burne-Jones’ The Mill: Girls Dancing to Music by a River will be on display alongside works by Botticelli-inspired artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte, and designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
It’s a joint exhibition with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin which has eight paintings and 86 drawings by the Renaissance master in its permanent collection. The show opens in Berlin on September 24th of this year and closes on January 24th. It opens at the V&A on March 5th, 2016.
We have noticed that you have skills to teach to others that may improve their game in the SCA! Please consider coming to the Shire of Riversedge on Saturday, November 14, 2015, for the Fall Æthelmearc Æcademy.
The event will be held at the French Creek Valley Campus (420 North Street, Saegertown PA 16433); we will welcome everyone starting at 9 am. Doors will close at 7 pm. The campus is laid all one level and we welcome those that need assistance to attend.
Living in History is the focus of Fall Æcademy. Looking to take your persona to the next level? Then this academy is for YOU! Some examples of classes we are hoping to see include mending, cooking (with an outdoor fire ready and waiting including a bread oven for classes), fiber arts, blacksmithing, pottery, wood working, bee keeping, animal husbandry, food preservation, medicinals, dyeing, ink making, C&I, knot tying, basketry, hound coursing, customs and manners, grooming, games, costuming, leather working and so much more!
This year’s Æcademy will be filled with exciting new additions including a track of classes taught by and for our Kingdom’s youth artisans! Duchess Ilish had the idea for a track of classes for youth, and the Æcademy staff enthusiastically agreed. She is looking for hands on, make and take, or simple beginner classes. The Youth Track will welcome not just arts and sciences but youth fighting and fencing classes as well. Some ideas for classes include cooking, C&I, sewing, period dancing, games, animal husbandry, and weaving. To help foster families participate in the event, children 17 and under are admitted free into the event but encouraged to pre-register for food planning purposes.
For more information about the Youth Track, to recommend a youth instructor, or if you wish to teach a youth track class, please contact Duchess Ilish O’Donovan by email. It is everyone’s hope that the Youth Track will become an ongoing part of future Æcademies.
Those of you who wish to teach with the War College have ample outdoor space for fighting, fencing, thrown weapons, youth fighting and fencing. If the weather is inclement, fencing and youth fighting can be held indoors in the gym.
We have something special lined up for the heavy weapons community, too! A Golden Chain day of learning and Tourney will be coordinated by Duke Duncan von Halstern and Syr Stefan Ulfkelsson. Classes taught by members of the Order of Chivalry will help you hone your skills, and a Golden Chain Tourney will let you put those skills to the test.
What else do we have for you? The shire will also host a sideboard lunch filling your plates with meats, soups and breads of the harvest season, created by our very own Lord Calean O’Rurik and his wonderful staff. Lunch sideboard will be included with the site fee we do ask to please send in your reservations in advance to so the kitchen make sure there is an abundance for everyone.
If cost is a concern, do not delay, for the cost of this event is just $10 for those 18 and older; attendees 17 and under are our guests and pay no fee (other than the NMS, if applicable). See the full event announcement at www.aecademy.net or http://www.shireofriversedge.com/shireevents.htm.
Archaeologists working on the site of road construction in the Hague, Netherlands were surprised to discover a treasure hoard in a Roman pot. The extent of the treasure was revealed recently at the annual De Reuvensdagen archaeological conference. (photo)
A marble slab inscribed with Roman-era water laws has been unearthed in the ancient city of Laodicea in western Turkey. The highly detailed law law was written by the Laodicea Assembly in 114 A.D. and approved by Aulus Vicirius Martialis, proconsul of the Roman Asia province, in the provincial capital at Ephesus. It was carved on a slab and erected in the city to put fear in the heart of all water scofflaws.
The Roman affinity for practical engineering ensured cities had access to public water. Aqueducts carried enormous quantities of water from nearby sources to the urbs where it was split up into lead pipes and reservoirs supplying the fountains, baths and drinking water throughout the city. Keeping people from illegally tapping into the pipes to supply their own homes was a constant struggle. If too many people helped themselves, not only would the water flow be disrupted for their neighbors, but the sewer system tied into the water system suffered as well since it required regular flushing. Backed up sewers and low water supply make for uncomfortable and dangerously unsanitary conditions in any city.
