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The Bardic Luminaries of the Known World in Concert

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-02-22 17:28

Last Labor Day weekend, in the far off lands of the Kingdom of Northshield, the Known World Cooks and Bards Symposium took place. It was a wonderful weekend, filled with good friends, great songs, and greater food! As part of the biennial celebration of food and fun, a concert was held, featuring the “Bardic Luminaries of the Known World.” From Æthelmearc, Lady Silence de Cherbourg and Baron Fridrikr Tomasson were chosen to perform.

Now, after several months of hard work, Baroness Elashava Bas Riva has posted the entire concert to YouTube. You can find it here. Hear the stories, love the songs, and watch for the marvelous Mime!

Categories: SCA news sites

Missive from Their Highnesses on the Masters of Defense

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-02-22 12:12

Photo by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

Greetings to the Esteemed Populace of the East from Prince Omega and Princess Etheldreda

Much conversation has occurred with the Order of the Golden Rapier and current Peers regarding the creation of the new Peerage, the Masters of Defense. We are excited to be part of this new chapter in our Society and Kingdom. We wish to share with the populace the current decisions.

Our current decisions are as follows:

  • We will issue writs at our Coronation for the first three Masters of Defense candidates.
  • There will be a ceremony at Crown to establish the new Peerage Order and then all three candidates will be elevated.

Please join us at this important celebration at our Crown Tournament!

Filed under: Fencing

Objects from 1,500-year-old settlement found in Poland

History Blog - Sun, 2015-02-22 09:15

Archaeologists excavating near the village of Skomack Wielki in northeastern Poland have unearthed numerous bronze, iron and pottery artifacts from a settlement dating to the 5th or 6th century A.D. Artifacts from this period in this area are rare, and most of the ones that have been found were discovered in cemeteries.

Among the most valuable finds are ornaments, brooches and buckles made of bronze, as well as toiletries (tongs) and knives. In one place, archaeologists discovered cluster of entirely preserved 7 ceramic vessels. They differ in size, finish (some carefully smoothed, some rugged), decoration in the form of plastic strips, ornaments made with fingers or engraved. “The whole deposit gives the impression of a specially selected set, although at this stage of research it is difficult to say what was the purpose of selection and of the pit, in which the vessels had been placed” – commented Dr. [Anna] Bitner-Wróblewska.

Although the population of the area in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages is generally associated with the Sudovian/Yotvingian tribe, archaeologists believe the community in this settlement was a West Baltic tribe called the Galindians who had established connections with peoples to the north, south, west and east of them going back as far as the 2nd century A.D. when Greco-Egyptian astronomer, mathematician, poet and geographer Claudius Ptolemy mentioned them in his Geographia. The range of the ancient tribe was whittled down to a central core in the wake of the upheavals of the late Imperial period. By the 6th/7th century Ptolemy’s Galindians survived as the Old Prussian clan of the Galindis. These artifacts, therefore, are from a significant transitional period in the history of the region.

The pottery vessels, still filled with soil, have been removed to the National Archeological Museum in Warsaw where the contents will be examined under laboratory conditions. The museum is a partner in the Polish-Norwegian Modern Archaeological Conservation Initiative “Archaeology of the Yatvings” which seeks to explore the mutli-period settlements of Baltic tribes (the Yatvings of the title) in the early medieval centers of Szurpiły and Skomack Wielki in Poland’s Warmińsko-Mazurskie region. This is the first archaeological initiative in Poland to prioritize non-invasive methods of investigation like aerial exploration and geophysical surveys to locate and identify archaeological remains and determine how well preserved they are.

The project began last year with non-invasive analysis of the sites followed by targeted excavations. It is scheduled to continue through 2016. The ultimate objective, in addition to learning more about the little-known settlement structures of ancient and early medieval Yatvings, is to develop a usable model of heritage protection coupled with archaeology that will give local communities a fuller understanding of their rich history and a preservation-based approach to cultural tourism.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

New Jersey SCAdian hopes fighting will recruit members

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2015-02-21 21:49

Experienced SCA member D.W. Smith is hoping to create a chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism at Atlantic Cape Community College in Cape May, New Jersey. So far his recruiting includes armored combat. Helen McCaffrey of the Cape May County Herald has the story. (photos)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

15th century Spanish shipwreck found in Greece

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2015-02-21 11:17

Arcaheologists are intrigued by the discovery of a 15th century Spanish shipwreck off the coast of Zakynthos, Greece. The 2014 underwater explorations of the site have revealed enough of the ship’s wooden frame to allow study of "the transitional art of shipbuilding during the 15th and 16th centuries." (photo)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Dutch hooligans riot, vandalize Barcaccia fountain

History Blog - Sat, 2015-02-21 07:13

Fans of the Rotterdam soccer team Feyenoord ran riot in Rome’s historic center on Thursday, throwing bottles and flares and causing serious damage to the Barcaccia fountain in Piazza di Spagna. Built by Pietro Bernini, father of famous architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, between 1627 and 1629, the fountain just reopened in September after an extensive 10-month restoration. Now there are more than 110 gouges, scratches and chips on the travertine marble and several large chunks broken off the edge of the central basin.

On Friday morning public works crews sifted through broken glass, bottles and assorted trash to recover all the fragments they could find in the water. City restorers assessed the damage and it does not look good. There are broken pieces as large as 8 by 3.5 centimeters (3 by 1.4 inches). Even if the larger pieces can be reattached cleanly — not an easy feat with the highly porous travertine — the chips and scratches will likely remain. Expert Anna Maria Cerioni says that the damage to the fountain is permanent.

It’s unclear what set this barbarians off other than the usual metric ton of alcohol and whatever idiotic sports rivalry. They rampaged through the beautiful and historic Campo de’ Fiori piazza on Wednesday evening, throwing bottles at riot police and leaving the square covered in garbage. Over the two days of clashes between rioters and police, 10 police officers and three Dutch fans were wounded. A total of 28 were arrested and 19 of them have already been convicted and sentenced to six months in jail or a $50,000 fine.

