Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the bardic merriment of A Kingdom for a Stage.
The Kingdom for a Stage event was small but packed with music and theatrical entertainments. Baron Liam macanTsaoire and Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth autocratted the event which featured storytellers, singers, a puppet show, and performances by the Debatable Choir and Delftwood’s Commedia group, i Got Woodi.
For the heraldic brag-off, each of the five competitors had to select a volunteer from among the attendees. The heralds then had 10 minutes to learn as much as they could about their “bragee”, after which the bragging began. Each herald spoke on the virtues, real or imagined, of their bragee. Lord Justin Lymner praised the good works of Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth as an autocrat and royal retainer. Baron Janos Meszaros, whose subject was THLady Anlaith ingen Trena, spoke of how good things come in small packages, and cited Her Ladyship’s skills with atlatl and paintbrush. Master Dagonell Collingwood spoke of the many contributions of Master Alaric MacConall as a musician, exchequer, and seneschal, then lamented that in archery, Master Alaric “shoots like a 12-year-old” (an in-joke which is explained in the video below). Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope boasted about the many accomplishments of Her Excellency Helene al-Zarqá, Baroness of Delftwood, as a fencer, bard, and member of i Got Woodi, but then noted that Her Excellency apologized for bringing Delftwood’s weather to the Debatable Lands. Finally, THLord Kieran MacRae extolled the virtues of Lady Lijsbet de Kuekere, most especially as a cook and member of i Got Woodi.
Baroness Constance and Master Kameshima judged the two best entrants to be THLord Kieran and Master Dagonell, so they were then given another task as a run-off: to do a second heraldic brag, both of them on the topic of Baron Liam. It was a close contest, but in the end, the judges chose THLord Kieran as the winner. His prize was a baronial t-shirt, ironically with a Celtic design that he himself created.
Over the course of the day, there were classes in singing technique and about pilgrimage songs, numerous storytellers and singers, and an impromptu puppet show put on by Kaden, the 7-year-old son of Lord Hrafna-Erlender inn Raudi and Lady Aibell ingen Chernachain, with help from his dad. In addition, Baroness Constance Glyn Dwr set up her Baroness’ Bower for folks to hang out and do hand crafts like knitting and embroidery, complete with yummy snacks.
The Debatable Choir performed a concert of five songs as recorded in the video below.
Then the Delftwood Commedia Troop, i Got Woodi, consisting of Baroness Helena al- Zarqá, Mistress Felicitas Flußmüllnerin, Lord Justin Lymner, Lady Lijsbet de Kuekere, and Lord Fridrich Flußmüllner, performed a play in which Capitano kidnaps the servant girl who is in love with Arlecchino. Capitano asks her to marry him but she declines, and calls to Arlecchino for help. Unfortunately, Arlecchino couldn’t seem to figure out that she had been kidnapped, so she ended up having to rescue herself by tricking Capitano into loosing her bonds. She then beat Capitano so he fell to the floor, after which she returned to her beloved and friends. It was noted that Baroness Helene had successfully written a script that permitted Lady Lijsbet, who is currently on crutches with one foot in a cast, to spend the entire play sitting in a chair.
While the bardic activities were occurring, there was a delectable all-day sideboard prepared by THLord Jorundr hinn Rotinn with assistance from a large crew of experienced cooks. It was noted that the theme of the feast was “carrots” as His Lordship had gotten a really good deal on a large basket of them… The onion soup was so good that one lady was heard to exclaim that she would marry it if she could. Fortunately, her husband was amused rather than offended.
His Excellency, Baron Liam, thanked everyone who attended, and especially those who jumped in to help with clean up. He plans to make the event even bigger and better next year.
Heraldic brag videos courtesy of Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepora Levi. Choir video courtesy of Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope with thanks to THLord Kieran for manning the camera.
With only 2 weeks left to send in your Letter of Intent to fight in the Spring Crown Tourney of Prince Omega and Princess Etheldreda, the Kingdom Seneschal reminds prospective entrants and consorts to use the following link:http://fluidsurveys.com/s/EKCrownTourneySubmissionKAII/
The Letter of Intent must be received by Coronation, April 11, 2015.
If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort: Society name, legal name, address, telephone number, years of residency and be accompanied by proof of membership with membership number & expiration date that is valid at least thirty days after Crown. If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.
Proof of valid membership consists of a copy of a valid membership card, a postcard (with a date-stamp) or letter from the Corporate office, or a confirmation form printed from the website after an online membership purchase.
Their Hignesses also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.
In Service to the East, I remain
Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Filed under: Announcements
The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands invites you to a regional muster celebrating Archery, Thrown Weapons, Youth Fighting and Arts & Sciences at the Castle home of Sir Byron and Sir Ariella on April 12th. This is the day after Æthelmearc Coronation. The muster will begin at 10:00 in the morning and continue until 5:00 pm.
The archery and thrown weapons ranges will be open at 10:00 am and archery from the towers, led by THL Deryk Archer, will begin at 1:00 pm.
The main archery goal this day is to shoot and submit rounds for the Gwyntarian Winter Challenge which closes later that week. There will also be training if we have enough marshals. The Barony’s loaner gear will be there.
Please bring something for a pot luck. We’re going to be there all day, so let’s eat. Pop, water, plates, bowls, and utensils will all be provided.
We also ask that you dress in garb for the day.
The Castle address is 755 Stonegate Drive, Wexford PA 15090.
In service to the Barony-Marche and the Kingdom,
Mestari Urho Waltterinen
The Gazette is not an official publication of the East Kingdom; changes to East Kingdom Law do not take effect until they have appeared in the Pikestaff.
At the opening of the Third Curia of their Right Noble Majesties Edward and Thyra, Old Business was opened and the first item of business discussed was the addition of V.C.1.g. – The King’s & Queen’s Thrown Weapons Champions. Concerns about over-loading the Royal Calendar were again brought up, and suggestions for ways to alleviate such pressures were also discussed. Weekend-long Champions events with more than one Champions Tourney were suggested, but ultimately it has been left to Their Highnesses, Omega and Ethedreda, to discuss and implement a plan going forward.
There was a much lengthier discussion regarding the changes to Officer Residency. Many people spoke and there was a wide variety of opinions from the populace, both in favor and against the proposed change. There were many questions as to how the policy would be implemented and monitored. Concerns regarding outside members “taking over” a local group were raised, while others discussed the plight of those who live in Crown Lands, as well as those who live far from their local groups population center, but close to another group’s. Additional issues covered included groups where volunteers are available for offices, but not for specific functions (e.g. lacking a volunteer with experience appropriate to execute the duties of a Webminister), as well as the risk of needing to close a group in the event that a specific task could not be fulfilled by the available volunteer pool. Many of these concerns were addressed to various levels by Their Majesties with assurances that the new policies written would vetted for compliance to Kingdom Law and Corpora by the Kingdom Seneschalate.
Ultimately, Their Majesties approved the proposed new policy to provide a process for branches that wished to allow non-residents to hold office in the branch with some changed wording. The following was added: Branch Seneschals and Exchequers may not be eligible without prior, written approval of the Kingdom Seneschal.
Her Majesty also implored local groups to hold off on adding new language to their bylaws until the Kingdom Seneschal has had a chance to prepare guidelines for creating appropriate language.
Under New Business, Their Majesties first brought up the addition of the Order of Defense to the Peerages and Polling list sections of EK Law, which was accepted without much additional commentary, outside of the need to do so, following the changes to Corpora before the Order is created at Crown Tourney in May.
The second item of New Business was discussed at a much greater length. This was the creation of an Order to recognize prowess and service in the Equestrian lists and activities in the East Kingdom. Two options were available to Their Majesties:
1) Create a new Order of High Merit with an Order unique to the EK, requiring the Kingdom to submit a name and badge to the College of Heralds,
2) Sign the Order of the Golden Lance Treaty which is currently signed by Æthelmearc, Atlantia, Trimaris, Ansteorra, and Caid, which grants the right to the East to use the Order of the Golden Lance name and registered regalia; the only requirement is that it be the highest award for Equestrian prowess and service in the Kingdom.
His Majesty offered commentary that this would not become an issue as has occurred in some White Scarf treaty kingdoms regarding the creation of the Order of Defense. His Majesty also remarked on the lengthy discussions and valuable survey information on the Equestrian community in the East, which currently stands at approximately 35 authorized Equestrians. This is apparently a mid-sized Equestrian group amongst the Kingdoms of the Known World, and the time and cost of investment required to participate in the community is significant, limiting its ability to grow. His Majesty also remarked that he felt creating this award will create an environment that will encourage the community to grow and will give recognition to members of the Order when they travel, as part of an Order that is recognized in several kingdoms. Other commentary was offered by members of the populace, recommending the treaty not be signed, but that an award recognizing Equestrians be created, and respectfully disagreeing with the benefits of signing the treaty in lieu of creating an award specific to the East Kingdom.
