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Court Report: A&S Faire

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-04-28 11:51

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Her Majesty’s Royal Court at the Arts and Sciences Faire, 23 April, Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Hartstone. As recorded by Baron Fridrikr Tomasson, Gulskell Herald.

Her Majesty apologized for the absence of His Majesty who sent with Her His thoughts and best wishes to all who entered the Prize Tourney and attended the A&S Faire. Her Majesty spoke of her joy and admiration of the fine work She had seen that day.

Her Majesty invited THL Renata Rouge into Her presence. She thanked Lady Renata for all of the work and effort that the Shire of Hartstone made to make the Arts & Sciences Faire a reality. Lady Renata thanked the people of Hartstone and her staff, especially Lady Lasairfhiona inghean Aindriasa, the cook for the day.

Her Majesty asked Baron Fridrikr Tomasson to speak of the Prize Tourney.

Baron Fridrikr thanked all those in Hartstone and those who travelled long distances for attending the A&S Faire. He spoke of the bravery needed to enter, of the generosity of the sponsors, and the dedication of the judges and commenters for the day.

Baron Fridrikr then introduced the Landed Nobles who attended the event and invited them to give their tokens to their favorite artists for the day:

Their Excellencies of Delftwood, Marcus and Desiderata, presented their token for the day to Lady Marguerite de Neufchasteau for her Noble Feast Presentation.

Lady Marguerite de Neufchasteau with her Noble Feast Presentation. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Their Excellencies of the Rhydderich Hael, Magnus and Miriel, presented their token to Baroness Beatrix Krieger for her Woodcut Printing.

Baroness Beatrix Krieger with her woodcut printing entry. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Her Majesty then invited Kalishka Peredslava into Her presence and presented Kalishka with Her token for her Glassblowing.

Kalishka Peredslava with her blown glass entries. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Baron Fridrikr then invited all the entrants and those sponsors present to enter the Royal Presence. Gifts were then exchanged between artisans and sponsors.

The entrants for the day were:

Elena de la Palma, Marguerite de Neufchasteau, Felice de Thornton, Elzbieta Traidenyte, Hrólfr Fjarfell, Juliana Rosalia Dolce di Siena, Elska Fjarfell, Brigette de Sainte Mere-Eglise, Abigail Kelhoge, Zofia Kowaleska, Kadlin Sigvaldaskona, Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndrvdwy, Caleb Reynolds, Eleanor Godwin, Padraig O’Branduibh, Úlfgrima Tannadóttir, Helena Mützhasenin, Floki, Beatrix Krieger, Dagonell Collingwood, Hrefna Sigvaldisdottir, Kalishka Peredslava, Simon Fjarfell, Thorsol Solinauga, Antonio de Luna, Coinneach Mac an Leigh, Ells von Augsburg, and Ragna Feilan.

The sponsors of artisans were:

Marguerite d’Honfleur, Beatrice de Winter, Ekaterina Volkova, Honnoria of Thescorre, Mary Elizabeth Clason, Fridrikr Tomasson, Gillian Llewelyn, Geirny Thorgrimsdottir, Artemis Andreas Magnus, Moniczka Poznanska, Sadira bint Wassouf, Felicitas Flußmüllnerin, Othindisa bykona, Orianna Fridrikskona, Ysabeau Tiercelin, Roberta MacMorland, Renata Rouge, Katla Ulfhedinn, and Clarice Roan.

Her Majesty invited the children of Æthelmearc into Her presence. She thanked them for their excellent behavior during court and had Master Alaric McConnal distribute gifts to the children.

Her Majesty then invited Lady Lasairfhiona inghean Aindriasa into Her presence. She spoke of the kindness and generosity that Lady Lasairfhiona showed as Cook for the event, including the great care that she took in preparing foods for Her Majesty. For these efforts, Her Majesty presented Lady Lasairfhiona with Her Token of Inspiration for the day.

This ends the report of the Court of Her Majesty at the Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences Faire, held 23 April in the Fiftieth Year of the Society, in the Shire of Hartstone.

Faithfully submitted by Baron Fridrikr Tomasson, Gulskell Herald.

Categories: SCA news sites

Plan to Visit Artisans’ Village This Summer

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-04-28 08:36

Photo from a previous Artisans Village event. Period brewing over an open fire, led by Lord Alexander Makcristyne

The following information is courtesy of Mistress Elysabeth Underhill.

Greetings! Artisans’ Village will take place on June 3-5 in the Shire of Hartshorn-dale. This event is dedicated entirely to Arts and Sciences activities.

We have nine villages that will be demonstrating their arts throughout the day, many with hands on activities: Cooking; Music & Dance; Brewing; Woodworking; Metalworking; Lampworking; Embroidery & Fiber; Paper, Book, and Scribal; and Science!

We will have over 12 classes throughout the day, including bobbin lace, naalbinding, papermaking, block printing, chain maille, and classes on writing documentation, and A&S competitions.

Finally, we have a list of 13 Artisans’ Challenges available on our website to encourage you to try something new or increase your skills.

To learn more about this event, please read the EK Gazette’s event profile of last year’s Artisans Village.

We hope to see you there!

Event Website: http://www.hartshorn-dale.org/village/challenges.htm

EK Calendar Announcement: http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.php?eid=2923

Thanks to the East Kingdom University for their support of this event!


Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: events

Ancient skeleton mosaic found in Turkey

History Blog - Thu, 2016-04-28 03:52

Turkish archaeologists have discovered an ancient mosaic in the remains of a house from the 3rd century that features a skeleton enjoying a large loaf of bread and pitcher of wine. It was found in 2012 in Turkey’s southernmost state, Hatay Province, in the provincial capital of Antakya, (Antioch in antiquity) during construction of a cable car system.

It is believed to have been the emblema, the elaborate centerpiece of a mosaic floor, in the triclinium (dining room) of an elegant villa. There are three scenes inside a rectangle with a woven guilloche border. On one end is missing a large section but the head and arms of a servant carrying a flame are visible. This represents the heating of the bath. The middle scene is almost intact and depicts two men moving towards a sundial on a column. The leader is a young man who was of some rank in the household, the son of the owner, perhaps, while the his manservant or butler follows. The sundial is set to between 9:00 and 10:00 PM and the text refers to him being late for dinner. The last panel has the recumbent skeleton, holding a drinking cup in one hand, his other arm thrown casually over his head, two loaves of bread and a wine amphora by his side. The motto “Be cheerful and live your life” is written on both sides of his head.

(Writer İlber Ortaylı disputes the eat, drink and be merry interpretation. He reads it as “You get the pleasure of the food you eat hastily with death” and thinks the structure was not a private home of a wealthy person, but a sort of soup kitchen trying to hustle people out the door as quickly as possible.)

There’s some confusion over the date of the mosaic. The first article about the find that I read said it was from the 3rd century, which means A.D., but later stories by the same press outlet date it to the 3rd century B.C. That in turn has been picked up by the international press. Greek was spoken and written by the elites in both periods, so the words are of no particular help.

This one says “Hatay is known for its Roman-era mosaics dating back to the second and third centuries BCE,” but those are not Roman dates. Antioch was founded by Alexander the Great’s general Seleucus I Nicator in 300 B.C. and was ruled by Seleucid monarchs until 64 B.C. when it was absorbed into the Roman Syrian province as a free city.

