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EKU Class Listing and Schedule

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-04-08 12:10

The East Kingdom University, to be held in the Barony of Endewearde this coming Saturday, April 11th, is pleased to announce that its full class listing and schedule is now available on the event website! We welcome you to come and partake in a multitude of classes throughout the day on topics covering the arts, service, marshal activities, and more!


Filed under: Events Tagged: classes, EKU, schedule

Two 6th Dynasty priests’ tombs found at Saqqara

History Blog - Wed, 2015-04-08 03:50


Archaeologists excavating the site of Tabit El-Geish, south of Saqqara, have discovered two vividly painted tombs from the reign of 6th Dynasty pharaoh Pepi II (2,278–2,184 B.C. [yes, you read that right, a reign of 94 years, although the end date is disputed so he may have "only" reigned 64 years]). The discovery was made by the mission of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO) under the direction of Dr. Vassil Dobrev in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

Both tombs were built on two levels: a top one on the surface made of mud brick, and a burial chamber below cut out of the white limestone bedrock. The burial chambers were both deep under the ground. The first tomb discovered belonged to a high priest named Ankh Ti and his burial chamber was 12 meters (40 feet) deep. The second tomb belonged to a priest named Sabi whose burial chamber was six meters (20 feet) deep.

The paintings decorate the walls of the limestone burial chambers and they are in excellent condition, their colors still bright more than 4,000 years after they were painted. Ankh Ti’s burial chamber paintings depict scenes of offerings to the gods including seven large jars used to contain the seven sacred oils necessary for the Opening of the Mouth ritual which made it possible for the deceased to eat and drink in the afterlife. On the left wall there is a lists of names of offerings and the quantity offered in a handsomely organized graph. (Old Kingdom Egyptians had spreadsheets down pat for at least three centuries by the time these tombs were built.) Next to the list is a false door with depictions of offerings including meat, birds, bread, vegetables, roses, milk and beer. Other scenes show incense balls, copper burning incense, head rests and the necklaces worn by priests during the performance of these rituals. Sabi’s tomb has similar paintings of the offerings and the list.

Human remains were found inside both burial chambers, but they were scattered about and there were no sarcophagi, the result of looting in antiquity, probably in the waning days of the Old Kingdom during the 7th or 8th Dynasty. The tombs weren’t completely emptied of artifacts by the thieves. Archaeologists found some funerary tools, alabaster jars, pottery and some colored limestone offering models.

The paintings and artifacts indicate Ankh Ti and Sabi were involved in mummification and funerary rituals as part of their priestly duties. The decoration of their tombs and the accessories buried with them were chosen to reflect the work they did in life.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Period or not… Names

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-04-07 17:30

This is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence. There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period. If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.

Today’s names are Moira and Maura.

Moira is one of those “Irish” names popularly believed to be medieval or Renaissance, but which is currently undocumentable in that form.  The spellings we can document in Anglicized Irish (not Gaelic) are Moire[1] or Mora[2].  Neither is pronounced like the modern “Moy-ra.”  Moire is most likely pronounced as either “Moor” or “Moora.”  In Gaelic, the closest name is Máire[3], pronounced roughly “May-ra” or “Ma-ra.”

Many also think of Maura as an “Irish” name, but in fact it appears in period in Occitan French[4], Italian[5], and Spanish[6].

[1]  Moire is dated to 1601 in “Names Found in Anglicized Irish Documents” by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnglicizedIrish/Feminine.shtml)

[2]  Mora is dated to 1541 in “Names Found in Anglicized Irish Documents” by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnglicizedIrish/Feminine.shtml)

[3] Máire is dated between 1396 and 1601 in “Index of Names in Irish Annals” by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnnalsIndex/Feminine/Maire.shtml)

[4]  “Names from Fourteenth Century Foix” by Cateline de la Mor (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/cateline/foix.html)
[5]  “Late Period Italian Women’s Names” by Juliana de Luna (http://medievalscotland.org/jes/Nuns/Florence.shtml).

[6]  Maura Yespes Setien; Female; Christening; 07 May 1598; Santa Maria Magdalena, Valladolid, Spain; Batch: C04657-9 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F5Q5-Z68)


Filed under: Heraldry

Unofficial Court Report for Carolingian Investiture

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-04-07 15:09

COURT OF THEIR MAJESTIES EDWARD III AND THYRA II
AT CAROLINGIAN BARONIAL INVESTITURE

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 4 April in the forty-ninth year of the Society in the Barony of Carolingia; on which day were called all and sundry the lords of the realm and the great persons of the kingdom to hear the following publicly proclaimed:

Baron Fergus learning of his execution. Photo by Master Albert Faulke of Sandford

Item.  Their Majesties thanked Imigla Venture for her service as Baroness of Carolingia and, wishing that she continue to maintain herself in appropriate state, conferred upon her the lands of Ventura and the rights accompanying thereupon; whereupon the said Imigla retired from the Court.

Item.  Their Majesties thanked Fergus MacRae for his service as Baron of Carolingia; and, the protection of the Crown having thereby been removed, and the said Fergus having been indicted and convicted of wrongs against the Crown and the state, issued a Writ of Execution and Attainder against the said Fergus, the which document was created by Alys Mackyntoich and Vettorio Antonello.  Whereupon, the said Fergus was taken to the market cross and his head was struck from his body.

King Edward speaks to the daughter of Mistress Khioniya and Sir Seosamh Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

Item.  Their Majesties heard the plea of Mistress Khioniya Ryseva for clemency on behalf of the pinas des Indes hailing from the lands of Western Seas; and having weighed her words, Her Majesty rescinded her edict banishing and attaindering the pinas des Indes, vulgarly known as pineapples, saving those that appear upon the archery field.

Item.  Their Majesties invested Colin Ursell as Baron of Carolingia, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Alexsei Dmitriev.

Item.  Their Majesties invested Nicolette Bonhomme as Baroness of Carolingia, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Altani Khatagidai.

The new Baron and Baroness of Carolingia offer their fealty. Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

Item. Their Majesties accepted the fealty of Colin and Nicolette as Baron and Baroness of Carolingia.

Whereupon the Court was adjourned until later in the afternoon.

Item.  Their Majesties caused Joiha Huguenin to be brought before them and, so doing, awarded her Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Lada Monguligin.

Whereupon the Court was adjourned until later in the afternoon.

Item.  Their Majesties awarded Arms unto Gudrun Thorvaldsdottir, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Aaradyn Ghyoot.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned the good Aine Oliphant before the Court, whereupon they awarded her Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Svea the Short Sighted.

Item.  Their Majesties caused David of Quintavia to be brought before the Tyger Thrones and thereupon awarded him arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Nest verch Tangwystl.

Raziya is welcomed into the Order by Baroness Nicolette. Photo by Master Albert Faulke of Sandford

Item.  His Majesty endowed Yehuda ben Moshe with the King’s Award of Esteem for his work on the heraldic staff for the reign.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned Raziya bint Rusa before the Court and, praising her good works in the study of plants and herbs, invested the said Raziya with the Order of the Maunche, the which deed was memorialized in a document authored by Aildreda de Tamwurthe, calligraphed by Eleanor Catlyng and illuminated by Sakurai no Kesame.

Item.  Their Majesties made gifts of toys to the children of the East.