Their Majesties stated their preference for signing the Golden Lance treaty and so made it into Law.
The Order of the Rose was also added into IX.E. – The Peerage Orders (Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Rose, and Defense)… as a clerical correction, as the Order of the Rose carries a Patent of Arms by Kingdom Law.
Following the end of New Business, Officer Reports were given and the following summaries are paraphrased by the Gazette’s correspondent:
Seneschal – Dueña Mercedes – She is working on a number of different projects at any given time. If anyone has questions about anything specific, please contact her directly.
Brigantia – Master Ryan – Updates to Order of Precedence are coming. The database is being worked on, and we hope to see it on the Kingdom website in the coming weeks. The badge for the Order of the Golden Lance will be submitted and processed in the coming months.
Exchequer – Mistress Ignacia – We have money, and my report to Kingdom was filed on time.
Chronicler – given in abstentia – Mistress A’isha has applied to take on a fourth and final year in office and is looking for anyone interested in becoming the next East Kingdom Chronicler, so she can begin training.
Arts & Sciences – Mistress Rainillt – Winter is leaving and A&S activities are gearing up to full swing.
Chatelaine – Mistress Vienna – This is Mistress Vienna’s last Curia report as her term in office is coming to an end. There has been a lot of interest in the SCA via the Newcomer’s Portal at welcome.sca.org. There is a new type of demo happening on Saturday, May 16th. The Sir Wilhelm’s Hastilude & Demo is being held in Connecticut and will feature a free event with tournaments that will also serve as a demo. Please come out an support this new event/demo combination. Event Annoucement
Chirurgeon – Master Galefridus – In the event that the BoD eliminates the Office of the Chirurgeonate, it will likely fold into a guild structure so that the Chirurgeons can continue supporting events and remain in line with Corpora.
Signet – Mistress Nest – We still have scribes!
Chancellor Minor – given by Lady Wentlyanna on behalf of Baroness Leonete – Many more groups are having family activities, and the Society Office is promoting the YAFA program.
Webminister – Lord Lorenz – The Webministry is currently processing approximately 36,000 emails per week, there are approximately 160 different sites hosted by the Kingdom, and there are approximately 16-24 groups that still need to move their websites onto the Kingdom Server.En français
La Gazette du Royaume n’est pas une publication officielle du Royaume de l’Est; les changements aux Lois du Royaume de l’Est ne prennent effet qu’à compter du moment où ils sont publiés dans le Pikestaff.
Le premier sous-point concernant l’ajout de l’article V.C.1.g – Champion d’Armes de Lancer- fut d’abord exposé.
Le deuxième sous-point concernait la Résidence des officiers dans les groupes locaux.
Les autres discussions ont gravité autour des groupes ayant un bassin de bénévoles qui ne possèdent pas les qualités requises pour prendre en charge un office particulier comme ex.: Ministre de laToile. La possibilité de fermeture de groupe dû à un manque de bénévole fut aussi discutée. Leurs Majestés ont rassuré la curie concernant plusieurs des points soulevé et ont assuré celle-ci que la loi écrite serait vérifiée, par le Senéchal du Royaume, pour être conforme aux Lois du Royaume et à la Charte Corporative (Corpora).
Ultimement Leurs Majestés ont approuvé, avec amendement, la nouvelle politique qui permet à un groupe d’établir un processus permettant à un non-résident d’y détenir un poste d’officier. L’amendement se lit comme suit :
Sénéchal et Échiquier de groupe ne peuvent se prévaloir de ce privilège à moins d’avoir obtenu, au préalable, une autorisation écrite du Sénéchal du Royaume. Sa Majesté a demandé à tous les groupes locaux d’attendre avant de faire toute modification à leurs règlements, que le Sénéchal du Royaume aie préparé un guide sur la formulation précise de ce règlement.
Le second sujet abordé fut celui des Nouveaux points.
Peu de discussion s’en sont suivies, sauf d’attendre les changements à la Charte Corporative (Corpora) avant la création de l’Ordre au Tournoi de la Couronne de mai prochain.
Le second sous-point touchant la création d’un Ordre pour reconnaitre la prouesse et le service pour les activités Équestres.
Deux options étaient possibles pour Leurs Majestés.
1) Créer un Ordre de Haut Mérite unique au Royaume de l’Est, nécessitant que le Royaume doive soumettre un nom et un écusson (badge) au Collège des Hérauts.
2) Signer le Traité de l’Odre de la Lance dorée et rejoindre les Royaumes d’Æthelmearc, d’Atlantia, de Trimaris, d’Ansteorra et de Caid. Par cette signature, le Royaume acquiert le droit d’utiliser le nom ‘’ l’Ordre de la Lance dorée’’ et les insignes associés. Il est requis, par ce traité, que l’Odre de la Lance dorée’’ soit la plus élevée des récompenses Équestre du Royaume.
Sa Majesté a affirmé que la signature de ce traité ne susciterait pas les mêmes problématiques que d’autres traités du genre, tel le Traité de l’Écharpe Blanche dans le dossier de la création de l’Ordre de Défense. Sa Majesté a aussi fait remarquer les grandes discussions et toutes les informations pertinentes recueillies auprès de la communauté équestre du Royaume. Rappelons que la communauté équestre du Royaume est constituée d’approximativement 35 membres accrédités, ce qui en fait une communauté de moyenne envergure parmi les Royaumes. Le coût en temps et en investissement requis pour participer à cette communauté est un frein à sa croissance potentielle. Sa Majesté croit que cette récompense créera un environnement favorisant la croissance de cette communauté tout en permettant une reconnaissance accrue de ses membres. Particulièrement lorsque ceux-ci voyageront dans des Royaumes ayant eux aussi signé ce traité. Des commentaires différents ont été offerts par des membres de la population, recommandant que le traité ne soit pas signé, mais plutôt qu’une distinction reconnaissant les prouesses équestres soit créée, car le sentiment général est que le traité ne présenterais pas d’avantage comparé au fait de créer une récompense spécifique au Royaume de l’Est.
Leurs Majestés ont annoncé que leurs préférences étaient de signer le traité de la Lance Dorée et d’en faire loi.
L’Ordre de la Rose a été ajouté à l’article IX.E –
Le troisième sujet fut le rapport des officiers et voici un résumé rédigé par le correspondant de la Gazette.
Sénéchale : Dueña Mercedes –Elle travaille sur plusieurs dossiers, si quelqu’un a des questions particulières, on peut la contacter directement.
Héraut de Brigantie : Maître Ryan – La mise à jour de l’Ordre de préséance sera finalisée sous-peu. Des travaux sont réalisés à la base de données et on souhaite que les résultats soit accessibles via le site Web du Royaume dans quelques semaines.
Échiquier : -Maîtresse Ignacia- Nous avons de l’argent et son rapport au Royaume est à jour.
Chroniqueur : -Sans être présente- Maîtresse A’isha a postulé pour une quatrième et dernière année à son poste. Elle souhaite trouver une relève bientôt pour débuter sa formation.
Arts & Sciences : -Maîtresse Vienna- Il s’agit de sa dernière Curie Royale puisque que son terme d’officier prend fin. Le portail des nouveaux welcome.sca.org, génère beaucoup d’intérêt. Un nouveau type de démonstration aura lieu le samedi 16 mai prochain. L’Hastilida de Sire Wiliam & Démo se déroulera au Connecticut et consistera en un événement gratuit comprenant un tournoi. Nous sommes tous invités à participer et à encourager ce nouveau concept d’événement/démo.
Chirurgien : – Maître Galefridus- Si jamais l’Assemblée des Directeurs (BoD) dissolvait le poste de Chirurgien, ce dernier serait fort probablement transformé en guilde structurée pour que les Chirurgiens puisse continuer d’assurer une présence lors des événements, le tout en accord avec la Charte Corporative (Corpora).
Clerc des Sceaux : -Maîtresse Nest- Nous avons des scribes.
Webminister : – Seigneur Lorenz- Le Webministère gère approximativement 36 000 courriels par semaine et il existe approximativement 160 sites différents hébergés par le Royaume et entre 16 et 24 groupes nécessitent un déménagement de site vers les serveurs du Royaume.
Filed under: En français, Law and Policy Tagged: curia
Lost and found items from Mudthaw. Please contact Galefridus (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you recognize any of these.