All of this happened before the actual Europa League match between Feyenoord and Roma on Thursday afternoon. Additional police were dispatched to the Olympic Stadium for the event, in the expectation that violence might break out between the opposing teams’ fans, but nothing happened. The score was tied 1-1, Feyenoord moves on in the bracket and the 6,000 Dutch fans got on planes and headed home with no further trouble.

The mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, is incandescent with rage. He said that while several banks and organizations have contacted him offering financial support for the restoration, he thinks the Netherlands or the Feyenoord club should pay for the damage according to the principle of “who breaks it buys it.” The Dutch embassy’s public statements (you can see them on their Facebook page) focus on bringing the responsible parties to justice. “Soccer must be a party where there’s no room for violence. The Italian authorities can count on the total cooperation and committment of the Netherlands to ensure than the culpable are punished.” They also said an investigation has been opened in Holland to identify the perpetrators.

They haven’t excluded paying for it, however. When the mayor told the press after a long conversation with Dutch ambassador Michiel Den Hond that “they don’t feel responsible for the economic outlay to repair Bernini’s fountain,” Aart Heering, the ambassador’s spokesperson, said the mayor’s comment was premature, that before saying the Netherlands doesn’t want to pay for the damage, first the damages have to be quantified and the perpetrators identified.

The Feyenoord club’s general manager Eric Gudde described the rioting as “utterly reprehensible behavior … that fills every normal thinking Dutchman with horror.” There’s a bit of the No True Scotsman fallacy in the club’s reaction. The rioters aren’t real fans, you see, but rather lowlives who unlike the real fans went to Rome with the intent to “misbehave.”

Film of the clashes between rioters and police in Piazza di Spagna on Thursday:

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Gazette Yet?

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-02-20 22:58

If you’re reading this you have probably already liked us on Facebook or subscribed to us on WordPress; we’re happy you have joined what has become the fastest growing and most exciting source for all the news of Æthelmearc!

Now we need your help!

We are looking for articles and editors.

If you would like to be on our roster of regional editors to help cover local events, just drop us a line at aethgazette@gmail.com and give us a little bit of information about yourself, and what region you can cover. Check out the event reports we have posted so far to get an idea of what we want, and then we will contact you with assignments.

We also welcome article submissions – just go to the submissions tab at the top here for submittal specs. We would like to see articles on almost anything that is of interest to the populace of our Sylvan Kingdom – and our audience at this point is world-wide. Share your arts, sciences and interests with the Known World!

Several staff members will be at 3 Ravens – feel free to chat with us about being part of the most exciting thing to hit Æthelmearc since sliced manchet.


Categories: SCA news sites

Ohio museum returns 16th c. astrolabe to Germany

History Blog - Fri, 2015-02-20 11:30

Germany giveth and Germany taketh away. Last month the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) announced it had acquired Napoleon’s brother’s exquisite spiral chandelier from a Hamburg art dealer. Two days ago the museum announced it would voluntarily return an exquisite 16th century astronomical instrument to the Gotha Museum in Germany after being presented with evidence that the object had been stolen from the museum after World War II.

The instrument is a multi-use device known as an astrological compendium made by Augsburg craftsman Christopher Schissler in 1567.
Schissler was considered the greatest of Augsburg’s instrument makers, crafting pieces of the highest quality from precious materials for the likes of August I, the Elector of Saxony, and Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor. Only around 100 instruments made by Christopher Schissler are known to have survived. This particular one was made for the Kunstkammer of Rudolf’s court in Prague. Rudolf was fascinated by mechanical devices and gave Schissler, along with other top instrument makers, access to court astronomers so they could be apprised of the latest research. He supported them financially and encouraged them to develop new designs and mechanisms.

This device is very much a show-off piece, a showcase for its owner’s wealth and scientific knowledge. Made from gilded bronze and enamel, it’s an astrolabe, but it also has a variety of other functions. The outside cover is a sun dial, the inside cover a map of the world from which a plumb-bob can be hung to calculate angle of inclination. Interior compartments include a wind rose, a compass, a lunary (a device to calculate the time based on the moon), a perpetual calendar and a zodiac showing which signs govern which days. It is inscribed along its octagonal edges “CHRISTOPHORUS SCHISSLER FACIEBAT AUGUSTAE VINDELICORUM – ANNO DOMINI 1567″ (Christopher Schissler made this, Augsburg ― Anno Domini 1567).

Image courtesy the Toledo Museum of Art.

The Schissler Compendium remained in Prague Castle until 1620 when it was taken as plunder by the forces of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, after their victory against Frederick I, King of Bohemia, at the Battle of the White Mountain, one of the early clashes of the Thirty Years’ War. It was taken to Munich. Twelve years later, it was plundered again, this time by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who invaded Bavaria and in May of 1632, took Munich. Gustavus Adolphus died in battle later that year and after his ally Bernhard of Saxon-Weimar died in 1639, the spoils from Bavaria were divided among the survivors. The Schissler Compendium went to Bernhard’s brother Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, who installed it in his collection at Gotha.

Inventory records from the 19th century indicate the instrument stayed put in the collection of the Dukes of Gotha at Friedenstein Castle for 300 years. When the palace was converted to a museum, the compendium went on display alongside a larger astrolabe by Schissler. Much of the collection was moved during World War II for safekeeping and returned after the war was over. Thuringia was occupied by American forces for a few months after the end of the war, and then the Soviets took over. They took many of the Gotha Museum treasures to the Soviet Union only to return them after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1949. We know that the Schissler Compendium was not among the art and artifacts returned to the museum by the Soviets.