It doesn’t seem likely to me that this mosaic was created in the early years of the Seleucid monarchy. I think this is a Roman-era mosaic, because of its glass tesserae, the theme, look and quality of the piece. Indeed, Demet Kara, the Hatay Archaeology Museum archaeologist who provides the date in all the articles, compares the Antioch mosaic to other skeleton mosaics in Italy and those are unquestionably Roman.

While the theme of a skeleton or skull representing the inevitability of death was Hellenistic, the Romans developed it further in their art. They were fond of a skeleton partying with them in the dining room. There are several extant drinking, eating and reclining mosaics from the 1st century found at Pompeii and in Rome. The glorious Boscoreale treasure, a silver dining set buried before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., has two silver cups embossed with the skeletons of philosophers and engraved with Epicurean sayings like “Enjoy life while you can, for tomorrow is uncertain.” The cups, like the skeleton mosaics, were meant to remind diners of the fleeting nature of life and the importance of enjoying the moment, a relevant message for a room dedicated to the gustatory pleasures.

A large number of mosaics of exceptional quality have been found in Antakya because Antioch was an important city for centuries. In the Early Roman period, it was the third largest city in the world after Rome and Alexandria. The homes of wealthy and influential people were decorated at great expense with the best floor art money could buy. Antioch had its own mosaic schools and workshops that were internationally renown. Roman Antioch was replete with top notch mosaics.

Hatay’s mayor, Lütfi Savaş, has visions of tourism plums dancing in his head. Just this February he helped launch the Mosaic Road Project to promote four cities in the province that are rich in Greek and Roman-era mosaics — Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş and Şanlıurfa — as desirable tourist destinations. The plan is to build an archaeological park in Hatay, scheduled for completion in 2017, and to house the mosaics in a dedicated museum. Ortaylı thinks the skeleton mosaic should remain in situ and a new museum built on the site similar to Israel’s plan for the Lod mosaic.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report: Smoking Rocks 40th Anniversary Celebration

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-04-27 18:04

Though the day started overcast with a bit of rain, there was naught but comradery and lightheartedness to be found among the attendees of the Barony of Smoking Rocks 40th Anniversary Celebration, held on the 23rd of April, Anno Societatis 50, reckoned 2016 in the Common Era. The day’s revels were attended by Their Majesties Kenric III and Avelina III. In mid-afternoon, upon completion of the rapier and armoured tourneys and the arts and sciences competition, Their Majesties opened Court. They invited Their Excellencies Smoking Rocks join Them and to conduct what business they had in Baronial Court. Smoking Rocks Court concluded, Their Majesties resumed Their own Royal Court.

First to speak to the King was Ceawlin Alreding, Baron of Smoking Rocks. Baron Ceawlin recalled a time in the past when a faithful family retainer named Kenric had served as his cupbearer. At the time, Baron Ceawlin had promised his retainer a ha’penny at Christmastide. Kenric’s fortunes now much changed, His Excellency still wished to fulfill his debt and presented His Majesty with his ha’penny and his thanks.

Their Majesties called for Ysabella de Coventry and spoke of her service to thrown weapons and archery. They wished to pass on the appreciation of her work by Their predecessors, Omega V and Etheldreda IV, and gave her a scroll Awarding her Arms from the 22nd of August, A.S. 50, 2015 C.E. at the Equestrian and Thrown Weapons Championships. The scroll was prepared by Lady Aaradyn Ghyoot.

The Crown then called for the children of the East and offered them toys from the Kingdom’s coffers, if they could catch Ulf the Dragon Slayer. Ulf ran out of Court with the box, followed by a dozen children and much joyful cheering.

King Kenric and Queen Avelina called for Lasair an Fhraoich and spoke of her tablet weaving and work on the inkle loom. They called for Their Order of the Silver Brooch and made Lasair a member of that Order, with a scroll to commemorate that crafted by Lord Vettorio Antonello.

Their Majesties called for those new to the Society and several people approached. Their Majesties offered them tokens of appreciation and thanked them for participating.

Lord Haakon Ragnarsson was summoned before the Crown and praised his work as an anchor of his shield wall. They called for Their Order of the Silver Tyger and caused Haakon to be numbered among them, with a scroll saying such prepared by Lady Onora inghean ui Rauic. Their Majesties felt Their Order of the Silver Tyger incomplete and called for Baron Bruka the Saracen. King Kenric praised his work in the shield wall and his skill with pole arm, and named Bruka to the Order with a scroll prepared by Mistress Nest verch Tangwistel. Mistress Nest verch Tangwhistle then approached the thrones in her role as Tyger Clerk of the Signet and swore fealty, and was given fealty in return by the Crown.

The Crown called for Lady Marguerite von Elfenau. They spoke of her work as a chonicler, her musicianship with Fracta Modi, and how she opens her house for project days and newcomer get togethers. They called for Their Order of the Silver Wheel and caused Marguerite to be counted as one of that Order. She was presented with a framed piece of stained glass crafted by Lady Solskinn of Smoking Rocks with words by Mistress Nest verch Tangwistle.

Their Majesties then spoke of the polling that had recently been conducted in the Barony of Smoking Rocks in its search to find successors to Baron Ceawlin Alreding and Baroness Molly Blythe. Their Majesties announced that they had found the heirs to the Baronial Seat and called for Lord Richard Leviathan and Lady Alys Attewater and bade them plan for their Investiture. Queen Avelina then thanked the Barony and the event steward for a wonderful day and offered her expectations for a wonderful feast.

Before the Court of Their Majesties could be closed, Master Padraig Dubh MacEanruig, who had been made a member of the Order of Chivalry twenty years prior, came forward and asked if Their Majesties would accept his fealty. King Kenric said he would much rather have Master Pat at his side than opposing him and so accepted his offered fealty and gave him the fealty of the Crown in return.

There being no further business, the Court of Kenric III and Avelina III at Smoking Rocks 40th Anniversary was concluded. My thanks to the heralds – Mistress Suba al-Hadid, Lady Amy verch Rychard, Lord Agapios Cargos, and Justinius Alexander Eternus – and all the retainers and scribes and others who supported the Crown and the event.

For Crown and College, Pray know I remain, – Master Rowen Cloteworthy

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

The Wild Hunt Begins

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-04-27 08:20

Lords and Ladies of the rapier community…. Hear the call to hunt! Sharpen your rapier wit, make keen your eye, prepare your gear! You have been CHALLENGED!

In hopes of inspiring each and every one of you.. From those who only authed yesterday all the way to those with a rapier peerage.. Your friendly Kingdom Huntsmen challenge you to boldly swagger forth in readiness to learn, improve and challenge!

From Æthelmearc War Practice 2016 to Æthelmearc War Practice 2017, all fencers are invited participate in the Wild Hunt by seeking out fencers of all skill levels at official events – to work with and to challenge for points (and prizes!)…

The Wild Hunt Rules: The purpose of this endeavor it multi-faceted. Firstly, it is a vehicle to encourage the participants of the Æthelmearc Rapier community to be more active within the kingdom by approaching and engaging with as many different fencers as possible at any given opportunity, to get them to step out of their comfort zone. Secondly, it is an attempt to encourage all ranks to travel and participate more within the kingdom. Finally, it is an attempt to track what events are being attended by all ranks, as well as the activity levels of each. During the course of the Hunt; Countess Elena, Master Diego, Dona Gabrielle, or Don Po are the marshals and final arbitrators. Any questions should be directed to them.

