Feed aggregator

New Harriet Tubman photo found in 1860s album

History Blog - Thu, 2017-02-09 00:59

A previously unknown photograph of Harriet Tubman has been found in a carte-de-visite album compiled in the 1860s. She is seated, immaculately clad in a gingham skirt and dark shirt with gathered sleeves. It was taken shortly after the Civil War, between 1865 and 1868, and captures a younger, less care-worn Harriet than she is usually pictured.

[Historian and Tubman biographer Dr. Kate Clifford] Larson said that in her 20 years of researching Tubman, she’s been sent dozens of photos of black women by people claiming to have discovered a new image of the soon-to-be face of the $20 bill. But not one has actually depicted Tubman, Larson said.

On the other hand, she continued, she knew it was Tubman in Swann Galleries’ photo as soon as she saw it.

“There’s no doubt in my mind about the provenance of the photo and that it is Tubman,” she said. “I had never run across it.”

The album belonged to Emily Howland, an abolitionist and educator from a prominent Quaker family in Sherwood, New York, whose childhood home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. She taught at schools for free blacks in the late 1850s, and during the Civil War taught freed slaves and the children of slaves to read and write in the contraband camps of Union-occupied Virginia. After the war she donated land and founded dozens of freedmen’s schools in multiple states.

Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 when she was in her 20s and spent the next two decades dedicated to the abolitionist cause in the most dangerous, hands-on way. She personally risked her life returning to Maryland no fewer than 13 times to free 70 of her families members and other slaves, guiding them up north over the Underground Railroad to safety, which after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made the north almost as terrifying a place for escaped slaves as the south, often meant Ontario. Abolitionist journalist William Lloyd Garrison nicknamed her “Moses” because she led her people out of slavery. During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was a Union Army scout, spy and guide of the successful Union raid on Combahee Ferry, South Carolina, which liberated 750 slaves. After the war, she worked several jobs to support her family, gave extensively to charity though she had very little, and was a tireless advocate for women’s suffrage.

Tubman moved to Auburn, New York, in 1859 where she bought land from Senator William Henry Seward, future Secretary of State under Lincoln and engineer of the Alaska purchase under Johnson. The Sewards were part of a tightly knit network of abolitionists in Cayuga County, Emily Howland among them, and Harriet and Emily soon met. They became life-long friends, and worked together in the suffragist movement. Harriet Tubman died in 1913 at around 90 years of age. Emily Howland lived to cast her first vote in the 1920 election at the age of 92 after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. She lived almost another decade after that, passing away in 1929 at the age of 102.

The album has 44 pictures of prominent figures, including two of Tubman (the other is a very well-known full-length portrait of Harriet standing with her hands on a roll-back chair taken by Harvey B. Lindsley in the early to mid-1870s) and one of John Willis Menard, the first African-American elected to Congress in 1868. He would have represented Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district had he ever been seated, but his opponent, Caleb Hunt, lodged a challenge contesting Menard’s right to be seated which was ultimately decided by the full House of Representatives in neither’s favor. The black man was too black and the other guy didn’t even bother to show up, so they voted both of them down and left the seat vacant.

The new photograph goes under the hammer at Swann Auction Galleries in New York City on March 30th. The carte-de-visite album will be sold in its entirety, including the pictures of Tubman and John Willis Menard. The pre-sale estimate is $20,000 to $30,000.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Board of Directors Announces Position Opening: Corporate Treasurer

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-02-09 00:34

The message below was published Tuesday, February 7th via the SCA Board of Directors Announcements email list (announcements@lists.sca.org)

The Board of Directors is accepting applications for the position of Corporate Treasurer.  This is a part-time, stipend position, which requires approximately 5-10 hours per week except when finalizing the yearly budget.

Applicants must be available for at least the October quarterly Board Discussion Session (typically held on Friday), in addition to the October Board meeting (typically on Saturday).  Additional traveling may be required.

Skills:

1)  Working knowledge of basic financial spreadsheet program (QuickBooks or other);

2)  Experience with managing budgets and financial forecasting, including tracking and analyzing variances;

3)  Basic suite of office communication skills – spreadsheets, presentations, Word, etc.

4)  Preference for degree in accounting or finance.

Duties of the Treasurer

Maintain knowledge of the organization and personal commitment to its goals and objectives.

Work with the Society Exchequer, the Vice President for Corporate Operations and the outside accountant to ensure all financial filings are maintained.

Work with the Society Exchequer to ensure that our relationships with third party financial vendors (i.e. banks) are maintained.

Understand financial accounting for nonprofit organizations.

Work with the President and the Vice President of Corporate Operations to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the Board on a timely basis.

Prepare and present the annual budget to the Board of Directors.

Develop and maintain internal control policies, guidelines, and procedures for activities such as budget administration.

Work with the Society Exchequer, President and the Vice President of Corporate Operations to maintain and improve internal control policies, guidelines and procedures for PayPal.

Analyze the financial details of past, present, and expected operations in order to identify development opportunities and areas where improvement is needed.

Evaluate needs for procurement of funds and investment of surpluses, and make appropriate recommendations.

Ensure development and broad review of financial policies and procedures.

Maintain current knowledge of organizational policies and procedures, federal and state policies and directives, and current accounting standards.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, together with modern and SCA qualifications, via hardcopy to:

Renee Signorotti
Society for Creative Anachronism
PO Box 360789
Milpitas, CA  95036-0789

Courtesy copies should be provided via email to:
resumes@sca.org
treasurer@sca.org.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017.
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: Announcements, Corporate Tagged: corporate, corporate announcements

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #17: You Won’t Believe How They Went!

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-08 16:49

Our seventeenth A&S Research Paper takes a turn to the lighthearted, and comes to us from Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe of the Barony of Carolingia. She offers a tabloids-eye view of some of the more ghastly deaths of the medieval period – not necessarily to be considered for our lunchtime readers! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

You Won’t Believe How They Went! Five Strange and Terrible Medieval Ends

Who is this? Read on to find out the unbelievable truth!

Nothing in his life / Became him like the leaving it.
– Wm. Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), I.iv.

A person can achieve historical notoriety in many ways; brave deeds, terrible deeds, happy or cruel accidents of birth and geography, or even a greatly distinctive appearance. But one certain way to be remembered for posterity is to die in some memorable fashion. Today, the East Kingdom Gazette brings you five tabloid stories from history, wherein we learn of some of the more notorious exits of the Middle Ages. Please note that some are quite gruesome!

(NB: Like all good stories, these have been embroidered in the telling and the recollection. We have endeavored to provide the true tale in every case.)

Contents
Sigurd Eyesteinsson – Karma Bites Back
Martin of Aragon – No Laughing Matter
The Bal des Ardents – Practice Safe Cosplay!
Hugh Despenser – There’s No Outsmarting A Wolf
Charles of Navarre – The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Sigurd Eyesteinsson – Karma Bites Back

Sigurd (? – 892) was the Earl of Orkney in the latter half of the ninth century. Known as Sigurd the Mighty, he was a fearsome figure in the conquest of those northern Scottish isles by the Norwegian Harold Fair-hair. During one of the episodes of that invasion, Sigurd challenged a local chieftain, Maelbrigd the Buck-Toothed, to a battle with forty men on a side. Thinking to be crafty, Sigurd instead brought eighty men to the fight, winning it handily through superior numbers.

