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Kingdom Rapier Marshal Announces New Deputy

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2014-12-21 21:56
Unto the populace of the Kingdom of the East do I, Don Frasier MacLeod send warmest greetings,    It is with great pleasure that I announce that Dona Camille des Jardins will be stepping into the position of Northern Regional Deputy Rapier Marshal.  She will be replacing Don Jean DeMontagne, who I would like to personally thank for his long and dutiful service to the Northern Region and Rapier in general.  Please join me in thanking Jean and welcoming Camille into her new position, and help her make her transition as seamless as possible.    In Service,      Don Frasier MacLeod, KRM, East
Filed under: Fencing, Official Notices

Rebuilding the Temple of Mithras

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-12-21 16:51

In 1954, there was much debate over what to do with the recently discovered remains of a Temple of Mithras. Unable to reach a conclusion, the ruins were packed up and have led a nomadic existance ever since. Now the ruins are being returned to their original site, underneath a London office block.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Seaton Hoard - in Pictures

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-12-21 09:23

Numismatists in England found themselves squirming with delight over the discovery in Devon of approximately 22,000 copper-alloy coins, "the largest of its kind ever found in Britain." Now Culture24 allows visitors to take a closer look at some of the coins with a slide show. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Ode on the animation of a Grecian urn

History Blog - Sun, 2014-12-21 00:29

I’m a devoted fan of the Greek vase animations made by Panoply. Computer animator Steve K. Simons and Greek warfare expert Dr. Sonya Nevin work together to develop moving parts from the static images on Greek pottery, much of it in the extensive collection of the University of Reading’s Ure Museum. They collaborate with ancient music experts to create soundtracks that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of the symposia depicted on the vases. It’s a full-spectrum historical immersion achieved through modern technology.

The project is focused on education and community outreach. Each animation provides additional resources for teachers to use the animations in class, and many of Panoply’s videos are storyboarded by local schoolchildren who get to enjoy an exceptional opportunity to learn about ancient art and history by studying a vase and then get to express their own creativity in the creation of the animated version of the scene. Sometimes they’re more serious treatments, sometimes lighthearted, but either way, the results are consistently wonderful. One of my favorites in the lighthearted category is this brilliant Dance Off storyboarded by the pupils of the Maiden Erlegh School and Kendrick School in Reading.

That 6th century B.C. Etruscan black figure oinochoe vase just GOT SERVED.

A more serious treatment is this animation of a combat sequence from 6th century B.C. lekanis vase made on the Greek island of Euboea.

The only thing I don’t like about it is that there isn’t more of it, which is why I was so excited to see Panoply’s latest effort, Hoplites! Greeks At War, a much longer and more detailed animation of the practice of ancient war from religious sacrifice to the thrust and parry of battle to the final victory.

I think it’s a masterpiece: the way the music and action are in perfect rhythm, how that blow creates the crack in the vase, integrating the condition of the vase into the scene, the addition of figures to form a little army instead of using the individual images alone. I feel like starting a petition demanding that all cheeseball reenactments of ancient history on television be replaced with Panoply animations.

Because I can’t resist them, I’m going to embed a couple of other favorites below, but you should go through all of the animations. They’re very short — Hoplites! is the exception length-wise, Dance Off the rule — so it won’t take you long to watch them.

Clash of the Dicers, created for a conference at the University College Dublin, features Achilles and Ajax playing a game during a lull in the Trojan War. It’s from a 6th century B.C. black figure amphora signed by potter Exekias now in the Vatican Museum. I love how the background glows like lava.

Medusa, storyboard by pupils from Addington School in Reading, was created pulling characters from three different vases: the gorgon is from a 6th century B.C. black figure kylix cup, her stoney victim from an Apulian 4th century B.C. red figure alabastron, and the warrior is from the Hoplites! lekanis.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Death in the Middle Ages

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2014-12-20 22:20

Death is a topic that is rarely discussed, yet clearly crucial to forming a more complete understanding of the Middle Ages and the people living during this time.  For these people, death was as much a part of everyday life then as technology is now.  The goal of this series of brief pieces is to touch on some surprising aspects of death during the Middle Ages that you may not have known.— Lady Beatrice de Winter 

Did you know?