So somewhere in the chaos of wars world and cold, the instrument made its way to New York art dealers and thence to Toledo, Ohio. The Toledo Museum of Art had no knowledge of its checkered past until May of 2013 when Dr. Martin Eberle, director of the Gotha Museum, wrote them a letter about the astrolabe. He included considerable documentary and photographic evidence that Toledo’s Schissler Compendium and the Gotha Museum’s Schissler Compendium were the same piece. After a couple of months spent reviewing the documentation, TMA Director Dr. Brian Kennedy wrote back to Dr. Eberle acknowledging that it seemed their astrolabe was the one stolen from the German museum.

The institutions negotiated for a year after that, planning the repatriation of the object and the loan of artifacts from the Gotha collection to the Toledo Museum of Art in exchange. They still haven’t decided which pieces will be loaned, but they’ll sort that out in due course. Meanwhile, repatriation is nigh, tentatively scheduled for March or April of this year.

Kudos to the TMA for returning the piece. There’s no legal requirement that they do so. The UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property does not apply, nor do the protocols regarding Nazi loot. This was entirely an ethical choice they made because they think it’s the right thing to do.

[U]nlike earlier cases, this is one that involves no government bureaucracy or complications raised by potential thieves or distributors awaiting trial. It is, as Mr. Kennedy noted, simply an agreement between two museums to get a historically valuable piece back to its rightful owner.

“We’ve recognized there’s been a cultural shift in how museums conduct themselves,” Mr. Kennedy said. “There’s much more scrutiny in how museums obtain their objects and transparency now.”

He said the TMA had made it museum policy over the past 10 years to look harder into the ownership history of every piece.

“This was a one-of-a-kind scientific device,” Mr. Kennedy said. “It’s sad to see it go, but it’s not ours.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Q&A: East Kingdom Earl Marshal

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-02-20 11:28

Sir Jibril al-Dakhil by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

This is one of a series of Q&A articles with East Kingdom Officers.  The Gazette thanks Sir Jibril al-Dakhil, the Kingdom Earl Marshal, for answering our questions.

Please describe your job responsibilities.
It is my job to ensure that rules of safety are learned and adhered to by all.  It is also my job to ensure that we have the best safety standards in each area of marshal exercise in the East Kingdom

What do you enjoy about this activity?
My favorite part of this job is making everyone happy.  It’s so rare that you can hold a position that your every decision pleases everyone. :-D

Do you have a goal for your term?
My goal is to continue to foster the integrity of the marshals throughout the Kingdom and to remind everyone that the marshal volunteers make up the foundation for all chivalric activity in the game.  Sometimes we forget to give the marshals their due respect because they are not the most glamorous ones on the field.  After all, when everything goes well and everyone understands the rules the marshals are almost invisible.

Are you currently looking for any deputies?
I am currently looking for a Southern Region Heavy Weapons – and among the existing deputies my “drop dead”.

What was your first event?  And what made you stay?
My first SCA event was Gulf Wars.  I drove down with Sir Stephen von Dresden and stayed because he kept the car keys.  It was also tons of fun, free outdoor showers and I got to sweat off those few extra pounds.

Which people made an impact on you in the SCA and why?
This is not a question that I can answer easily.  There are just too many people that have made a huge impact on me both on and off the field.   The one that shapes all of my experiences is Sir Balin’s statement, “you never regret going to an event but you regret missing one.”  The kindness and generosity of people in SCA is beyond comparison and a beacon of light in a sometimes dark world.

Could you share with us a moment – or several moments – that describe what makes the SCA special for you?
A smile from then Avelina Keyes on a very bad day, when she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall.  Encouraging words from Duke Vissevald that I hadn’t realized how much I needed.  Manfred Man-Butter.  ICOD squire walks.  Yes, cryptic.

Filed under: Heavy List, Interviews Tagged: Earl Marshal

Including Equestrian Activities at an Event: It’s Easier Than You Think!

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-02-19 21:22

Mistress Eleanor Fitzpatrick riding Leaps and Bounds Glenn Lynn 2005 – photo by Fergus MacRae

 The Gazette thanks Mistress Eleanor Fitzpatrick for writing this article at our request for our series of background articles on the East Kingdom and the SCA.

Few things evoke the feeling of living in the  past quite so easily as the sight of a caparisoned horse charging down a list, rider with lance at the ready.  While actually becoming a rider or owning a horse of your own involves a significant outlay of both time and money, having equestrian activities at your event is surprisingly easy.

Mostly what equestrians need is space, and the proper paperwork done.  We bring the rest.  We are very self-sufficient, sometimes so much so that you don’t even realize we’re there!

We bring:

  • Our own games equipment. 

    Mistress Sylvia du Vey at EK Equestrian champs, 2014 – photo by Mistress Brita

    We use a lot of specialized targets, stands and lane markers.  We don’t expect a site to provide us with anything more than few hay bales to stab and we can even manage without those.

  • Our own horse-containment systems.  While we LOVE it when an event can provide us with a horse barn to use, not all barns are suitable for horses, particularly at fairgrounds.  More than one horse has demonstrated his ability to simply walk through the walls of a pen  designed to hold goats.  For this reason, most owners bring portable stalls for their horses unless we know for certain the site has horse stalls available for our use.
  • Our own marshals/scorekeepers/list ministers.  You do not need to have horse-knowledgeable people on your event staff, you just need someone to act as liaison between the autocrat staff and whichever equestrian marshal is assigned to your event.  There is always room for someone who wants to come help us keep score, or herald the competition but we do not require the hosting group to be able to provide those things for us.

