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Kings And Queen’s Rapier Champions: Queen’s Champion Named

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 17:41

Lord Thomas of Effingham was chosen by Her Majesty Avelina as her Queen’s Champion of Fence.


Filed under: Fencing Tagged: fencing, Kings and Queens Champion, rapier, rapier champions

King’s And Queen’s Fencing: New King’s Champion of Fence: Don Donovan Shinnock

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 16:01

Don Donovan Shinnock won the tournament and the title of King’s Champion of Fence.

Don Donovan beats Lord Lucien to win the title of King’s Champion of Fence

The finals between Lord Lucien de Wyntere and Don Donovan Shinnock were decided from the best of 5 bouts. The match went all 5 bouts, with Donovan taking the first, Lucien the next two, and Donovan the last 2. Each round was a different, matched weapons form.

The Gazette thanks Raziya Bint Rusa, Martyn de Halliwell, and Tola knityr for updates and photos throughout the day.

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: Kings and Queens Champions, rapier, rapier champions

King’s And Queen’s Rapier Champions: Finals

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 15:47

Don Donovan Shinnock will fight Lord Lucien de Wyntere in a best 3 out of 5 match to determine the King’s Rapier Champion.

Donovan and Lucien face off in an earlier round -photo by Tola

Gryffith vs. Brokk -photo by Tola








The Gazette thanks Raziya Bint Rusa, Martyn de Halliwell, and Tola Knityr for updates and photos throughout the day.

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions

King’s and Queen’s Rapier: Final Six and Final Four

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 15:32

Gryffith Davion vs. Donovan Shinnock -taken by Tola

Thomas vs. Andre -Taken by Tola








At the Final Six:

In the undefeated list:

  • Lord Lucien de Wyntere
  • Don Donovan Shinnock

In the 1 defeat list

  • Mistress Xandra Rozina
  • Lord Brokk Jarlson
  • Lord Thomas of Effingham
  • Don Gryffith Davion

And down to Four:

  • Lord Lucien de Wyntere
  • Don Donovan Shinnock
  • Don Gryffith Davion
  • Lord Brokk Jarlson

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions

King’s and Queen’s Rapier: Final 8

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 15:00

Thomas vs. Orlando photo by Tola knityr







  • Lord Lucien de Wyntere
  • Don Ogedei Becinjab
  • Don Andre L’Epevier
  • Mistress Xandra Rozina
  • Lord Brokk Jarlson
  • Lord Thomas of Effingham
  • Don Gryffith Davion
  • Don Donovan Shinnock

Ogedei vs. Christopher -photo by Tola knityr


The Gazette thanks Raziya Bint Rusa, Martyn de Halliwell, and Tola knityr for updates and photos throughout the day.

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions

King’s And Queen’s Fencing: Round 3 Update

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 14:44


After the first 2 rounds of the double elimination tourney, the following fencers are still in contention for the title of King’s Champion of Fence:

  • Lucien de Wyntere
  • Ogedei Becinjab
  • Andre
  • Orlando Sforza
  • Xandra Rozina
  • Brokk Jarlson
  • Borujin Acilaldae
  • Thomas of Effingham
  • Gryffith Davion
  • Brendan
  • Christopher Serpentius
  • Donovan Shinnock

The Gazette thanks Raziya Bint Rusa, Martyn de Halliwell, and Tola knityr for updates and photos throughout the day.

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions, rapier

King’s And Queen’s Rapier Champions: Sweet 16

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 14:29

On this last Saturday in March, 80 of our kingdom’s fencers vied for the titles of King’s and Queen’s Champions of Fence. In rapier, the King’s Champion title is held by the winner of the tourney, and the Queen’s Champion is chosen by Her Majesty, for courtesy and valor throughout the tourney.

The format for today’s tourney can be found in detail on the rapier announcements site.

The first round was fought in the following manner: 2 fencing bouts per pairing. The first bout fought using offensive weapons forms (Two rapiers, 2 handed rapier, rapier and dagger) and the second bout fought using defensive weapons forms (Rapier and buckler, Rapier and cloak, or single rapier with off hand if it is the only authorized form) Double kills were refought once, with a second double kill deemed a death for both combatants. The fights were scored using the following points system:

  • 4 points for winning both bouts
  • 3 points for winning offensive form bout only
  • 2 points for winning defensive form bout only
  • 0 points for losing both bouts

The top 16 fencers advanced to a double elimination tourney using a similar format, with best out of three instead of 2. The third bout was single rapier only. Each pairing could choose which order to fight the three forms in.