For people living in the Middle Ages, there was often nothing final about their final resting place.  In many cases, graves were often disturbed by later burials, the bones from the initial burial sometimes carefully  arranged around the new corpse.  In cemeteries where space was at a premium, bodies were intentionally buried only temporarily.  Once the process of putrefaction was complete, the skeletal remains were retrieved and placed in an ossuary.  An ossuary is simply a final resting place for the bones of the dead.  However, the ossuaries of the time were frequently used to showcase these bones in an artistic manner.   Even the corpses of nobility were exhumed and buried into other locations for political or status reasons.

Did you know? 

Cemeteries in the Middle Ages were places where the living and the dead frequently commingled.  Some cemeteries were not just places to bury the dead, but also public meeting places where the living socialized, ate, drank, played games, danced, sang and carried on love affairs oblivious to the proximity of the dead in their midst.  Period documentation indicates the presence of a communal oven in one cemetery as well as the regular occurrence of merchants and tradesmen in cemeteries, despite attempts by the church council to limit secular activities.

Did you know? 

The recent discovery of the bones of Richard III resulted in a battle over his ultimate burial location.  His decedents argued that he should be buried in York, where he spent over a third of his life.  However, officials from the University of Leicester, the institution responsible for this great discovery, claim that they own the rights to bury him in Leicester Cathedral, which is not far from the parking lot in which the late ruler was discovered.   At stake is both deference to his familial heritage and a potentially significant economic impact in the area selected.  Remarkably, this conflict mirrors frequent disagreements that occurred over burial locations of the nobility during the Middle Ages.  At a time when conventional practices included burial in the traditional family resting place, which was often affiliated with a particular parish, it was not uncommon for an individual to instead wish be buried at a beloved parish of his or her own choosing.  This desire gave rise to the aforementioned parallel struggle of both familial strife and, as the institution interring the body was generally paid a tithe for the privilege, economic impact.  The controversial practice of bodily division was invented as a means to resolve this dilemma.  For example, the head, considered the “official” burial site of the individual, was often buried at the family resting place while the heart would be interred with the individual’s seat of piety instead.

Did you know?

Mechanical decapitation machines were used in capital punishment during the Middle Ages.  Although the guillotine itself was invented in 1792, long after the end of the Middle Ages, its predecessors were certainly used for capital punishment in pre-17th century Europe.  The Halifax Gibbet, which likely dates back to at least the 13th or 14th century, was located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England and was used on market days to execute thieves caught with stolen goods to the value of 13½d or more, or who confessed to having stolen goods of at least that value.  The Scottish Maiden was introduced in 1564 during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots by Regent James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton for similar purposes.  In a twist of fate, Douglas was eventually executed by it himself in 1581.


Categories: SCA news sites

“Lord, help Veronica”

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-12-20 18:43

Since 2000, Nikolai Ovcharov has headed excavations at Perperikon in southern Bulgaria, revealing some amazing finds. The latest includes a 12th to 13th century container inscribed with the words in Greek, “Lord, help Veronica.” (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Don’t Forget to Submit!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2014-12-20 16:34

The Gazette welcomes submissions from the populace – share your news with our Sylvan Kingdom! The Æthelmearc Gazette has been a success thanks to all of you; we are getting more than 700 views a day on a regular basis at this point, and moving upward each week!

We welcome event announcements and updates sent by autocrats, officer reports and missives, letters from our beloved Royalty, articles covering almost anything from our SCAdian time period; in short, anything of interest to the subjects of Æthelmearc.

See the submissions tab above for some short guidelines, and then send your news to aethgazette@gmail.com.

Categories: SCA news sites

Northern Ireland looks to the Isle of Man for preservation of Gaelic languages

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-12-20 11:07

In the 1980s, Manx Gaelic was nearly extinct, but the language has made a comeback on the Isle of Man, thanks in part to the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, the world's only Manx-speaking school. Now educators in Northern Ireland are taking note and considering how to use the same methods to save Irish Gaelic.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Victorian public urinal listed as historic building

History Blog - Sat, 2014-12-20 00:40

The Victorian-era public urinal atop Blackboy Hill in Bristol has been listed as Grade II historic structures of “more than special interest” by English Heritage.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “Historic elements of the public realm, including street furniture and public facilities, are particularly vulnerable to damage, alteration and removal and where they survive well, they will in some cases be given serious consideration for designation.