We need:

Baroness Alanna of Skye at EK Equestrian Champs 2014, photo by Mistress Brita

A competition field  We don’t need a perfect, groomed riding arena. A mostly flat, mostly level field that isn’t muddy or rocky or full of holes will do.   If it has a fence, great!  If not we can set up boundary ropes to help define where spectators should be vs the active competition area.  75 feet by 150 feet is a good minimum size, though we’ve been able to work with slightly less if it has permanent barriers (fencing or trees) on at least two sides.  This does NOT have to be a separate field from the main area of the event as long as the field is large enough to share safely.  In fact, we prefer to be part of or adjacent to the main event area if at all possible.

  • Water.  We bring our own buckets and a small amount of water with us, but we cannot transport enough water to last an entire weekend.  A horse can drink as much as 20 gallons per day when it’s hot, and 10 gallons per day is the minimum amount of water that should be provided to each horse.  A hose near the horse area is fine.  Lakes or streams don’t count.
  • Somewhere to dispose of manure.  We bring our own tools, and we clean up after the horses ourselves, we just need somewhere to dump the output.  This can be a dumpster rented for the purpose or a dump pile on site.  Most garbage collection companies rent manure dumpsters to farms – just be sure to specify that you are looking for a quote on a manure dumpster, not a trash dumpster.  They’re often considerably cheaper than trash dumpsters because the company can sell the manure as compost.
  • Trailer parking.  Horse truck and trailer rigs are not as big as semi-trucks but they’re easily the largest vehicles on site at most any event and they need a good bit of room to turn and maneuver.  This does not need to be near the regular parking, but near the horse area is a bonus.
  • A clear emergency lane from the equestrian area to the road off-site.  If a person is injured, the paramedics can bring in a stretcher if they can’t get the ambulance right there.  If a  horse is seriously injured, we must be able to get a trailer right to where the horse is.  Luckily a horse injury that severe has only happened once in all the years we’ve had equestrian events in the East but it made a mighty big impression on those people who found their tents being torn down in a big hurry so the emergency trailer could get through.
  • Room to overnight horses.  This one applies primarily to camping events but you’ll get more horses attending a single-day event if there is somewhere for them to stay overnight nearby.  Unlike us, horses can’t ride in the trailer for 6 hours, compete all day and then trailer home another 6 hours.  If there is a suitable horse barn, we don’t have to camp right next to the horses, though we like to.  If we’re using portable pens we absolutely must camp with the horses so we can supervise them, both so that we can keep them contained and so we can keep them and you safe.  Plan on 20’x20’ per horse for portable pens, plus space for walking lanes between them.  For single day events it sometimes works to set up overnight pens on the same field as will be used for competition.
  • Proper paperwork.  Any SCA function that has horses at it as part of the event must activate the equestrian insurance rider whether the site requires proof of insurance or not.  The insurance rider is $50 and instructions for ordering it can be found at http://sca.org/docs/insurance.html.   Additionally, every single person that enters the event must sign an equestrian waiver at the gate.  Promising not to go near the horse area is not  sufficient.  In the case of an accidental escapee, the entire event may end up being “the horse area” for a short period of time.  We hope that doesn’t happen but the waiver covers the SCA in case it does.  There’s a very funny story about the time several of the horses escaped the pasture at Panteria and visited the royal feast.  That was probably the last time we ever trusted the permanent fencing at a site without inspecting every linear foot of it first!

    Baron Duncan Kerr, Panteria 2012 – photo by Mistress Brita

 If you’ve read this far and are thinking “hey, my event can have all that!” then we’d love to hear from you!  The first step is to contact the Kingdom Equestrian Officer (KEO), Baroness Doucette de Verdun (equestrian@eastkingdom.org) as soon as possible to discuss the proposed event or site, to get on our calendar and request an Equestrian Marshal in Charge (EqMIC) for your event.– Mistress Eleanor Fitzpatrick

Photos kindly provided by Baron Fergus MacRae and Mistress Brita

Filed under: Equestrian Tagged: equestrian, events

Court Reports: Steltonwald Twelfth Night and Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-02-19 15:03

Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Principal Herald, has asked the Æthelmearc Gazette to share these court reports with the populace.

Steltonwald 12th Night, January 31, A.S. XLIX, in the Canton of Steltonwald

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Steltonwald 12th Night in the Canton of Steltonwald, 31 January AS 49. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.

Lady Teresa Alvarez was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for autocratting multiple events and for opening her home to host the Canton’s summer fencing practice. Scroll by Countess Aidin ni Leir.

Lady Teresa Alvarez. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

Lady Ingunn Halldorsdottir was created a Companion of the Sycamore for her talents in embroidery, sewing, creating feast kits and veil pins, and for her continued generosity in donating these items to be used as Royal largesse. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Lady Ingunn Halldorsdottir. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lord Vigo di Napoli and THLady Madeleine de l’Este. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lady Madeleine de l’Este was elevated to the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc and Granted Arms for her historical research and recreation of Elizabethan and Italian garb for herself and her family. Scroll by THL Sophie Davenport.

Lord Vigo di Napoli said “Hello for you!” to the scroll commemorating his elevation to the Order of the Keystone, which was delivered to him by Their Majesties.

Master Robert Marston was named of Baron of the Court of Æthelmearc for his service to the Royalty, most especially his sacrifice of his own clothing in the name of the creation of Their Royal garb. Scroll by Countess Aidin ni Leir.

Baron Robert Marston’s Court Barony Scroll crafted by Countess Aidan ni Leir. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

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

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins, February 7, A.S. XLIX, in the Barony of Delftwood

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at the Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins in the Barony of Delftwood 7 February AS 49, accompanied by Their Highnesses Timothy and Gabrielle, Prince and Princess of Æthelmearc, and Their Excellencies Fergus and Helene, Baron and Baroness of Delftwood. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, with the assistance of Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn, Gullskel Herald, Drotinn Jorundr hinn Rotinn, Golden Alce Herald, and Marcellus Titus Cincinnatus.