But in a strange twist of justice, Maelbrigd got his revenge. Sigurd struck off his foe’s head as a trophy and tied it to his horse’s saddle, thinking to display it as a mark of his prowess. As he rode, though, the head swung forward and the prominent teeth that gave Maelbrigd his nickname gouged a scratch in Sigurd’s leg. And as any playground veteran knows, the human mouth is a most unsanitary place – the scratch festered and quite soon Sigurd developed a gangrenous infection that killed him outright. Treachery does not pay!

Sigurd’s tale may be found in The Orkneyinger Saga.

Back to Top

Martin of Aragon – No Laughing Matter

King Martin I of Aragon. Altarpiece of San Severo, Wikimedia Commons.

King Martin of Aragon (c. 1356-1410), like so many of his contemporaries, had a court fool to entertain him when he was disconsolate. One evening, after eating an entire goose at the dinner table, King Martin was suffering from indigestion and called for his fool, one Borra, to ease his distress. When the fool entered the room, the King asked him where he had come from, and the fool said “Out of the next vineyard, where I saw a young deer hanging by his tail from a tree, as if someone had so punished him for stealing figs.”

Succumbing to this wordplay, whose subtle humor has no doubt been muddied through time and translation, King Martin is said to have laughed so heartily and so long that he indeed died of laughter. The question of whether or not this is a tale drafted by the cook to divert attention from the goose is left to the interested reader.

King Martin’s tale may be found in Dr. Doran’s The History of Court Fools, 317-318.

Back to Top

The Bal des Ardents – Practice Safe Cosplay!

The Dance of the Wodewoses, British Museum, Harley 4380, f.1

In 1393, a masquerade ball was held in Paris by Isabeau, queen to Charles VI. As a bit of fun, the young King and several of his friends decided to dress as wild men, costuming themselves in linen soaked in resin that was stitched all over with loose flax, so that they would appear fierce and hairy. In a crowded ballroom where the only source of light was from flame, what could possibly go amiss?

The young men disported themselves crudely, making obscene gestures and howling and spitting curses at the assembled nobility. (It may be noted that the entire affair was instigated by one Huguet de Guisay, a cruel and arrogant young man who, among other things, used to hunt peasants with arrows from his castle walls.) They thought themselves safe because they had forbidden anyone carrying a torch to enter the hall while they were at sport. But the king’s brother, Louis d’Orléans, defied the ban and came close to a masked reveler, ostensibly to learn his identity.

Unsurprisingly, a stray spark fell onto the highly flammable costume and instantly the dancer was in flames. Rushing about, he set many of the other “wild men” on fire, as well as other guests; the King was saved only by his aunt, the young Duchess of Berry, who threw her skirts over him to protect him. The quick-thinking Ogier de Nantouillet jumped into a vat of wine until the flames were all extinguished, and also survived.

The other young men all perished from their awful burns, most of them slowly and painfully. The odious de Guisay lingered the longest, cursing the dead and the living for three whole days before he died. There are no reports of his death being haunted by the spirits of arrow-filled serfs.

The story of the Wild Men may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

Back to Top

Hugh Despenser the Younger– There’s No Outsmarting A Wolf

The Execution of Hugh Despenser the Younger, from Froissart’s Chronicles. Bibliotheque Nationale MS Fr. 2643, folio 11r

It is almost always a perilous thing to be a royal favorite. It is an especially perilous thing to be the favorite of a weak king who already has many enemies. Hugh Despenser the Younger (c. 1286 – 1326) was much beloved of King Edward II of England, and in his position of royal chamberlain, soundly proved the old adages about power going to the head – he even once reportedly said that he regretted that he could not control the wind! Indeed, Dispenser was so unpopular with everyone but the King that there was even a strange and curious plot wherein aggrieved courtiers enlisted the purported magician John of Nottingham to kill him (and the King) by sticking pins in their wax effigies.

We have no record of any discomfort from pins or effigies. But what we do know is that Edward’s Queen Isabella, nicknamed the “She-Wolf”, harbored a deep enmity toward Despenser, not least because he tried to have her murdered! When the Queen and her co-conspirator, Roger Mortimer, staged a very successful French-funded rebellion against the King, Despenser was captured and jailed. Knowing he was unlikely to escape with his life, Despenser tried to starve himself to death before his trial but was unsuccessful, coming quite alive to the trial and his almost immediate execution.

Here we learn that it can be exceptionally hazardous to try and fail to murder a wolf! Thanks to Jean Froissart’s love of a gory tale, we have a vivid account of Despenser’s death – he was bound to a ladder in the public square, where his genitals were cut off and burned before his eyes, his entrails slowly pulled out, and then his heart cut out and thrown into the fire. Once he was finally dead, his body was beheaded and quartered, and his severed head mounted on the gates of London. Who’s the apex predator now?

Hugh’s tale may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

Back to Top

Charles of Navarre – The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

The Death of Charles of Navarre. From Froissart’s Chronicles. Getty Ludwig XIII.7

Charles II of Navarre, called the Bad (1332 – 1387) was an exceptionally slippery character in a century that is rife with examples of diplomatic shenanigans. Consummately committed to his own best interests, he maneuvered throughout the Hundred Years War, regularly switching sides, sowing chaos, and on one occasion even throwing open all the prisons in Paris to create a state of anarchy.

Late in life, Charles was severely debilitated by many illnesses and in such a state of decrepitude that he reportedly could not move his limbs. (Froissart claims that this was because of the “viciousness of his habits”.) His physician recommended that he be wrapped up from head to foot in linen cloths that had been thoroughly soaked in brandy. (Again, what could possibly go wrong?!) To ensure a tight and enveloping fit, the cloths were sewn into place by an attendant; but when she moved to remove the end of the thread with a candle, as was her usual habit, the thread caught fire and the entire covering was instantly in flames.

Another version of the story locates the source of the flame in a pan of hot coals that was being used to warm the invalid’s bed, but the end of the story is the same – Charles the Bad died in horrible agony from terrible burns, lingering almost an entire fortnight until he succumbed. Naturally, popular sentiment attributed the gruesome death to Divine judgment; how else would such a Bad king end?

Charles’s tale may be found in Froissart’s Chronicles.

We hope you have enjoyed this small diversion into some of the more lurid corners of history!

Back to Top

 


Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Birka Unofficial Court Report

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-08 13:05

Evening court at Birka. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

On 28 January, AS LI, Their Majesties Brion and Anna did hold a Royal Court in the Barony of Stonemarche at A Market Day at Birka.