“In times of austerity, facilities and structures such as this set of urinals are under increasing threat, and where there are found to be deserving of protection English Heritage will recommend to the Secretary of State that they be added to the National Heritage List for England.”

He said the urinal was a “relatively rare surviving example of a once common type of building” and represented the “civic aspirations of the authorities in the Bristol suburbs in the late Victorian period”.

The ornate cast iron building was made by W MacFarlane & Co. Ltd’s Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, by order of the Bristol Sanitary Committee in the 1880s. It is a rectangular full height structure with intricate perforated designs in Moorish style on the iron walls and a glass roof. Inside, chest-high white porcelain urinals are inset in the iron framing with curved modesty screens dividing each unit. The tile floor is a modern replacement, but the rest is original. The facility is still in use today and is a little the worse for wear. Perhaps its listing will inspire renovations.

Public lavatories were a nexus of Victorian obsessions — sanitation, technology, decoration as a marker of respectability, social reform, class conflict, gender roles, avoiding the various grossnesses of human biology. The modern era of public toilets was ushered in by sanitary engineer George Jennings who built “commodious refreshment rooms, with the accompaniments usually connected with them at large railway stations” in the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The euphemistic description in the catalog was no deterrent to use. The first public flushing toilets were a hit, used 827,820 times by men and women during the five months of the Great Exhibition. The pay toilets raised £2,441 at a penny per usage, a fee that would remain standard for 150 years, inflation be damned. The idiom for urinating “spend a penny” is a legacy of Jennings’ innovation.

Spurred by the success of the Exhibition facilities and George Jennings’ ceaseless advocacy for public lavatories, the Society of Arts privately funded separate men and women’s toilets in 1852. They were as spectacular a failure as the ones in the Crystal Palace had been a success. Elegantly appointed and staffed by a supervisor and two attendants, these bathrooms were pricey at two pence per use or three pence for the basic plus a wash and brush (that’s right, you had to pay extra to wash your hands after using the public toilet). Perhaps deterred by the price or simply resistant to the very notion, only 58 men and 24 women used the lavatories over the course of a month. The facilities were promptly shut down.

The first public in both senses of the word — municipally funded and located on the public thoroughfare — lavatory was built outside the Royal Exchange in 1855. It was for men only and facilities would remain exclusively Gents for nearly 40 years. There was immense resistance from both men and women to the notion of public conveniences for the fairer sex. For some people, the notion of women peeing or pooping in close confines with other people of all walks of life was shockingly immodest, by its very design putting respectable middle and upper class women in the position of exposing their bodies and bodily functions in public much like prostitutes. The mixing of classes was seen as a danger in and of itself, the lady contaminated by rubbing shoulders with the flower girl.

The Ladies Sanitary Association began campaigning for public women’s facilities in 1878, demanding there be public restrooms (with one free water closet in every facility for poor women) to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of working women navigating the city. Eleven years later, the first municipal women’s facility opened in Piccadilly Circus.

The controversy was by no means over, however. In London’s civil parish of St Pancras, the first public latrines with accommodations for women were built on Kentish Town Road and St Pancras Road in the 1890s, but when the Vestry (the parish government) debated installing a women’s only facility at the intersection of Park Street and Camden High Street, it took five years, from 1900 to 1905, to get over all the snickering and dissembling from the governing body and protests from the residents and businesspeople. We have no less of a witness to this fracas than playwright George Bernard Shaw who was a Vestryman at St Pancras from 1897 to 1903.

In the March 1909 issue The Englishwoman, a journal advocating the extension of the franchise to women, Shaw published The Unmentionable Case for Woman’s Suffrage, an essay arguing that women in government were necessary to keep grown men from devolving into junior high nitwits whenever issues pertaining to women’s sanitation, public accommodations, etc. were discussed. He also revealed the sabotage and Catch 22s that kept the bathrooms from being built for five years.

For instance, the bus companies protested that the facility would be a dangerous traffic obstacle, even though there was a men’s room literally in the middle of the intersection across the street from the proposed ladies’ room. They put up a wooden model at the proposed location and indeed it was ploughed into no less than 45 times. Shaw pointed out in the essay that this statistic was not exactly bullet-proof.

[The wooden model] brought about all the power of the vestryman over the petty commerce and petty traffic of his district. In one day, every omnibus on the Camden Town route, every tradesman’s cart owned within a radius of two miles, and most of the rest of the passing vehicles, including private carriages driven to the spot on purpose, crashed into that obstruction with just violence enough to produce an accident without damage. The drivers who began the game were either tipped or under direct orders; but the joke soon caught on, and was kept up for fun by all and sundry.