Duration: This is a one year long Tournament. The Wild Hunt shall be from Æthelmearc War Practice 2016 until the start of Æthelmearc War Practice 2017. The Hunt will only take place at published events in the Kingdom and is only open to members of the Æthelmearc population. Each person will be responsible for maintaining their own log book of who they face during the event and reporting it to the email address for tally throughout the season. Scoring will begin at the opening of the field at Æthelmearc War Practice 2016.

How to Join: To participate, an individual must actively announce their intent to the any of the 4 Marshals. The Hunters may then begin to report their kills and join the Facebook group “The Wild Hunt” to stay in touch with the various opportunities for bonus points and to see the leaderboards. Fighters that wish to participate may join at any time prior to the start of Æthelmearc War Practice 2016 and before Æthelmearc War Practice 2017.

How to Challenge:

  • It must happen at events that have scheduled rapier activities.
  • The Hunter must be armed for rapier combat, in the rapier activities area, ready to fence, during a time open for pick-ups.
  • The Prey must be armed for rapier combat, in the rapier activities area, and ready to fence.
  • Both participants in the challenge may be hunting at the time. The Prey need not be a reporting Hunter to be considered as an opponent.
  • Duration or type of challenge shall be mutually agreed upon by the Hunter and Prey (i.e., coaching time, tourney style fights, 10 min, 3 passes, keep fighting until a kill is made, upper or lower limits of passes to be decided upon each challenge, etc)
  • Tourney passes that are victories may be documented as Hunt wins. A hunter can record one kill per Prey per event for scoring.

Think of this as documenting your pick-ups. As part of the process, Hunters are encouraged to keep a journal and take the opportunity with each combatant to review what things they can learn, have been doing better, etc. This is also an opportunity for coaching if you want it. But if the coaching is the goal, make that clear at the opening of the challenge so the opponent is aware of how to look at the passes.

How the Scoring Works: Scoring will be based upon the highest rapier award held by both the hunter and the challenged.

  • Authorized Rapier Fighters (no rapier awards or awards that do not carry an AoA):1 point
  • Alce (for rapier combat) or other fencing award that carries an AoA: 2 pts
  • White Scarf or any other GoA for rapier combat: 3 pts
  • Master of Defense or Laurel (Rapier Combat): 4 pts

Scoring will be tabulated by totaling all points accumulated by an individual then dividing by the value of rank of hunter. (Thus an authorized fighter that defeats a MoD would receive (4 pts / 1 pt.) for a total of 4 points. A MoD that defeats a MoD would receive (4 pts / 4 pts) for a total of 1 point.)

If a WS or MOD is medically unable to fence, but is willing to observe a hunter while they fight non-challenge passes and offer coaching, points may be accrued that way as if the WS or MOD were challenged.

During the course of the Hunt, the arbitrators may issue conditional situations to an upcoming event that effect the scoring. (i.e. – challenge bouts must be fought with your weakest form, Passes should be done with the off hand, etc).

If during the course of the season, a hunter receives an award which moves them to higher point value, all subsequent event totals would be tabulated at the higher value and have no effect on previous results.

How to Report: At the conclusion of the bout(s), if a kill is achieved hunters are responsible to document the following information:

  • Æthelmearc authorized opponents: Name, date of event, name of event
  • Out of Kingdom opponents: Name, kingdom, rank, name of event, and date of event.

By Tuesday evening of the week following the event, all scores should be reported. The email to send scores to is: TheWildHunt1@yahoo.com

If scores are not sent in by Tuesday at 11:59 pm, they will not be counted for that event. Leaderboards will be posted periodically to show progress. Prior to Æthelmearc War Practice 2017, the final scores will be tabulated and the winners will be announced and prize(s) distributed at Æthelmearc War Practice 2017.

The Prize: The prize chest may grow as the year goes on. At this time the booty is: a fencing shirt, and parry cloak. Donations will be accepted if anyone would like to contribute. The Marshals will award the contents of the chest at Æthelmearc War Practice 2017.

There is also a Facebook Group for The Wild Hunt

Good luck! and Happy Hunting!

 Photo by Lady Silence.

Categories: SCA news sites

More about WWI graffiti in Naours caves

History Blog - Wed, 2016-04-27 03:40

In July of 2014, archaeologists investigating the man-made caves tunneled into the limestone plateau under Naours, in Picardy, northern France, discovered thousands of graffiti left by soldiers during World War I. The original brief of the exploration was to date the caves more accurately and identify the periods they were in use. Those questions were answered. The epicenter of the network was Roman quarries with tunnels dug starting in the 10th century radiating out from it. Over time, the network of caves covered more than 2,000 meters (1.24 miles), large enough to shelter people and livestock during times of strife, most notably the 16th century Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years’ War in the early 17th century. Local families claimed chambers as their own, engraving their names on the walls.

The entrance to the tunnels was blocked by a cave-in in the early 19th century and the underground city was largely forgotten until December 15th, 1887, when Abbot Ernest Danicourt rediscovered it. He spent years clearing the tunnels to make them accessible and created displays of artifacts he had found there to attract tourism to the area. Abbot Danicourt’s efforts were not vain, and by the early 20th century, the Naours Caves were an internationally known tourist attraction.

When they were reopened in the 1930s, guides claimed the caves had been used by Allied forces in World War I as a military hospital. That story was apocryphal. Other tunnel networks in the region were used as hospitals and living quarters for the troops, but not Naours. And yet, World War I troops certainly left their marks on the walls and then some. The discovery was so momentous that Gilles Prilaux, an archaeologist with the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), shifted the focus of his investigations away from the more remote past of the caves to the Great War graffiti.

Two years later, we now know the final tally: there are more than 2,800 individual soldiers’ names. Most of them are accompanied by the person’s nationality and military unit and the date. The troops came from France, Britain, America, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia. About half of the names belong to Australian soldiers. They were written on the wall with lead pencils which has stood the test of time; most of the graffiti are as dark and legible as they day they were made.

Students from the local college led by an INRAP archaeologists have worked assiduously to document the graffiti and find out all they can about the men who left their names on the wall. They were able to compile biographies of dozens of the soldiers, several of them very well known.

One of the men identified proved to be a rich source of information. “A. Allsop” wrote the date, January 2nd, 1917, and his hometown of Mosman, a Sydney suburb, on one of the most crowded walls. He was William Joseph Allan Allsop, an Australian clerk who kept detailed diaries of his daily life during World War I. Allsop’s diaries are now in the State Library of New South Wales and have been digitized. When the team looked up the diary entry for January 2nd, they found this:

In the afternoon a party of 10 of us went for a trip to the famous caves near Naours where the refugees used to hide in time of invasion. These caves contain about 300 rooms – one cave being ½ mile long. A whole division of troops with horses, artillery and all transport could be put into these caves. The names of John Norton & Eva Pannett are to be seen autographed on the stone erected just inside the entrance.

While we tend to think of World War I soldiers as constantly mired in waterlogged trenches or active slaughter, according to Prilaux in fact most soldiers spent about 20% of their time on the front lines. The other 80% was spent training, getting some R&R or enjoying the local attractions/distractions. A trip to the caves of Naours like the one Allan Allsop and nine of his comrades took the day after New Year’s would have been encouraged by the military command to keep troops’ minds off the war.