Water management was thus an essential aspect of city administration and violators of the common water good were subject to heavy penalties. In Laodicea, anyone caught polluting the water, damaging the pipes and channels, opening sealed pipes or stealing the city water for private use would have to pay fines as high as 12,500 denarii. A legionary was paid 300 denarii a year in the early second century A.D., so fines in the thousands would be complete disasters for regular people. Many of the most egregious public water thieves were quite wealthy since they had homes into which city water could be easily and discretely diverted, so it was important that the fines be large if they were to act as any kind of deterrent.
[Excavations head Professor Celal Şimşek of Pamukkale University] said the 1,900-year-old rules to prevent water pollution had a very special place, adding, “The fine for damaging the water channel or polluting the water is 5,000 denarius, nearly 50,000 Turkish Liras. The fine is the same for those who break the seal and attempt illegal use. Also, there are penalties for senior staff that overlook the illegal use of water. They pay 12,500 denarius. Those who denounce the polluters are given one-eighth of the penalty as a reward, according to the rules.”
A translation from the Greek of one section of the inscription:
“Those who divide the water for his personal use, should pay 5,000 denarius to the imperial treasury; it is forbidden to use the city water for free or grant it to private individuals; those who buy the water cannot violate the Vespasian Edict; those who damage water pipes should pay 5,000 denarius; protective roofs should be established for the water depots and water pipes in the city; the governor’s office [will] appoint two citizens as curators every year to ensure the safety of the water resource; nobody who has farms close to the water channels can use this water for agriculture.”
Founded in the 3rd century B.C., Laodicea was part of the Kingdom of Pergamon when its last king Attalus III bequeathed it to Rome in 133 B.C. Laodicea was hard hit during the two decades of war between Rome and Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, and it was only after the end of the last Mithraditic War (75-63 B.C.) that the sleepy town grew into prosperous city under Roman rule. Strabo, who was himself a native of Amasya, Pontus, (now Turkey) and whose family held important positions under Mithridates VI, describes the rise Laodicea in Book XII, Chapter 8.16 of his Geography:
Laodiceia, though formerly small, grew large in our time and in that of our fathers, even though it had been damaged by siege in the time of Mithridates Eupator. However, it was the fertility of its territory and the prosperity of certain of its citizens that made it great: at first Hieron, who left to the people an inheritance of more than two thousand talents and adorned the city with many dedicated offerings, and later Zeno the rhetorician and his son Polemon, the latter of whom, because of his bravery and honesty, was thought worthy even of a kingdom, at first by Antony and later by Augustus. The country round Laodiceia produces sheep that are excellent, not only for the softness of their wool, in which they surpass even the Milesian wool, but also for its raven-black colour, so that the Laodiceians derive splendid revenue from it[.]
Meet Triskel, the Trimarian cart pony, and his faithful canine companion, Toby.
Triskel was hard at work this past Pennsic every day pulling his mistress, Lynn Kitzman of Florida, on her daily rounds.
Kudos to Ms. Kitzman for her delightful equine disguise of a modern necessity, the accessibility scooter, and to the unwavering patience of Toby, who braved the Pennsic heat as her assistance animal.
The bust of Pope Paul V by Gian Lorenzo Bernini that was acquired by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles earlier this year has left a trail of criminal investigations and fired civil servants in its wake. When the museum announced the rediscovery and acquisition of the long-lost sculpture this June, the only details released about the purchase where that it belonged to an unnamed private collector who arranged a private sale via Sotheby’s London. The last time before then that it appeared on the historical record was when it was sold to a Viennese collector at an 1893 Borghese family estate sale.
Last month, details started to leak about the acquisition. The Getty was reported to have paid a jaw-dropping $33 million to buy the bust from a still-unnamed Slovakian art dealer who had bought it unattributed and then found out it was the real thing, not a copy after Bernini’s original. Somehow, the work had migrated from Vienna at the end of the 19th century to modern-day Bratislava, Slovakia. where it was in the collection of Slovakian painter Ernest Zmeták. In 2013, Zmeták’s heirs put some of this collection, including the bust of Pope Paul V, up for auction.
The bust, then attributed solely to an “unknown Italian sculptor,” was put up for auction twice, once in December of 2013 for 47,000 euro, and when it failed to sell, again almost a year later for 24,000 euro. Shortly after the bust couldn’t find a buyer even at the 50% off fire sale, the auction house sold the bust privately for the reserve price of 24,000 euro to one Clément Guenebeaud, a French collector living in Bratislava.