The one Vestrywoman, Mrs. Miall-Smith, tried to get her colleagues to take the issue seriously because the thousands of women flocking to Camden Town to work in its factories needed to pee every once in a while, but with the class-mixing paranoia that accompanied the public toilet issue, her argument wasn’t likely to persuade the opposition.

Shaw noted that there was one highly relevant woman staff member who should have weighed in on the issue: a female sanitation inspector hired to examine the sanitary accommodations for women factory workers. She had an enormous task of inspecting work sites to see if they even had any facilities for women at all (many of them did not) and checking the ones that did have women’s lavatories multiple times a week for cleanliness. Shaw’s comment on her is a fascinating window into the complexities of communication across class and gender lines in Victorian Britain.

The exclusion of women from the Borough Council left the inspectress in a difficult position. The barrier of the unmentionable arose between her and members of the Health Committee. It was all the higher because the inspectress was generally an educated woman of university rank, not at all conversant with the sort of local tradesman who regards the subject of sanitary accommodation as one to which no lady should allude in the presence of a gentleman.

Finally in December of 1905, the debate ended. After more prodding from Mrs. Miall-Smith and a report from the Highways, Sewers and Public Works Committee, the borough agreed to build the Park Street women’s lavatory.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Beauty from tragedy in Roman Colchester

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-12-19 17:28

Experts working on the restoration and preservation of the Fenwick Treasure, found in the summer of 2014 under a floor of a house in the town center of Colchester, England, believe that the hoard of jewelry had been hidden during the Boudican revolt of 61 CE. In the future, the treasure will be displayed at Colchester Castle Museum. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Music at Kingdom Twelfth Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:10

Good musicians of Æthelmearc!

January 10 is Æthelmearc Kingdom 12th night! Among the many activities (bardic
championship, brewing contest, children’s activities, etc.) will be a Masked Ball. It would be wonderful if you bring your instruments and your talent to play for Their Royal Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses and all the populace in attendance.

Please come to the Ball! Entertain and delight us as we dance to your music. The set list is on the event website here. The music is from the Pennsic Pile 43.  Please come share your skill and music on this most glorious occasion!

Sionn, the Lost

(If you plan to attend and play, feel free to let me know beforehand so I can ensure you have all the information/music you require. Regardless, we will be glad to see and hear you at the event.)

Categories: SCA news sites

"A thousand years of history" at the Tiverton Fall Fair demo

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:37

"We have a thousand years of history to 'play' with. We study how hey did it and then try ourselves. It's really a living history group and involves such a huge range of interests." Baroness Sibylla (Tamara Pasley) told Troy Patterson of Kincardine News (Lucknow, Ontario), about the recent Tiverton Fall Fair demo by members of the Incipient Canton of Northgaeham. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Queens’ Favor Design for Pennsic 44

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:15

Yes, that’s “Queens”, plural. This missive is from the Favor Coordinator:

For those who are inclined, Their Highnesses’ website is now up and running, including a link to a full color template and instructions for the shared favor of Princesses Arabella and Etheldreda.

These fine ladies have decided to mark the solidarity of their two kingdoms as we approach war with AEthelmearc, and have chosen a design that features the mighty dragon of the Middle Kingdom and the fierce tyger of the East.

We encourage all of the artisans of our fair kingdoms to create favors in any medium, provided they may hang from a belt. Please feel free to ask questions of myself or Lady Aislinn regarding the favors. They may be delivered to me, Her Highness, or to any retainers at an event.

Thank you all for your kind services to our kingdom and our honored allies and know that I remain yours in service,
Lady Jenevra

Details and a printable instruction sheet are available at:

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: favors

Event Announcement: Feast of the End of the Gaunt Days

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2014-12-19 11:05
Feast of the End of the Gaunt Days Sunday, February 22, 2015 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Our fair kingdom enjoyed the fruits of another bountiful harvest, then celebrated and hunkered down for a long winter. Then came the Gaunt Days, as larders became emptier and emptier. From Mid-February we can almost see the End of the Gaunt Days! Let us come together at table, bringing whatever we can to celebrate our survival! The Feast is a chance for the clever victualler to show off their cunning in making tasty fare from the remains of the pantry. What food do you have, when no other can be found fresh? Did you pickle? Smoke? Dry? Collect up the eggs? Ferment?