In the morning:

Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn was invited before Their Majesties, and reiterated the boon that he had begged of Them at Their Crown Tournament, namely, that they send his student, Baronsfru Othindisa Bykona, to vigil to seek the counsel of the Peers and populace of the Realm, and of the Order of the Laurel in particular, that she might contemplate elevation to that Order. Their Majesties summoned Baronsfru Othindisa and bade the Order of the Laurel escort her to that place which had been set aside for her.

Photo by Baron Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg.

In the evening:

Their Majesties Granted leave to Their Excellencies to hold Their Baronial Court.

His Majesty invited the populace to join Their Majesties in a moment of silence for those recently lost by the Barony.

Marca Claudia Cincinnata was inducted into the Order of the Silver Buccle for coming into her own as a member of the Barony, including helping in the kitchen, serving feasts, and being a messenger at events. Scroll by Baroness Anastasie de l’Amour.

Zinoviia Ivanova was Awarded Arms for her skill on the heavy weapons and thrown weapons fields, and her service at demos and as photographer. Scroll by Baroness Clarice Roan.

Lady Zinoviia Ivanova. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

Lady Amalie Reinhardt was elevated to the Order of the Keystone for her service as webminister, MOL, deputy Chronicler, autocrat, and marshal-in-training for thrown weapons. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Lady Amalie Reinhardt. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lady Arsinoë hë kai Antigone Nothou tou kai Philoromaeou Kallinikou was created a Companion of the Keystone for service to the kitchens of Æthelmearc, both as cook and as a member of the cleaning staff. Scroll by Mistress Felicity Flußmüllnerin.

Lady Arsinoë hë kai Antigone Nothou tou kai Philoromaeou Kallinikou. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lady Margarita Carpintero and Lady Catalina Carpintero de Diaz. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lady Catalina Carpintero de Diaz was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for serving her Barony as Chatelaine and Largesse Coordinator. Scroll by Duchess Branwyn ferch Gwythyr.

Lady Margarita Carpintero was bade join her mother, Lady Catalina, as a member of the Order of the Keystone, for she has served as autocrat, Chronicler and deputy herald. Scroll by Baroness Helene al-Zarqa.

Lord Raðúlfr Eriksson was elevated to the Order of the Keystone for his selfless volunteering as autocrat, marshal, and helping to set up and clean up events. Scroll by Lord Fridrich Flußmüllner.

Lord Raðúlfr Eriksson. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Lord Marcus Claudius Cincinnatus was elevated to the Order of the Millrind and Granted Arms for his willingness to serve his Barony and Kingdom at every opportunity, including serving as Windmill Pursuivant for the Barony of Delftwood and event autocrat. Promissory scroll by Catherine Wolfe.

THLord Marcus Cincinnatus. Photo by Mistress Hilderun.

Baronsfru Othindisa Bykona was summoned before Their Majesties as she had been instructed by them, and answered that she had received counsel from the Peers of the Realm and was now prepared to take her place in the Order of the Laurel. Countess Alexandra of Clan Donald spoke of the friendship she had cultivated with Othindisa while she served as Alexandra’s head retainer, and described her as generous and gracious.

Mistress Othindisa. Photo by Lady Rowena Moore.

Earl Syr Yngvar the Dismal proclaimed simply that this was the best thing Their Majesties had done or would do all day, and that he endorsed it. Countess Caryl of the Order of the Pelican mused that while there were some people that you know will be a Peer as soon as you see them, “and then there are people like me and Othindisa,” and that she was proud to have watched Othindisa’s growth and service. Mistress Honnoria of Thescorre of the Order of the Laurel called Othindisa her sister, and recalled fondly the times that the two of them had fought and made up, and taught and learned. Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn of the Order of the Laurel spoke of the vast amount of knowledge that Othindisa had learned and passed on to the populace. Viscount Sir Haakon Oaktall praised Othindisa for taking an art form that is relatively unstudied in our Society and inspiring others to bring it out of the shadows.

Thus moved, Their Majesties created Othindisa a Companion of the Order of the Laurel, Awarded her Arms by Letters Patent, and invested her with regalia befitting her station: a medallion, a jacket, a cloak, a hood, and a wreath. Mistress Othindisa then gave her Oath of Service to the Crown, and a scroll illuminated and calligraphed by Lady Isabel Chamberlain of the Kingdom of the East upon wording by Master Fridrikr Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn was read to the populace.

Mistress Othindisa giving her oath as a Laurel. Photo by Baron Steffan.

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

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

SCA 50th Year Celebration Coordinator for the East

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-02-19 13:04

Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia, Kingdom Seneschal, has announced that the SCA 50th Year Celebration Coordinator for the East Kingdom is Countess Marguerite ingen Lachlainn.

Countess Marguerite is already “on the job” and shares the following missive:

I am in the process of assembling a team of people who would like to help put the [East Kingdom] booth together. I am specifically looking for someone who has video-graphy skills to join us.

Once we have a design for the booth, we will be reaching out via G+ and Facebook to ask for loans of historical items and scanned photographs of events throughout East Kingdom History.

We know we will need:

  • A banner or sign displaying the name of the Kingdom
  • A large Kingdom device displaying the arms of the Kingdom
  • King and Queen Lineage on a large easily readable display
  • Pictures or items that are a part of the Kingdom’s history (example: coronets, gowns, casting molds from important items, mantles, old armor, new armor etc.)
  • A 10 minute video on the history and traditions of the Kingdom

But we are likely to also include a significant display of East Kingdom Calligraphy and Illumination and other things that make our Kingdom Unique.

Eventually we will also be looking for Easterners attending the event to come help staff the booth on site.

Here is the current Event notice for the SCA 50th event: http://eastkingdom.org/sca50.php

Here is the SCA50th Website (Not much there yet).  http://www.sca50year.org/

Please contact me with any questions or to get involved.