The day before Allsop and his pals visited the caves, Lieutenant Leslie Russel Blake left his name, unit and the date on the wall. Blake had made a name for himself as a cartographer, geologist and Antarctic explorer in the years before the war. He mapped Macquarie Island from 1911 to 1913 as part of Sir Douglas Mawson’s expedition to map a large unexplored section of the Antarctic coastline. Blake enlisted in 1915, was quickly promoted and arrived on the Western Front in March of 1916 as a second lieutenant. He was awarded the Military Cross for using his mapping skills under heavy fire to survey the Allied front line during the Battle of the Somme. His accuracy and bravery saved many lives.

He almost made it out of the war alive, but on October 2nd, 1918, Blake was hit by a shell in Hargicourt. The blow took his left leg and killed his horse out from under him. He was treated at a field hospital, his leg amputated above the knee, but it could not save his life. The shell had fractured his skull and peppered his face and body with grievous wounds. He died on October 3rd at 6:10 AM and was buried in the New British Cemetery at Tincourt.

The stories behind the graffiti discovered by the students will be shared with their counterparts at an Australian college in the hopes that descendants and relatives of the men who took a break from mud, blood and horror to visit the caves of Naours might be located.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Crown Tournament – What To Expect / Déroulement du Tournois de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2016-04-26 17:04

King Kenric crowns Queen Avelina at an earlier Crown Tournament.

En Français

This Saturday the Gazette will provide limited coverage from the East Kingdom’s Spring Crown Tournament. The tourney format as well as the fighters with their consorts are listed below.  Due to the limitations of the site, the Gazette anticipates that our coverage will not start until the semi-finals.


The format for Crown Tourney will be a pooled round robin leading into a 16-man double elimination tournament. The weapons used will be the choice of the fighters until they reach the semi-finals. The winner of the semi-final bouts will be determined by who wins the best of 5 and rotating weapon forms will be used. The undefeated fighter will enter the finals with 1 win to their credit. The finals will be best of 5 with rotating weapon forms.


  • Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon fighting for the honour of Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon.
  •  Duke Randal of the Dark fighting for the honour of Duchess Katherine Stanhope.
  •  Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver fighting for the honour of Lady Gracia Vasquez de Trillo.
  •  Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke fighting for the honour of Mistress Vienna de la Mer.
  •  Sir Rhys Ravenscroft fighting for the honour of Vicondesa Jimena Montoya.
  •  Sir Marcus Blackaert fighting for the honour of Baroness Astrid Sigrun Ulfkelsdottir.
  •  Sir Cedric of Armorica fighting for the honour of Mistress Brid nic Shearlais.
  •  Master Æthelhawk Keyfinder fighting for the honour of Mistress Siubhan Wallace.
  •  Master Tiberius Iulius Rufus Primus fighting for the honour of Vopiscus Rufius Donatus.
  •  Sir Ivan Ivanov syn Dimitriov vynuk Tzardikov fighting for the honour of Baroness Matilde de Cadenet.
  • Sir Ané du Vey fighting for the honour of Mistress Sylvia de Vey.
  • Sir Simon Gwyn fighting for the honour of Lady Tullia Tranquilla.
  • Lord William RavenHair fighting for the honour of Lady Ceara Inghean Eoin Mhic Lucais.
  • Baron Sigurthr VigurHafn fighting for the honour of Baroness Medhbh inghean Cheallaigh.
  • Baron Duncan Kerr fighting for the honour of Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick.
  • Baron Matthias Grunwald fighting for the honour of Baroness Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir.
  • Lord Ryouko’jin of Iron-skies fighting for the honour of Lady Indrakshi Aravinda.
  • Lord Ulfgeirr Ragnarsson the Nice fighting for the honour of Lady Lavina Attewode.
  • Baron Tiberius Nautius Maximus fighting for the honour of Maeve of Linne Tatha.
  • Baron Fionn Mac Con Dhuibh fighting for the honour of Baroness Molly Schofield.
  • Lord Gawyn O’Clery fighting for the honour of Maeve O’Clery.
  • Lord Corwin Blackthorn fighting for the honour of Lady Solveig Bjornsdottr.
  • Peter de Bracebridge fighting for the honour of Lady Gaeira Aggadottir.
  • Renaud Mauclerc du Dragon Dormant fighting for the honour of Léana Doucet

En Français:  Traduction par Boyarinia Ekaterina Solov’eva Pevtsova

Ce samedi, la Gazette du Royaume de L’Est offrira une couverture limitée du Tournois printanier de la Couronne du Royaume de l’Est. Le format du Tournoi ainsi que la liste des combattants et leurs consorts se trouvent ci-dessous. La couverture du Tournoi par la Gazette ne débutera que pour les demi-finales, l’accès à internet à partir du site étant limité.

Format :

Les rondes se dérouleront jusqu’à ce qu’on atteigne 16 combattants, par double élimination. Les armes seront au choix des combattants jusqu’aux demi-finales. Le gagnant de la demi-finale sera déterminé dans un meilleur de 5 avec des armes différentes à chaque rencontre. Le champion qui n’aura aucune défaite arrivera en finale avec un avantage de 1 point dans la finale. Celle-ci sera déterminée de la même façon que les demi-finales.

Combattants :

• Duc Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon combattra pour l’honneur de la Duchesse Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon.

• Duc Randal of the Dark combattra pour l’honneur de la Duchesse Katherine Stanhope.

• Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Gracia Vasquez de Trillo.

• Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke combattra pour l’honneur de Maitresse Vienna de la Mer.

• Sir Rhys Ravenscroft combattra pour l’honneur de la Vicomtesse Jimena Montoya.

• Sir Marcus Blackaert combattra pour l’honneur de la Baronne Astrid Sigrun Ulfkelsdottir.

• Sir Cedric of Armorica combattra pour l’honneur de Maitresse Brid nic Shearlais.

• Maitre Æthelhawk Keyfinder combattra pour l’honneur de Maitresse Siubhan Wallace.

• Maitre Tiberius Iulius Rufus Primus combattra pour l’honneur de Vopiscus Rufius Donatus.

• Sir Ivan Ivanov syn Dimitriov vynuk Tzardikov combattra pour l’honneur de la Baronne Matilde de Cadenet.

• Sir Ané du Vey combattra pour l’honneur de Maitresse Sylvia de Vey.

• Sir Simon Gwyn combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Tullia Tranquilla.

• Lord William RavenHair combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Ceara Inghean Eoin Mhic Lucais.

• Baron Sigurthr VigurHafn combattra pour l’honneur de la Baronne Medhbh inghean Cheallaigh.

• Baron Duncan Kerr combattra pour l’honneur de Maitresse Eleanor fitzPatrick.

• Baron Matthias Grunwald combattra pour l’honneur de la Baronne Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir.

• Lord Ryouko’jin of Iron-skies combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Indrakshi Aravinda.

• Lord Ulfgeirr Ragnarsson the Nice combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Lavina Attewode.

• Baron Tiberius Nautius Maximus combattra pour l’honneur de Maeve of Linne Tatha.

• Baron Fionn Mac Con Dhuibh combattra pour l’honneur de la Baronne Molly Schofield.

• Lord Gawyn O’Clery combattra pour l’honneur de Maeve O’Clery.

• Lord Corwin Blackthorn combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Solveig Bjornsdottr.

• Peter de Bracebridge combattra pour l’honneur de Dame Gaeira Aggadottir.

• Renaud Mauclerc du Dragon Dormant combattra pour l’honneur de Léana Doucet

Filed under: En français, Uncategorized

Who Owns Me? The Answers

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2016-04-26 13:11

By Caleb Reynolds

The following (the answers to His Excellency’s latest quiz) is a list of the real swords and their real owners:

Tizona – This is one of the swords carried by El Cid. It’s currently on display at the Museo de Burgos in Burgos, Spain.