This pot-luck gathering is part foodie-schola, wherein anyone can come and either just enjoy the day, or show off your finest concoctions for judging and sharing (or just sharing), and part schmoozefest. The day starts with judging so that by lunch and throughout the day the rest of us can sample, learn techniques and swap tips.

Those who bring a dish that feeds 4 or more can have it judged for a chance at stunning prizes and our deepest gratitude! Before the event, it might be a good time to hold workshops and teach someclasses on preservation? Several guilds have sent representatives in the past and we look forward to them attending again.

Prize categories are: People’s Choice, February Fruits, A Mighty Impressive Pickle!, Season’s Meatings, Lenten Lunchtime, The Best Root Home, What Vegetation Survived, Behold the Power of Cheese!, Drinks that Are not Just Melted Snow, Toothsome Stews and Soups, Sweets for the Sweet, and the nebulous None of the Above.

The site is not dry, but do try not to stagger out into the street.

Costs: $0. Students and the elderly are half price.

Donations are gratefully accepted.

We remember those who are going through their own Gaunt Days. Donations to The Jonnycake Center – our local food bank – are gratefully accepted at the door.

The Event Steward, Meister Ulric von der Insel, can be reached at acadie@cox.net or 401-330-0357 before 9pm.

Site: Wishford Hall, 1034 Main Street, Hopkinton, RI

Site opens at 11:00am and the event ends at 5:00pm.

Directions: From I-95 north or southbound, take exit 3 to route 138 west.

Official Event Announcement

Filed under: Events

Freer, Sackler to release entire collections online

History Blog - Fri, 2014-12-19 00:41

The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have completed a digitization project whose scope is unprecedented in the United States. Come January 1st, 2015, their entire collections, more than 40,000 works of Asian and American art, will be released online. Most of these works have never been on display so they will be seen by the public for the first time as high resolution images.

In the initial release, each work will be represented by one or more stunningly detailed images at the highest possible resolution, with complex items such as albums and manuscripts showing the most important pages. In addition, some of the most popular images will also be available for download as free computer, smartphone and social media backgrounds. Future iterations plan to offer additional functionality like sharing, curation and community-based research.

“The depth of the data we’re releasing illuminates each object’s unique history, from its original creator to how it arrived at the Smithsonian,” said Courtney O’Callaghan, director of digital media and technology at the Freer and Sackler galleries. “Now, a new generation can not only appreciate these works on their own terms, but remix this content in ways we have yet to imagine.”

The museum’s masterpieces range in time from the Neolithic to the present day, featuring especially fine groupings of Chinese jades and bronzes, Islamic art, Chinese paintings and masterworks from ancient Persia. Currently, the collection boasts 1,806 American art objects, 1,176 ancient Egyptian objects, 2,076 ancient Near Eastern objects, 10,424 Chinese objects, 2,683 Islamic objects, 1,213 South and Southeast Asian objects and smaller groupings of Korean, Armenian, Byzantine, Greek and Roman works. In addition, the Freer Study Collection — more than 10,000 objects used by scholars around the world for scientific research and reference — will be viewable for the first time.

To enable the widest possible usage, fully 90% of the images will be free of any copyright restrictions for noncommercial use. The museums hope this will engender wider study of Asian art as well as new artworks inspired by the pieces in their galleries and archives.

Very few museums in the US have digitized their entire collections, and none of them are museums specializing in Asian art. The Freer and Sackler are also the first of the Smithsonian museums to have complete online collections. It’s not surprising that they would be pioneers in this area. The Freer and Sackler are the only museums to have been in on the ground floor of both the Google Art Project digitization initiative and the Google Cultural Institute. Google did the heavy lifting on those, though. The Smithsonian staff spent nearly 6,000 work hours this year photographing and digitizing the Freer/Sackler collections.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Considering the cockerel

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-12-18 16:20

The Romans considered the cockerel a messenger to the god Mercury, and the rooster was often depicted at the feet of the god. In Britain's Roman Cirencester, a rare and beautiful example of the cockerel was found in the grave of a child. Cotswold Archaeology features an in-depth look at the artifact on their website. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Bringing Games to Events

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:58

Greetings most awesome Kingdom in the Known World,

It is I, your happy go lucky, get down tonight, Æthelmearc Gazette Maestro of Fun, That Guy Phil, checking in with a suggestion and a report. This is just a brief overview hoping to spark some interest in new people and rekindle interest from our past game masters.