Item.  Their Majesties commanded the attendance of Sigmarr Avarsson and, so doing, awarded the said Sigmarr Arms, the which deed was confirmed in document created by Constance de Saint Densi and Lillian atte Valeye.

Item.  Their Majesties caused Ammalina Taikkizhavi to be brought before the Court and, so doing, awarded Arms unto the said Ammalina, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Nest verch Tangwistel and Agatha Wanderer.

Item.  Their Majesties endowed Cassandra Boell von Bayer with the Order of the Burdened Tyger for her labors in creating the feast for Their Majesties’ Coronation.

Item.  Her Majesty endowed Li Kung Lo with her Queen’s Award of Esteem.

Cristoff Gockerhan von Loch is inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent. Photo by Lady Simona bat Leone

Item.  Their Majesties created Ygraine of Kellswood an Artisan to the Crown for her many talents and labors.

Item.  Their Majesties gave tokens to the Baron and Baroness of Dragonship Haven for them to distribute to the populace, as emblems and signacles of Royal gratitude for their work in arranging that group’s Baronial Investiture.

Item.  Their Majesties commanded Cristoff Gockerhan von Loch to attend upon them, whereupon, praising his diverse travails for the good of the Kingdom, inducted and invested him with the Order of the Silver Crescent, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Constance de Saint Denis and Æsa feilinn Jóssursdóttir.

Item.  Their Majesties created their noble servant Sergei Rozvad syn a Court Baron and Granted him Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Item.  Their Majesties created the good lady Æsa feilinn Jóssursdóttir a Court Baroness and Granted her Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Lochleven presents their rustling proof sheep to Their Excellencies Carolingia. Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

Item.  The House of Lochleven presented their tithe of taxes to the Baron and Baroness of Carolingia.

Item.  Their Majesties gave tokens of welcome to newcomers to the Society.

Item.  Their Majesties called into the Court the good Liadin ingen Chineada and awarded her Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Jonathan Blaecstan and Melisande of Griffin Wood.

Item.  Their Majesties awarded Arms to the good and worthy Aimee of Carolingia, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Nest verch Tangwistel and Lisabetta Medaglia.

Item.  Her Majesty endowed Simona bat Leone with a token of gratitude by virtue of her good works for Their Majesties’ benefit.

Item.  Her Majesty endowed Anton of Winteroak with her token in absentia.

Baroness Clarice della Luna and Baron Lachlan Graheme Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

Item.  Their Majesties created Alec Craig an Artisan to the Crown.

Item.  Her Majesty invested Dereca ni Donndubhain with the Queen’s Award of Esteem for her good works in support of the Realm.

Item.  Their Majesties created the following ladies Seamstresses to the Crown:  Dereca ni Donndubhain, Edyth of Steyning, Matilda of Carolingia, Rosina von Schaffhausen and Constance de Saint Denis.

Item.  His Majesty endowed Constance de Saint Denis with the King’s Cypher for her diverse labors in support of the reign.

Item.  His Majesty endowed Clarice della Luna with his King’s Cypher for her good works in support of the Crown.

Item.  Her Majesty invested Lachlan Graheme with the Queen’s Order of Courtesy, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Sorcha Dhocair ingen ui Ruairc and Ulrich Reinhart.

Item.  His Majesty invested Lucien de Pontivi with the King’s Cypher for his notable and honorable works.

Sir Michael receives his glove from Queen Thyra Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

Item.  Her Majesty invested Aildreda de Tamwurthe with the Queen’s Cypher for her true and worthy service.

Item.  His Majesty invested Anastasia da Monte with the King’s Cypher for her labors as part of the heraldic staff and the Queen’s Guard.

Item.  Her Majesty summoned Michael of York to attend upon her and, praising the good Michael’s unfailing noble bearing and undoubled honor, invested the same Michael with the Queen’s Order of Courtesy, the which deed as confirmed in a document created by Bronwyn of Wentworth.

Item.  Their Majesties caused Catrin o’r Rhyd For to be brought before the Tyger Thrones,

Mistress Catrin with Their Majesties Photo courtesy of Raziya Bint Rusa

whereupon they lauded the good Catrin’s diverse and sundry good works over many years, not least of which being the creation of the East Kingdom Gazette, thereupon created the said lady a Baroness of the Court and further endowed her with an Augmentation of Arms, the which deed being confirmed in a document created by Aildreda de Tamwurthe and Eva Woderose.

Item.  Their Majesties thanked the musicians playing for the Court and the day’s festivities.

I, Alys Mackyntoich, Eastern Crown Herald, wrote this to memorialize and make certain all such things that were done and caused to be done as above stated.

Witnesseth:
Mistress Mylisant Grey
Don Donovan Shinnock
Dona Anastasia da Monte
Lord Yehuda ben Moshe


Filed under: Court Tagged: Carolingia

The codpieces of Wolf Hall

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-04-07 09:30

This spring, viewers of the BBC and PBS will be treated to a video version of the Hilary Mantel book Wolf Hall set in the court of Henry VIII. Since its announcement, there has been discussion of the size of the actor's codpiece, perhaps smaller than is historically accurate. Jane Huggett of The Guardian joins the conversation.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic War Exchequer Sought

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-04-07 09:19

The Pennsic War Financial Committee, of the Society for Creative Anachronism Pennsic War Inc., a subsidiary corporation of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc, seeks a qualified individual to become the Pennsic War Exchequer, a member of the senior staff of Pennsic War. Information about the position and how to apply is listed below. The deadline for the application is June 1, 2015. This is a volunteer position.

SCA Pennsic War Inc (PWI) presents the largest annual event, The Pennsic War (PW) sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). This event attracts nine to ten thousand attendees, and runs for seventeen days, plus two weeks of set-up prior and one week of takedown after. The overall Staff of PW can be upwards of 100 named positions and 600 onsite volunteers. The position of PW Exchequer along with the Chief Executive Officer, Finance Committee, and the Pennsic Seneschal Group, coordinates the fiscal activities of PW and PWI.

Many of the activities and tasks the PW Exchequer will engage in:
• Maintaining PW’s accounts using Excel and Quick Books Pro v10 or later
• Attending planning meetings generally held in May and November at the event site.
• Day-to-Day operations of tracking expenditures and ensuring budget compliance
• Remitting payment for PW’s valid accounts payable.
• Filing quarterly and yearly reports required by the SCA
• Being in attendance at PENNSIC WAR during its entirety plus at least 5 days early and as many subsequent days require to wrap up the current year’s on-site business. During the event it is expected that the PW Exchequer will have business hours of at least 6 hours per day.
• Preparing documentation for certified audits.
• Chairing the PW financial committee
• Ensuring compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as regards not-for-profit corporations.
• Overseeing the Exchequer staff, which includes a Quartermaster, an Inventory deputy, and other staff as the office may require to properly conduct business.
• Assist in budget preparation by tracking spending patterns of Pennsic War
• Prepare reports to the Chief Executive Officer of PW as required to maintain effective tracking of expenses.