Advancing to the sweet sixteen were, in order of first fight:

The fencers who qualified for the final 16, both those who advanced, and those who declined to advance. -Photo by Martyn de Haliwell

  • Sorcha
  • Lord Lucien de Wyntere
  • Don Ogedei Becinjab
  • Don Andre L’Epevier
  • Don Orlando Sforza
  • Mistress Xandra Rozina
  • Lord William d’eth
  • Lord Brokk Jarlson
  • Lady Borujin Acilaldae
  • Lord Thomas of Effingham
  • Don Gryffith Davion
  • Lord Melchior Krievel
  • Lord Brendan Firebow
  • Baron Christopher Serpentius
  • Master Thomas de Castellan
  • Don Donovan Shinnock

(The Gazette is happy to update these with full names and titles, )



The Gazette thanks Raziya Bint Rusa, Martyn de Halliwell, and Tola knityr for updates and photos throughout the day.

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions, Kings and Queens Champions, rapier

The basilica under the lake

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-03-29 14:21

The foundations of a 5th century Byzantine basilica have been discovered beneath the waters of Lake İznik near Bursa in northwest Turkey. The discovery was revealed by aerial photosgraphs. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Event Announcement: Carolingian Family Day

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-03-29 13:47

Join the Barony of Carolingia (northeastern Massachusetts) for a day full of activities for all ages on May 3rd. Spend the day trying out all the Society has to offer for our younger members, from youth combat to classes on all manners of arts and sciences, from dancing and music to thrown weapons. There will be equestrian activities, youth fencing, archery, and much more.

Come meet other parents with children around your child’s age with parent and child meet and greets, bring the garb your children have outgrown to swap with other parents, and enjoy a sumptious dayboard of kid-friendly treats prepared by Ulf and Justinius, under the supervision of Fergus Redmeade.

Teens and Tweens! Come learn to make cheese, help out in the kitchen, or work gate. Have a skill you know how to do? Come teach it to younger kids. Bring the Arts and Sciences project you are working on to display, learn a new skill in one of our classes or pick up a new martial art.

If you would like to teach a class, please contact Baroness Leonete. You do not need a background check or specific experience teaching children in order to teach, and we are happy to help you adapt your class for the younger set. We are especially looking for those under 18 willing to teach.

More information can be found at the event announcement or on the Facebook Event Page.

Feel free to crosspost this announcement

Yours in Service,

Baroness Leonete D’Angely

Lord Hrut Skumsonnur

Filed under: Events Tagged: archery, Carolingia, classes, fencing, thrown weapons, Youth, youth combat

Excavations at Cardigan Castle reveal part of original structure

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-03-29 09:50

Wales' Cardigan Castle, built in the late 12th century, was the site of recent excavations by NPS Archaeology revealing a section of the structure dating to the 1170s. Archaeologists also found over 9,000 artifacts including medieval pottery and rusted arrowheads. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Piece of cake from 1924 Vanderbilt wedding found

History Blog - Fri, 2014-03-28 23:48

A 90-year-old piece of cake from the wedding of Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt to John Francis Amherst Cecil on April 29, 1924, has been rediscovered and donated to the Biltmore House collection. The small sliver of fruitcake, that most enduring of cake varietals, was found by Frederick Cochran when he was going through a trunk he inherited from his aunt Bonnie Revis, formerly a cook at Biltmore House. It was in a tiny beige box stamped “Biltmore House” on the lid.

Cochran looked inside and saw what he thought was a piece of cheese (fruitcake looks cheesy after a century, it seems). He called Biltmore House and reported his find. Biltmore Museum Services collections manager Laura Overbey went to Cochran’s home to examine the artifact and bring it back to the great estate in Asheville, North Carolina. She recognized the box from the two distinctive monograms on either side of the “Biltmore House” on the lid as those of Cornelia Vanderbilt and John F. A. Cecil, which marked the box and its contents as originating at their huge society wedding.