Durandal – Roland’s sword, as mentioned in the Song of Roland.

Grus – Belonged to Boleslaus the Wrymouthed, also known as Boleslaus III, the 11th century Prince of Poland.

Joyeuse – Charlemagne’s personal sword, on display at the Musée de Cluny in Paris, France. It was also the coronation sword of the kings of France up until Napoleon. (This was a two-fer.)

Legbiter – Magnus Barelegs, otherwise known as Magnus Olafsson, King of Norway at the end of the 11th Century.

Skofnung – Hrólf Kraki, the 6th century Danish King.

Zulfiqar – Ali ibn Abi Talib, who said it was given to him by the prophet Muhammad. Its image was used on banners and flags of the Ottoman Empire.

The Sword of Goujian – Goujian, King of Yue, a state in Ancient China. This bronze sword was discovered in 1965 and dates back to the 6th century BCE.

Curtana – The coronation sword of the monarchs of England, also known as the Sword of Mercy. It is on display along with the British Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

Koryû – Kusunoki Masashige, a 14th century samurai. Koryû means “little dragon.” This is considered one of the national treasures of Japan and can be seen at the Tokyo National Museum.

Dyrnwyn – Rhydderch Hael. Dyrnwyn is Welsh for white hilt; the sword had an ivory hilt.

The Sword in the Stone – San Galgano. This is currently lodged in a stone inside a glass case in a round chapel on top of Montesiepi in Tuscany, Italy.

Dôjigiri Yasutsuna – Minamoto no Yorimitsu, a 10th century samurai. Called Monster Cutter, this tachi is currently housed at Tokyo National Museum.

Murgleys – Ganelon’s sword, as mentioned in the Song of Roland. This was called Mulagir in Germany and was described as having a carbuncle on the pommel.

Lobera – Ferdinand III. Called Wolf Slayer, St. Ferdinand’s sword is currently housed at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See in Seville, Spain.

And the fictional people and swords I added as red herrings?


Damocles was tested by a sword of Dionysius, which apparently did not have a name.

Amir Arsalan – Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar, from Persian legends.

Sigurd – Hrotti was the sword Sigurd claimed from the Dragon Fafnir’s horde, from Norse/German mythology.

Richard Cypher – carried the Sword of Truth, from the fantasy series of the same name.

Michael Moorcook’s sword & sorcery character Elric of Melnibone was cursed to wield the soul-drinking sword Stormbringer.

William Wallace – History does not record if William named his sword. (No, William Wallace was not a fictional person, but he is on this list anyways. Freedom!)

Fergus mac Róich – wielded Caladbolg in Welsh mythology.

Derfel Cadarn – the champion of Dumnonia, in the Arthurian legends, wielded Hywelbane.

Arya Stark, from A Game of Thrones fantasy series, wielded Needle.

Bastian’s sword, from The Neverending Story, was Sikanda.


Narsil – The sword of Elendil, the shards of which were broken and later reforged into Anduril, wielded by Aragorn, son of Arathorn, etc. in the epic fantasy The Lord of The Rings.

The Master Sword – Link’s sword, from the Zelda video game series.

The Vorpal Blade – The sword of Gary Gygax in Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying games… +5 against Jabberwockies!

The Sword of Omens – Lion-O from the cartoon Thundercats.

Shannara – the uber sword from the Sword of Shannara fantasy books.

Fragarach – Sword of Manannan mac Lir in Irish mythology.

Eckesachs – Belonged to the legendary hero Hiebschwert of Germanic legends.

Arondight – Lancelot’s sword of the Arthurian stories.

Gram – Odin’s sword, broken by Sigmund of Norse mythology.

Cthrek Goru – Torak’s sword from The Belgariad fantasy series.

How did you do?

If you took this quiz, then you are a SCAdian. Hooray! You won.

Categories: SCA news sites

Viking longship sets sail for North America

History Blog - Tue, 2016-04-26 06:23

The Draken Harald Hårfagre (Dragon Harald Fairhair, named after the first King of Norway), an ocean-worthy Viking longship, set sail early this morning from Norway on a daring voyage that will retrace the steps of great explorers like Erik the Red and his son Leif Erikson, the first European to cross the Atlantic and set foot on the American continent.

Sponsored by Norwegian businessman Sigurd Aase, construction on the vessel began in 2010 in Haugesund, Norway. It isn’t an exact replica of an extant Viking ship. While replicas of excavated ships have been made, they don’t work very well on the ocean because the originals were burial ships. They could be rowed, but they weren’t meant for the ocean voyages that took the Vikings across half the world. So instead of relying exclusively on archaeological remains, the builders of the Draken Harald Hårfagre combined traditional Norwegian boatbuilding knowledge, a living craft with deep roots going back to the Viking era, with archaeology — the 9th century Gokstad ship was one particular inspiration — and descriptions in the Norse sagas. It is an open clinker-built ship with an oak hull, Douglas fir mast, hemp rigging and a silk sail. At 115 feet long, 27 feet wide with 50 oars and a 3,200-square-foot sail, the Draken Harald Hårfagre is largest Viking ship built in modern times.

The aim from the beginning has been to create an operating Viking ship. That means roughing it in a serious way. There’s no under deck where the crew can rest and take shelter from the elements, just a large tent where 16 people at a time sleep in four hours shifts. The only space underneath the deck is a shallow space just large enough to carry ballast and food. The food is cooked is an open air kitchen on the deck, the ancestor of the galley discovered on the 15th century Dutch cog that was raised earlier this year.

The ship was completed in 2012. The first sea trials were held in the fjords of Norway and after some adjustments were made, it set sail on its maiden overseas voyage in July of 2014 to Wallasey, in Merseyside, northwest England, which has a strong Viking history. The mast broke and the crew had to replace it in Wallasey, but they made it work. After three weeks of repairs, the ship sailed back to Norway via the Isle of Man, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland without a hitch.

All of this was essential practice for the big show: the transatlantic voyage to North America. On April 23rd, the epic voyage was inaugurated with a Dragon’s Head Ceremony in which the dragon head so associated with Viking ships was mounted for the first time.

The dragon’s head is traditionally not mounted until departure for longer journeys and its purpose is to protect the ship and the crew from sea monsters, bad weather, evil creatures and unforeseen raids. The ships mythological head is uncovered in the ceremony, and the great adventure of sailing the historical route from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the USA will be wished fair winds and following seas.

The ceremony was streamed live on YouTube to the delight of history nerds everywhere.

The America Expedition is mind-bogglingly ambitious. Captain Björn Ahlander and a crew of 32 damn hardy men and women selected from 4,000 applicants have embarked on a voyage of 6,000 miles that will taken them to Iceland, Greenland, through the iceberg fields of the North Atlantic to Newfoundland, then to Quebec City, Toronto and into the US via the Great Lakes. The first US port of call will be Fairport, Ohio, and then on to Tall Ship festivals in Bay City, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. Then it will head back east again through the Great Lakes, the canals of New York State to the Hudson River. Yes, a Viking longship will be going through canal locks. The sail is coming down for that part, obviously. After a stop in New York City in September, the Draken Harald Hårfagre will winter at the wonderful Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut.