It was Guenebeaud who realized the bust was made by Bernini himself. He tried to sell it on his own but the large hole in its ownership history made potential buyers wary. A famous work of art that mysteriously traveled from Vienna to Slovakia over the course of the 20th century runs the risk of being Nazi loot which could mire the current owner in a messy and expensive restitution battle. Sotheby’s was game, though, and through them Guenebeaud was able to sell the bust to the Getty. The Baroque masterpiece left Slovakia without incident.
After the Getty announced their new treasure with a splash, the fact that a small country with limited resources that could really use a tourism boost had somehow let a 17th century bust by one of the greatest sculptors in the world slip through its fingers did not go unnoticed back in Bratislava. Culture Minister Marek Maďarič ordered an investigation into the bust debacle and filed a criminal complaint against an unknown offender involved in the sale on suspicion that someone involved in the appraisal and sale knew its true value but deliberately and fraudulently obscured it.
As of now, there is no evidence of deliberate deception. The auction house in Bratislava is a local outfit without the depth of expertise necessary to confidently attribute a sculpture to Bernini. Ernest Zmeták apparently had no idea the bust was original, nor did his heirs. The only person who had any idea, Guenebeaud, didn’t hide the fact that he thought it was a genuine Bernini in his application for an export license. He wrote that it was probably by Bernini and estimated its value at around €7 million, but the ministry employee in charge or arranging the permits changed the description from “bust by Gian Lorenzo Bernini” to “bust after Bernini.” Apparently she decided to go with the auction house’s assessment rather than Guenebeaud’s, and the commission that reviews permanent export applications accepted it without ordering an expert examination to confirm or deny the disputed authorship. Minister Maďarič fired her and the director of the department in charge of issuing export permits.
The timeline of all these events is foggy. It’s not clear who determined the bust was original. It could be Alexander Kader, head of the department of European sculpture at Sotheby’s London, but usually the top experts in the field are consulted for works of this importance. Presumably the Getty wouldn’t have shelled out $33 million without being satisfied the bust was by Bernini.
If the special commission tasked with investigating irregularities in the export license find it to have been granted improperly, it’s possible the license will be revoked and the Slovakian government will request that the Getty return the bust. The museum does not seem concerned.
In an email to artnet News Ron Hartwig, the Getty Museum’s vice-president of communications assured that the bust “will remain on view to the public at the J. Paul Getty Museum.”
He explained “The Bust of Pope Paul V (1621) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini was legally exported from Slovakia, legally sold in the United Kingdom and legally imported into the United States. Whatever the nature of the Slovakian government’s inquiry, it has no impact whatsoever on the Getty’s ownership of the bust.”
The following are a compilation of the awards or other honors given in Eastern courts’ at Pennsic plus some additional items such as kingdom officer changes. Announcements made in court are not included.
Saturday, August 1st – Evening
Saturday, August 1st – Unbelted Party
Sunday, August 2nd – On the Battlefield
Monday, August 3rd – Midday
Tuesday, August 4th – Battlefield
Tuesday, August 4th – Queen’s Tea
Tuesday, August 4th – Evening
Tuesday, August 4th – Evening
Wednesday, August 5th – Archery Range
Wednesday, August 5th – Main East Kingdom Court
Wednesday, August 5th – After Main East Kingdom Court
Thursday, August 6th – Commander’s Meeting
Thursday, August 6th – Known World Party
Friday, August 7 – After Field Battle
Filed under: Court, Pennsic
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We bring you info for potential 50 Year Merchants courtesy of our friends at the MidRealm Gazette.
Greetings Potential 50 Year Merchants from Countess Kenna, your Merchant Coordinator!
SCA 50 Year Celebration will be here before you know it. This is your introductory information to the wonderful world of SCA 50 Year Merchanting. We hope to have the best of the best at 50 Year.
Please take time to go through the information provided and please feel free to come up with questions of your own. I hope that in answering many of your questions you will see if your business will align with the needs of SCA 50 Year. Please feel free to send any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org *protected email*. I will answer them and add the info to the current questions/answer list. I will keep this list updated with new information until the release of the SCA 50 Merchant application package. Look for that October 1, 2015.