Qualifications:
Required:
• A level of understanding sufficient to create, maintain, and amend Excel workbooks which may contain up to 15 inter-related worksheets, macros, array formulas, and other senior level user skills.
• A professional level of understanding of Quick Books Pro, version 10 or later, normally associated with the duties of a finance manager.
• Understanding of SCA Exchequer requirements as regards SCA financial policies
• Understanding of the Pennsic Administrative Policies and the Pennsic Financial Policies
• Reliable internet and phone services, not only at home, but also while away.
Desired:
• Previous Exchequer experience in SCA on any level
• Modern accounting experience or Modern positions in finance planning
• Previous PW experience in a sustained capacity
What we are looking for:
• Strong and effective communicator, both written and verbal, with excellent interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with both accounting and non-accounting personnel.
• Proficient computer skills using MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet.
• Strong interview skills, ability to ask the right questions to gather and obtain relevant information.
• Ability to work independently, as well as maintain a positive working relationship with PW staff
• Perform multiple tasks under tight deadlines without sacrificing quality or accuracy.
• Strong attention to detail and follow-through.
• Ability to work in an intense time critical work environment
Time Commitment:
• Serve approximately two years as Emergency Deputy Exchequer
• Assume full duties on or about November 1, 2016, for a 3 year term
• It is estimated that during the times, other than the estimated 5 weeks of PW so noted above, the time commitment is ten to twenty hours per week,

We’re looking for evidence that you have the skills, experience, and abilities indicated in this announcement. Information you provide will be used for deciding who’ll be selected for the next step in our process.

Should you be interested in this position, here is the application packet:
• Your modern and SCA resume’s highlighting your experience which fulfills our requirements.
• A cover letter expressing your desire and ability to become the PW Exchequer
• Other materials you wish to have considered in the selection process.

Email this packet to the PW Financial Committee at: pennsic.resume@gmail.com by June 1, 2015


Filed under: Pennsic

Pennsic War Exchequer Position Open

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-04-07 09:02

The Pennsic War Financial Committee, of the Society for Creative Anachronism Pennsic War Inc., a subsidiary corporation of the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc, seeks a qualified individual to become the Pennsic War Exchequer, a member of the senior staff of Pennsic War. This is a volunteer position.

SCA Pennsic War Inc (PWI) presents the largest annual event, The Pennsic War (PW) sponsored by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). This event attracts nine to ten thousand attendees, and runs for seventeen days, plus two weeks of set-up prior and one week of takedown after. The overall Staff of PW can be upwards of 100 named positions and 600 onsite volunteers. The position of PW Exchequer along with the Chief Executive Officer, Finance Committee, and the Pennsic Seneschal Group, coordinates the fiscal activities of PW and PWI.

Many of the activities and tasks the PW Exchequer will engage in:
• Maintaining PW’s accounts using Excel and Quick Books Pro v10 or later
• Attending planning meetings generally held in May and November at the event site.
• Day-to-Day operations of tracking expenditures and ensuring budget compliance
• Remitting payment for PW’s valid accounts payable.
• Filing quarterly and yearly reports required by the SCA
• Being in attendance at PENNSIC WAR during its entirety plus at least 5 days early and as many subsequent days require to wrap up the current year’s on-site business. During the event it is expected that the PW Exchequer will have business hours of at least 6 hours per day.
• Preparing documentation for certified audits.
• Chairing the PW financial committee
• Ensuring compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as regards not-for-profit corporations.
• Overseeing the Exchequer staff, which includes a Quartermaster, an Inventory deputy, and other staff as the office may require to properly conduct business.
• Assist in budget preparation by tracking spending patterns of Pennsic War
• Prepare reports to the Chief Executive Officer of PW as required to maintain effective tracking of expenses.

Qualifications:
Required:
• A level of understanding sufficient to create, maintain, and amend Excel workbooks which may contain up to 15 inter-related worksheets, macros, array formulas, and other senior level user skills.
• A professional level of understanding of Quick Books Pro, version 10 or later, normally associated with the duties of a finance manager.
• Understanding of SCA Exchequer requirements as regards SCA financial policies
• Understanding of the Pennsic Administrative Policies and the Pennsic Financial Policies
• Reliable internet and phone services, not only at home, but also while away.

Desired:
• Previous Exchequer experience in SCA on any level
• Modern accounting experience or Modern positions in finance planning
• Previous PW experience in a sustained capacity

What we are looking for:
• Strong and effective communicator, both written and verbal, with excellent interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with both accounting and non-accounting personnel.
• Proficient computer skills using MS Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet.
• Strong interview skills, ability to ask the right questions to gather and obtain relevant information.
• Ability to work independently, as well as maintain a positive working relationship with PW staff
• Perform multiple tasks under tight deadlines without sacrificing quality or accuracy.
• Strong attention to detail and follow-through.
• Ability to work in an intense time critical work environment

Time Commitment:
• Serve approximately two years as Emergency Deputy Exchequer
• Assume full duties on or about November 1, 2016, for a 3 year term
• It is estimated that during the times, other than the estimated 5 weeks of PW so noted above, the time commitment is ten to twenty hours per week,

We’re looking for evidence that you have the skills, experience, and abilities indicated in this announcement. Information you provide will be used for deciding who’ll be selected for the next step in our process.

Should you be interested in this position, here is the application packet:
• Your modern and SCA resume’s highlighting your experience which fulfills our requirements.
• A cover letter expressing your desire and ability to become the PW Exchequer
• Other materials you wish to have considered in the selection process.

Email this packet to the PW Financial Committee at: pennsic.resume@gmail.com by June 1, 2015


Categories: SCA news sites

Skeleton of soldier unearthed at Waterloo identified

History Blog - Tue, 2015-04-07 07:31

The skeletal remains of a soldier unearthed at the Waterloo battlefield in June of 2012 has been identified. He was 23-year-old Friedrich Brandt, a private in the 2nd line battalion of the King’s German Legion, felled by a French musket shot to the chest during the Battle of Waterloo on June 18th, 1815. Although the identification cannot be confirmed with DNA analysis because no descendants are known, the circumstantial evidence makes a strong case.

Like a certain other historical figure whose remains were discovered in 2012, Brandt’s skeleton was found underneath a parking lot (an overspill lot for the battlefield visitor’s center). His skull was destroyed by mechanical diggers clearing the area for the planned reconstruction of the visitor’s center, but as soon as the crew realized they’d unearthed human remains they alerted the Ministry of Archaeology for the region of Walloon Brabant and archaeologists excavated the rest of the skeleton which was virtually intact, missing only a foot and some hand bones. They found the deceased also had something else in common with the other personage found under a parking lot: a spinal curvature that would have rendered him unfit for battle by modern standards. He was slight at just 5’1″ tall.

The young man had been hastily buried under 15 inches of soil, probably by his comrades who carried his moribund or dead body 109 yards behind the British front line in the shadow of what is today Lion Mount — a monument built in 1820 on the site where the Prince of Orange was wounded constructed out of 390,000 cubic yards of earth removed from the battlefield — but which in 1815 was the escarpment at the center of Wellington’s line. Victor Hugo describes the altered terrain poetically in Volume 2, Chapter 7 of Les Misérables:

Where the great pyramid of earth, surmounted by the lion, rises to-day, there was a hillock which descended in an easy slope towards the Nivelles road, but which was almost an escarpment on the side of the highway to Genappe. The elevation of this escarpment can still be measured by the height of the two knolls of the two great sepulchres which enclose the road from Genappe to Brussels: one, the English tomb, is on the left; the other, the German tomb, is on the right. There is no French tomb. The whole of that plain is a sepulchre for France.