Fleece scarf, grey and black
Pair of brown fleece gloves
Pair of grey suede and faux fur boots
2 books on weaving
White cotton women’s coif
Leather belt pouch containing several belt tokens
Black leather mug strap
6″ hairpin with gobular crystal
Small black cloth drawstring bag
Belt token, yellow with crossed keys
Belt token, green velvel with gold fringe and embroidered design
Belt token, narrow card-woven with pewter token
Single men’s wrist-length black leather glove (RH)
Single men’s black leather fencing glove (RH)
10″ wooden plate
6″ wooden bowl
White tee shirt, no decoration, XL
Small plastic gryphon head, looks hand-painted
3″ blue pastice toy dish
2 site tokens from various events
Filed under: Announcements
Forensic studies on the skeletal remains of Pharaoh Senebkay discovered last year at Abydos have found numerous sharp-force injuries indicating that he died a brutal death in battle. A pharaoh from a weak transitional dynasty in Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period (1650 and 1550 B.C.), Senebkay was beset by enemies to the north — the Canaanite Hyksos 15th Dynasty — and south — the Theban 16th and 17th Dynasties (1650 – 1590 B.C., 1580 – 1550 B.C.). These were turbulent times that would only come to end with the unification of Egypt under Pharaoh Ahmose I, founder of the 18th Dynasty and of the New Kingdom.
Senebkay lived somewhere in the middle of the Second Intermediate Period, probably around 1600 B.C., which makes him the earliest pharaoh known to have died in battle. Before this study the first pharaoh thought to have died in battle was Theban Pharaoh Seqnenre of the 17th Dynasty (ca. 1558 B.C.), father of the future Ahmose I. Although Seqnenre too was viciously slaughtered, there are no defensive wounds so he could well have been attacked in his sleep or executed by his Hyksos enemies.
Osteologists found that Senebkay was between 35 to 49 years old at the time of his death and of unusual height for his era at five feet seven inches to six feet tall. His wounds were so extensive he must have been the target of multiple attackers.
The king’s skeleton has an astounding eighteen wounds that penetrated to the bone. The trauma includes major cuts to his feet, ankles, knees, hands, and lower back. Three major blows to Senebkay’s skull preserve the distinctive size and curvature of battle axes used during Egypt’s Second Intermediate Period. This evidence indicates the king died violently during a military confrontation, or in an ambush.
The weapon in question was a bronze duckbill axe. University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Josef Wegner, leader of the excavation team, believes the pharoah’s injuries, the weapons they were inflicted with and force with which they were used indicates professional soldiers took the king down in a fight rather than, say, assassins or muggers.
Senebkay appears to have been on horseback when the assault began. Wounds to his lower body — a cut to his right ankle so severe it would have all but amputed his foot, slashes on his knees and hands — were inflicted from the ground upwards and the strikes on his lower back indicate he was seated when he received them. That was more than enough to unhorse him. By the time his assailants embedded their axes in his skull, the pharaoh was probably on the ground.
Another surprising result of the osteological analysis is that muscle attachments on Senebkay’s femurs and pelvis indicate he spent a significant amount of his adult life as a horse rider. Another king’s body discovered this year in a tomb close to that of Senebkay also shows evidence for horse riding, suggesting these Second Intermediate Period kings buried at Abydos were accomplished horsemen.
This is a significant discovery because the introduction of the horse to Egypt was still recent at the time. The first inscriptions referring to the use of horses among the Egyptian elite appear shortly after this period and the chariots that would become inextricably associated with pharaonic Egypt weren’t introduced until the New Kingdom.
One of other skeletons thought to be from a royal tomb (other than Senebkay’s, none of the seven other royal tombs had cartouches identifying the deceased), was a powerfully built man trained to perform a strenuous, repetitive activity with his left arm, possibly archery or combat. Between their prowess on horseback and their tough physical training, it’s possible these Abydos pharaohs were warrior-kings. The research team is hoping to be able to confirm with DNA testing if any of the people found buried in the tombs bore a familial relationship to each other.
Because we know so little about the Abydos kings, the geographic boundaries of their territory are unclear. It seems Senebkay did not die close to Abydos, however. The linen bandages wrapping him are close to the bones, which means the body had already been decaying for a while when he was mummified. He could have been exposed, perhaps by the enemies who killed him, before being sent home, or the voyage home was so long it took several weeks to get his decomposing body to the royal necropolis at Abydos.
Possibly the king died in battle fighting against the Hyksos kings who at that time ruled northern Egypt from their capital at Avaris in the Nile Delta. However, Senebkay may have died in struggles against enemies in the south of Egypt. Historical records dating to Senebkay’s lifetime record at least one attempted invasion of Upper Egypt by a large military force from Nubia to the south. Alternatively, Senebkay may have had other political opponents, possibly kings based at Thebes.
The University of Pennsylvania team will continue excavations at Abydos and to study the remains in the hope of answering some of these questions.
The Coronation of TRH’s Timothy and Gabrielle is but two weeks away.
There will be dancing to celebrate. Dances will be taught and enjoyed.
But to make this most memorable occasion more memorable we need the skilled musicians of the Sylvan Kingdom to play for the dancing to honor the new King and Queen.
If you are both willing and able to play for the dancing at Coronation on April 11, please contact me as soon as you can so I can provide you the set list and other necessities to make your participation easier.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
THL sionn, the lost
The Carabinieri art theft squad has recovered two major artworks in separate investigations: an early Cubist work by Pablo Picasso and an ancient Roman sculptural group of Mithras slaying the bull, a scene known today as a tauroctony. Only one of them, the sculpture, is known to have been looted. The Picasso painting is currently under investigation, but its purported provenance is a classic art smuggler’s tall tale, and a particularly bold iteration at that. It could be true, sure, but the Carabinieri clearly don’t think so or they wouldn’t have confiscated it.
The Picasso came to light when Sotheby’s, in the name of the putative current owner, filed an export license request in Venice for the oil painting Violin and Bottle of Bass made in 1912 by Pablo Picasso. The painting is listed in the 1961 edition of the great multi-volume catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works compiled by Christian Zervos. It was done in the early Analytic Cubist style developed by Picasso and Georges Braque characterized by a palette of browns and other neutrals and as such is extremely rare and desirable.
Yet, the declared value of this early work was 1.4 million euros ($1.5 million). That’s a ridiculously lowball figure for a painting that would go for at least 15 million euros ($16.2 million) in the open market and could easily make more at auction. The weirdly cheap Picasso drew the unblinking eye of art squad investigators who sought an explanation from the owner. Said owner turns out to be a retired Roman frame maker. In 1978, a gentleman of advanced age came to his shop holding a picture frame with a photo of his beloved late wife inside. The maid had apparently knocked over the frame and broken the glass, devastating the widower. The frame maker repaired the frame for free because it was such an easy fix. In gratitude, the customer repaid the frame maker by returning two days later with a gift: Violin and Bottle of Bass. The frame maker had no idea what a treasure he’d been given for replacing a two-cent piece of glass, so he just stashed it somewhere and forgot about it for 36 years until discovering by accident that he might have a Picasso.
Mysteries abound in this less than entirely believable story. Tests have confirmed the attribution of the painting to Picasso, but more will be forthcoming while the investigation proceeds.
The statue of Mithras is a looter’s special, too. The Carabinieri found it during a complex operation of surveillance centered in the Fiumicino area outside Rome where the airport is, a crossroads of the market in illicit archaeological goods. Carabinieri noticed a nondescript van with no external identifiers that for some reason had a motorized escort — a motorcycle in front and a Smart Car taking up the rear. They pulled the van over and searched it. The back was filled with flowers and plants under a tarp. Cops saw the nose of a bull sticking up through the plants and found the marble sculpture group with the soil from its illegal excavation still caked on it.
The sculpture dates from the 2nd-3rd century A.D. and depicts an iconic scene in Mithraism wherein the hero tilts back the bull’s head and slays the beast with a knife while a dog and snake lick its blood and a scorpion has a go at the bull’s testicles. Every Mithraeum had at least one representation of this scene, usually reliefs and frescoes. A large freestanding sculpture like this would have been extremely luxurious then, and it is even more so today. Experts put its value at a minimum of 8 million euros. Only two other large tauroctonies like this one are known to exist today, one in the British Museum, one in the Vatican Museums.
Soil tests of the dirt on the sculpture pinpointed two possible locations of origin in central Italy: the ancient Etruscan cities of Tarquinia and Vulci. The regional Culture Ministry immediately began emergency excavations at the possible sites and found the exact spot from which the statue had been looted. It was Tarquinia, and archaeologists found two smoking guns in the form of the little rampant dog missing from the sculpture and the head of the missing snake. They also unearthed a few other marble fragments, the remains of a mosaic floor and a terracotta tile floor that suggest this was once a Mithraem.
A map of Switzerland and Swiss traveling routes found in the van make it very clear where the tauroctony was headed if it hadn’t been intercepted. Its value on the open market would be something in the neighborhood of 8 million euros ($8.7 million), a meager thing compared to its immense historical value. The statue will go on temporary display at the Vatican Museums in a few weeks after which it will return to Tarquinia in July.