Their Majesties were not only attended by Their Highnesses Tir Mara, Ioannes and Ro Honig, but also by a number of visiting royals.  This included:

Her Majesty Margerite of the Kingdom of Aethelmearc
Her Majesty Xristina of the Kingdom of Ealdormere
Their Majesties Yehuda and Hrodir of the Kingdom of Northshield
Their Highnesses Konrad and Aibhilin of the Kingdom of Northshield
His Highness Antonii of the Principality of the Mists

Their Majesties held several courts during the day.  In the morning, they presented the following awards:

Helena Lundonie, Award of Arms
Scroll by: Onóra ingheann Uí Rauirc

Brian of Stonemarche, Silver Wheel
Scroll by: Marrieta Charay

Peter de Bracebridge, Silver Tyger
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara Words: Arthur de Beaumont

Svend de la Maison Al-Karakal (of House Al-Karakal), Order of the Tygers Combatant
Illumination: Ellesbeth Donofrey
Calligraphy: Jonathan Blaecstan

Tobijasz Bogdanovitch, Order of the Tygers Combatant
Scroll by: Heather Rose du Gordoun

Trentus Nubianus, Order of the Tygers Combatant
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara Words: Arthur de Beaumont

Hrafn Bonesetter, Presentation of the Shield of Chivalry

Kenneric Aubrey, Silver Rapier
Scroll by: Shadiyah Al-Zhara

Their Majesties further sent on vigil the following individuals:

Emengar la fileresse, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Laurel

Sigurthr Vigurhafn, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Chivalry

Kennimathor sent on vigil. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Kennimathor Geirrson, Vigil to consider joining the Order of the Chivalry

Their Majesties suspended court.  Later, they reconvened to present to the Children in attendance the toybox, and they themselves spoke to the youths about what it is to be the Crown of the East.

Her Majesty attended the fashion show, where she opened court and presented the following award:

Seigine Ruadh Friseal, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Vettorio Antonello

Their Majesties, and the various guest royals in attendance, held court once more in the afternoon.  Their Majesties Brion and Anna presented the following awards:

Murighall O’Riein, Silver Brooch
Scroll by: Aesa Lokabrenna Sturladottir Words: Aislinn Chiabach

Vopiscus Rufus, Award of Arms
Iillumination: Sarah Davies of Monmouth,
Words & Calligraphy: Nest verch Tangwistel

Bess Brechin, Silver Wheel
Scroll by: Triona Maccasky

Lucie receives her writ. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Lucie Lovegood, Writ for Pelican
Scroll by: Kayleigh MacWhyte

Aikaterine FitzWilliam, Seamstress to the Crown

Adrienne d’Evreus, Maunche
Scroll by : Isabel Chamberlaine Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Sylvia du Vey, Golden Lance
Scroll by: Rhonwen glyn Conwy

Osmond de Berwic, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille

Richard Crowe, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Kayleigh MacWhyte

Cellach Dhonn inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh, Queen’s Order of Courtesy
Scroll by: Aesa feilinn Jossursdottir Translation by: Kirsa Oyutai

Cellach Dhonn inghean Mhic an Mhadaidh, Silver Crescent
Calligraphy: Robin dit Dessaint Words: Edward Grey of Lochleven
Stained Glass: Marguerite de Gui

Catrin receiving the Tyger of the East. Photo by Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir

Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle, Silver Crescent
Scroll by: Alisay de Falaise
Latin: Sergei of Havre des Glaces and Steffan ap Kennydd
English: Kirsa Oyutai

Catrin o’r Rhyd Fôr, Tyger of the East
Scroll by: þóra Eiríksdóttir  Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Emengar la fileresse, Laurel
Scroll by: Rhonwen Glyn Conwy  Words: Nicolette Bonhomme

Sigurthr Vigurhafn, Chivalry
Stone by: Kenric aet Essex

Kennimathor Geirrson, Chivalry
Scroll by: Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus Words: Aneleda Falconbridge

Additionally, their Majesties recognized both those new to the SCA, as well as those who have been around for 25 years or more.

Knighting of Sigurthr. Photo by Lord Brendan Crane.

Their Majesties thanked the Birka Staff for all their hard work.  They also went on to thank those who had worked on the EK Calendar, and thanked the artists, including Lisabetta Medaglia, Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, Vettorio Antonello, Katrushka Skomorokha, Elizabeth Elenore Lovell, Ursion de Gui, Agatha Wanderer, Eloise of Coulter, and Kayleigh Mac Whyte

Thus did end the Court of their Majesties, Brion and Anna.

YIS,
Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald

PS – Thank you to the Heraldic Staff for the day!  Gwenhwyfar Dinas Emrys, Aneleda Falconbridge, Ysemay Sterlyng, Marian Kirkpatrick, Audrye Beneyt, Kirsa Oyutai, Lucien de Wyntere, Donovan Shinnock, and Gypsy.


Filed under: Court

Stolen Van Goghs on display before going home

History Blog - Wed, 2017-02-08 00:53

The two early oil paintings by Vincent Van Gogh stolen from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in 2002 and recovered in Italy last fall will be heading home next month. When the announcement that the paintings had been found was released last September, it wasn’t clear when they would be returning to Amsterdam. As evidence in a complex international drug trafficking trial, the artworks could have been tied up in Italy’s Bleak House-slow court system for years. Italian authorities took quick action, however, and on January 19th, a judge in Naples released the paintings from attachment, freeing them to be returned to the Netherlands.

In gratitude for the efforts of the Guardia di Finanza, the financial police who spearheaded the raid on the apartment of drug trafficker Raffaele Imperiale the village of Castellammare di Stabia and discovered the stolen paintings in the basement, other law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and people of Naples, Seascape at Scheveningen (1882) and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884/85), have gone on display at the Capodimonte Museum for a short exhibition before their homecoming. The paintings went on public view for the first time in 14 years on Tuesday. The show ends on February 26th.

Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh Museum: “It is really a miracle that the paintings, which since 2002 were thought to have vanished from the face of the earth, have been found. The efforts of so many people have made the impossible possible. The fact that these two Van Goghs are again on public display after fourteen years calls for a celebration worthy of the occasion. As a ‘grazie mille’ for the efforts of all those involved in Italy in the recovery of the artworks, they are first being shown to the public in the region where they were found. Afterwards, our Van Goghs will return home, where a festive welcome awaits them and our visitors can once more admire them in the Van Gogh Museum. I cannot tell you how happy I am!”

The discovery of the paintings has inspired an upsurge of Van Gogh love in Naples. Vincenzo De Luca, the President of the Campania region, asked Joep Wijnands, the Dutch ambassador to Italy, to help arrange a new Van Gogh exhibition at the Capodimonte Museum. He also said they’re working on a loan of Van Gogh’s iconic The Starry Night, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. That’s a lofty goal. The Starry Night has never been loaned to an Italian museum before.

The case raises an interesting question on the wider issue of art crime. This article quotes Giorgio Toschi, general with the Guardia di Finanza:

“More than ever we are seeing art works being used by criminals either as safe haven investments or as a way of making payments or guaranteeing deals between organized criminal groups,” he said at the unveiling of the two paintings on Monday.

This is the first I’ve heard of extremely valuable and recognizable artworks being used as a kind of black market currency in the criminal underworld. It’s fascinating. The most popular explanation, that major paintings are stolen on commission by shadowy private collectors in volcano lairs, almost never seems to pan out. When the paintings are found, they’ve been stashed in barns or sheds or moved all over the place because volcano lairs aside, it’s actually really, really hard to unload a world-famous painting whose theft made international news. It’s always seemed more likely to me that the most of the time thieves have no idea they’ll be saddled with unsaleable goods. Organized crime networks, on the other hand, are hardly cash-poor, so they don’t have to scrounge for buyers. Whether it moves or not, a Van Gogh is still worth tens of millions of dollars. Using it as a marker or a pension fund makes perfect sense.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Dress Your Best on March 4

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-02-07 20:17

Our event is one month away!!!