Found with the soldier’s remains were 20 coins, an iron spoon, an unidentified wooden object with the initials “CB” and the date 1792 carved into it, the remains of the leather epaulets from his uniform, a flint and a small red sphere that nobody seems interested in explaining but we were all pretty curious about when it was discovered three years ago. The coins were corroded and only a half franc from 1811 could immediately be identified. Once cleaned, the coins were found to be German and French amounting to a month’s wages for a private in the King’s German Legion.

Researchers were hoping the epaulets might help identify which regiment the soldier had belonged to, but alas that came to naught. The only additional piece of evidence they were able to find was on the wooden object with the initials. Additional tests performed this February revealed that there was another initial before the CB, an F.

The discovery of the first initial was the breakthrough Gareth Glover, military historian, former Royal Navy officer and treasurer of the Waterloo Association, needed. KGL troops been positioned close to the area where the remains were found. When he checked the KGL muster rolls, he found only three soldiers with the initial FB. One had survived the battle. One died in the hospital in August of 1815. One was Friedrich Brand.

The King’s German Legion was formed after Napoleon conquered Hanover in 1803 and disbanded its army. King George III of England was also Prince-Elector of Hanover, so when his soldiers fled the French occupation, he welcomed them in England. KGL infantry, when they weren’t fighting the French mainly in Spain and Portugal, were quartered in barracks at Bexhill-on-Sea from 1804 until Napoleon’s first abdication in April 1814. Bexhill was a small village of about 100 houses with a population of 2,000. The arrival of 5,000-6,000 troops was initially jarring to the locals who compared them to Cossacks, but they soon settled in and became valued members of the community.

In August of 1814 the 5,000 KGL troops in Bexhill were ordered to return to the continent, much to the dismay of the Bexhillians who had come to love their German friends who sang so beautifully at St. Peter’s church, spent their wages so generously in the shops and hostelries and married their daughters. When Napoleon returned from exile on Elba and took his final stand at Waterloo, the KGL played a key role in the Allied victory, valiantly defending the farm of La Haye Sante 200 yards in front of the center of the
Allied line from late morning until they ran out of ammunition around 6:00 PM. Out of 360 KGL troops holding La Haye Sante, only 39 survived the French onslaught.

The rest of the King’s German Legion fought on Wellington’s right flank between Merbe Braine and Hougoumont farm. Private Brandt was part of this group. Glover believes he was slain in the early afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 PM before his battalion advanced on Hougoumont.

Mr Glover said: “No-one can be 100% sure that the skeleton is Friedrich Brandt but with the information we have, this candidate is by far the most likely.”

It’s amazing they got anywhere near so educated a guess. Brandt’s is the only complete skeleton recovered from the Waterloo battlefield in two centuries. Close to 50,000 people died in that battle, but the Allied victors claimed their dead and buried them in consecrated ground while the French were burned or buried in mass graves. The graves were picked clean in the 1830s and 40s, the bones ground up to make valuable fertilizer for farmers and the teeth harvested for dentures that became known by the macabre moniker of “Waterloo teeth.”

To commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo this summer, Belgium is planning a number of special events and exhibitions. The skeleton will be part of an exhibition that opens in May at the Waterloo Battlefield museum, after which I hope he is buried with all due honors.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Missives for Coronation

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-04-06 17:11

Pray pay heed to these missives from the Event Staff of Coronation this Saturday, April 11th:

Time Travel – to be transported to that nostalgic scene we ache to visit, such will occur this weekend in the Heart of Æthelmearc.

Photo credit: Mistress Hilderun

The evening before the Coronation of their most worthy Highnesses (Friday), His Highness Sir Timothy of Arindale will sit in humble vigil. Come and join him. Continue on the morrow as the hall is transformed. Bring your banners, be they of the Baron, the Shire, the Guild or your own personal colors, fly them high with Pride, Oh Sylvan Æthelmearc.


First court will begin at
11 am, so shake the dust of sleep from your eyes and fall into the dream.

The day will conclude with a feast such as our Feastocrat, Lord Leiofr Grimr, will dare to draw forth from ancient days. Note there are still some seats available and time yet exists to speed your reservations along.

Greetings Master Cooks, Minor Minions of Experimentation and everyone in between: Their Royal Highnesses desire their day of Celebration this next weekend to be one of Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice. Why, yes, by all means bring your Lady, but do not forget the Arts and Science Dessert Display.

Feast, brought to you by the St. Lawrence guild and Lord Leifor Grimr, will be concluded with desserts from around the Kingdom. Please RSVP to the autocrat so sufficient room may be set aside for your culinary creations.

To All Not-so-Gentle Gentles (you know who you are): whether you dance in defense or stalwart strike with rods of rattan, opportunity will be yours to match magic with your fellow martial minded noblemen and noblewomen. Arrive early to have your arms inspected, you will not want to miss playing with White Scarfs or Gold Chains, or perhaps, both.

To those not so Pain oriented (well, unless your pain is that which comes from working your fingers to nubs on sleepless nights, dancing your glass slippers to splinters or strumming strings to bursting, then pray attend):

If such is your pleasurable pain then the celebration of their Highnesses upcoming Coronation will afford you ample opportunity for happiness. I understand that garb, newly completed the night prior, will be in fashion. While those unable to attend Ice Dragon are desperately seeking another opportunity to view your handiwork.

An auction table benefiting their new-to-be Majesties’ travel fund will allow you to graciously allow others to be beautifully adorned.

Oh, the Dancing and Music that will be had. It will truly be a dream.

Come, Dream with us!
Categories: SCA news sites

WWI soldier graffiti found on Naours quarry walls

History Blog - Mon, 2015-04-06 06:52

Starting in the 3rd century with the Romans, chalk was quarried from the limestone of the Picard plateau underneath the northern French town of Naours. The digging continued long after the quarrying, so much so that eventually an entire underground city was carved out of the stone, a network of man-made caves with 3 kilometers (2 miles) of roads, 300 rooms, piazzas, three chapels, cowsheds, six chimneys and a bakery with ovens. The locals used it as hiding place during the Middle Ages and early modern era when the area was subject to an endless succession of conflicts and invasions among them the Hundred Years’ War, the peasant revolt of the Jacquerie, the Burgundian Wars, the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Year’s War. During the upheavals of the French Revolution the Naours caves were used to smuggle contraband. As many as 3,000 people plus their livestock could take refuge in the underground city.

The entrance was closed off in the 19th century and the caves fell into obscurity until a local priest rediscovered the site in 1887. It became a well-known tourist attraction after that and its location 25 miles behind the front lines of the Somme must have made it a popular destination for Allied troops stationed in the area during World War I. Allied forces did use Vignacourt, just five miles to the west of the caves, as a staging area, however troops were not quartered in the Naours tunnels, nor was there a field hospital in the caves as there were in some of the other underground shelters carved out of the limestone elsewhere in Picardy.

That’s why it was such a surprise to Gilles Prilaux, an archaeologist with France’s National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), when he discovered thousands of graffiti carved on the walls of the caves by World War I soldiers. Prilaux began studying the tunnel network last July as part of a three-year project to learn more about the site’s use during the Middle Ages when he found the marks of far more recent history. While soldier graffiti is plentiful in shelters like the massive 15-mile tunnel network at Arras, they were on the front lines and Allied troops actually lived there. The soldiers who left their mark in the walls of Naours were just visiting.