The Carabinieri announced a third recovery at the same press conference, an 18th century oil painting by Luca Carlevarijs entitled View of Piazza San Marco from the Dock. It was stolen on April 28th, 1984, from the home of a private collector and discovered last September in the hands of an art dealer in Milan indicted for receiving stolen goods and illegal export of a painting now in the United States. While searching the dealer’s home, cops found 190 photographs of paintings. One of them was the Carlevarijs. They compared the photos against the squad’s database of stolen cultural goods and discovered the 30-year-old theft. It seems the artwork had been given to the dealer by a collector in anticipation of its sale.
Carlevarijs was the founder of the Venetian school of vedute, meaning views or landscapes of the city, starting with etchings in 1703 and then moving on to oil paintings. Canaletto was strongly influenced by him, as you can see in this piece, and probably met Carlevarijs around 1720 when the young artist moved back home to Venice after studying in Rome. Canaletto may have been Carlevarijs’ pupil at this time — the sources are murky — but if so, he soon surpassed the master. In 1725, just five years after Canaletto’s return, art merchant Alessandro Marchesini would suggest to his client, collector Stefano Conti who was looking for vedute of Venice, that he acquire a piece by Canaletto who “inevitably amazes everyone here who sees his works, which are in the manner of Carlevaris, but light shines out from the sun.”
Compared to the Picasso and the tauroctony I’m afraid poor Mr. Carlevarijs doesn’t quite make the headline, but it amuses me how each of these stories touches on the standard tropes of the traffic in illicit art and antiquities. We’ve got a supershady provenance story, a recently excavated, high-quality ancient sculpture that was destined for surreptitious sale in Switzerland where it doubtless would have received brand new papers certifying it as having been in “an anonymous Swiss collection” for the past 50 years, and we have the art dealer acting as a fence and keeping a big cache of incriminating photographs of the pieces he is trying to sell/has sold illegally. It’s like looter’s bingo.
After consideration and commentary, the Board of SCA Ltd (the corporate body in Australia) welcomes two new Board Members for the next three years, commencing at the AGM on Friday, 3 April 2015.
Mistress Illadore de Bedagrayne has been summoned by the Crown of the West to be put on vigil as one of their premiere members of the Order of Defence. Her elevation will occur on May 1st.
Mistress Illadore originally hails from the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, which she once served as seneschale. She received her White Scarf from Malcolm and Tessa at Pennsic XXXV and a Court Barony from Christopher and Morgen in 2007. She was elevated to the Order of the Laurel for her cooking by Isenwulf and Rosalinda in 2011. She served as 12th and 27th Queen’s Rapier Champion of Æthelmearc, as well as commander of the Southern Watch. She is also a past Rapier Champion in the West Kingdom.
Due to her real-life work, Mistress Illadore has moved around a lot since 2007, living in Atlantia and the West Kingdom (twice) where she was instrumental in bringing Rapier to prominence. However, she has always called Æthelmearc home, in proof of which she served as camp cook for the Æthelmearc royalty and entourage at Gulf Wars two weeks ago.
The inaugural edition of the Knowne World Bardcast, featuring performances and panel discussion from bards scattered across the SCA, is now available on Soundcloud. Versions formatted for iTunes and other podcasting services will be available in the near future.
National Geographic has devised some sort of doomsday mind reading device only instead of using it to enslave humanity like the rest of us would, they’ve chosen to hone in on one of my fondest dreams and make it come true: a proper close look at the helical relief that wraps itself around Trajan’s Column. Trajan’s Column, built in 113 A.D. to commemorate the emperor’s victories over the Dacians in two wars (101–102 and 105–106 A.D.), has a 625 foot-long frieze that winds around the 98 foot-high column shaft 23 times. There are 2,662 figures in 155 scenes plus scads of structures (pontoon bridges! forts!) and gear (weapons! army standards! exotic Dacian fashions!). The complexity of the carving, the density of characters and scenes, and, last but certainly not least, the monumental scale of the column make it an ideal candidate for digital exploration. Short of a surreptitious and illegal nighttime visit to Trajan’s Forum aboard a cherry picker, it’s simply impossible to see anything more than the pedestal close up in person.
Your best shot at a thorough look at the frieze in person is on the plaster casts in museums. The Museum of Roman Civilisation in the EUR neighborhood of Rome has a blessedly handy collection of casts of the relief separated into sections that are lined up in narrative order along three rows that you can walk through. Because the casts were made in the 19th century, the relief is in better condition than on the original column that has been exposed to an additional century and a half of pollution and erosion. The Victoria & Albert has plaster casts mounted on two central brick columns that makes them look like the column was cut in half. You can view it from ground level or from a gallery.
As far as digital options go, there are several excellent sites dedicated to Trajan’s Column. The University of St. Andrews has a phenomenal Trajan’s Column site that has a searchable database of images of the frieze that you can easily click through using a numbered map (after you click on a piece of the frieze, click zoom out to see all the images of that scene). It also has exceptional background information: explanations of numbering conventions used to identify scenes and figures, the drawings and casts that scholars have made to study the column, a detailed description of the column’s history, materials, construction method and more. The only problem is the photographs are small and it’s easy to lose your way in the details. There is no big picture view of the entire relief.
The German Archaeological Institute’s Arachne database has many images of Trajan’s Column, but they’re in black and white, watermarked and the interface is awkward, to put it mildly. Far more user friendly but still information-rich is the Trajan’s Column website created by Dartmouth College professor Roger B. Ulrich. The photographs are too small to quench my thirst. Google Art Project has a handful of good images of the plaster casts at the Museum of Roman Civilisation (this one of Trajan’s cavalry defeating the Sarmatian cataphract heavy cavalry is my favorite because you get to see the weird fish scale armour in detail), but nowhere near enough.
Wikipedia user MatthiasKabel has probably the best photographs of the complete column in situ on the web. Massive panoramas capture each side in exquisitely high resolution. They’re beautiful, but they’re just images, no information or key to help you interpret the riot of people, equipment and action. See them at the bottom of the Trajan’s Column entry.
The detailed view of the scenes flowing from one to the other has heretofore been lacking. That’s the gap National Geographic has filled. Their interactive graphic has a brief slideshow of highlights you can click through, but most importantly allows you to wind your way around the entire column, zooming in to examine whatever detail catches your fancy. They’ve created a simple color-coded notation system that categorizes the scenes by subject (marches, speeches, construction, etc.) and makes Trajan easy to spot because he’s been tinted yellow in all 58 of the scenes in which he appears.
As if that weren’t cool enough, National Geographic raised the bar to infinity and beyond by making a stop-motion animated video of how the column may have been constructed. There are several competing theories on the question, but none of their advocates have made a stop-motion video of them, so, you know…
But wait, there’s more! Damn that video was awesome, you say to yourself. I wish I could see how they made the magic happen. Well your wish has already come true, because there’s a making-of video.
Lastly, because they’re a legitimate magazine with articles and what not, National Geographic has a story accompanying the great graphics that gives an overview of the history behind the column and of the Dacian culture Trajan all but obliterated from a perspective that is not imbued with Roman propaganda.
COURT OF EDWARD III AND THYRA II AT KING’S AND QUEEN’S ARTS AND SCIENCES CHAMPIONS AND BARONIAL INVESTITURE
On March 7, in the forty-ninth year of the Society, Their Majesties Edward and Thyra held Court in the Barony of l’Ile du Dragon Dormant, and conducted the following business:
Item. Their Majesties thanked Angus McHaley and Tadea Isabetta di Bruno for their Court service as Baron and Baroness. As tokens of their thanks, they created Angus a Baron of the Court, with scroll by Mergriet van Wijenhorst, and Tadea a Baroness of the Court, with scroll by Shadiyah al-Zhara.
Item. Their Majesties invested Jeanne de Robin as the new Baroness. Her scroll was illuminated by Eleanore MacCarthaigh, calligraphed by Nest verch Tangwistel, with words by Shadiyah al-Zahra.
Item. Their Majesties invested Genovefa Clerica as the new Baronne, with a scroll authored by Shadiyah al-Zahra, and calligraphed and illuminated by Nest verch Tangwistel.
Item. Their Majesties accepted the fealty of the new Baroness and Baronne of l’Ile du Dragon Dormant.
Item. Their Majesties gave tokens of welcome to newcomers to the Society.
Item. Elysabeth Underhill and Rosina von Schaffhausen were given Awards of the Golden Lyre.
Item. Their Majesties made gifts of toys to the children of the East.
Item. Their Majesties Awarded Arms to Tiberius Sergius Valens. His scroll was illuminated Bella De LaBerge and calligraphed by Nest verch Tangwistel.
Item. Their Majesties Awarded Arms to Bella De LaBerge. Her scroll was illuminated by Melina al Andalusiyya and calligraphed by Robin dit Dessaint.
Item. Their Majesties presented Guthfrith Yrlingsson with his backlog Silver Rapier scroll, created by Fiona O Maille.
Item. Their Majesties presented Tiberius Iulius Rufus with his backlog Pelican scroll, created by Jan Janowicz Bogdanski.