Marguerite inghean Lachlainn

Filed under: Events Tagged: SCA 50 Year

Champions Proposal for Mudthaw Curia

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2015-02-19 12:37

Photo courtesy of Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

The following is a letter from Their Majesties which is posted by The Gazette at their request.

Greetings All,

For those of you who may not know, one of the proposals for our Birka Curia was to add the East Kingdom Thrown Weapons Championship and resulting Champions to our Royal court. As Her Majesty and I discussed this matter with our heirs and the assemblage at curia, it has become clear that the thrown weapons community has grown and now represents a significant portion of our populace.

We currently recognize: rattan, archery, fencing, equestrian, bardic and A&S champions and are now considering adding thrown weapons.

As We consider the implementation of another Champions event, We have significant concerns. Having yet another mandated royal progress event in an already crowded calendar may be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. However, this is not the fault of the thrown weapons community and should not be borne upon their shoulders alone. Fixing this may require selecting our champions by a different method than we currently use. We need to hear from the populace before our curia at Mudthaw.

The logistical challenge:

In any calendar year there are 52 weekends. The Crown must attend: 2 Coronations, 2 Crown Tournaments, 12th Night, 6 (potentially 7) Champion events and some number of Baronial Investitures (We are doing 6). This leaves ~ 32 weekends in a year. This does not include Pennsic (weekends before, during, and after), the ~5 war practices leading up to it or any of the foreign wars: most notably Estrella and Gulf Wars (We attended 2 others). And if the Crown takes 1 weekend a month off, we are now we are down to ~4 to 8 weekends per reign to attend OTHER Eastern events. Taking up the Crown is a major commitment of time, but the logistics can become insurmountable.

It has been our tradition that the champion tournaments are the focus of its event (generally running noon-5). And We feel that our mandate to hold a growing number of formulaic events is detracting from our ability to throw truly creative and engaging events. We feel it is important for the Crown to attend events like a masked ball, or an immersion event, or a Rose tournament or events in distant corners of the kingdom.

SO… WHAT TO DO? Here are some options, and We are looking for your feedback on them.

  1. Maintain the status quo by not acting on this proposal
  2. Ask the thrown weapons community “find a way to combine your tournament with something else”
  3. Ask all the champion communities “find a way to combine your tournament with something else”
  4. Hold champions tournaments on Sundays
  5. Consider alternative methods to select champions
    a. Run multiple champions tournaments on the same day – some kingdoms run all of their tournaments on Sunday after Crown
    b. Let the Crown select their champions without a tournament – also done in other kingdoms
    c. Something else

As we consider the contribution of all martial forms to our society, the questions are: do the throwers deserve a position alongside our other champions? If so, how do we chose to integrate so many champion tournaments into a very full event calendar?

If you have counsel for us on this matter, please contact us directly (trm@eastkingdom.org).

Thank you,
Edward & Thyra
Rex & Regina Orientalis

Filed under: Law and Policy

Ealdormere Crown XXXIV Fight Videos on YouTube

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2015-02-19 10:28

Baron RIchard Larmer reports that he has posted video from the october 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Ealdormere. The videos are available to view on YouTube.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Codex Calixtinus thief sentenced to 10 years

History Blog - Thu, 2015-02-19 08:21

On Wednesday the Provincial Court of La Coruña convicted former electrician José Manuel Fernández Castiñeiras of stealing the Codex Calixtinus, an invaluable 12th century manuscript that contains the first travel guide for pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. For the theft of the codex, ongoing burglaries of cash and other items and money laundering, Castiñeiras was sentenced to 10 years in prison (three for the codex, five for the burglaries, two for the laundering) and a 268,000 euro ($304,000) fine. His wife Remedios Nieto was sentenced to six months for money laundering and got her own 268,000 euro fine because she had to have known her husband’s wealth was ill-gotten. His son Jesus Fernández Nieto was acquitted as the court considered him a patsy used by his father who bought two apartments in his son’s name to launder some of the stolen money.

The court concluded that the electrician had taken keys to, among other locations, the office of the Dean and of the administrator, and used them to gain access to the Cathedral safe that regularly held large quantities of cash from sales of tickets to the Cathedral museum and roof, rent from Church properties and donations of the faithful. The total amount Castiñeiras stole in cash alone is 2.4 million euros ($2,735,000) in currency from 59 countries.

Defense counsel Carmen Ventoso tried the “this whole courtroom is out of order” defense, calling the trial a “procedural Guantanamo” in which the defendants’ rights had been trampled from before they were even on trial. She claimed police had broken into the house and installed monitoring devices a month before the arrest, that the official police search exceeded the parameters of the warrant, that the first interview in which Castiñeiras admitted he had stolen the Codex at 12:00 AM on July 4th, 2011, was full of errors and invalidated by the interrogator’s hardball tactics (“suggestive,” “argumentative” and “repetitive” questioning verging on duress), and that the Cathedral’s security camera footage showing the defendant shoving stacks o’ cash into his pockets was altered after the fact to incriminate her client. She wanted the search thrown out and all the evidence gathered as a result of it.

The court, unsurprisingly, was not persuaded by this argument or by Ventoso’s repeated imprecations against Judge José Antonio Vázquez Taín who, according to her, is a sterling example of “what shouldn’t be done.” The judge didn’t buy her next defense — that Castiñeiras had OCD and was a hoarder — either, on account of he somehow managed to overcome this compulsion just fine when he invested his filthy lucre in property.

On the stand last month, the first time he spoke publically about the theft, Castiñeiras admitted he had “probably” stolen all that cash (different news stories put the amount at anywhere from 1.7 to 2.4 million euros) from the Cathedral safe before he had a stroke in 2004, but he stopped keeping his accounts after the stroke and couldn’t remember if he kept stealing. When the magistrate asked him if he had stolen any other artworks or valuables from the church (a number of antiquities were also found in his home), the defendant replied that he woke up every day at 6:00 AM to work hard for the Cathedral. Because apparently early mornings and work entitle you to stuff millions in cash, art, church documents and whatever else into your pockets, seems to be the implication.