Texan photographer and doctor Jeffrey Gusky started documenting the graffiti last December. By his tally, there are almost 2,000 names etched into the walls: 731 Australians, 339 British, 55 Americans, a few French and Canadians and 662 others of unknown nationality for a total of 1,821. Chichester University historian Ross Wilson notes that the extraordinary density of graffiti in the Naours caves give them “one of the highest concentrations on inscriptions on the Western Front.”

Prilaux thinks that the young soldiers from distant countries would have heard about the famous “Naours caves” and taken advantage of a break from war to do some sight-seeing.

That idea is backed by an entry in the diary of Wilfred Joseph Allan Allsop, a 23-year-old private from Sydney, Australia. “At 1 p.m. 10 of us went to the famous Caves near Naours where refugees used to hide in times of Invasion” Allsop wrote on Jan. 2, 1917. [...]

One of the most moving inscriptions at Naours was made by Herbert John Leach, a 25-year-old from Adelaide. His inscription reads “HJ Leach. Merely a private. 13/7/16. SA Australia.”

Barely a month after Leach added his name to the wall he was killed in action on Aug. 23, 1916, during the Battle of Pozieres.

On his grave, in the Australian cemetery in nearby Flers, his father inscribed “Duty Nobly Done.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Russian billionaire buys Salvator Mundi, dealer makes $50 million killing

History Blog - Sun, 2015-04-05 14:53

When the rediscovery of Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Christ as the Savior of the Word, exploded onto the world stage in June of 2011, details about who owned the painting and their future plans for the work after its exhibition at the London’s National Gallery blockbuster exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan were not forthcoming. It was revealed by art trade insiders last year that the masterpiece had been privately sold by the consortium of art dealers to, whom else, an anonymous private collector in May 2013 for between $75 million and $80 million. Sotheby’s brokered the sale and of course they never kiss and tell, nor did Robert Simon, one of the few known members of the consortium, when the New York Times asked him about it.

That little item in the Times’ ArtsBeat blog had quite the unintended consequence when the anonymous private collector in question found out that the painting he’d bought for $127.5 million was sold for $50 million less that, and that wasn’t the only artwork for which he’d paid through several noses. Irked by these revelations, the collector took it to the authorities and now all that precious secrecy that the art and antiquities trade loves so much has blown up in everyone’s faces.

The owner of the Salvator Mundi is Russian potash billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, or technically the trust he’s created to shelter the vast art collection worth an estimated $2 billion he’s amassed over the past decade. More than 40 of these works — including important pieces by Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Magritte, Gauguin, Degas and Rothko along with the Leonardo — he acquired through his preferred art dealer, Swiss businessman Yves Bouvier who first got into art dealing by owning tax-free warehouses in the same shady freeports that so prominently feature in the looted antiquities trade. When he saw the kind of insane amounts of money changing hands, he figured out he could make the big bucks trading in the contents of the warehouses, not just the rental of the space.

Their lucrative business relationship came to a screeching halt when Rybolovlev found out at a party last New Year’s Eve that the Modigliani painting Nu Couché au Coussin Bleu he had purchased for $118 million was sold by its previous owner for $93 million. Even for the billionaire luxury goods market, a $25 million mark-up is bold. That proved to be modest by comparison to the mark-up on the Leonardo. Rybolovlev already paid Bouvier a commission of two percent on every sale — he was presented with two separate invoices each time, one for the cost of the artwork, one for two percent of its value — so he was less than pleased to find a whole other level of commission hidden in the price of the paintings.

Nine days after the New Year’s Eve party, Rybolovlev filed a criminal complaint against Bouvier in Monaco for document forgery (the invoices) and fraud (the inflated price of the art). In Monaco individuals and companies can file criminal complaints that the police and prosecutors will investigate without alerting the potential defendant. Apparently the investigation in this case bore fruit and on February 25th, Rybolovlev invited Bouvier over to his office in Monaco ostensibly to discuss payment of Rothko’s N° 6 – Violet, Green and Red he’d purchased for $140 million last year. The dealer was greeted at the door by eight cops who arrested him on charges of document forgery and fraud.

He was detained for three days until he could rustle up 10 million euros in bail money, which apparently took some time to raise despite his wallowing in filthy lucre because said lucre isn’t in fluid cash. Meanwhile, Rybolovlev’s legal team also got Singapore, where Bouvier owns freeports, to freeze $500 million of his company’s assets. Prosecutors in Geneva searcherd Bouvier’s company’s headquarters for documents related to the sales of the Modigliani nude and Salvator Mundi.

Bouvier insists he’s innocent, that he is not a broker but a seller. He bought those works from the owners fair and square and then resold them to Rybolovlev. That makes the tens of millions he made on top of the original sale price perfectly legitimate resale margin, “administrative costs,” not fraudulent hidden commissions. He says that the Russian oligarch is just using the courts to get out of paying the tens of millions he still owes on that Rothko. He claims that Rybolovlev laid the trap to have him arrested because he wanted to put him “in the gulag” and let him stew there, to intimidate him into giving up his claim to the as-yet unpaid Rothko moneys.

Rybolovlev responds that as per their agreement, he is paying off the Rothko in stages and the payments are still on schedule so there are no millions outstanding. His complaint presents evidence refuting Bouvier’s claim to be a reseller rather than a broker, namely letters in which Bouvier discusses negotiating terms of sale with owners on Rybolovlev’s behalf and insists on the importance of secrecy because if word gets out that the owner wants to sell, then they run the risk of “losing it to auction.” Or of Rybolovlev finding out that Bouvier was pocketing tens of millions in the transaction.

So the bad news is that one of fewer than 20 known surviving Leonardo da Vinci paintings is squirreled away in wherever Rybolovlev hoards his preciouses. The good news is that the we get to watch all of this play out in the light of day for a change.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Masque de la Fou, Shire of Eastwatch, Middle Kingdom. March 28, A.S. XLIX

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-04-05 14:19

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Her Majesty’s Court held by the grace of Their Draconian Majesties, Cadogan and AnnMarie, Tsar and Tsarista of the Middle Kingdom at Masque de la Fou event in the Shire of Eastwatch in the Middle Kingdom on March 28th as recorded by Maistir Brandubh Ó Donnghaile, Sigil Herald.

Her Majesty called Kawamura no Ryotaro Yoshichi back into the event and Awarded him Arms. Yoshichi had been a traveler across the Society for the past 14 years, and only recently arrived in Æthelmearc, but news of his fighting prowess had already found favor with Their Majesties. Wording by Lady Isabel Fleuretan from a scroll calligraphed and illuminated by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova was read.

Kawamura no Ryotaro Yoshichi receiving his Award of Arms. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

Her Majesty asked for a moment of Silence, as the Shire had lost many good members over the cold winter, including Æthelmearc’s good neighbor THLord Ambrosius Philius Merlinus, and former Æthelmearc subject Lord Perrin de Sable.

All those who had served Her Majesty that day were invited to come forward as they had given of their event to serve as retainers, guards, and liaisons, and Queen Anna Leigh presented each with a token of thanks.

Her Majesty then announced to the populace present that due to their aid to His Majesty Titus, that Lady Æsa Hlaejavaryr and Lady Saeunn gneist of the Middle Kingdom were Granted Arms and created Baronesses of the Court of Æthelmearc in absentia, and that she would find them when the ladies arrived at site later, but now the populace was all in on it. Scrolls in progress.