Item. Their Highnesses were presented with appliquéd tabbards for the Tir Maran Archery Champions, created by Yuri Mayuki.
Item. Their Majesties Awarded Arms to Cacht Mhór inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh.
Item. Their Majesties Awarded Arms to Kazmer of House Al’Karakal, with a scroll created by Elena O Sirideain.
Item. Their Majesties inducted Barnabus O’Pheylan into the Order of the Silver Crescent. He was given a scroll illuminated by Anna of the Middle and calligraphed by Constance de St. Denis.
Item. Their Majesties thanked the musicians who had played for the Courts.
The heralds for this Court were Martyn de Halliwell, Constance de St. Denis, Kirsa Oyutai, Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle, Simona bat Leone, and Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen.
With thanks to Mistress Alys Mackyntoich for the report, and Mór of Kilkenny for the translation. Photos courtesy Baron William LanctonEn français
Le 7 mars en l’année quarante-neuf de la société, leur majestés Edward et Thyra ont tenu la cour en la baronnie de l’Île du Dragon Dormant, et ont accompli les affaires suivantes:
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont remercié Angus MacHaley et Tadea Isabetta di Bruno pour leur service à la cour en tant que baron et baronne. En guise de remerciment ils ont établi Angus baron de leur cour, parchemin par Mergriet Van Wijenhorst, et Tadea baronne de leur cour, parchemin par Shadiyah al-Zahra.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont investi Jeanne de Robin en tant que nouvelle baronne. Son parchemin a été illuminé par Eleanore MacCarthaith, calligraphié par Nest verch Tangwistel, mots par Shadiyah al-Zahra.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont investi Genovefa Clerica en tant que nouvelle baronne avec parchemin par Shadiyah al-Zarah, calligraphie et illumination par Nest verch Tangwistel.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont accepté les voeux de fidélité des nouvelles baronnes de l’Île du Dragon Dormant.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont distribué des insignes de bienvenue aux nouveaux venus.
Itème. Sa Majesté Edward a annoncé la nomination de Naomi Avraham comme nouvelle championne des arts et sciences du roi. Son parchemin a été créé par Vettorio Antonello.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont donné des jouets aux enfants du Royaume de l’Est.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont adjugé des armoiries à Tiberius Sergius Valens. Son parchemin a été illuminé par Bella De LaBerge, calligraphie par Nest verch Tangwistel.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont adjugé des armoiries à Bella De LaBerge. Son parchemin a été illuminé par Melina al Andalusiyya, caligraphie par Robin dit Dessaint.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont présenté un parchemin à Guthfrith Yrlingsson pour le Silver Rapier qu’il avait reçu ultérieurement.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont présenté un parchemin à Tiberivs Ivlivs Rvfvs Primvs pour le Pelican reçu ultérieurement. Le parchemin a été créé par Jan Janowicz Bogdanski.
Itème. Leurs Altesses ont reçu des tabards appliqués for les Champions du tir à l’arc de Tir Mara, créé par Yuri Mayuki.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont attribué des armoiries à Cacht Mhór inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont accordé des armoiries à Kazmer of House Al’Kalrakal avec parchemin créé par Elena O Sirideain.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont intronisé Barnabus O’Pheylan dans lordre du Silver Crescent. Un parchemin illuminé par Anna of the Middle et calligraphié par Constance de St-Denis.
Itème. Leurs Majestés ont remercié les musiciens que ont joué durant leur cour.
Les hérauts pour cette cour étaient Martyn de Halliwell, Constance de St-Denis, Kirsa Oyutai, Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle, Simona bat Leone et Ernst Nuss von Kitzingen.
Translation by Mór of Kilkenny
Traduit par Mór of Kilkenny
Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Court, En français Tagged: a&s, champions, IDD, Investiture
A common thread among SCA members is our fascination with the idea of Knighthood. Many of us got our first taste of the medieval world reading about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, or the exploits of Richard the Lionheart, or maybe the tragic but noble self-sacrifice of the Song of Roland. Even the least martial among us has probably thought about what it means to be a knight. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope interviewed several members of Æthelmearc’s Order of Chivalry to find out how they view their role as Knights of the Society.
The Chivalric Virtues
When asked what being a knight meant to them, many of the knights of Æthelmearc referenced the Chivalric Virtues. Curiously, there is no real agreement, even in the scholarly world, as to what those virtues are.
The tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written around 1400, has Sir Gawain bearing a shield with a pentangle representing five knightly virtues. Duke Guillaume de la Belgique of the Kingdom of Caid, who writes frequently on chivalric topics, lists a set of six chivalric virtues. Count Sir Garick von Kopke of the Kingdom of the Outlands wrote an essay on chivalric virtues in which he lists eight knightly virtues from Le Ordene de Chevalrie, The Ordination of Knighthood, a 12th or 13th century anonymous French poem, and the 13th century work by Raymon Lull, Libre del Orde de Cauayleria, The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Most comprehensively, the Midrealm’s Middle Wiki states:
The Seven Knightly Virtues are much written about and there is no one authoritative list of them. Some historic accounts have four virtues, others have six. Even for those that list seven, those seven differ greatly. As Knights and Chivalry are important to the SCA, so does Chivalric Virtue play a part in our Society. Some of the commonly referenced Knightly Virtues are:
It might be agreed that these virtues can be used to describe a person who is good and noble. But beyond that, what does it mean to be a knight in the SCA, where our Chivalry are not called upon to literally spill their blood in defense of the realm?
Duke Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn, who was knighted by Æthelmearc in 2000, put it this way: “The short answer is it means I am expected to be everyone’s exemplar of the ideal at all times. You see, everyone has a visceral, almost instinctive concept of “Knight.” Our culture is inundated with the imagery and we all grow up hearing stories of King Arthur and Knights in Shining Armor. I would venture to say that there is no one that you could interview anywhere that does not have SOME concept of “Knight” and what a knight is supposed to be or how they’re supposed to behave. Our culture has created such a mythos around “Knight” that the word has come to be more of a concept of behavior rather than just a man.”
Duke Malcolm noted that there are a lot of expectations placed on the Knights of the Society. “When I put on my belt, everyone who looks upon me has an expectation of me: that I am a great fighter, that I am Noble, that I am Chivalrous (which also has an incredibly diverse definition) – that I am all these things, and many others, all the time. Along with this, any time anyone sees me that knows me as a Knight, expects that, not just in the context of the SCA world, but also in all their dealings and in all their interactions with me. Those of us who identify as Knights are held to that standard and are subject to the internal judgment of all we encounter.”
Duke Maynard von dem Steine, who was knighted by Æthelmearc in 2000, had a similar attitude. “To me, being a knight means putting others’ needs before your own. As a Knight, you represent the Crown and the Kingdom as well as the Society, so when you put that white belt on, you have to remember that you’re expected to live up to every kid’s expectations of what a Knight is, keeping the seven Chivalric virtues in mind at all times. A knight is the hand of the King, doing the King’s justice and following his word.”
Duke Eliahu ben Itzhak, who was knighted by the Midrealm in 1983, agrees that knighthood is not something one can put on or take off. “Most knights don’t consider themselves only knights on weekends, they don’t take it off with their garb, chain and belt. It’s inside, part of who they are. There are some exceptions who wear the accoutrements of the knight but I would not call them a knight because it’s not inside them, not part of who they are.”
His Grace continued, “For me, Knighthood as a concept is the single best embodiment of the virtues I was raised with. I’m Jewish by background; I was raised with virtues of courage, honesty, and service, so chivalric virtues were the cultural ones I grew up with. My models were biblical stories of Hebrew warriors, and tales of knights. In many ways, those were the same thing.”
“My father said, to be a mensch, you need chutzpah and rachmones (courage and compassion). For me, that’s a knight. Knights may be admired for their prowess, but they are loved for their kindness. I’ve heard it said of a lot of knights, “Wow, that guy can fight, but he’s a real ass…” I prefer “Yes, that fellow can fight, but he’s a really nice guy.” People remember the knights who take the time to be kind, teach people things, be gracious. I may have had memorable exploits of prowess that I and other knights recall, but what most people remember is when I was generous with my time, kind, helpful, or compassionate.”
Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, who was knighted by Æthelmearc in 2009, also feels that being a knight is not something you do only at SCA events. When considering candidates for the Chivalry, he said he looks for people who are chivalrous both in and out of garb. “I like to see how candidates for the chivalry behave in their real lives, not just in the SCA when they think people are watching. Do they live up to those virtues 24/7?”
Being a knight is not about how hard you can hit, but about whether you stand up for people who need protection, who are being bullied or treated with discourtesy. – Sir Thorgrim
Sir Thorgrim continues, “The Knightly Virtues align well with the Boy Scouts’ creed, which I very much hold to. Prowess is not as important as being a good person. Without those other virtues, a fighter is just another thug.”