You can follow the voyage in real time on the expedition’s website and get updates from its Facebook page. If you’re interested in the construction and operation of the ship, check out its fascinating YouTube channel.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Crown Tourney Update: Conditions North of the Wall

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-25 22:46

Photo of Crown Tourney site on April 24

On behalf of Al-Faris Mohammad, autocrat of Spring Crown Tourney

As the noble populace of the East prepare for their journey to the northern reaches of the Kingdom, we would take a moment to remind everyone to bring sturdy footwear and warm clothes to Crown Tourney this weekend.  We currently expect a beautiful sunny day in the low 50 range. (11 degrees for those wishing the Celsius equivalent).  There may be some muddy patches and small banks of snow, but the majority of the site should be dry and free of the grasp off winter.

Photo of Crown Tourney Site on April 16

There were visits to the site both April 16 and 24, and as you can see by pictures, one week does make a big difference.  However, please ensure you are prepared for the elements.  The Inn in heated but Court is planned to be outdoors.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

In Service,

Mistress Tadea Isabetta di Bruno


Filed under: Events Tagged: Crown

Kingdom Youth Champion’s Tourney at War Practice

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-25 21:39

Youth Fighters, pay heed! The Æthelmearc Youth Combat Champions’ Tourney will be held on Saturday, May 21st at Æthelmearc War Practice in the Canton of Steltonwald. Anywhere from one to three Champions will be chosen by Their Majesties, King Byron and Queen Ariella, based on the fighters’ prowess and chivalry. Champions will receive the regalia from the current champions, Karl (Division 1) and Drake (Division 2), and serve as Kingdom Champions until the next tourney is held by Their Majesties’ successors.

Schedule for youth fighting at War Practice:

Saturday morning:

  • 9:00 am – List opens for inspections
  • 9:30 – Authorizations
  • 10:00 – Youth Champion’s Tourney begins
  • 11:00-12:00 – Melees

The Youth Combat list will be on the main battlefield, to the east of the thrown weapons range and alongside Currie Road. Look for a blue pop-up canopy.

For more information on Æthelmearc War Practice, see the Kingdom website.

If you have any questions about youth combat at Æthelmearc War Practice, please contact the Marshal-in-Charge, Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Last spring’s Youth Champions’ tourney. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Categories: SCA news sites

Call for Applicants – Vice President for Information Technology

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-25 12:57

The SCA Inc. seeks applicants for the position of Vice President for Information Technology, for a three-year term beginning October 22, 2016.  This is a part-time volunteer position requiring technical leadership and a commitment of approximately 10-15 hours per week plus availability for emergencies.  The position is reports directly to the President and indirectly to the Vice President of Operations and to the Board of Directors by way of an Ombudsman.

The Vice President for Information Technology (VPIT) leads a team of volunteers who maintain and manage the SCA’s Internet servers for web, email, and related infrastructure services.  The VPIT team manages the SCA’s Internet domains, SSL certificates, the technical aspects of e-commerce clearinghouse services, and similar aspects of the corporation’s online identity.   The VPIT may also lead and direct external paid contractors for specific business critical projects or administrative duties.
Applications for the office will be accepted through July 1, 2016.  Please send both an SCA and modern resume to resumes@sca.org.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Filed under: Corporate, Uncategorized

Sicily goes to London

History Blog - Mon, 2016-04-25 03:34

The British Museum has opened a new exhibition, Sicily: Culture and Conquest, which brings together more than 200 artifacts from 4,000 years of Sicilian history, many of which have never been to the UK before. The exhibition focuses on two time periods when Sicily was at the forefront of art and culture: when it settled by Greek colonists in the 7th century and when it was ruled by Norman kings from 1100 to 1250.

Objects on display include pieces from the British Museum’s collection, other institutions in the UK and elsewhere, and some spectacular pieces on loan from Sicily.

A rare and spectacularly well preserved, brightly painted terracotta altar, dating to about 500 BC, is one of the highlights of the loans coming from Sicily. It shows a scene of an animal combat on the upper tier, while below stand three striking fertility goddesses. The British Museum is also fortunate to be receiving on loan a magnificent terracotta architectural sculpture of a Gorgon, the famous Greek monster, that was once perched on the highest point of a building at Gela in south-east Sicily. Terracotta ornaments were frequently used to decorate the upper levels of buildings on Sicily and are amongst the finest that have survived from the ancient world. Another important Sicilian loan is a rare and iconic marble sculpture of a warrior from ancient Akragas, modern Agrigento. Marble statues were likely to have been commissioned, carved and imported into Sicily from overseas or made by local sculptors, trained in the Greek tradition. Such rare statues decorated major temples or were part of sculptural groups, most of which are long gone.

The pieces from the Norman era emphasize what a cultural crossroads it was. The Normans conquered Muslim Sicily in 1072 and the court took full advantage of the rich well of artistic talent from diverse cultures — Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arabic — who had ruled the island before them. There’s a gold mosaic of the Virgin Mary of Byzantine style which is the sole surviving panel of the mosaics that once adorned Palermo Cathedral (only on display until June 14th), a 16th century copy of a 12th century map made by Arabic cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi for the Norman King Roger II, and a funerary inscription installed by the Christian priest Grisandus for his mother Anna in 1149. It features the eulogy in four different languages (well, three and a half): on top is Arabic written in Hebrew script, the left in Latin, the right in Greek and Arabic in actual Arabic on the bottom. The multilingual approach was common in Norman Sicily, with public inscriptions often written in several languages.

The exhibition runs through August 14th. If you aren’t likely to make it London in time (or even if you are, really), you’ll enjoy this behind the scenes look at some of the more spectacular objects in the exhibition guided by curators Peter Higgs and Dirk Booms.

And now, an avalanche of beautiful pictures.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Brewing in Focus at Siege of Harlech

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2016-04-24 23:14

By Lady Cairdha Eilis O’Coileain

In an amazing and beautiful day, the populace made their way to the castle of Their Majesties, King Byron and Queen Ariella.  Throughout the day, fighters and combat archers clashed in combat while much of the populace looked on in amusement. All enjoyed the fine weather and delicious foods. But, little noticed to some, in a comfortable corner of the great hall gathered several the Kingdom’s brewers. Excited to taste and discuss their work under a condition very few had ever experienced, the brewers sat around a table where no other arts were present to distract from the focus of their craft.

Brewing competition entrants and judges. Lady Ciardha Eilis is in the center. Photo by Baroness Hilderun Hugelmann.

For the first time that I can recall, brewing was the only art in competition at an event. Numerous entries were presented, including beers, wines, meads, and cordials. As Their Majesties joined the round table, they were given considerable information on the ways of judging the brewing arts, the qualities to look for in the variety of beverages, and the differences in the many styles. They responded with much interest and many questions. After a very informative and delightful conversation, His Majesty commented how wonderful it was to be able to focus Their attention on just one thing and not be forced to move quickly on to the next thing.  It made my heart soar to see such interest in an art that I so love, but even more so to be able to spend time with Their Majesties focused on my art, a gift bigger than any other I could imagine. Vivants to our most gracious and beneficent Majesties!