Come fight and fence once again in a medieval Great Hall. Show off your finery in our fashion show. Join us for a day of enjoyment at Risley Hall!

Please join the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn on March 4, 2017 at Risley Hall (536 Thurston Ave, Ithaca NY 14850) for Dress Your Best. There will be fencing and heavy fighting, but most excitingly a fashion show with prizes! Come take the stage and compete for prizes for things such as best overall, best persona, best accessory. And of course we don’t want to leave out they fighters so there will be prizes for things such as best heavy kit and fanciest fencer! We are also hoping for a class or two on personas and making garb.

Site opens at 10 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m. Autocrat is Gytha Oggsdottir (Lori Drake, 101 Uptown Rd #33, Ithaca NY 14850 607-351-8433).

  • Adult Event Registration: $13
  • Adult Member Discount (or Adult Student Discount) Event Registration: $8
  • Teen Event Registration (13-17): $4
  • Youth (0-12): Free

Make checks payable to SCA NY Inc -Dominion of Mrykfaelinn

Please join us in our gorgeous medieval surroundings!

The official announcement on the kingdom webpage is here.


Categories: SCA news sites

Science reveals Selden Map’s secrets

History Blog - Tue, 2017-02-07 00:16

New research has discovered a fascinating hidden history of the Selden Map, the oldest surviving merchant map in the world. About 60 inches long and 40 inches wide, the map was drawn in ink and hand-painted with watercolors between 1607 and 1619. It plots 18 trade routes in an area of East Asia bounded by Siberia to the north, the Spice Islands to the south, Japan to the east and southern India and Burma to the west. At the top of a map is a compass labeled in Chinese characters to indicate the orientation of the map. The routes all start from the port city of Quanzhou in China’s southern Fujian province, which at the time this map was drawn in the late Ming Dynasty was a major shipping hub for trade between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

By an unclear route, in the 17th century the map made its way into the possession of an English lawyer, avid Orientalist and collector named John Selden (1584–1654). He valued the map so highly that he granted it its own line-item in his 1653 will: “a Mapp of China made there fairly and done in colloure together with a Sea Compasse of their making and Devisione taken both by an englishe commander.” Selden bequeathed it to the Bodleian and it entered the collection in 1659. The Bodleian’s inventory note described it as “A very odd mapp of China. Very large, & taken from Mr. Selden’s.”

The “very odd” map was often put on display, unfortunately to its detriment, but it fell out of fashion in the 18th century after famed astronomer Edmond Halley declared it cartographically inaccurate. In 1919, the Selden Map was mounted on a linen backing so it could hung on the wall. This would have disastrous consequences. The fabric backing stiffened over time, distorting and cracking the fragile paper, and its brittle condition was exacerbated by being kept rolled up. In the 1970s conservators noted the map’s dire condition, but decades would pass before the conservation issues were addressed.

In 2008, Robert Batchelor, a professor of British and Asian history at Georgia Southern University, sought out the Selden Map. He identified two features on the map which made it unique compared to all other known historic Chinese maps: 1) it’s not a map of China, and 2) the shipping routes plotted from Quanzhou. China was placed in the center of other maps, but in this one it’s just one of many countries around the South China Sea that traded with each other. The shipping routes marked it as the earliest example of Chinese merchant cartography, commissioned by traders, not the imperial court. It also contravenes the received wisdom that China was isolated from the rest of the world during this period. Its merchants were still doing plenty of business.

Batchelor’s research spurred a new conservation and restoration plan. This time conservators took their time, researching past interventions to determine what parts of the map were original and which later alterations, if any, should be kept. They decided to keep a border added the map in the late 17th century because of its historically significant Latin annotations. The linen backing and earlier patching attempts were removed. The restored map was digitized and put online.

The restoration gave researchers the opportunity to learn more about this mysterious cartographical rarity. It was examined with remote multispectral imaging technology which revealed parts of the map invisible to the naked eye. They way the map was drawn, the materials used to make it,

The researchers found the binding medium used for the map was gum Arabic, a gum made from the sap of the acacia tree – typically used by European, south and west Asians – and not animal glue, which was almost always used in Chinese paintings at the time.

Examinations of the pigment used found a mixture of indigo with orpiment, a yellow mineral – rather than gamboge, a yellow dye – to make a green colour, which is also very unusual for a painting in China in this period. And the detection of a basic copper chloride in the green areas suggests an influence from south and west Asia, where it was often used in manuscripts. This green pigment was not typically used in paper-based paintings from China.

The binders and pigments used are more consistent with those found in manuscripts from a Persian or Indo-Persian tradition –and the Islamic world – than the European or Chinese, the researchers state.

Detailed examination even found instances where the cartographer made alterations – some stylistic, others unintentional, and some made as the cartographer’s knowledge of a certain area developed. The scientists were able to identify that the trade routes were laid down before the land was drawn in.

They believe that the cartographer did not plan the full map from the beginning, which was why they had to redraw some of the routes many times – and why they ran out of space at the southern and western points of the map, forcing the trade routes to be off the compass directions. Two trade routes were drawn without their corresponding compass directions, suggesting the map was unfinished.

As a result of this new evidence, the research team proposes that the map was drawn not in China, but in Aceh on the island of Sumatra.

It is the most westerly port in south east Asia marked on the map and has the longest history of the presence of Islam in south east Asia, as well as a long history of Chinese contact.

It is also one of only six ports on the map marked with a red circle – possibly indicating the main trading network of the map’s owner – and is the only port marked on the map to have a magnetic declination in the early 17th Century closest to that indicated by the tilt of the map’s compass rose.

The new research has been published in the journal Heritage Science and can be read in its entirety free of charge here.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Preregistration Open for Ice Dragon Pent

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-02-06 10:27

Greetings from the Ice Dragon Pent Staff!

Even though it’s only February, it’s not too early to register your entry for the Ice Dragon Pent!

Why take the time now instead of waiting until April 8? You can avoid the hassle of waiting in a long line and instead enjoy your morning knowing that all you need to do when you arrive is display your entry and enjoy the event.

Photo by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

Whichever categories you plan to enter — and especially if you are entering the new 5-in-1 category — the performance, historic combat categories, or the Pent itself, pre-registration will make the process run more smoothly for you. 

Pre-registration forms are due by April 4th and are now available on the Ice Dragon website. Literary Arts entries are due by March 11.

The Facebook page for the Pent is here.


Categories: SCA news sites

Lost songs of Holocaust survivors found

History Blog - Mon, 2017-02-06 00:43

Lost recordings made just after World War II of Holocaust survivors singing songs have been rediscovered at the University of Akron. These recordings were part of a project by Dr. David Boder, a Latvian Jewish psychologist who had settled in the United States in the 1920s and quickly made a name for himself in academia and as a clinician. He became an American citizen in 1932, but he traveled regularly to Europe and kept in touch with his family until the war disrupted movement and communications.

In May of 1945, just days after the Allies accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender, Boder got the idea to interview displaced persons, Holocaust survivors, victims of the dislocations and horrors of World War II. His aim was first to get a record of victims’ experiences while it was all still painfully fresh. It was important to him to ensure Americans understood fully what had happened to people, how they managed to survive in ghettos, concentration camps, labor camps and on the run hiding in forests or barns or wherever shelter was to be found. He hoped that disseminating their stories would generate public support for immigration of war refugees to the US. Also, as a psychologist, he had a broader interest in how people cope with great trauma, a subject he would continue to investigate throughout his professional life.