While every knight interviewed espoused the ideals of chivalry, they also acknowledged that it can be a struggle sometimes to maintain those levels of behavior every day. Duke Malcolm said, “To be a Knight is to strive to be that, and understand that it’s a sysiphic ordeal. Each day you awake and each day you rededicate to the purpose. Each day you do your best to be the best influence you can on those you encounter. No matter how hard you train, you can always train harder. No matter how much kindness you show, you can always show more. No matter how supportive you are, you can always give more. “
Viscount Bear the Wallsbane, knighted by the East Kingdom in 1989, agreed. “Of course we fail; we’re human. But true Chivalry get back up, dust themselves off, and try again and again.”
Aspiring to the Chivalry
There are, seemingly, as many opinions about what it takes to become a member of the Chivalry as there are knights and masters at arms. Interestingly, none of the Chivalry interviewed talked about technique or even general skill level. Instead, their emphasis was on commitment to fighting, but also on participating in all aspects of the Society.
Viscount Bear said “If you want to be a knight in the SCA, you have to dedicate your life to the pursuit of that white belt. Hit every SCA event you can, and fight as often as you can, not just to gain in prowess, but also to become known among the Chivalry. The Knights want newer fighters to hunt them and challenge them. I was disappointed to see several big name Dukes at the Delftwood Muster in February just standing around waiting for someone to challenge them, but hardly anyone did. I had to urge the younger fighters to go after them.”
His Excellency continued, “As far as candidates for the Chivalry, prowess is the most important element to me.” When asked about melee combat vs. tournament fighting, Sir Bear said, “That’s an area of disagreement within the Chivalry: whether a fighter’s primary skill area has to be tourney fighting. We’ve made knights whose abilities were primarily in melee combat, but I go by Corpora which explicitly says that a prospective Knight must be the equal of his or her peers in tournament combat. On the other hand, we’ve had some knights who started as primarily melee fighters but then improved their tournament skills over time.”
Duke Maynard looks for people who are persistent and work hard. “In candidates for the Knighthood, I look for people who are hungry, who are trying to learn. Anyone can be a knight. When I began in the SCA, I never imagined myself achieving everything I have accomplished. I had a couple of friends who had much more natural talent than I did as fighters, but I kept working at it while they dropped out. In my opinion, those who have to work hard to become good fighters are often better knights than those who have natural talent, because they’ve had to not only analyze their technique, but also maintain a certain work ethic that they can then pass along to other fighters.”
His Grace also stressed the importance of having the right attitude. “When I was squired to Duke Christopher of York, he didn’t really teach me specific shots so much as a way of thinking about fighting, including having the confidence that I could win fights. I teach my own squires that same mental preparation, including analyzing both their opponents’ fighting and their own, but also believing in themselves. So much of fighting is mental rather than physical.”
Duchess Rowan de la Garnison, who in 1998 became the first woman knighted by Æthelmearc, agrees that perseverance is key. “When I joined the SCA, I had this wench persona and was kind of a party girl. But as a kid I used to play knight errant and attack things with sticks, beating up all the boys so I could be Queen, so I guess it was kind of natural that I took up fighting. It took me three tries to qualify as a fighter, but I just kept plugging away at it. I only got serious about fighting a few years later, when I started going to more tourneys and to practices 3 times a week.”
Her Grace echoed Viscount Bear’s thoughts about hunting the Chivalry, both to improve and to become better known. “I was told to always challenge the Knights if I wanted to get better. When they beat me, I asked them to show me the shots they used to kill me so I could learn how to throw them myself. That’s what up and coming fighters need to do: show that you want it. Target the Chivalry, get on the field early, stay late, then ask for feedback from those you fight so you can learn.”
Duchess Rowan had the same experience as Duke Maynard, in not being the most naturally talented fighter but achieving a white belt through perseverance. “I had been a fighter for over ten years when I was knighted, so my path was always about persistence, about plugging away and figuring out how to improve. Once I got serious about my fighting I started working out, and learned the body mechanics that would allow me to increase the power in my shots so people would take them. As a woman with less upper body strength than the male fighters, I couldn’t just use brute force, so good technique was vital.”
Some women have trouble being aggressive, but those who get past that can be just as good as the men. – Duchess Rowan
She also had some advice on what fighters can expect as they improve. “The way the Chivalry fight you will change over time. When you’re new, you might be happy to be able to block a few shots before they kill you. As you get better, you might start to kill a knight or two, but when they get to know you and take you seriously as a threat, they’ll bring their “A” game against you. At that point, you will actually start losing more often against the chivalry. Don’t get discouraged – everyone hits plateaus, so it’s important to keep learning everything you can. At some point, eventually something will just “click” and your fighting will go up a level, sometimes quite suddenly.”
As the first female knight in the Kingdom, Duchess Rowan remembers that it was tough breaking through some barriers. “When I started fighting (in the 1980s), there was some discrimination against women. Some Kingdoms, like the Midrealm, even had rules forbidding women from fighting as late as the mid to late 1970s, and there were male fighters who refused to fight women because they felt it was unchivalrous to hit a woman. Other men refused to take our blows because they weren’t willing to admit that a woman could hit them hard enough to kill. These days there’s a lot less bias against female fighters – they’re not coddled but more accepted as equals.”
Her Grace continued with some advice specifically for female fighters who seek the accolade. “Duchess Elina of Beckenham, who was knighted about a year ago by the Midrealm, wrote a terrific book called The Armored Rose that explains the differences not only in body mechanics, but also in mindset between men and women in the martial arts. Duchess Elina’s book offers great advice for women on how to add power to their blows using their own natural movement styles. There are so many issues that women fighters face which men do not, beginning with the fact that women are trained from childhood to be nurturing and not to hurt other people. Just getting past their concern about injuring their opponents is a big hurdle for some women. In addition, women are more likely to have to take breaks in training, whether because of issues with their menstrual cycles, or because they get pregnant and have children.”
I think the most important attribute for a knight is ethics. – Sir Thorgrim
Sir Thorgrim prefers to focus on character rather that skill. “To me, prowess is not all. Of all the knightly virtues, I believe only prowess can be learned as an adult. All the others, you acquire as a child from your parents. Call them your moral compass.” He continued, “I will take a fighter as a dependent in a heartbeat if they possess the other knightly virtues; I can always teach them prowess. Some in the Chivalry may feel that prowess is the most important thing, but I do not.”
When asked about the path to knighthood, Duke Eliahu also was less interested in talking about the fighting itself than in the philosophy he wants to see in candidates for the Chivalry. “I tell people there’s a difference between wanting to be knighted and wanting to be a knight; wanting to receive the accolade and wanting to be worthy of the accolade; wanting to be seen as a knight and wanting to live as a knight.“
He continued, “It’s appropriate to have the goal of becoming a knight, of living as a knight, being on the path of knighthood. Goals can be way points or end points. If the knighthood is seen as an end point, that’s not appropriate – they don’t understand what knighthood is.”
His Grace went on to explain how fighting is more about a process than a product. “I’m an adjunct professor of design and marketing. I teach both fighters and design students to work the process to get a good outcome. If you focus on the result, you’re less likely to get a good product. Art, design, fighting, whatever – work the process. “
He also emphasized the importance of individualized training. “The way I teach is to try to make it as individual as possible, see where someone is in their knowledge and ability, and help them find a path to success and improvement. What are their strengths and weaknesses? I push people to get better at their weaknesses rather than work on their strengths. I wouldn’t give someone advice until I understood where they are and what they need. I may give technical fighting advice to start if they aren’t getting it, thinking and strategy and movement. But being a knight takes too much work and has too many challenges for someone who doesn’t love fighting. If they want to be there, I won’t be able to stop them.”
Duke Malcolm similarly emphasized the soul-searching that aspirants to knighthood should do. “What advice would I give a fighter who seeks to become a Knight? That honestly would depend on who is doing the asking, but if it were being asked by someone whom I’d never met and knew nothing about, my first bit of advice would be to ask “why?” Why does she/he seek the white belt? Does she want to be that good of a fighter? Does he want to be acknowledged as one of the best fighters? These are the two most common responses, but in all truth, my advice is to sit down and think very long and hard about exactly *what* it is they seek, and why. If they truly have determined that they want to be a “Knight” and not just “the kick-butt” fighter, then the advice alters to guide them there. If they really want to be a Knight, then the advice is for the person to know to their core what being a Knight is – to them – and live it. It is said that you have to be a knight before you become a Knight. It’s true. Once you live it, you’re already there.”
It’s Not Just About the Fighting
Sir Thorgrim emphasized the importance of service and relationships in the SCA. “At one point I trained with fighters who had prowess as their goal, but over time I found that service to the fighting community was a better path for me. Originally I was squired to Duke Rurik Longsword, and I learned most of my technique from him. Later, I squired to Sir Kadan Chákhilgan Ger on Echen. Obviously, he and I have very different body types, so our relationship wasn’t so much about him teaching me technique (except some footwork) as it was about having the right attitude and philosophy about fighting. In particular, he taught me about the importance of family and friendships within the SCA, and I’ve tried to foster those kinds of relationships with my own dependents.”