The proceedings were led by Master Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, who was extremely helpful to Their Majesties in explaining judging and sampling.  Entries came from THL Madoc Arundel, THL Jorundr hinn Rotinn, Good Gentle John, one other good gentle, and His Excellency Baron Fergus of Hanna from Atlantia.  THL Madoc submitted three entries; a pyment, a Riesling, and a sage ale. All three were delicious and well received. THL Jorundr submitted a Brunello which was quoted as being “a most excellent and well-rounded Italian red wine.” Good Gentle John, not an active member of the Society but one who supports his wife’s love of our game, submitted two delightful beers, a cream ale and a Belgian brown. His generosity was loved not just by those of us at the table, but many of the fighters as well. Another good gentle submitted three cordials, the most outstanding of which was an apple and peach spiced with cinnamon and clove.  Last, but not least, His Excellency of Highland Forde, Baron Fergus, blew us all away with the most amazingly balanced metheglin many of us have ever tasted.

Baron Fergus is recognized for his spiced mead. Photo by Arianna.

In court, many of the entries were celebrated and acknowledged for their skillful creation and wonderful tastes, but the overall winner was Baron Fergus and his extraordinary mead. It was a wonderful moment for the brewing community to share and be recognized for the beautiful art that it is.

Categories: SCA news sites

Sad Tiding from Æthelmearc

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-04-24 18:48

We are saddened to report the passing of a former citizen of the East Kingdom, Mistress Esperanza Halevi (mka Esther Tucker) in the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands on April 11, 2016.   A detailed memorial article has been published by the Aethelmearc Gazette here: Sad Tidings: Mistress Esperanza Halevi

Filed under: Tidings

From Laurel: Applications for Pelican Sovereign of Arms

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-04-24 11:09

Dame Lillia, Pelican Queen of Arms, is nearing the end of her tenure, which officially ends January 1, 2017. We are beginning the process of seeking a successor for her office. If you are interested, please see the job description below and send a letter of interest and your resumé to bids@heraldry.sca.org and resumes@sca.org by Saturday, June 30, 2016.


If you have questions about the job, please contact Lillia at pelican@heraldry.sca.org or myself at laurel@heraldry.sca.org. Dame Lillia will be available at KWHSS 2016 for questions about the job.


Pelican Sovereign of Arms

The Pelican Sovereign of Arms is an educational deputy of the Laurel Principal Sovereign of Arms, responsible for the consideration of and decisions concerning names submitted for registration by the College of Arms.


Pelican is an unpaid position, currently requiring approximately 20 hours a week. The position requires considerable tact and patience, onomastic knowledge, research and reasoning ability, a clear understanding of the Standards for Evaluation and past Laurel rulings, the ability to write clearly and succinctly, the ability to work within tight deadlines and coordinate closely with Wreath, Laurel and other staff to produce a Laurel Letter of Acceptance and Return monthly, computer literacy and word processing skills, reliable e-mail and telephone access, and time and ability to travel. Access to a good research library is desirable but not required. Given the current structure of the office, a high-speed internet connection is useful but it is not required.


Resumés must be sent in both hard copy to Laurel at the address at the top of this Cover Letter and electronically to bids@heraldry.sca.org and resumes@sca.org.


The electronic applications will be posted on OSCAR with addresses and other contact information stripped from them. Resumés must be received by June 30, 2016 with an expected start date following Pennsic 2016.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Filed under: Heraldry, Official Notices Tagged: heraldry, Laurel Sovereign of Arms

Pikestaff needs Cover Artwork

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-04-24 10:12

We are looking for artwork to grace the cover of upcoming issues of Pikestaff. Any medium that can be reproduced in black and white is acceptable. Size requirement is 7.5″ x 10″. You can include text or it can be added later.

Please contact the East Kingdom Chronicler at chronicler@eastkingdom.org If you are a new or emerging artist, please don’t be shy. We welcome an opportunity to share work by all the artisans in the East Kingdom.

Lady Isabel de Roys

East Kingdom Chronicler

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Pikestaff

Amulet invoking elves and the Trinity found in Denmark

History Blog - Sun, 2016-04-24 06:02

An archaeological excavation in advance of drainage work in Svendborg, a city on the island of Funen in southeastern Denmark, unearthed a medieval amulet invoking both elves and the Triune God of Christianity. It didn’t look like much at first, a small square piece of metal just two centimeters (.8 inches) long and wide, but that’s because it was folded down the short side five times. Once unfolded, it was 13 centimeters (just over five inches) long.

It was discovered on the Møllergade, one of two main roads encircling Svendborg’s old town. Previous excavations of the Møllergade have unearthed layers going back as far as 1150, but the amulet likely dates to the mid-13th century when the road was expanded northward as the city grew. While amulets of this kind have been found elsewhere in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, this is the first one found in Svendborg.

Metallurgic analysis found that the amulet had a high silver content. The piece of metal was painstakingly unfolded, without damaging the surface, and National Museum of Denmark curator Lisbeth Imer, an expert in inscriptions, examined the interior surface of the amulet under a microscope. She found five lines written in lower case Latin characters by someone with a sure hand and an eye for minute detail. The letters are between two and four millimeters high and are interspersed with crosses for added amulet value.

The translated inscription reads:

I charge you Gordan, Gordin and Ingordan, elf men and elf wives and all demons by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and by all of God’s saints, that you do not harm God’s handmaiden Margareta either the eyes or limbs. Amen. You are great in eternity, Lord.

Gordan, Gordin and Ingordan feature on many wood and metal amulets found in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Their significance has long been debated by historians, but several medieval manuscripts refer to them as folkloric figures. The Codex Upsaliensis, written in the first quarter of the 14th century, includes the phrase “I invoke you, elves, Gordin and Ingordin.” Carmina Burana, the manuscript of 254 poems and songs of traditional itinerant performers written in 1230, 24 of which would famously be put to music by Carl Orff in 1936, has a song in which Gordan, Ingordin and Ingordan appear as the villains. It’s the 54th piece, known as CB54, and it reads like a warding spell. I’m posting the whole thing because, simply stated, it’s awesome.

Every kind of demon being –
Come hobbling, come squabbling,
Sightless or unseeing —
Mark well my words, my invocation,
My command, my incantation.

Creatures of all phantom company
Who populate the principality
Of that vile dragon creeping
With venom seeping –
Whose high and mighty fundament
Sweeps full one third the stars’ extent –
Gordan, Ingordin and Ingordan:
By the Seal of Solomon,
Magi the Pharaohs call upon,
I now exorcise you
And substantialize you:
By sages three: Caspar,
Melchior and Balthazar:
By David’s playing
For the allaying
Of Saul’s dismaying
And your gainsaying.

I adjure you
And conjure you
By the mandate of the Lord:
Be unkind not,
Hurt mankind not,
Manifest misericord:
Show but once your faces
And retract your traces
With forsaken races
To hell’s hiding places.

I adjure
I conjure
By that awesome
By that fearsome
That gruesome Judgement Day,
When unending punishment
And horror and dismay
And unbounded banishment
Shall drive demonkind
Into damnation
But shrive humankind
Unto salvation.

By that same unnamed, unsaid,
That unutterably dread
Tetragrammaton of God:
Fall to fear and trembling
As to disassembling
I now exorcise
Spectres: demons: ghosts: hobgoblins:
Satyrs: sirens: hamadryads
Nightmares: incubi and
Shades of the departed –
Flee to ruination,
Chaos and damnation,
Lest your foul conflation
Rend Christ’s congregation.

From all our enemies, good Lord, deliver us.

It’s a great example of how Christianity interpreted traditional folk beliefs and ancient religions as a direct threat to the souls and unity of its believers. I imagine Archbishop Gregory II of Agrigento spoke an incantation like this when he cast out the two demons/previous deities from the temple before he converted it into a church, only that was in the late 6th, early 7th century when the corpse of Greco-Roman polytheism was still fresh. Denmark only converted to Christianity in the 10th century, however, so while satyrs, sirens and hamadryads may have been thin on the ground so far up north, elves and trolls were very much in the picture when this song was sung and written down.