Please have your request in by December 20, 2015. At that time, all applications will be reviewed and merchants will be selected. Space is limited so I encourage you to send along websites and pictures of your booth and goods with your application so the team can see your set-up. We will have room for a small number of tent merchants so please let us know if you are tent merchant, bazaar merchant, or are willing to be either. Thanks again for your interest and happy reading.
1. Will 50 Year fit our schedule? When and where is SCA 50 Year going to be held? SCA 50 Year will be held outside of Indianapolis, Indiana on June 17 to 27, 2016. The event is located at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Indiana.
2. Since it is in the state of Indiana, where do I go to get a license to sell items in the State of Indiana?
3. Will everyone who requests merchant space be allowed to merchant?
4. What is the sales tax in Indiana and what is taxed?
5. Can I bring my merchanting tent?
6. What sizes are the merchant spaces as well as the cost of each?
7. What do I get with the space?
8. As a SCA 50 Year Merchant, can we arrive on site early to set up?
9. When can we officially register?
10. Can I put a structure on my bazaar merchant space, i.e. tent, shelves etc.?
11. Can I use the electricity provided?
12. Can I sleep in my merchant area?
13. Do I have to have a license to sell or vend in Indiana to merchant at SCA 50 Year? Yes, you do. We will be requiring a copy of your license as part of the registration process.
14. What will be our hours of operation?
15. Speaking of weather, what can we do to protect our merchandise?
16. Can we ship merchandise to the site?
17. Will there be trailer parking/merchant parking?
18. Will there be food available on site?
This is just the start. I am sure you will come up with many more questions, so please feel free to send them on. Have a Great Fall!
The first of a set of cryptograms from Pennsic has been solved. Lord Orlando dei Medici (East) successfully deciphered one of the puzzles to reveal a quote from Cynthia's Revels by the Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson.
Archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have unearthed part of a large rack of human skulls in the Templo Mayor complex in Mexico City. The Aztecs would pierce the heads of the sacrificed, string them together on wooden stakes and mount them on a vertical posts. This structure, called a tzompantli, would be erected for all to see as a highly effective symbol of ruthless power. A five-skull tzompantli was discovered underneath a sacrificial stone and a mound of skulls and jawbones at the Templo Mayor in 2012, but this latest discovery is on a whole other scale. Archaeologists believe it is the major tzompantli of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan described in Spanish accounts of the city before its destruction in 1521.
The team was digging in a well under the floor of a colonial-era home on the western side of the temple complex. Six feet under floor level, they discovered a wall of volcanic rock coated with stucco with a flagstone floor. The rectangular platform, estimated to be more than 34 meters (111.5 feet) long and 12 meters (40 feet) wide, has at its center a circular structure made from skulls cemented together using a lime, sand and volcanic gravel mortar. Many of the skulls have a hole 25 to 30 centimeters (10-12 inches) in diameter piercing the parietal bones. They are all facing inwards at the open space inside the circle. Adult male skulls predominate, but there are skulls from adult women, youths and children as well. So far archaeologists have counted 35 skulls, but expect to see that number increase exponentially as they dig further down under the stucco and stone slabs.
Preliminary dating places this structure in Stage VI of the construction of the Templo Mayor (between 1486 and 1502), during the reign of Aztec warrior king Ahuízotl. He was succeeded on the throne of Tenochitlan by his nephew Moctezuma II who would meet his end fighting Conquistador Hernán Cortés. Cortés himself described the great tzompantli of Tenochtitlan, as did early ethnographers Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and Dominican friar Diego Durán. They wrote of tzompantli with low, elongated bases supporting the vertical posts with horizontal racks of skulls. There is also at least one account of skulls mortared together; this is the first time a tzompantli has been discovered matching that description.
University of Florida archaeologist Susan Gillespie, who was not involved in the project, wrote that “I do not personally know of other instances of literal skulls becoming architectural material to be mortared together to make a structure.” [...]
“They’ve been looking for the big one for some time, and this one does seem much bigger than the already excavated one,” Gillespie wrote. “This find both confirms long-held suspicions about the sacrificial landscape of the ceremonial precinct, that there must have been a much bigger tzompantli to curate the many heads of sacrificial victims” as a kind of public record or accounting of sacrifices.
The second stage of excavations will begin in November. Meanwhile, the skulls will be examined in the laboratory. They’ll test the DNA if they can recover any and will test stable isotopes in the bones and teeth to determine the geographic origin of the sacrificed.