Her Majesty thanked the Members of the Shire of Eastwatch and of House Bork for their generosity in the fine gift basket that had been prepared for her.

Her Majesty then announced that Matteo Corvostella, Darius Ravenstar of the Hand, and Galen of the Debatable Lands were each Awarded Arms in absentia for their services making banners, cooking and feeding the populace, and sewing loaner garb. Scrolls in progress.

There being no further business, Their Majesties’ Court was Closed.


Categories: SCA news sites

Medieval Easter Traditions

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-04-05 14:00

Happy Easter!

Today is one of the most important days in the Christian tradition. Those who celebrate probably went to church this morning, visited with relatives, and may be looking forward to a big meal with family and friends. If you have kids, there may also have been baskets of candy from the Easter bunny or hunts for decorated Easter eggs.

In the Middle Ages, Easter traditions were similar. You can read more about them at the blog of A Medievalist Errant, but here are some highlights.

The three days before Easter — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday — were called the Triduum, and were marked by solemn services called Tenebrae that were held in almost complete darkness. The parishioners were also denied the Eucharist during these days.

On Easter Sunday, according to the Medievalist Errant, “services would begin at dawn, with the congregation gathering outside the church to sing hymns. Then the priest would lead them into the church, where the service would be joyful, the Eucharist would return, and the people would be dismissed in grace and forgiveness to go and enjoy a bloody big lunch.”

Of course Easter is closely linked to the Jewish holiday Passover, since the Last Supper was a Passover seder. This year the two holidays are in close proximity, but that isn’t always the case due to a decision by the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to make Easter independent of the Jewish calendar. It took centuries for the Catholic Church to standardize the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21st. Even today, Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate the holiday on a different date from Catholic and Protestant traditions.

from The Hague Medieval illuminated manuscripts, The Hague, KB, 78 D 38 II Gospels Fol. 186v

Here are some other notable medieval Easter traditions:

  • People got new clothes. Usually the nobility bought or had clothes made new for them, then passed their older clothes down to servants, who passed their old clothes on to relatives, and so on.
  • Eggs were featured because, like meat, they were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during Lent were boiled to preserve them. The practice of painting eggs goes back a long way; early Christians of Mesopotamia painted them red to symbolize the blood of Christ. The Medievalist Errant notes, “In 1276, Eleanor and Simon de Montfort bought 3700 eggs for their celebration, and in 1290 Edward I’s accounts show that he paid to have 450 eggs decorated with gold leaf.” Eggs were hidden for children to find as an allegory for the disciples finding the risen Christ in the tomb on Easter morning.
  • On the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, young women would capture young men, releasing them on a payment of donation to the church. On Tuesday, the tables were turned and the young men would capture the women. These days were referred to as “Hock” Monday and Tuesday.

What about the Easter bunny, you say? Alas, he’s out of period. The first mention of the Easter Bunny appears in Georg Franck von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682, referring to the German tradition of an Easter Hare who judged children’s behavior at the start of the Easter season, and brought Easter eggs to the good children.

Paderborner Dom Dreihasenfenster” by Zefram – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.


Categories: SCA news sites

Orange was the new black for London's all-female Henry IV

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-04-05 11:44

It's true that Shakespeare's plays bent gender over backwards by requiring female roles to be played by male actors, but a new version of Henry IV, staged at the Donmar Warehouse in London, took the practice even father by presenting an all-female cast set in a women's prison. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Travel Fund Fundraiser at Coronation

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-04-05 10:11

In a little over a week, Their Royal Highnesses will ascend the Sylvan thrones of Æthelmearc. To support their reign, Duchess Christence Blackmoore, Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey and cohorts will host an auction to raise money for the Royal Travel Fund at Coronation.

For the White Tier from Baroness Ellesbeth: “I have enjoyed modest infamy for a very special cookie I bake. It’s chocolate chip, but not your mama’s chocolate chip….I use thick cut bacon from my local Amish butcher, candy it myself with dark brown sugar, chop it up and add it to the most perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe I have found! Just ask Baron Ichi, who has dubbed these “crack cookies”… there will be two winners for this offering.”

The auction format will be as follows: Items will be split into two tiers. For items on the WHITE table, tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5, 13 for $10 and 28 for $20. For items on the RED table, tickets are 2 for $5, 6 for $10 and 15 for $20. Simply purchase the tickets for the corresponding tier you’d like to bid on and drop your ticket in the marked receptacle for the item.

Over the next several days leading up to the event, photos of many of the items will be posted on a special FB page here, so you can plan your finances for the weekend accordingly. (Join the event page for updates!) Many thanks to the generous and talented gentles who donated items.

Baroness Ellesbeth says “Duchess Christence and I are actually subjects of the Kingdom of the East. However we have both separately enjoyed a long friendship with TRH’s. They actually lived less than an hour from my Shire when they resided out here. Last reign they had talked about wanting to travel as widely and often as possible especially to those areas of Æthelmearc that had not had a Royal Presence in some time. Her Grace Christence, as a former Queen, and I as a veteran of several Royal Households know intimately what goes into a reign, from the logistics to the travel, which inevitably lead to the finances. We actually ran two fundraisers during their last reign, so when His Highness won again, we started planning.

For the Red Tier: Ever wish you could kick your garb up a notch? Wouldn’t some hand-woven trim be wonderful but you lack the time, equipment or know-how to weave it yourself? Well why not take a chance to win just over 9 and half feet of Inkle woven trim in Æthelmearc’s colors? The band is woven in 5/2 pearle cotton and is 3/4″ wide.

“Her Grace Christence has run several successful fundraisers over her time in the SCA. I was happy to help with these fundraisers. Between us we have a pretty extensive network and major thrift store shopping skills which enable us to find a wide range of lovely items for auctions. We want to give this endeavor the best chance for success.

“In heading into this one, I was thinking about how events can be crowded and you don’t get to see everything that goes on, and on a practical level, we all like to go to events prepared, I mean when you know there will be a ton of merchants, you might tuck a few extra dollars in your purse for shopping, and if you know specifically one may have something you want, you plan for it. That thought train, coupled with recent conversations with Sir Tanaka about the role of social media in our Society and how can we best use it to promote and attract membership led me to the idea to do a FB page for the auction and let people know first, it’s happening so they can look for us, how it’s working so they are prepared and showcase items to hopefully build interest and excitement. You may not have a lot of money for hand woven trim, but $5 gets you two chances to win 9.5 feet of it. So far the FB page seems to be helping make the auction more visible.

Again for the Red Tier: You will make a statement without saying a word wearing this hand beaded necklace. Lady Syelet Peifferin took some hand made lace, a zillion beads and viola! This exquisite piece of work….

We have some lovely donations, Lady Syelet Pfeifferin (East) who specializes in high German garb has made a gorgeous hat and a beaded necklace, Lady Erzebet Fauconneau (Æthelmearc)  is donating a selection of her hand made soaps. Vicountess Rosalind Ashworthe (Æthelmearc) will likely have the most unusual and memorable donation,an experienced and talented tablet weaver is creating a beautiful band of woven trim in a period pattern, the fun part is one of the fibers in the pattern actually glows in the dark!  Donna Fede di Fiore (Æthelmearc)  has generously donated a 16th century gown she only wore twice and no long wears. I’ve been busy too, the inkle woven trim was my weaving, I have hand molded skull shaped sugar cubes to go with the skull teaspoon, and in the coffee lovers basket, there will be imported coffee candy, chocolate covered espresso beans and a jar of the coffee jelly I just finished canning before I wrote this letter to you. There are several more items joining these, both tiers of the table will be full of fun and lovely things.”