Should you bring games to events? Yes! I am glad we have cleared this up. Have a great day.

So you want a wee bit more on the game front? No problem. Lets address a few ideas and opportunities for success and fun.

Does it matter if the game is “period” or at least “look kind of period”? Yes, period games really fit into our whole SCA theme. Since we take great pride in researching and recreating Medieval activities, it is exceptional when people take the time to research and play period games.

I will not be opening up this entry to the playing of “Magic” or “Cards against Humanity” at events. This entry reflects no opinion in obviously non-period games. I will tell you that I have been told that rum is not period and I have been known to enjoy rum at an event from time to time.

What if a game looks like it might have been played in period? I say go for it, and I have. I recently brought a Crokinole game to Masked Ball in the Rhydderich Hael. It’s a large round board with circular scoring areas, a central divot for scoring and some pegs to defend said circular divot. The game is played by pushing wooden disks towards the central scoring areas after first rebounding off an opponents disc already on the scoring areas. My board has some nifty Celtic knot work around it. Is Crokinole a SCA “period” game? No, it was invented in the Americas in the 1800s. Does it look SCA “period”? No, but that did not stop people at the event from playing it and having a good time. The beauty of this game is that it is both easy to explain and easy to play.

Above: Photos from Masked Ball of Lord Robert, Lord Wolfgang and Mike playing Crokinole. Photos by Casa de Martino

There are a great number of period games available, especially ones that involve gambling. It has been a while since I have seen people playing period card or dice games for personal coins\tokens. I hope that others will post rules to such games on the Gazette, as many would appreciate that. I hate to cut and paste rules from other places on the web when I know that awesome people from Æthelmearc have already researched such things and should post their instructions or class notes.

In the meantime I will provide a few links for some great games I have played at events and hope to see return to popularity.

One and Thirty, an early version of Black Jack

Primero: “Primero, Prime, Primus, Primiera, Primavista, often referred to as “Poker’s mother”, as it is the first confirmed version of a game directly related to modern day poker, is a 16th-century gambling card game of which the earliest reference dates back to 1526.” – Wikpedia

Gluckhaus: House of Fortune Dice Game

Tablero: This game is played with coins moving up and down a board based on a players dice rolls. There is a version played at parties not using coins. Just remember: Play Responsibly or camp security might try to shut you down.
Non Period (see Master Dagonnel’s article link below)

We don’t even have to stop at indoor games. Croquet and Bocce are well-documented and fun at events. I have set up Bocce courts at events and people enjoyed playing. There are a great deal of people at each event who are not doing one of the mainstay activities like heavy weapons, fencing, archery, thrown weapons and the like. They might like something to do. And even after those fore-mentioned activities are done, those people may want to play a few games before court or after feast.

Might I suggest that you bring easy to teach games? Not as many people have played games as they used to. Keep them simple so that people can start playing immediately as in the Crokinole experience. As time progresses the games can become a little more difficult as there are experienced players to help the new people out.

Over all, its about having fun!

Categories: SCA news sites

Javelin head offers proof of Roman army occupation near Dumfries

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-12-18 10:38

Construction workers at Wellington Bridge near Kirkton, Scotland have unearthed a number of artifacts which relate to the Roman occupation of southern Scotland. Among items found were "an iron javelin head, the remains of a Roman boot, samian pottery and tile fragments." (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Paul Revere time capsule retrieved in Boston

History Blog - Thu, 2014-12-18 00:12

A time capsule buried in cornerstone of the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston by Paul Revere and Samuel Adams in 1795 was recovered last Thursday. There’s been a longstanding water leak problem affecting the corner where the time capsule was sealed in plaster, so workers removed the cornerstone and called in conservators from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to dig out the box. They propped it up on blocks so conservator Pamela Hatchfield could carefully chisel out the time capsule from the underside of the cornerstone. Lying on her back in the snow and wind (she didn’t want to flip the cornerstone because it might damage the artifacts), she chipped away at the plaster from 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Finally she dislodged the box and it was taken to the Museum of Fine Arts under State Police escort.