Amulets provide fascinating glimpses into the long transition. The practice of invoking elves, demons and other assorted types from folklore like giants and trolls dates back to the Iron Age and is consistent even as the dominant religions change. In runic amulets from the Viking era, these creatures appeared next to the gods Thor and Odin. The wearer asked the gods for protection from disease or misfortune as incarnated by the characters from folklore. Once Christianity was established, the old gods were replaced with the new one and His scriptural support staff, but the structure of the invocation remained the same: a prayer asking a deity to prevent evil from befalling a person by calling out the scoundrel types who would do them harm. If said evil has a name, it can be contained and dispelled. Exorcising by substantializing, as CB54 puts it.

Svendborg was growing rapidly in the 13th century, and large-scale Christian structures were constructed in the burgeoning market town. The Church of Our Lady was built then, as was the Franciscan monastery. The Church of St. Nicholas, originally built of stone in the mid-12th century, was expanded and reconstructed in brick in the 1200s. Institutional growth can’t necessarily speak to the experience of the individual, however. The amulet bridges that gap.

The Svendborg amulet gives a rare insight into how ordinary citizens used Christianity in their daily lives. Long has it been known that the clergy forces were strong in contemporary Svendborg, and now there is also evidence that the faith among ordinary people was strong, says [Svendborg Museum archaeologist] Allan Dørup Knudsen:

“Our knowledge of the townspeople and their daily life in the Middle Ages is unfortunately very limited, but through this amulet we get very close to Margareta and can feel her suffering and prayers for a good and disease free life.”

The amulet has also conferred on Margareta a very cool kind of immortality: she is now the oldest known female resident of Svendborg.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Reflections on the Order of Defense’s First Year

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2016-04-23 22:43

As of May 1st it will have been a year since the creation of the Society’s first Masters of Defense. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope interviewed Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, Master Quinn Kerr, Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne, and Master Iago Benitez to get their thoughts on the order one year on.

How do you think the creation of the Order of Defense has influenced the rapier community and the Society as a whole? What, if anything, has changed since it was implemented?

Dorinda: There is a sense of joy that is difficult to describe.  People still fence and teach and serve, just like before, but the sting of being “ancillary” has greatly faded.

Quinn: I didn’t really expect changes, and didn’t know what it would do, so I was surprised at the impact across the board. Fencers have become more eager, and have been pushing their limits more.

Iago: It’s also been refreshing for long-time fencers. This group includes people who never had a peerage before and it’s really special.

Illadore: There’s been a lot of excitement – for instance, at Gulf Wars’ Opening Ceremony, the MODs and some vigilants from across the SCA gathered and there was a whole lot of love for the order. We feel so much more a part of the SCA now. As Dorinda noted, fencing used to be called an “ancillary” activity, but now it feels more like an integral part of the Society. MOD vigils have become huge affairs involving whole Kingdoms, which is glorious to see.

What has been the biggest challenge for you since becoming an Master of Defense (MOD)?

Illadore: Living up to expectations – both the Society’s expectations as a whole and my own. But on a more practical level, finding white livery collars is hard. There don’t seem to be merchants making them, and there’s a lot of variability of design across the Society. I ordered my personal collar custom-made from Billy and Charlie’s.

Dorinda: The most difficult thing about being a MoD is living up to it.  (I swear I did not copy Illadore’s paper!)

Duchess Dorinda with the first MOD pie, made for her by Master Urho Walterrinen. Photo by Lady Fiora d’Artusio.

How well are the MODs throughout the Society connected? Are they in agreement about what the traditions should be around the order? How have you seen traditions vary across Kingdoms? For instance, Master Urho Walterrinen seems to have single-handedly created a tradition here for pie on the MOD’s receiving a Writ or going on vigil….

Illadore: (Laughs) Yes, we have pie in Æthelmearc thanks to Urho. I’ve also been trying to make a tradition of MODs wearing white garters, which I’m helping along by knitting them for new members. The first vigilants for the MOD gathered on a private Facebook group to discuss what our traditions should be. There were a lot of strong personalities but no consensus on some things, like what to call our students or what symbols we should use to distinguish them. Although the order is pretty well established at this point, the MODs still talk both within and between Kingdoms.

Dorinda: The MoD’s have been connected since the second writs were announced.  We talk often online, and meet at major interkingdom events. No, we do not agree on all traditions (such as what to call students or what to have them wear), but we are united in wanting this Order to be something worthy of the fencing community and the Crowns who elevated us.

How has your elevation influenced your relationship with any cadets you have? Have you “promoted” them to a different role? 

Illadore: I am still in discussions with my cadets about what they want from me and what they want our relationship to be. I also don’t think its “promoted” – I think it’s a sign of what kind of relationship you have with that person, just like a red belt signifies that relationship between a knight and a squire. For regalia, some have used blue or red collars for their students. I call my students Scholars, and they wear red collars.

Dorinda: Through careful planning (ahem) I arranged to have no students at the time I was elevated to the Order. Problem solved. If I do take a student, I am leaning towards a blue collar and calling them a Scholar, but that could change.

What do you think the implementation of the MOD by the Crowns was done well, both in AEthelmearc and across the SCA? What could have been done better?

Dorinda: I think the Crowns of the Known World have done a marvelous job in elevating the people who have made the fencing community what it is today. They have done so in a measured way that has allowed each Kingdom to develop its traditions, and to honor each candidate in an appropriate way. The only thing I would hope people remember is that “They are not done.” Some people wonder why this person or that has not been elevated yet. The key word is “yet.”  Many kingdoms have unrecognized MoDs, but the order in which they are elevated is not what is important. Be patient, and their day will come.

Quinn: Our royalty have been excellent. They’ve understood that the first dozen or so members of the order would have a tremendous impact and have been choosing carefully.

Iago: They were smart in the people they chose to elevate, making sure that the first few were spread geographically throughout the Kingdom so they were accessible to most of the fencing populace.

Illadore: The BoD was smart to limit the Crowns to making three MODs before consulting with the order, too.  Knowing that the order supports you makes the new MODs’ elevations better. In the West, they polled all of the White Scarves to see who that order thought the first three MODs should be and in what order they should be elevated. That the White Scarves chose me as Principal actually meant more to me than the elevation itself. In 2014 the Western White Scarves met in expectation that the BoD would create the MOD, and voted not to advise the Crown on who should be elevated unless they were ordered to do so – which they were.

How has the relationship between the MOD and the White Scarves developed? Has the Order of the White Scarf changed since the creation of the MOD? Some Kingdoms actually closed their White Scarf orders, though Æthelmearc did not.

Dorinda: Perhaps the White Scarves should answer this.  All I will say is that the White Scarves have not backed down from their tradition of leading the fencing community and serving her needs and the needs of those who have joined us recently. I believe the MoDs and the White Scarves are working as a team to keep the community growing and thriving.

Mistress Illadore, Master Iago, and Master Quinn. Photo by Arianna.

Categories: SCA news sites

New SCA Society President

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-04-23 22:41

After many years of service, Leslie Vaughn (Baronessa Isabeau della Farfalla) will step down as President of the SCA.  John Fulton (Duke John the Bearkiller) will replace her as President.

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