That fits with the disgruntled employee theory of the crime. He was let go in 2011, officially due to restructuring, but possibly because he was suspected of theft. That can’t have been the source of his cleptorage, however. He may have stolen the Codex Calixtinus in July of 2011 out of pique, but he’d been making off with huge fistfuls of cash regularly for something like a decade by then. In his confession he said he was acting against the institution that had failed to offer him permanent employment, but he also hinted darkly that the lack of poverty and chastity from certain Cathedral personnel his poor, traumatized eyes had witnessed during his many years on the job drove him to a decade of thievery. The lack of chastity was homosexual, gasp, and the lack of poverty consisted in staff taking money out of the offering bag and helping themselves to the best donations of silverware, hams and fine wines.

The Codex is now back at the Cathedral. It was returned on July 8th, 2012, four days after it was found in a garbage bag under some newspapers in Castiñeiras’ garage. It was on public display in the chapter house for the day, after which it was put in a safe location while the Cathedral looked into improving its obviously faulty security systems.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Featured Blog: Death in Our Times

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-02-18 17:35

The Gazette is starting a new feature that will showcase blogs run by the Æthelmearc populace. If you know someone who has a blog that should be featured, email us at aethgazette@gmail.com.

This weeks featured blog is from THL Beatrice de Winter, whose popular “Everybody Dies” and “Hangmen, Headsmen, and Other Fun Ways to Die” classes will be taught at Three Ravens this weekend.

Although not technically a blog, you can find articles of interest and links to resources on the subject of death in medieval times here.

The Gazette interviewed THL Beatrice on her interesting choice of research topics.

What’s your SCA background?
I am a member of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. I discovered the SCA in the spring of 2003 through discussions with a friend. After a brief attempt at fencing, which I gave up due to health concerns, I began to explore other interests including the bardic arts, thrown weapons, and pure research. In the past 12 years, I have held many official roles including Baronial Chronicler, Baronial Bardic Champion, and autocrat. At present, I am the Pennsic Independent Web Editor as well as Æthelmearc’s Event Coordinator. Through my pursuit of the bardic arts, I became apprenticed to Master Cerian Cantwer of the Midrealm in June 2009.  Although I still enjoy singing and the bardic arts, I realized that my true love in the SCA is research and in particular, research on death, the dead, attitudes about the dead and death, capital punishment, as well as medieval crowners (coroners). Master Cerian, recognizing my strong passion for this rather unusual subject, has continued to support me, for which I am eternally grateful.

Why Death?
From an SCA perspective: Death was an extremely important topic in period, despite the fact that it’s a subject most people do not spend much time contemplating today. Regardless of your persona, the topic of death would likely have had a profound impact on you in period. For those living in Europe during the Middle Ages, death was as much a part of everyday life then as technology is now, not only because the mortality rate was so high, but also because they believed their very souls depended on it. As Christianity evolved in Europe, not only was it important to make provisions for one’s own afterlife, but it was also necessary to assist one’s fellow friends and family members in doing the same. As a result, people’s attitudes about life were significantly shaped by their beliefs about death. These attitudes and beliefs are what I discuss further in my class “Everybody Dies.” Perhaps, however, it is best summed up by French philosopher Paul Ricoeur: “Death cannot be eliminated from the historian’s field of attention if history is not to lose its historical quality.”

From my personal perspective: I’ve had an interest in death and the dead most of my life. As a child, my school bus stop was next to a cemetery, which I found fascinating.  As I grew up, I was continually fascinated by other seemingly macabre interests. By the time I was in my twenties, I had earned a Master of Forensic Sciences degree in general forensics from National University.

What is the most common misperception about death in the Middle Ages?
Probably the most common misconception that we have about death in the middle ages is that it wasn’t terribly important, beyond the obvious fact that certainly people died in period, often at a young age. While many people understand the fact that mortality rates were particularly high, very few people recognize how or why death literally played a part in the everyday lives of the people and just how critical a topic it was for them. Furthermore, even those who may have recognized death’s ubiquity are often still under the common misconception that the reason for its prevalence involves some form of morbid fascination with the macabre. However, it really was less of a morbid fascination but rather a desperate attempt to prepare for the afterlife.

What is the most unusual fact you have uncovered in your research?
I’ve uncovered a number of unusual facts, but perhaps the most interesting one so far involves the “catacomb saints”. The catacomb saints are skeletons which were originally discovered in 1578 that were supposedly of early Christian martyrs. To honor them, they were adorned with numerous precious gemstones and often dressed in fine clothes. However, it turns out that not only were these bones not necessarily those of actual Christian martyrs, they might not have even been Christians and instead might have been Jews or pagans.

I’m actually doing additional research on the catacomb saints at the moment and hoping to be able to provide a class about them in the future.

Has research become easier with internet resources?
Research in this field has become easier in some ways with available internet resources in that it’s much easier to obtain articles written by people all over the world as well as electronic documentation of physical evidence. In addition, I often receive interesting articles sent by friends and family electronically. Unfortunately, of course, it doesn’t help much in terms of getting to see some of the physical evidence in person (e.g. bones, wills, grave sites).

Categories: SCA news sites

College of 3 Ravens 2015 – Finalized Class List

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-02-18 13:06

If cabin fever has gotten you down lately, consider heading up to the College of 3 Ravens this weekend. While there, be sure to take a class or two or five! There is a wide variety of classes, something is sure to tickle your fancy!

The Æthelmearc Gazette is pleased to pass along this missive from the Chancellor of Classes for the College of 3 Ravens regarding the finalized list of classes for the day!

Unto the good gentles of the Sylvan Kingdom of Æthlemearc does Lady Kadlin Sigvaldakona, Chancellor of Classes for the College of 3 Ravens, send greetings!