Duke Maynard also felt that relationships are key. “It’s important not to take the SCA and rank within it too seriously. When the regalia comes off, we’re all equals and the titles don’t matter. Friendship is really the foundation of the Society for me.” That said, His Grace did not feel that a fighter must be a squire to become a knight, though it can help. “Your Knight can be an advocate for you in the order, and can also push you to practice when you might not feel like it.”
His Grace also wants to see candidates for the Chivalry who are well-rounded participants in the Society as a whole. “As a general rule, those who aspire to Knighthood should also take an active role in their shire or barony – be involved in service, get to know people who are not fighters. You can’t be a peer of any type if you don’t have at least a basic understanding of all the elements that make up the SCA: garb, heraldry, history, and so on.”
Having a diverse background and knowledge of all aspects of the SCA makes me a better peer and a better knight. – Duke Maynard
Duchess Rowan also felt that knowing more than just fighting is important. “We especially want to see service – go wash dishes, mop an event hall, help take down list ropes, marshal and train other fighters. When we discuss candidates, it’s really common for people to ask “What else does he do besides fight?” Pick up an art. Many fighters get into armoring, brewing, leatherwork, or blacksmithing. You can be knighted for being a hot stick as long as you’re reasonably well-rounded, but a solidly competent fighter who isn’t spectacular on the field can also be knighted if they have a really complete package of service, arts, and courtesy.”
She also likes to see fighters who can lead troops on the field or generate enthusiasm among the fighters in their area. “Because we choose our Kings and Queens by combat, we expect our Chivalry to be leaders, not only good individual fighters. You need to prove that you can be a leader on the field of battle, and learn to be at least a little charismatic so others will follow you. We look to the next generation of Chivalry to bring others into fighting, to build enthusiasm in their fighting communities.”
After You’ve Been Knighted – Continuing on the Path
Once you do receive the accolade, the journey continues with new responsibilities.
Sir Mord Hrutson the Green, who was knighted by the East Kingdom in 1993, commented from Gulf Wars, “We all try to be chivalrous; we all succeed in one form for a brief moment. We all fail in another – sometimes for longer times. For instance, I am sore and tired today. I don’t feel too much like fighting. Yet, my king will be on the field today. Fealty, oaths, chivalry require that I be there.”
Sir Thorgrim explained how his approach to fighting has changed since he was knighted. “Since becoming a knight, I’ve felt much less urgency about fighting in tournaments. I don’t have a huge desire to be King, and I believe I’ve proven myself in the list field. My primary interest now is in training new fighters and helping to build Æthelmearc’s army through melee work. I can have a greater impact that way, building enthusiasm among younger fighters. When I became a regional commander, I went from being responsible for training 20 people to 120 people. I love seeing these younger fighters’ passion.”
Sir Bear’s focus has also changed since he is now medically prohibited from fighting. “I consider my role to serve as an inspiration and to teach, not just my squires, but everyone who’s interested. I also try to instill the chivalric values in my squires, including support of the Kingdom. Right now some of them are annoyed with me because I’ve told them they all need to take up archery so they can shoot in the Pennsic War Point. This Pennsic in particular, Æthelmearc will need all the war points it can get, and our job is to support the Kingdom in every way we can.”
Duke Maynard talked about how the SCA has changed his life outside the Society. “I found that the SCA, and especially being a knight as well as having been King, made me a better person in real life. I’m a better manager and a better public speaker. I’m more confident. As a knight in the SCA, I feel responsible for helping others. As a group, the Society has the ideal of what everyone should be – chivalrous and courteous – and that ideal carries through to real life, so I find myself more courteous to the people I work with, too.”
Duke Eliahu feels that one of the roles of the Chivalry is to be, like all peers, the problem-solvers in the Society. “Every organization has people with institutional memory, people who know how to get things done. In the SCA that’s the peers and the officers. The peers can fix social problems, hopefully recognizing them before they become big problems and blow up. The best servants of the Crown and Society get things done in a way that is professional, without causing additional drama.”
His Grace also mused on the issues faced by Chivalry as they age. “Being a knight and getting older is increasingly a challenge for a lot of people. A knight who was physically gifted but not very technical will see their ability decline, and if they don’t replace that with strategy, technique, and wisdom, eventually they can’t do what they did when they were younger. Some of them stop fighting and drop out of the SCA, which is a shame.”
SCA fighters need to understand that the real fight is about controlling the bout, not about a trick or technique. – Duke Eliahu
Duke Eliahu recounted how he realized 15 years ago that his fighting style had not kept pace with developments in the field. After some consideration, he went to some of the best technical fighters he knew and asked them to help him start over. “I worked with Duke Ragnvaldr and Duke Brannos (of the Midrealm) to relearn how to fight. They taught me how to stand, move, breathe, throw blows, everything. I practiced once or twice per week plus some pell work to make the new style automatic. If I hadn’t done that, I would no longer have been on the path, I would have been sitting down on the path.” Eliahu says he also organized what he learned from them into a teaching methodology so he could pass it along to others. “It was frustrating sometimes, but also exciting because at every practice I was learning something new,” His Grace said.
Duke Malcolm summed it up: “Knighthood is more than just a meaningless word that references some particular achievement in a 45+ year-long running social organization. To me, being a Knight means making a commitment to a way of life. The Code of Chivalry isn’t a checklist or even something that is the same from one moment to the next. Like the Zen concept of Beginner’s mind, it is by its very nature unable to be specified beyond ‘Doing what is right.’ The hard part is defining that ‘right’ and living up to it.”
Archaeologists working on a dig in St John's Street in Northampton, England have found two medieval chess pieces dating to the middle to late 12th century. The pieces, made of antler, show evidence of the demand for "leisure products." (photos)
Two rare hand-inked and hand-painted production cels from the classic 1957 Warner Brothers cartoon What’s Opera, Doc? in which Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd exposed many children to the first and possibly only Wagner arias they’d ever known, will be going under the hammer at Heritage Auctions on April 9th, 2015. Only a handful of cells from this instant classic have survived the callous treatment they received in their time. These two have the advantage of being iconic images and having been rescued by a legendary animator who has kept them safe at home for all these decades.
What’s Opera, Doc? was directed by Chuck Jones (legend), voiced by Mel Blanc (legend) as Bugs with animation by Ken Harris (legend). Just six minutes long, the cartoon took seven weeks to produce, two weeks more than scheduled. Jones was so committed to this story that he made his crew falsify their time cards to say those extra two weeks were spent on a Road Runner cartoon that wasn’t in production yet. “For sheer production quality, magnificent music, and wonderful animation,” Jones said, “this is our most elaborate and satisfying production.” His instincts were unerring. Voted number one of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1,000 members animators in 1994, What’s Opera, Doc? was also the first cartoon Congress deemed worthy of preservation in the National Film Registry in 1992.
One lot captures Elmer in his Siegfried outfit lifting up Brünnhilde Bugs during their dance inspired by the Bacchanal ballet in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser. It’s seven inches tall and while there is some paint loss and paint separation, it’s still graded in Good condition.
The second cel is from the beginning of the cartoon and features Elmer as Siegfried holding on to his helmet and spear. It’s 6.5 inches square and only has slight spots of paint separation in the horns and spear. There is no paint loss so it’s graded in Very Good condition. Both cels have pre-sale estimates of $5,000 and up.
The animation cels were saved from the dustbin of history by another animation legend, Jerome Eisenberg, who worked as an animator on Jones’ unit at Warner Bros. in the mid-to-late-1950s, the Golden Age of Looney Tunes cartoons and who has held on to the cels for almost six decades.
Eisenberg moved from MGM Studios cartoon unit and joined Jones’ Warner Bros. unit just after “What’s Opera, Doc?” was completed, coming to Warner specifically to work with Jones.
“It was special to me to work in his unit,” said Eisenberg. “We had tremendous fun.”
One afternoon, to the best of his recollection, he was in one of the artists’ rooms, or in the room of the unit’s layout man, when he saw a group of cels on a table. The art appealed to him and, knowing that most animation art was simply stored and eventually trashed, he took a few.
“In those day I never thought much about saving them,” he said. “I really just saved them for the artwork.”
Bless his good taste.
The recent interest in Cuba has renewed a discussion of the Muslim faith in America, including a claim that Muslim sailors discovered the continent in the 12th century.
We begin with a selection of news stories about the reinterment of Richard III, some serious and some odd, from media around the world.
[View the story "How Richard III is being covered around the world, and more medieval news" on Storify]
The A.S. XLIX Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon has come and gone. For those who missed it, your ever-vigilant Gazette reporters have the scoop on all that went on at the event, held on March 21 in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael.