Historical records indicate the time capsule was first installed in the cornerstone when construction on the Statehouse began. Silversmith, printmaker and Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, William Scollay, a militia Colonel and the future great-uncle of author Herman Melville, and Samuel Adams, maltster (the family business was the production of malt used in brewing, not brewing per se) and fourth governor of Massachusetts, placed the time capsule. The original container was made of cowhide and is thought to have contained some 17th century coins, newspapers, the seal of the Commonwealth, a page from the Massachusetts Colony Records and an engraved silver plate, possibly the work of Revere himself.

It was rediscovered in 1855 during work on the building’s foundations. In classic 19th century style, they thought it was an awesome call to do some light cleaning before replacing the time capsule. The coins were dipped in acid and then the artifacts were put in a new container, a copper box slightly smaller than a cigar box, which was plastered onto the underside of the cornerstone. Officials threw some contemporary coins in the plaster for luck (five of them fell onto Pamela Hatchfield’s face during her long day of chiseling) and added a few things from their own time — more coins, newspapers, documents — to the box. It was a humid day in 1855, so between the acid cleaning, the moisture in the air during the transfer and the 30-year water leak from which it was rescued last week, conservators aren’t sure what condition the artifacts are in.

“Hopefully there will be no damage and we will be able to observe the artifacts that trace us back to the history not only just of this building, but of our Commonwealth and our country,” said Secretary of State William Galvin, who was on hand for the capsule’s first appearance in more than 150 years.

The time capsule was sent to the Museum of Fine Arts to be X-rayed. That will give conservators an idea of what’s inside and hopefully what condition the artifacts are in before they open the box. The contents will be examined and any necessary interventions done; they will be on public display for a short time. The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office has not determined whether they too will chip in something to record to the march of time before the capsule is returned to the cornerstone next year.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Blackstone Mountain Twelfth Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2014-12-17 23:24

As the Winter deepens, let us jeer and chase it away with Holiday Cheer! Baron Ichijo Honen and Baroness Cerridwen de Skeen invite all of Southern
Æthelmearc to join the Barony of Blackstone Mountain in revelry January 17, 2015 at the Tyler Mountain Volunteer Fire Station Community Hall (5380 Big
Tyler Rd, Cross Lanes WV 25356). Site opens at 9am and closes at 9pm.

The Watery Tarts Cooking Guild is providing a grand wild game feast, although they invite all guests to bring a dish to share with the populace for luncheon and snacking during the day. There will also be a Dessert Contest, with Baron’s Choice, Baroness’ Choice, and Populace Choice prizes. For Feast information and allergy questions, please contact Astridr Vigaskegg (Kelly West, phone 304-444-7635)

Wondering what to do all day (besides eat)? There will be games of chance for all levels of skill, from the simplest dice throwing to draughts and hnefatafl. Tokens will be given at the door to use for betting, and a prize will be given for Adult and Child with the most tokens won.

But what is the price for such a wonderful day? A mere pittance! Site only is $7 Adult and $5 for 16 and under (babes in arms free). Pre-Register for Feast and add only $10 Adult and $8 for 16 and under. At the door, Feast will be $12 Adult and $10 for 16 and under. The only Pre-Reservation is a PAID Reservation, so Register early by sending your check to Reservation Clerk, Lady Odette d’Arques (Misty Rouse, 990 Old Point Rd. St. Albans, WV 25177). Make checks payable to SCA Inc-WV; Barony of Blackstone Mountain.

Event Steward for this day is Lady Kathryn MacLuing (Kathy Kemmish, 3601 Virginia Ave Apt B, Charleston WV 25304. Phone 304-206-8270, no calls before 10a or after 9p). Site is DRY, smoking allowed outside only.

From the North and East: Take your best route to I-64W towards Huntington
WV. Take Exit 47 (Cross Lanes/Goff Mountain Rd.) and bear right, merging
into Big Tyler Rd. Go 0.05miles straight through two stoplights, *Tyler Mt.
Fire Dept Comm. Center is on left before the Go-Mart. Entrance is
half-hidden, over the hillside. If you pass the Go-Mart, turn around as
there is only one entrance. Do not block Emergency Vehicle Exit.
From the West: Take your best route to I-64E towards Charleston. Take Exit
47B (Goff Mountain Rd.) and turn left at stoplight. Go 0.06 miles through
three stoplights, follow directions from * above.

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