The Gazette urges all to bring a few extra dollars to Coronation and support this worthy cause!


Categories: SCA news sites

Two different Magna Cartas in Washington

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2015-04-04 15:57

In 2014, the city of Washington DC was privileged to host two copies of the Magna Carta, one permanently housed in the National Archives, and another on loan from Lincoln Cathedral in England, displayed at the Library of Congress. Geoff Edgers of the Washington Post looks at the differences between the two documents.

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Categories: SCA news sites

UV reveals erased poetry in 13th c. Welsh book

History Blog - Sat, 2015-04-04 12:24

The Black Book of Carmarthen is the oldest surviving manuscript written entirely in the Welsh language. It was penned by a single scribe working at different periods around the year 1250. Its name refers to the color of the binding and to the Augustinian Priory of Saints John the Evangelist and Teulyddog in Carmarthen, west central Wales, which is reputed to have been the manuscript’s original home. It has passed through many hands over the years, several of whom have left their mark on the vellum pages and at least one of whom sought to erase those marks. Now thanks to an ultraviolet lamp and photo editing software, what was lost has been rediscovered.

With the exception of a handful of Welsh triads about the legendary horses of Welsh heroes, the contents of the Black Book are poems dating from the 9th to the 12th century. They’re a varied lot, with religious verses, odes of mourning and praise and some of the first written versions of Arthurian tales rubbing shoulders in the 54 folios. The first poem in the book is Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin (A Conversation Between Merlin and Taliesin), a dialogue between the legendary mage and the great Welsh poet who, like Merlin, was reputed to have the power of prophesy. Two of the pieces later in the manuscript are prophetic poems ostensibly authored by Myrddin during his “wild man” phase.

The first owner of the Black Book whose name we know was Sir John Price of Brecon (ca. 1502-1555) who had been tasked by King Henry VIII with searching dissolved monasteries for loot. He got it from the treasurer of St. David’s Cathedral on the westernmost tip of Wales almost 50 miles from Carmarthen which is where he learned of its origins at the priory. It next appears on the historical record in the hands of 17th century Welsh book collector Robert Vaughan, but there are notes on the pages of the book that identify owners between the two. Scholar, book collector and warden of Ruthin Hospital Jasper Gryffyth (d. 1614) wrote his name in Hebrew and a note about the poems on one of the pages. William Salesbury (ca. 1520-1584), polyglot author of a Welsh-English dictionary and translator of the New Testament into Welsh, left a note on the bottom of a page as well. Also, Vaughan wrote in another manuscript that the Black Book had been owned by poet Siôn Tudur (d. 1602) at some point.

One of those 16th century owners — researchers believe it was probably Jasper Gryffyth — took it upon himself to clean up the Black Book and erase the notes and drawings his predecessors had left in the margins. University of Cambridge PhD student Myriah Williams and Professor Paul Russell noticed there were shadows on some of the pages and thought they might be able to see what was erased using ultraviolet light and playing with the spectrum using photo editing software. They spent three years examining the fragile volume — it’s so delicate can’t be opened at more than a 90 degree angle — and last year found two ghostly faces staring back at them. The little drawings, dated to the 14th or 15th century, were accompanied by an inscription that indicates the book was donated to a family member.

[T]he 16th century owner’s penchant for erasure has been partly reversed to reveal snatches of poetry which are previously unrecorded in the canon of Welsh verse. Currently, the texts are very fragmentary and in need of much more analysis, although they seem to be the continuation of a poem on the preceding page with a new poem added at the foot of the page.

Williams said: “It’s easy to think we know all we can know about a manuscript like the Black Book but to see these ghosts from the past brought back to life in front of our eyes has been incredibly exciting. The drawings and verse that we’re in the process of recovering demonstrate the value of giving these books another look.

“The margins of manuscripts often contain medieval and early modern reactions to the text, and these can cast light on what our ancestors thought about what they were reading. The Black Book was particularly heavily annotated before the end of the 16th century, and the recovery of erasure has much to tell us about what was already there and can change our understanding of it.”

The new poem has no known match in Welsh verse, so it was probably the original work of the annotator. Williams and Russell will give a lecture about their discovery at the National Library of Wales on Wednesday and will emphasize the importance of this research which has the potential to reveal so much about medieval Welsh literature.

The National Library of Wales has digitized the entire manuscript. You can browse through it page by page. There are no transcripts or translations, but the notes from previous holders are eminently legible in the first few pages.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

The East signs the Treaty of the Golden Lance!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-04-04 08:39

The East Kingdom joined Æthelmearc and four other kingdoms (Ansteorra, Caid, Trimaris and Atlantia) in signing the Treaty of the Golden Lance, which recognizes Equestrian prowess and service in the East Kingdom. (Æthelmearc signed the Treaty in 2013 at the Pennsic War.) Until this time, the East was the only kingdom which did not have an award specifically to recognize its equestrians. On March 28, in the Barony of Settmour Swamp, TRM held their Curia and the matter of creating an equestrian award was discussed.

When asked what caused him to consider creating an equestrian award in the East Kingdom, His Majesty Edward replied:

“Her Majesty and I have long recognized the contributions of our equestrian community, and the East has maintained King’s and Queen’s Equestrian Champions as determined by an annual tournament. While the investments of the community are significant and the results are impressive, there has been concern (even among the equestrians) about providing a unique award for such a small community. The East has approximately 35 authorized riders. As it happened, we were sitting the thrones as the equestrian community united in their support for an award, and Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick gathered data on what the other kingdoms have done. This provided us with a great deal of context for our program. While we don’t have many authorized riders, our numbers are consistent with the median kingdom numbers, and every other kingdom had an award which recognizes equestrian martial prowess. The East should do no less.”

TRM riding in the Grand Procession at Gulf Wars, on “Otto” and “Zia,” the steeds of Mistress Arabella da Seina. Photo by Barbarossa.

According to the information posted about the Curia on the East Gazette, 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.” (The full article can be found here.)

After discussing the matter with the populace, TRM decided to sign the Golden Lance Treaty and created the Order of the Golden Lance of the East. The Order will be a polling Order of High Merit similar to and equivalent to the Silver Crescent (Service), Maunche (A&S), Tygers Combatant (Rattan) and Golden Rapier (Rapier). In accordance with the Treaty, the award will be the highest award for Equestrian prowess and service in the Kingdom.

TRM explained that several factors made him decide to join the Treaty of the Golden Lance as opposed to creating an East-specific award, as noted in his response:

“One of the concerns that Her Majesty and I (and prior crowns) struggled with is the size of our equestrian community. We feel that being a member of this treaty, particularly one that includes our neighbors Æthelmearc and Atlantia, would help our riders think of themselves as part of a larger community. We hope this will build social bridges across the Society, and increase the pool of candidates that our riders measure themselves against as they strive for excellence.”

The Treaty of the Golden Lance prepared by Duchess Katherine Stanhope and signed by the East Kingdom, and other signatory Kingdoms. Photo by Duchess Kiena Stewart.