His plans took a while to come to fruition. Financing the trip, securing the necessary permits to travel through occupied Western Europe delayed his plans for more than a year. Finally in July 1946, he arrived in Paris and dove right in to the project. Using what was then bleeding-edge technology, a wire recorder, Border spent the summer at 16 different locations in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, interviewing 130 displaced persons — mainly Jews, but also 21 non-Jews — in nine languages. The recordings, which included religious services and songs as well as interviews, took up 200 spools of steel wire. Border’s interviews are the earliest extant recordings of Holocaust oral histories today.

David Boder died in 1961. His archives, including the 1946 wire reels, were dispersed among several different institutions. In 1967, 48 spools of Boder’s wire recordings entered the collection of the University of Akron’s Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology. They were fully inventoried at the time. Most of the other recordings mentioned in Boder’s writings were at UCLA or were rediscovered in the Library of Congress and the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1990s. There was one spool Boder listed that was missing, however. It was songs song in Yiddish and German by Holocaust survivors recorded at a refugee camp in Henonville, France.

Despite years of attempts, researchers at the University of Akron had not been able to play the wire reels. They had some old wire recorders, but they either weren’t compatible or couldn’t be repaired without a major overhaul of the original parts, which is far from ideal, obviously, from a historical preservation perspective. Finally they were able to find one on eBay which they repaired with new and cannibalized parts from other machines. With their new/old Frankenrecorder, the research team was able to convert the spools to digital format.

The digitization project was underway when they found one spool in a tin box that had been inventoried as “Heroville Songs.” It was a mistake. The label on the box actually said “Henonville Songs.” It was the long-lost spool. UA multimedia specialist Jon Endres digitized the song recordings and was the first to hear those haunting voices in decades. You can read his blog entry about the discovery here.

The team shared the digitized content with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where experts translated the songs, five in Yiddish, one in German, and explained the background.

For [Cummings Center executive director David] Baker, hearing the recording for the first time was exceptionally moving. “There was a Holocaust survivor, after 70 years, singing to us,” he says. “Obviously we had a lot of questions.”

Some of Baker’s questions were soon answered. The singer was Guta Frank, and [U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum musicologist Bret] Werb knew her history. Frank was a Polish Jew who fled from one ghetto to another with her family for four years. Parents and siblings were killed along the way, and she and her sister finally ended up at a forced labor munitions camp outside Czestochowa, Poland. Her sister left behind a memoir, which can be read online.

Werb also provided Baker with a translation of the songs Frank sang to Boder. One, called, “Our Town is Burning,” is a well-known song often performed at Holocaust commemorations. Written shortly before the war broke out, the song calls out the complacency of bystanders watching a town burn and doing nothing to help.

But Frank’s version was different from the standard rendition of that song. She sang: “The Jewish people are burning.” On the recording, Frank tells Boder that the composer’s daughter sang the song in the basements of the Krakow ghetto to inspire people to rebel against the Germans.

A second song sung by Frank was the official song of the labor camp where she was held. Camp commanders encouraged the inmates to sing such songs on their way to work. “They liked it,” says Werb. The lyrics were long known, but the melody had never been heard before. “It’s sung by someone who must have been there,” says Werb.

Here are a selection of clips from the Henonville Songs spool. The first is Dr. Boder’s introduction which explains the interviews are taking place at the Henonville camp. The other three are song clips, the last of which is “Our Camp Stands At The Forest’s Edge,” the song inmates were forced to sing for their commanders’ enjoyment.

AudioPlayer.setup("http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/plugins/simple-audio-player/player/player.swf", { width: 290 });

AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_3686", {soundFile: "http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/henonville-intro.mp3", titles: "Dr. Boder's introduction on the Henonville reel.", autostart: "no", loop: "no", animation: "yes", remaining: "yes", noinfo: "no", initialvolume: "70", buffer: "5", encode: "no", checkpolicy: "no", rtl: "no", width: "100%", transparentpagebg: "no", bg: "E5E5E5", leftbg: "CCCCCC", lefticon: "333333", voltrack: "F2F2F2", volslider: "666666", rightbg: "B4B4B4", rightbghover: "999999", righticon: "333333", righticonhover: "FFFFFF", loader: "009900", track: "FFFFFF", tracker: "DDDDDD", border: "CCCCCC", skip: "666666", text: "333333"});


AudioPlayer.setup("http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/plugins/simple-audio-player/player/player.swf", { width: 290 });

AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_6725", {soundFile: "http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/song-clip-1.mp3", titles: "Holocaust survivor song clip.", autostart: "no", loop: "no", animation: "yes", remaining: "yes", noinfo: "no", initialvolume: "70", buffer: "5", encode: "no", checkpolicy: "no", rtl: "no", width: "100%", transparentpagebg: "no", bg: "E5E5E5", leftbg: "CCCCCC", lefticon: "333333", voltrack: "F2F2F2", volslider: "666666", rightbg: "B4B4B4", rightbghover: "999999", righticon: "333333", righticonhover: "FFFFFF", loader: "009900", track: "FFFFFF", tracker: "DDDDDD", border: "CCCCCC", skip: "666666", text: "333333"});


AudioPlayer.setup("http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/plugins/simple-audio-player/player/player.swf", { width: 290 });

AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_6616", {soundFile: "http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/song-clip-3.mp3", titles: "Holocaust survivor song clip.", autostart: "no", loop: "no", animation: "yes", remaining: "yes", noinfo: "no", initialvolume: "70", buffer: "5", encode: "no", checkpolicy: "no", rtl: "no", width: "100%", transparentpagebg: "no", bg: "E5E5E5", leftbg: "CCCCCC", lefticon: "333333", voltrack: "F2F2F2", volslider: "666666", rightbg: "B4B4B4", rightbghover: "999999", righticon: "333333", righticonhover: "FFFFFF", loader: "009900", track: "FFFFFF", tracker: "DDDDDD", border: "CCCCCC", skip: "666666", text: "333333"});


AudioPlayer.setup("http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/plugins/simple-audio-player/player/player.swf", { width: 290 });

AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_8667", {soundFile: "http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/song-clip-4.mp3", titles: "Unser Lager Steht Am Waldesrande (Our Camp Stands At The Forest's Edge) sung by Gita Frank.", autostart: "no", loop: "no", animation: "yes", remaining: "yes", noinfo: "no", initialvolume: "70", buffer: "5", encode: "no", checkpolicy: "no", rtl: "no", width: "100%", transparentpagebg: "no", bg: "E5E5E5", leftbg: "CCCCCC", lefticon: "333333", voltrack: "F2F2F2", volslider: "666666", rightbg: "B4B4B4", rightbghover: "999999", righticon: "333333", righticonhover: "FFFFFF", loader: "009900", track: "FFFFFF", tracker: "DDDDDD", border: "CCCCCC", skip: "666666", text: "333333"});

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Retainers Needed for F7D

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2017-02-05 15:29

Greetings, Æthelmearc! 