I am pleased to say that the class listings and schedule are finalized and can be found online at: http://1drv.ms/1EVGE5g

In order to reduce waste, we are going to post a large-print version of class descriptions on-site, and only print 50 copies for distribution at the event. Gentles may wish to print out their own copies of class descriptions before the event.

Also remember that things may change between now and Saturday, so please make sure to check against the posted schedule after you arrive on-site.

Many, many thanks to the gentles who have volunteered to share their time, skills, and knowledge with us. Without you, there would be no C3R.

In humble service,
Kadlin Sigvaldakona


The College of 3 Ravens, which is hosted by the Barony of Thescorre, will be held on February 21, 2015 at the Western Presbyterian Church, located at 101 E. Main St, Palmyra, NY 14622.  Event information can be found at http://www.aethelmearc.org/eventinfo.php?event=1001
Categories: SCA news sites

3,500-year-old Bronze Age hoard found in Poland

History Blog - Wed, 2015-02-18 06:46

A 3,500-year-old Bronze Age hoard containing the head of an ice axe, fragments of a spiral necklace and a bracelet with tapered ends, all made of bronze, was found last month in the village of Rzepedź in Bieszczady Mountains of southeastern Poland. The hoard was discovered by Łukasz Solon from the nearby town of Sanok who was visiting the old wooden church of St. Nicholas with his girlfriend. They were walking towards the north side of the village when Łukasz noticed a metal object sticking out of the ground. Its green patina contrasted against the brown grass reminded him of artifacts he had seen in the Historical Museum of Sanok, so instead of indulging a perfectly natural curiosity and digging it up, Łukasz left the object alone and alerted the museum experts when he got home.

Archaeologist Peter Kotowicz from the Historical Museum of Sanok and Marcin Glinianowicz from the Carpathian Archaeology department of Sanok’s Folk Architecture Museum went to the site the next day and recovered the exposed object. They recognized it as an ancient bronze ice axe and immediately applied for an emergency permit to conduct an archaeological survey of the spot. The day after that, permit in hand, they excavated the find site.

First they explored the area with a metal detector and found fragments of bronze spirals and a strong signal indicating that there was more to found deeper underground. They dug a small trench about two feet square and carefully raked into the soil, recovering multiple pieces of bronze spirals until, about a foot under the surface, they encountered potsherds that were the edges of a clay vessel about 10 inches in diameter. Much larger sections of bronze spirals lay within the vessel’s perimeter. Underneath those archaeologists found another 15 bronze spiral fragments and a bracelet with tapered end broken in two pieces. When they got to the bottom they discovered the earthenware vessel had been deliberately placed upside-down on a circular sandstone plate.

According to Kotowicz, the discovered objects were probably made south of the Carpathians. “The treasure is probably related to the communication route, which ran from the nearby Łupków Pass through the Osława and San valleys” – noted the archaeologist.

Bronze monuments from Rzepedź have been preliminarily dated to approx. 1500 years before Christ. “We do not yet know who and why had hidden the treasure so carefully. Axe and jewellery are most likely related to the Piliny culture, then existing south of the Carpathians” – noted Kotowicz.

The Piliny culture is one of the Urnfield cultures, named after their practice of cremating their dead, placing the remains in urns that would then be buried in cemeteries that in some cases have been found to contain thousands of urn burials. Archaeologists have found pottery vessels of different shapes and sizes, bronze pins, bracelets, rings, weapons and more in those Piliny cemeteries and in settlements and hoards. The bronze work is particularly exceptional, the product of a well-developed metallurgic trade courtesy of the Carpathian mountains’ plentiful supply of ore. The area was an important center of metallurgy from the Early Bronze Age on, introducing innovations in the making of alloys and other metallurgic techniques.

The bronze spiral fragments in the Rzepedź hoard are typical of jewelry that has been found at Piliny sites. They used that spiral configuration in all kinds of designs: arm rings, leg rings, wrist guards, finger rings, pendants.

In order to ascertain whether the hoard was a one-off buried in a remote location far from the madding crowd or part of a larger settlement, the find site will have to be more extensively explored. A survey or the wider area has already begun, a first step to a broader program of research under the aegis of the regional conservation office.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

The Littlest Warrior Invades Æthelmearc

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-02-17 15:17

Tegen invaded Æthelmearc on Monday, February 16th 2014.

Start spreading the news!

On Monday, February 16th 2014, at 8:01 PM The Barony of Endless Hills in Æthelmearc welcomed the newest warrior, Tegan Evan Gelatt into the world. Weighing in at 8lbs 14 oz., and 21 inches long, Tegen entered the world kicking and yelling along to the stylings of the bard Frank Sinatra.

The wee warrior with his mother.

The new mother, Lady Serena Finn, is doing well after a short and efficient delivery. She was attended by her sister, Auntie Lady Elizabeth nic Ghille Brighde and mother (now Nanna) Dame Aoife Finn and was shortly joined by Tegen’s Grandpa, Master Brion Donul Gilbert and Auntie, Lady Corinne Gilbertsdottir, and family friend Will Brennan. Mother Serena and her fierce wee man are doing remarkably well, and will return home later this week.

Tegen with Grandpa Gilbert.

Nanny Aoife with her grandson.

Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tournament Letters of Intent

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-02-17 11:47

From the Kingdom Seneschal:

Greetings unto all those intending to enter Spring Crown Tournament, Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through the following link (preferred) or by email to TRH Prince Omega and Princess Etheldreda with a copy to the Kingdom Seneschal. If by email, a joint email is preferred. 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.   – Confirmation of faxed membership applications with credit card receipts as well as membership applications CANNOT be accepted as proof of membership. - TRHs also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.   In Service to the East, I remain Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Seneschal, East Kingdom
Filed under: Uncategorized