As far as she knew, however, there was no cheese gifting at the Vanderbilt-Cecil wedding. It wasn’t until she overheard a couple of conversations that she was able to put the pieces together.

Back at Biltmore, one of Overbey’s coworkers happened to be talking about “how a friend had found a piece of Grover Cleveland’s wedding cake” — and she realized what she likely had in the pretty little box. Even more coincidental, as she walked into the office of her director, Ellen Rickman, to tell her the news, she heard an oral history to which Rickman was listening, about Cornelia’s nuptials.

“Right as I was coming in the door, this gentleman (on the recording) is saying he remembers getting a small box of fruitcake for the wedding,” Overbey said. Thus it was that an interview done in 1989 helped a collections manager in 2014 to identify a piece of cake from 1924.

In the interview, an elderly Paul Towe, whose father worked at Biltmore in the 1920s and ’30s, recalled attending Cornelia’s wedding as a small boy. His sister, Sarah, was a flower girl, and he remembered that “everybody got a little white box with their name on it with a piece of fruitcake.”

That would explain why Bonnie Revis had a sliver of the cake, because it was widely distributed to all the staff and attendants, and she was cook from 1924 to 1935 (coincidentally almost exactly the duration of the Vanderbilt-Cecil marriage). Cornelia’s late father George Vanderbilt (grandson of railroad magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt) and her mother Edith Stuyvesant Dresser were deeply involved in the Asheville community and employed hundreds of people at the estate. When Cornelia, only child of George and Edith, married the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil, third son of Lord Cecil and the Baroness Amherst of Hackney, direct descendant of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer, the entire town assembled outside All Souls’ Church to watch the couple and 1,000 guests arrive and depart.

Many workers at the Biltmore Estate were guests or actually part of the wedding. When the newlyweds left the church arm in arm after the ceremony, they and the wedding party walked through an arch of crossed flowering branches held by 44 children of Biltmore Estate staff. The youngest, Polly Ann Flower, greeted them at the end of the arch wearing a little white Cupid outfit.

There are no records surviving of what kind of wedding cake was served, but fruitcake was traditionally the groom’s cake, so it’s like this sliver was carved off John Cecil’s cake rather than whatever massive confection served as the primary wedding cake. It was made by Rauscher’s, identified by a stamp inside the bottom of the box, a bakery in Washington, D.C. George and Edith had a home on K Street in D.C., and Cornelia was staying there when she met Cecil. He was ten years older than her and an accomplished diplomat. When they met in 1923, he was the first secretary at the British Embassy and part of a group of highly eligible men known in D.C. society as the “British Bachelors.” Cornelia and John hit it off right away, announcing their engagement just a few months after they met.

John Cecil resigned his position before the wedding, choosing instead to focus on the management of the Biltmore Estate. It became his life-long vocation. He continued to live at and manage Biltmore until his death in 1954, twenty years after his divorce from Cornelia. She, on the other hand, got married to an English banker in 1949 and moved to England where she spent the rest of her life. John and Cornelia’s sons took over management of the estate after John’s death, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil running Biltmore Farms (the successful dairy farm branch), his younger brother William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil taking on the Biltmore Estate, including the house and vinyards he planted. Their children manage the estate today.

As for the piece of cake, it is now in the freezer, for historical rather than culinary preservation purposes. It is still inside its original gift box, protected by several nested Ziploc bags.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-03-28 17:17

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Youth battle in Concordia of the Snows

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-03-28 13:46

Gavin Haley is the youth champion in the Northeast, in the East Kingdom. He, along with his comrades do battle each week, under the watchful eyes of his dad, Don “Asgar” Haley, as part of the youth combat program of the SCA groups Barony of Concordia of the Snows (based out of Albany, New York) and the Shire of Glenn Lynn. Eric Jenks of the Saratogian has the story.