Just a friendly reminder that Their Majesties will be attending The Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins next weekend, February 12, and will need retainers to help out.

There will be both a morning court and evening court as well as opportunities for regular retaining during the day. Please contact me via Facebook Messenger or email to let me know if you’re available and what times work best for you. 

Please feel free to share this note with your local groups too!

The official announcement is on the kingdom webpage here.

In service,
Baroness Rowena Moore


Categories: SCA news sites

Making Yours the Social (Media) Event of the Season

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-02-05 14:42

Republished from a blog post by Olivia Baker (Kate Crandall). Used by permission.

Making an event happen, I mean really happen, is not simple or intuitive. I’m not talking about being an event manager or event steward, here. I’m talking about event promotion. I’m talking about getting your event in front of people who wouldn’t see it without the power of the internet. Now, take away any possibility of an advertising budget. Now add in the additional hurdle of being a group of medievalists.

This is what we, in the SCA face on a daily basis. We have grand thoughts and ideas. We have things we think others will be excited about, but we don’t always understand how best to get the word out to others about them.

Please note, not everything in this post is pertinent to every event. Some event stewards and social media deputies may choose to only implement one or two of the suggestions. However, even one or two of them is better than doing no event promotion at all.

Let me start with a bit of background. Mundanely, I am a small business owner. I began 14 years ago with some cake pans and a website. I started reading and learning and learning and reading. I began to optimize my website for search engines. I eventually learned how to promote my business through various free media outlets. From 2015 – 2016 the gross sales for my business nearly tripled due to optimization and social media promotion. I also did event promotion for Wars of the Roses in 2016, hosted by the Barony of Concordia of the Snows in the East Kingdom. Our attendance was nearly 150% of the previous year’s attendance (there were several other factors including weather and a new site, but the event promotion was also involved) I would like to share some of the knowledge that is applicable to the SCA with any and all who may be interested in promoting their own events.

There’s some terminology I’ll be using throughout the blog. Below are some definitions to help get you through the basics. Please take note, these are basic definitions and are not necessarily a complete explaination of each item. If you would like additional information, there are many resources available on the internet.

  • Server – this is where the data for your website will be stored, making it accessible to internet users
  • Host – to store data on a server
  • Platform – program that allows you to develop your website
  • Domain – the specific address for a website (www.eventname.org)
  • Public Domain – copyright-free media

Throughout this post, I am making an assumption that your local group has the following:

  • Group (barony, shire, canton, etc) website
  • Group Facebook page
  • Group Twitter account
  • Group Google + account

If you do not have any of these, discuss with your local group the best way to implement them. Don’t forget to consult and follow the Society Social Media Policy as well as your Kingdom policy, if applicable, while doing so.

Now, let’s get into the actual event promotion. As an event steward (or social media deputy, if applicable), the first thing to do is to determine if your event should have a website. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is my event a niche event, such as an immersion event, or an event aimed at a very specific group of members?
  • Am I expecting at least 100 attendees?
  • Is my event a Kingdom- or Society-level event?

If you answer “yes” to at least one of these, you should consider creating an event website. If you decide to proceed with an event website, do you want your website to be an “official” website, where you can put all of the necessary information, that will be hosted on your Kingdom’s web server (this may not be applicable in all Kingdoms – contact your local or Kingdom webminister for more information)? Or would you prefer to have your site hosted on a private server?

If you would prefer an “official” website, contact your Kingdom Webminister to determine which programs are compatible with the web server. If this sounds like gibberish to you, that’s okay! Don’t be overwhelmed! Your webminister will help walk you through what you need to know.If you would prefer an “unofficial” website, there are multiple platforms that allow you to host your site without paying hosting charges. I highly recommend Google Sites, as there are many free templates, and it’s relatively simple to apply a specific domain to your website.

PICTURES!!! You want pictures! All of the pictures! If your event is a niche one-off event, find pictures applicable to your event. If you’re doing a viking event, find some public domain images of vikings and viking settings. If your event is a fighting event, work with a known photographer and get permission from them to use their photos on your website. The #1 rule to promoting your event is pictures. To reiterate, PICTURES!!!

Also, you want your website to be “mundane friendly.” If you use a lot of SCA terminology, have a New To the SCA? page that explains what the heck you’re talking about.

Once you’ve created your website, make sure your event announcement on the Kingdom list of events is updated with your website. Be sure to put your domain multiple places in your announcement. More often than not, people will skim the announcement looking for specific information. You want people to see your website and go there…and see pictures! (see what I did there?)

While we’re on the subject of Kingdom announcements, if your event is worthy of a webpage (see the 3 questions above), and you are located within a couple of hours of another Kingdom, get your event up on the other Kingdom’s event listing as well. Often, people are interested in traveling to events in other Kingdoms. Your event may be just the thing to get them there.

The next step is to create an event on your social media pages. Google + and Facebook both allow you to create events. Make sure to put a picture on the event page that will catch the eye. Also, make sure your event website is very easily found on the page. Next, invite all friends you think may be interested in attending. Share your events with your local group, surrounding groups, and your Kingdom group. Encourage others to invite their friends to the event as well. The more invitations that go out, the more people see your event. Additionally, be sure links to all of your social media sites are on your event website.

Now, for many events, particularly those hovering around the 100 person range, this is enough. However, if you’re really interested in getting attendance, the next steps are crucial.

At least once/week, create a post in the social media event pages sharing specific information. Are you having merchants? Highlight a merchant or two each week. Are you having court? Share the time court will be expected. Are you having dayboard? share a sneak peek of the dayboard menu (2-3 items are plenty). With each of these, make sure you include a photo and a link to the website. When you share your post with the Local and Kingdom groups, they are far more likely to be read if they have a picture, than if they do not.  If you do not have a Social Media Deputy in your local group, ask for a volunteer to handle these posts for you, as the task can become cumbersome when you’re handling organizing the entire event.

Timing for these posts is also important. Posting at 6am or midnight doesn’t do you much good. Very few people will see it. You want to post during peak times: 8am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm. Think about the times you’re online the most: maybe before work, during your lunch break, after work, after dinner. These are the best times to post and get your post seen. Optimal time is from around noon – 6pm. These are the times you want the bulk of your posts to go out.

If you’re interested in getting a large amount of newcomers find out if your local community has a community calendar that will allow you to add events. Many newspapers and local publications will offer these free to the community. Get your website on there! If you do this, please make it VERY clear that we are unable to accept credit cards at this time (if applicable).

This is the next big thing: get social media support from your local group members! When you share the event post on your personal page, local group page, and kingdom page, the exposure is limited. However, when others share the post on their personal pages, they significantly increase the chances of your post being seen by others. The more your posts are seen, the more intrigued and excited people will get about your event.

The closer you get to your event, the more you want to post. If times change, post about it. If you’re going to have visiting royalty, post about it. If the weather looks like it’s going to be amazing, post about it. If it’s going to rain, post about it, reminding people to bring an extra pair of socks or two. Anything that may affect your potential attendees deserves a post.

If your event is a recurring event, be sure you have someone in charge of taking quality photos for next year’s event promotion. Also, if you are able, have someone in charge of on site social media updates (don’t forget the pictures!). Twitter is a particularly good platform for this. This may seem like a waste of time. I assure you it’s not. Many people who were unable to attend this year will see the fun people are having and will be more likely to attend the following year.