In anticipation of possibly signing the Treaty, TRM requested Duchess Katherine Stanhope prepare a document that could be signed by the other signatory Royalty when TRM attended Gulf Wars.  His Majesty Edward commented that Duchess Katherine “is an active rider and an excellent scribe. I would add that she did us a tremendous service with very little notice, as it became clear to us that the treaty would have to be signed at Gulf Wars if we wished to pass it into law. The treaty text is quite long, and we asked her only a few days before the event.”

The Treaty was signed at the royal reception on Thursday evening at Gulf Wars. His Majesty Edward remarked, “Both the king and queen [of each of the signatory kingdoms] were asked to sign (with a dip pen in dim lighting!), in the order in which their kingdom joined the treaty. We were lucky that all of the signatories were present at the War, and it was a pleasure to discuss with each of them as they signed the document.”

His Majesty Edward commented that he did not ask the other royalty to keep this signing a secret as he had been open in his communication, with the equestrian community and his royal cousins “that we intended to establish an equestrian award in the East. However, we did not intend to make our final decision as to whether that would be the Golden Lance or a kingdom specific award until our Curia. With that in mind, we asked our royal cousins Ansteorra, Trimaris, Caid, Atlantia and Æthelmearc to sign the treaty at Gulf Wars and we, with our heirs, reserved our signatures until after our Curia. It was not a secret in the East that we were considering joining the treaty, but we were clear with our cousins that the treaty might not be signed by us in the end.”

His Majesty Edward signing the Treaty. Photo by Duchess Kiena Stewart.

The document was returned to the East Kingdom and after making their decision at Curia, TRM Edward and Thrya signed it. Their heirs, Prince Darius, called Omega, and Princess Etheldreda, signed the Treaty indicating their support of the Treaty. And thus, the East Kingdom became the sixth kingdom to join in the Treaty of the Golden Lance!

Her Majesty Thyra signing the Treaty. Photo by Mistress Kiena Stewart.

[I would like to thank His Majesty Edward for his time and assistance in writing this article by responding to my questions and granting me permission to use them and the photos of himself and Her Majesty Thrya.  Also thank you to the photographers, Duchess Kiena Stewart and Barbarossa, who granted permission to use their work  —- Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen.]

The East heirs, Prince Darius Aurelius Serpentius, called Omega, and Princess Etheldreda Ivelchyldalso, as well as a photobombing Æthelmearc King! (Photo from The East Kingdom Website.)


Categories: SCA news sites

What's in a name?

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2015-04-03 16:01

A new study by Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis and Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics reveals that those people with Norman surnames are more likely to have a higher social status in the UK that those without.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Youth Fighting: How To Get Started

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-04-03 15:30

Duchess Marieke greets her Youth Combat champion at a Ladies of the Rose tourney. Photo by Lady Lavina Attewode

The Gazette thanks Lady Karrah the Mischievous and Lord Raven of Rusted Woodlands for writing this article for the How To series.

Are your kids really excited when they see the heavy fighters on the field?  Do they wish they could be out there, too? Well, welcome to Youth Fighting! As you look around at SCA events, you might see a group of Youth out on a field, armored up and hitting each other with padded weapons. Youth Combat is the way for kids, aged 6 to 17, to enjoy field combat with less risk than their adult counterparts. 

As you watch the youth fighting on the field, you might notice they are divided into 3 distinct groups– Division 1: ages 6 to 9 years old, Division 2: 10 to 13 and Division 3: 14 to 17. Rattan combat, known as Division 4, for ages 16 and 17 is available for experience in adult rattan

Master Seamus Donn’s daughter prepares to enter the lists for the first time. Photo by Baron Fergus MacRae

without the stress of going out on the adult field.  Due to adult heavylist being open to 16+ now, Division 4 is only offered on a limited basis at events. These divisions are set up for the safety of the participants and so the youth marshals can keep order on the list.

Youth marshals help the youth combatants understand the various fighting forms and the rules of the list as set down by the Board of Directors of the SCA, the Kingdom Heavy Marshal, and the Kingdom Youth Marshal. The marshal’s explain the concepts of Courtesy, Chivalry and Honor.  All youth marshals must pass a background check every 2 years.  Aside from that, the marshals are fellow parents, graduates of the program, or those who have an interest in helping Youth Activities flourish in the Kingdom.  That being said, Youth Combat is NOT a babysitting service.  If your children participate, you are expected to as well, to the extent you would if your child were taking part in teeball, swimming, or other “mundane” sports.  Most site rules require adult supervision under the age of 12, and all authorization bouts require the consent and attendance of the responsible adult, regardless of age.

 

Youth fighters in a melee at Birka. Photo by Lord Trentus Nubianus

That being said, there are a few things your child needs to participate in Youth Combat.  Though many practices and events have loaner gear, there are many things your child may already own that work well for Youth Combat.  Division 1 only requires a helmet with a grill (a one-piece hockey helmet is most popular), gorget, personal protection (also known as a cup), and gloves (of any weight), along with at least cloth covering the torso, knees, and elbows.  Once they are old enough for Division 2 and 3, they also must protect their kidneys, xyphoid, cervical spine (weightlifting belt and hockey or football chest pads work great), and have sturdier protection over their hands, knees and elbows (plastic, padded elbow and knee pads like you use for street hockey are easy go-tos, as well as ice hockey gloves).

Weapons are made with  rattan, PEX, or siloflex, with minimum 1/2″ closed cell foam over the striking surface or 3/8 cell foam doubled up to make it 6/8 thickness. http://youthfighters.eastkingdom.org/howto.html offers a great in-depth guide, with pictures, on how to create the weapons.  It also includes guides for gorgets, aventails, and crossguards that are easy to make and safe for Youth Combat use.

Youth Combat Tourney at Fall Crown 2013, photo by Mistress Eleanor le Brun

If you’re at an event with Youth Combat, it’s simple to get involved. Stop by any Youth field. We promise. No, seriously. Please stop by and talk to us. We will be more than happy to explain things to you, show you the armor and weapons, tell you how to find all the information you need on the youth program, and how to find it on the web. We will demonstrate the proper fighting forms, where there is a fighting practice in your area or the closest one to you, or we will put you in touch with a youth marshal that can help you.  Some events have loaner gear available so your child can jump right in and give it a go.

If you wish to prepare before coming to an event, there are lists of rules, armor requirements, and contact information at http://youthfighters.eastkingdom.org/

Sir Michael of York instructing fighters at Birka. Photo by Lord Trentus Nubianus

Although we build towards adult competition, our main purpose is to have fun. We explain to the youth that they are all part of a larger group, including Fighters, Artisans, other combat activities and administration, and that each group is as important as the next because without any one of these forms, there would be no larger group.

Youth Marshals on the field will be more than happy to explain to you, include you in the day’s activities, work with you and show how a youth list is run. We will be more than happy to include your youth in the mix with all the others. At most events, there is loaner armor that can be used if your youth does not have their own kit of armor set up. Youth marshals also give classes in armor and weapons making. But most of all, youth marshals will help all the participants to have fun and, above all, do it while being safe.

For questions, local practices, or to get in contact with an area marshal, you can also. Mail youthcombat.central@eastkingdom.org , youthcombat.south@eastkingdom.org   to talk to the current Regional Youth Combat Marshals.


Filed under: Youth Activities