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Categories: SCA news sites

"Cradle of the law" to display Magna Carta

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-03-28 08:17

In 1214, English barons met in Suffolk to discuss King John and the Magna Carta, a year before it was signed in Surrey. Now the Bury Society will celebrate the event with a display of an original copy of the document at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Christian tattoo found on 8th c. Sudanese mummy

History Blog - Thu, 2014-03-27 23:11

Researchers have discovered a unique Christian tattoo on the inner thigh of a mummy unearthed in a cemetery along the banks of the Nile in Sudan nine years ago. The woman, who was 5’2″ tall and between 20 and 35 years old at the time of her death, was wrapped in a linen and wool shroud and buried around 700 A.D. The arid heat of the desert naturally mummified her, preserving some soft tissues like skin and internal organs. The skin of her inner thigh is so well preserved that the ink is still visible to the naked eye, but it’s quite faint. It wasn’t until last year when the mummy was given a CT scan at a London hospital and photographed with infra-red reflectography that British Museum archaeologists were able to identify the tattoo as a monogram of the letters Μιχαήλ, meaning Michael.

This is an exceptionally rare find. It’s the first tattoo of any kind found from this period in the Nile Valley. Michael was the patron saint of Christian medieval Sudan, so his name is invoked frequently in inscriptions. The monogram, which stacks the letters of Michael’s name so it looks almost like an upside angel, has been found engraved on stele and in graffiti on churches from that time, but this is the first tattoo of the symbol ever discovered.

The purpose of the tattoo is, of course, unknown, since the only person who could tell us has been dead for 1,300 years. I imagine it had much the same purpose as religious iconography has in tattoos today: expressing reverence, faith, or asking for the intercession of the saint. It could also have been a protective invocation, in the same way that words from the Christian gospels were used to ward off evil in the 12th century Makurian crypt found at the archaeological site of Old Dongola, Sudan.

I wasn’t able to found out where precisely she was discovered — the Nile runs through all of modern Sudan and there are many archaeological sites along its banks — but my best guess is that it was one of the Merowe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project excavations which focused on several medieval Christian cemeteries threatened by the construction of a dam at the Fourth Cataract (the most impassable of the Nile’s rapids). The opening scene in the Telegraph’s video looks like the Fourth Cataract where the rapids have carved out several small islands, some of which have Christian cemeteries. If that is the location, it’s south of Old Dongola, but still in the Kingdom of Makuria.

It is not clear who did the tattoo in ancient Sudan, and whether it was visible to other natives.

High up on her inner thigh, it may or may not have been out of view. And for all its scientific expertise, the British Museum admits to being unclear as to what exactly was the fashionable length of skirt worn by an ordinary Nile dwelling female in AD 700.

I don’t see her inner thigh tattoo being designed for public display. It seems like a deliberately private location no matter how short skirts may have been in Sudan 1,300 years ago. It’s going to be on public display now, though. This mummy is the youngest of eight from various periods in the Nile Valley that will be features in the British Museum’s Ancient Lives: New Discoveries. The show runs from May 22nd through November 30th and will use interactive technology to tell the stories of these eight people’s lives and deaths.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Bardic Champions Finals – Laughs and Lyricism

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-03-27 20:03

Lord Martyn, New King’s Champion. Photo by Lord Hugh Tauerner

Laughter from the audience and applause filled the Bardic champions event throughout the competition, but particularly during the finals.  The crowded field was narrowed down to six performers, who were given challenges to perform in the final round by the Royalty.  The final six are listed below with links to videos of their final round performances courtesy of Mistress Sol la Cantor.  Many of the performances before the finals were wildly popular with the audience and can be viewed on YouTube also courtesy of Mistress Sol.

Lord Martyn de Halliwell (King’s Champion)A Story of Flames and Salamanders

Mistress Aife, New Queen’s Champion. Photo by Lord Hugh Tauerner

Mistress Aife ingen Chonchobair (Queen’s Champion)For the Alliance of King Kenric of the East and King Savaric of the Midrealm

Her Excellency Baroness Emma Makilmone- An Ode to Mead

Countess Marguerite ingen LachlainnA Short Speech on the Value of Temperance

Mistress Sol la Cantor- Quand je bois du vin clairet

Lady Isabeau d’OrleansRicecare by Orlando di Lassus

Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: Bardic, bardic champions, King and Queen's Champions

Illuminated almanac: 15th century iPad?