When I say, “Event promotion is not simple or intuitive,” I truly mean it. There is a lot of information and it is not the easiest to manage. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier. I wish you the best of luck with your future events! If you have any additional questions on event promotion, I’m happy to share all of the knowledge I have in the area!

Bonus: Did you notice I used this blog post for event promotion? No? Look again!

 


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: event planning

Large Roman mosaic floor found in Leicester

History Blog - Sun, 2017-02-05 00:28

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have discovered a large Roman mosaic pavement at a construction site in Leicester. The property on the corner of Highcross Street and Vaughan Way has been excavated since November and already archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a Roman street, two other buildings and an elegant villa with mosaic floors. Highcross Street today runs along the path of the Roman road that went from the Roman forum to the north gate of the city. The excavation site covers almost two-thirds of a Roman insula, or city block, which gives archaeologists an incredibly rare view into a cross-section of Roman Leicester.

The Roman house with the mosaic was unearthed on the east side of the site next to the John Lewis parking lot. At least three of its rooms had mosaic floors. One of them has a particularly large extant section about two meters (6.6 feet) by three meters (9.8 feet) in size. Archaeologists estimate this surviving section is about a quarter of the size of the original mosaic. It is the largest Roman mosaic pavement found in Leicester in last 30 years.

Mathew Morris, site director for ULAS, said: “The mosaic is fantastic, it’s been a long time since we’ve found a large, well-preserved mosaic in Leicester. Stylistically, we believe it dates to the early fourth century AD. It would have originally been in a square room in the house. It has a thick border of red tiles surrounding a central square of grey tiles. Picked out in red in the grey square are several decorations, including a geometric border, foliage and a central hexafoil cross. The intricate geometric border follows a pattern known as ‘swastika-meander’. The swastika is an ancient symbol found in most world cultures, and it is a common geometrical motif in Roman mosaics, created by laying out the pattern on a repeating grid of 4 by 4 squares. As part of the project, our plan is to lift and conserve it for future display.”

Another large Roman dwelling was found on the western side of the site. It has two sets of rooms along a corridor with a central courtyard. There are no mosaic floors, but there is a hypocaust system in one of the rooms which means heated flooring or a private bathing facility. This was likely a townhouse, and indeed a very similar townhouse was discovered on nearby Vine Street underneath the John Lewis lot in 2006.

The third Roman building is smaller. It was found in the center of the site and has a peculiar feature: a large sunken room, possibly a cellar. There may be an apse on one side of the sunken room. Archaeologists don’t know what this building was used for or what the purpose of the sunken room may have been. They are a rare feature in Roman architecture.

Mathew Morris added: “At the moment there is a lot of speculation about what this building might be. It could be a large hypocaust but we are still investigating. It seems to be tucked away in yards and gardens in the middle of the insula, giving it privacy away from the surrounding streets; and the possible apse is only really big enough to house something like a statue, which makes us wonder if it is something special like a shrine.”

Developers plan to build apartments on the property, but they are working with ULAS to determine how to construct the new building without destroying ny significant archaeological materials underneath the surface. They’ve removed rubble and soil accumulated from the Victorian era to now to reveal where the Roman and medieval remains are. Archaeologists and architects will collaborate on the ideal placement of the foundations of the new building to ensure remains are either left unmolested in situ or excavated and raised before construction. Most of the archaeology will remain in place under the new building.

The excavation is scheduled to continue through at least February. No medieval structures have been unearthed thus far, but in the 12th century Leicester’s first hospital, St Johns’ Hospital, was founded on the site. The medieval town goal was also there, so archaeologists are hoping to find at least some evidence of these important buildings.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

18th c. pagoda clock automaton enchants at auction

History Blog - Sat, 2017-02-04 00:26

An exquisite 18th century English-made automaton musical clock in the shape of a multi-tiered pagoda sold for just shy of a million dollars ($998,250) at Fontaine’s in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, last month.

Magnificent English made bronze pagoda form automaton table clock, sits on a large black wood base with an engraved chessboard pattern brass top. 5 in. painted metal dials on the front and both sides with Roman hour numerals; 8 day double fusee chain movement, quarter striking on 2 bells and drives 3 dials including sweep seconds on the front dial. The time movement triggers the automaton mechanism once every 2 hours. The heavy bronze case has elegant color paste set jewels around the bezel and at the floral corner spandrels; each side of the upper tiers is gold gilded with silver doorways, pearl studded roof tops with hanging corner bells[....]

The large and powerful double fusee chain automaton movement is responsible for both raising and lowering the pagoda tower in a controlled manner as well as playing 2 different tunes on a nest of 8 bells, including Chinese folk song, Mo Li Hua, which has been popular since before the 18th century in both China and abroad. The pagoda animates every 2 hours, corresponding to the 12 hour Chinese zodiac time system as well as the music, which also plays every 2 hours accompanying the automation of the pagoda.

Produced for the Chinese Qing Imperial Court, the automaton’s striking design was based on the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, aka, the Temple of Repaid Gratitude, a pagoda built in the 15th century by order of the Yongle emperor (r. 1402–1424), third emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Construction began in 1413 in the imperial capital of Nanjing (then Nanking) and took almost 20 years to complete. Built on an octagonal base, the tower had nine tiers topped with a pineapple-shaped brass sphere. The pagoda soared to a total height of 260 feet. A spiral staircase inside the structure had 184 steps to the top.

It wasn’t the tallest pagoda in the empire, but its white porcelain bricks, decorated with animals, flowers, Buddhist motifs and landscapes in a multi-colored glazes made it the most striking. Bells hung from every corner of every tier, strung from chains connected to roof finials. When the wind blew, their dulcet tones could be heard for miles. It was widely considered the most beautiful of all the pagodas in China, and visitors from the West showered it with praise. Many classified it as one of the (post-medieval) Seven Wonders of the World.

The reports of the wonderous Nanjing tower launched a trend of pagoda construction in 18th century Europe. The fashion for Chinoiserie had exploded, and with pagodas it went big. Kew Gardens in London got itself a pagoda in 1762. The nobility had pagoda follies built on their estates. Smaller versions were popular for interior decoration.

There’s an elaborate nine-foot-high porcelain model of a pagoda in the Victoria & Albert Museum thought to be a replica of the Porcelain Tower. It’s not an exact copy — there are different numbers of tiers and the base is hexagonal — but the polychrome porcelain tiles, animal and plant decorations and the bells hanging from the roof finials and the brass sphere topping the tower identify its inspiration.

The model was made in the first 15 years in the 19th century and was bought by the then-Prince of Wales for the Royal Pavilion, Prince George’s splendid Indo-Saracenic Revival seaside estate at Brighton. Records in the Royal Archive indicate the pagoda was one of six bought by the prince between 1806 and 1816. George’s gluttony for porcelain pagodas is evidence of how extremely fashionable they were at this time, and the archives confirm that they were very expensive, luxurious objects.

The Porcelain Tower was by lightning in 1801 but was repaired. It could not survive the Taiping Rebellion, sadly. In March of 1853, the Taiping took Nanjing. The tower didn’t have much of a chance with the rebels targeting Buddhist iconography and imperial symbols, both of which it incarnated. First to go was the inner staircase, which the Taiping rebels destroyed ostensibly to keep enemy fighters from using the tower as a spying post. Three years later in 1856, the rebels razed it to the ground. Now the replicas, inspired-bys and this fantastic automaton is all we have left of the original.