The day began with a morning court at which the most notable piece of business was the surprise Their Majesties had in store for Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen: a perfect Laurel ambush.
Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, who headed team G, reports: “When their Majesties let the Laurels know that they planned to give Gozen a writ during their reign, I asked if we could do a surprise vigil for her at Ice Dragon. They graciously gave permission and the Secret Laurel for G team sprang into action. Between a secret Facebook group, her household (who took her off the email list just long enough to notify people), and all the Æthelmearc equestrians, it is a testament to honor that no one spilled the beans.
“We set the stage by telling all the equestrians that we had been allotted a special space at Ice Dragon since I had “forgotten” to reserve our normal equestrian salon space, and everyone was encouraged to bring their equestrian works of art to display (thus neatly solving the problem of having her works there for the vigil). Her protégé and equerry made vigil favors of Master Huon’s cookys in linen bags with horse charms, a tooled leather vigil book with Japanese horse was ordered from abroad, and a Pelican/Laurel brooch was commissioned from Crafty Celts. The problem remained of how to get her into morning court without raising suspicion. Luckily, I had not been able to finish her Pelican hitatare (Japanese coat) for her last elevation, so that provided the perfect excuse – she was told that it was finally finished and their Majesties had agreed to present it in court. All was ready.
“Then came the heart-stopping moment when she emailed after having driven 20-odd hours back from Gulf Wars to let me know that she was tired and might not drive up until the morning of the event. “No problem,” I replied, thinking precisely the opposite, “Just make sure to be there for morning court, since their Majesties wanted to do the hitatare presentation then since it was not quite ‘important enough’ for the main court at night.” Thankfully, arrive she did.
“The “Equestrian Encampment” looked beautiful, and being riders with hearty appetites, it never occurred to her to question the plethora of food we had set out. She worked hard to set up the displays, still not suspecting.
“We sat together through court, me with the folded hitatare under my arm. We were called up together, and I asked leave to address the populace. I explained that her “backlog hitatare” was finally finished and held it out to their Majesties, with the embroidery toward them, asking them to do the honor of putting it on. His Majesty played his part to perfection, and circled slowly, revealing to the audience that the pelican was encircled with a laurel wreath. Oohs and cheers began to rise, the Laurels crept stealthily toward the front at a gesture from his Majesty, and Gozen began to look puzzled as this was all going on behind her back.
“Gozen,” said his Majesty, “perhaps you would like to see your hitatare.” She turned around then and the look on her face when she realized just what was happening was worth the entire two months of planning (as was the smack she gave me when I whispered, “You realize we just had you set up your own Laurel vigil”). Of course the hitatare was then whisked away since she could not wear it with the Laurel wreath until after the elevation at second court. The members of the Order of the Laurel then escorted Gozen to her vigil area.”
After morning Court, gentles scattered to the many activities that Ice Dragon offers.
Ice Dragon’s usual rattan bear pit attracted an array of enthusiastic fighters from novices to knights. Lord Horatius as marshal-in-charge was assisted by numerous other marshals overseeing bouts and directing traffic into each of the four lists.
Duke Maynard von dem Steine was the victor, but it was noted that he was most gracious about the bouts he lost, making the day for many of the less experienced fighters.
The rapier list featured two tournaments, a single elimination and a reverse bear pit, where the loser stayed on the field after each bout. The rapier combat was marshaled by Lord Wolfgang Starcke (who also served as Deputy Autocrat for the overall event), with Lady Aemelia Soteria as MOL.
His Excellency Don Benedict Fergus atte Mede defeated Lord Michael Gladwyne to win the single elimination, wounds-retained tournament with forty people participating, and Lord Jacob of Dunmore beat out second-place finisher Lady Fiora d’Artusio to win the reverse bear pit, which had fifty participants. There were about ten White Scarves fencing, including Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, who was the first recipient in Æthelmearc of a Writ for the Order of Defence. According to Don Will Parris, every battle was hard fought.
THLady Zoe Akropolitina marshaled the youth list with assistance from the Kingdom Youth Marshal, Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter.
Seven youth fighters competed in the tournament, which was won by Olf from Stormsport.
THLady Govindi Dera Ghazi Khan organized the Salons, which were held in the upper level balcony areas. They ranged from baronial salons (Delftwood) to households (Yama Kaminari) to the Kingdom History display, to salons for particular activities and guilds (scribes, heralds, and brewers). Many of them offered food or arts displays.
The event featured numerous merchants with such wares as fiber, weapons, fabric, soap, jewelry, garb, and leatherworking supplies. Lady Miriel du Lac served as merchant liaison to keep all of the merchants organized.
The tavern was ably run by Lord Bovi Davidson, with entertainment organized by Master Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake. Lord Bovi received the Order of the Keystone at morning court for his service to the Rhydderich Hael.
The sideboard offered drumsticks marinated in Goya Mojo sauce, BBQ pork chunks, and roasted root vegetables, plus cheese, pickles, oranges, hard boiled eggs, and rolls. Lord Bovi said he chose simple modern fare since the kitchen would be expected to serve 600 gentles and he had found the period turnovers he did two years ago to be really good but too much work. He focused this year on simple and portable: “Brown, hot, and plenty of it!” he joked with one of his “most amazing crew,” who he credited for the meal’s success.
Ice Dragon Pentathlon
As always, the Arts and Sciences Pentathlon was a big draw with entries in categories like embroidery, brewing, scribal, woodwork, and costuming. Tiarna Padraig O’Branduibh was the Pent Coordinator, with Baroness Alexanda dei Campagnella organizing the judges, of which there were many.
There were entries in individual categories, as well as some groups and individuals who entered the Pentathlon, which required them to compete in at least five different categories. Entries were judged on Documentation, Authenticity, Creativity, Workmanship, Complexity, and Aesthetics.
Overall Pentathlon Winners
Group: The Shire of Silva Vulcani
As the day wound down, Royal Court was held in a different room from usual at the front of the second floor.
At the start of Royal Court, Their Majesties welcomed Prince Steinnar of Ealdormere. His Highness was pleased to announce that the Lupine Kingdom will ally itself with Æthelmearc at the coming Pennsic War, to the great joy of Their Highnesses Timothy and Gabrielle as well as the populace.
Numerous gentles received recognition from the Crown. The highlights included five talented artisans who were inducted into the Fleur d‘Æthelmearc:
There were two Writs given for the Order of the Pelican, with elevations to be at a future date to be determined:
Their Majesties then inducted Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen into the Order of the Laurel for her skill in making equestrian accoutrements. Mistress Gozen’s many virtues were recounted by Master Tigernach mac Cathail for the Pelicans, THLord Rhiannon Elandris for the Order of the Golden Lance, Prince Timothy of Arindale for the Royal Peers, Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin read a letter from Viscount Alexander Caithnes for the Laurels, and Sir Bear the Wallsbane for the Chivalry. Mistress Gozen, now a double peer, was presented with a brooch from the equestrian community, and finally… she was able to wear her hitatare. Her scroll, based on the Tale of Genji, was illuminated by Mistress Una de St. Luc and calligraphed by Mistress Daedez of the Moritu.
Royal Court culminated in the bestowing of this reign’s Jewel of Æthelmearc on Mistress Cori Ghora, Kingdom Seneschale, as the populace roared their approval of Their Majesties’ choice.
Rhydderich Hael’s Baronial Court followed with several local awards, and culminated in the announcements of the tournament and Pentathlon winners as noted above.
Congratulations to the event autocrat, Lord Magnus de Lyons, and his staff on another successful Passing of the Ice Dragon enjoyed by over 600 gentles. May the Ice Dragon die swiftly and spring arrive with haste!
This report was written with contributions from Don Will Parris, Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin, THLady Zoe Akropolitina, Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina, Tiarna Padraig O’Branduibh, and Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
COURT OF THEIR MAJESTIES EDWARD III AND THYRA II AT GULF WAR
The Court of our most excellent prince and lord, Edward, by right of arms most illustrious King of the East, third of that name, and Thyra, his Queen by agency of that same right, second of that name, held upon 19 March in the forty-ninth year of the Society upon the fields of Gulf War; on which day were called all and sundry the lords of the realm to hear the following publicly proclaimed:
Item. Their Majesties thanked their Rapier General, Remy Delemontagne de Gascogne, and all of the combatants who took the rapier field to fight on behalf of the East Kingdom;
Item. His Majesty then endowed Remy Delemontagne de Gascogne with the King’s Award of Esteem.
Item. Their Majesties elevated and inducted the following persons into the Company of the Pennon of the East:
Item. Their Majesties extended their gratitude to Samuel Peter Bump, Aife ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige, and Donovan Shinnock for their aid and good service at Gulf War.
I, Donovan Shinnock, Golden Rapier Herald, wrote this to memorialize and make certain all such things that were done and caused to be done as above stated.
Filed under: Court, Events Tagged: court report, Gulf War