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-03-27 17:34

The Wellcome Library has acquired a rare medical almanac, a "combined calendar, astrological chart and medical textbook," that compacts into a small, folded strip, for UK£100,000 from the Edith Sitwell collection. The illuminated alamnac is believed to have been produced in an English workshop in the early 15th century. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Seathrun MagAoinghous placed on vigil in Calontir

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:04

Mathurin reports that at Their February 15, 2014 Chieftains event in the Barony of Three Rivers, Their Majesties Martino and Ariel, of the Kingdom of Calontir, placed HL Seathrun MagAoinghous on vigil to contemplate elevation to the order of the Laurel.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Northshield Photo Gallery Shutdown Notice

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-03-27 11:18

After considerable deliberation, procrastination, and vacillation, Mistress Elashava and I have come to the conclusion that the Unofficial Northshield Gallery that I've hosted for nearly a decade is no longer a viable concern.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Pharaoh Claudius erects pole for fertility god

History Blog - Wed, 2014-03-26 23:47

Researchers from Swansea University in Wales and the KU Leuven University in Belgium have identified a carving of Roman emperor Claudius as a pharaoh participating in an ancient ritual for the fertility god Min on the western wall of the temple of Shanhur about 12 miles north of Luxor. The temple dates to the Roman era. It was first built as a temple to Isis under Augustus but the carvings on the western and eastern exterior walls, 36 on each, were all done during the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.).

The carvings were first exposed during an archaeological excavation in 2000-2001. Before that they had been covered by a mound of soil that obscured and protected the exterior temple walls, leaving the carvings in excellent condition. In the decade or so since they lost the protection of the mound, the carvings, made on lower grade limestone that is highly susceptible to erosion, have unfortunately been weathered so they’re much harder to make out now. The Swansea-KU Leuven team began recording and translating the exterior wall carvings in 2010.

It’s scene 123 on the western wall that is the stand-out piece, both in terms of preservation and historical significance. It depicts Claudius doing the ritual of the raising of the pole for Min, the Egyptian god of fertility and power. This ritual is ancient, going back 4,300 years to the Old Kingdom, which we know from the 32 extant scenes of the pole-raising that have been found. What makes this one so special is not just the involvement of Clau-Clau-Claudius (if you haven’t seen I, Claudius, please do so immediately; there will be a test), but the fact that the inscriptions include a precise date when this particular ritual took place. It’s the only one of the 32 that does.

The scene shows Claudius garbed in pharaonic regalia. He wears a complex crown known as the “Roaring One” made out of three rushes embellished by sun discs and solarized falcons. The rushes are flanked by ostrich feathers and perched on ram horns. He carries two ceremonial staffs in his left hand and a scepter in his right. The accompanying inscription identifies him and dates the ritual:

King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Tiberios Klaudios
Son of Ra, Lord of the Crowns, Kaisaros Sebastos Germanikos Autokrator
Raising the pole of the tent/cult chapel for his father in month 2 of the smw-season (Payni), day 19.

Min stands across from Claudius, facing him. He holds a flail and wears a double feather crown with sun disc. As is customary for this fertility god, he also sports a magnificent erection. Behind him is his cult chapel and between him and Claudius eight men enact the ritual by climbing four poles propped against a central a pole topped by a crescent moon.

The inscriptions and iconography suggest that by performing this ritual, Claudius assumes the formidable characteristics of Min:

[Words spoken by Min (or Min-Ra)… Lord of?] Coptos, Lord of Panopolis (Akhmim), who is on top of his stairway,
[…] King of the gods, strong sovereign, who captures
[…] who roars when he rages, lord of fear,
[…] the one who brings into control the warhorses, whose fear is in the Two Lands,
[…] about whose beauty one boasts, who inflicts terror/scares away with his strength.

He’s not roaring with rage at Claudius, though, thanks to the pole-raising. By executing the ritual, Claudius keeps the cult of Min alive and asserts his power over “the (southern) foreign lands” which, according to the inscription, Min gives to him.

The inclusion of a date indicates that this ritual event actually happened, although Claudius himself was not present in person. He never went to Egypt. A priest probably acted as his proxy, something that was common even in the pharaonic era since the king couldn’t possibly be present for every ritual.

There’s another Claudius-Min ritual carved in the exterior eastern wall. In this one Claudius makes an offering of lettuce to Min and Horus the Child. The lettuce symbolizes Egypt’s crops which will be made abundant thanks to Min and his prodigious endowment.

[Take for] you the lettuce (|‘n) in order to unite it with your body (or phallus) and lettuce in order to make procreative [your] phallus

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Categories: Arts and Sciences, History