View this video full screen to see the automaton’s amazing movement at the beginning and around the 1:30 mark.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Ashmolean secures Alfred the Great hoard

History Blog - Fri, 2017-02-03 00:33

The Ashmolean Museum has raised the £1.35 million ($1.7 million) needed to acquire the Watlington Hoard. Discovered on October 7th, 2015, by retired advertising executive and metal detector hobbyist James Mather in Watlington, Oxfordshire, the mixed hoard of Saxon coins and Viking jewelry and ingots is modest in size but grand in historical significance.

James Mather’s cautious, archaeology-focused approach to metal detecting played a large part in preserving the hoard’s integrity. He first found an oval silver bar that he recognized as a Viking ingot similar to ones he’d seen in museums. Digging a few inches under the surface he found a small group of silver pennies. He realized he had a hoard on his hands, but instead of digging it all up, he reburied what he’d already exposed and alerted the Portable Antiquities Scheme. PAS archaeologist David Williams raised the hoard in a soil block so it could be excavated in laboratory conditions.

First the block was X-rayed to provide a roadmap of the artifacts within and where they were located in the thick clay soil. Conservator Pippa Pearce painstakingly excavated the contents of the hoard. The final count was almost 200 coins, some of them fragments, seven pieces of jewelry — three silver bangles, probably arm rings, and four broken silver — and 15 silver ingots. A tiny scrap of twisted gold is the first gold ever discovered in a Viking hoard in Britain.

But the wee bit of gold is overshadowed by the significance of the coins. The hoard contains 13 examples of an extremely rare coin type known as the ‘Two Emperors’ penny which show King Alfred the Great of Wessex (r. 871–899) and King Ceolwulf II of Mercia (r. 874–ca.879) enthroned next to each other under a winged Victory or an angel. Only two examples of these pennies were known before the discovery of the hoard, and both of those were struck in the same year. The coins in the Watlington Hoard were struck in different mints over several years. This is huge news because it proves that Alfred and Ceolwulf II were allies who worked closely together, at least on issuing currency, for years.

It’s a revelation compared to the very little information that has come down to us about Ceolwulf. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a history commissioned by Alfred the Great, dismisses the King of Mercia as “an unwise king’s thane,” who was placed on the throne of Mercia by the Vikings as a puppet. The evidence of the coins suggests Alfred erased their alliance from the history books.

In February of 2016, the Oxfordshire coroner declared the hoard Treasure after which the Treasure Valuation Committee assessed its value a £1.35 million. Since local museums are given first crack at purchasing archaeological treasures found in the area, the Ashmolean began a campaign to raise the money before the January 31st deadline. They went a long way towards achieving their goal last October when the received a grant of £1.05 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Art Fund contributed another £150,000 and more than 700 private individuals contributed the rest. The museum reached its £1.35 million target just days before the deadline.

The Watlington Hoard will now go on display in the Ashmolean’s England Gallery along with another Alfred the Great treasure, the Alfred Jewel, a teardrop-shaped piece of rock crystal (likely recycled Roman jewelry) encasing an allegorical or saintly figure in multi-colored cloisonné enamel. On the side of the gold filigree frame is inscribed “AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN,” meaning “Alfred ordered me to be made.” It’s one of the most popular, if not the most popular, exhibits in the museum, and it’s one of the only surviving objects directly associated with King Alfred. It will make an ideal companion for the hoard which has rewritten the history of Alfred’s reign.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news

Medievalists.net - Thu, 2017-02-02 21:18
We are back with doing roundups of the medieval news! Let's start with a few recent pieces for fans of all things Norse...


[View the story "What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news" on Storify]

And our image of the week is this zodiac sign of Aquarius in a 13/14th century manuscript

Image from e-codices / Flickr
Categories: History, SCA news sites

Well-preserved Roman shipwreck found off Mallorca

History Blog - Thu, 2017-02-02 00:31

A Roman shipwreck from the 3rd or 4th century A.D. has been discovered next to the island of Cabrera just south of Mallorca, Spain. Dubbed Cabrera XIV, the wreck is in untouched condition, preserved where it fell for almost 2000 years. Archaeologists Sebastià Munar and Javier Rodríguez Pandozi of the Balearic Institute of Studies in Marine Archeology (IBEAM) describe the find as “the best preserved wreck of the Balearic Islands and, most likely, one of the best preserved in the western Mediterranean.”

“As far as we know, this is the first time that a completely unaltered wreck has been found in Spanish waters,” says Javier Rodríguez, one of the marine archeologists who participated in the exploration and documentation of the remains of the ship, describing it as an “architectural jewel.”

The difficult-to-reach location and the fact the waters are part of a National Park have been key factors in the preservation of the vessel.

The ship was found in waters 70 meters (230 feet) deep in April 2016 after fishermen reporting pulling up some amphora fragments in their nets at that location. IBEAM scouted the site with a robot. The robot’s images revealed a vast mound of amphorae covering 50 feet of the seabed. In October, human divers dove the site, exploring and photographing in greater detail and at the level of the wreck itself. They took more than 2,000 pictures of the site from all angles which allowed experts to determine its size and orientation.

The ship was 20 meters (65 feet) long and carried a cargo of between 1,000 and 2,000 amphorae. Most of them were made in North Africa and are about one meter (3.3 feet) high. The rest were smaller and made in the south of the Iberian peninsula. Both types of jars carried garum, the sauce made from fermented fish intestines that the Romans put on everything.

Archaeologists believe the ship was transporting garum along a trade route between North Africa and Spain with stops in Gaul and Rome. When the ship sank in antiquity, it capsized on the sea floor. The amphora field covered the ship’s hull, preserving it as an oval mound about 15 meters (50 feet) long and 10 meters (33 feet) wide. With the cargo still in the position it landed in after the wreck, archaeologists are optimistic that there may be surviving timbers from the boat preserved underneath the amphorae.

The discovery was kept under wraps until last Friday to keep looters and sightseers from interfering with site. Now that the news is out, the authorities will police and secure the wreck to ensure it is not looted or inadvertently damaged.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

It is February, Here is Yet Another Bardic Reminder

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:48

Yet Another Bardic Reminder

It’s February 1st. You have only six days (until February 6th) to preregister with Mistress Alys Mackyntoich if you want to compete in the King’s and Queen’s Bardic Competition.

Because A&S and Bardic are being combined into the same event this year, it is essential that you pre-register to compete. If you show up on the day of the event, without having contacted me in advance, you will not be able to compete.

You pre-register by e-mailing me your name and a statement that you wish to complete, to alys.mackyntoich@gmail.com.


Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: announcements, bardic champions, events

Gulf Wars Gift Basket Request from Their Majesties

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:43

Greetings, Æthelmearc.

Their Royal Majesties, Marcus and Margerite, prepare for Gulf Wars March 11-17th, and I have the privilege of showcasing the skill and largess of our noble artisans as the gift coordinator. Ours is a special honor, the host Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. There are several projects underway to ensure Our King and Queen are beautifully represented, and I would like to welcome anyone interested in participating in these projects or who wishes to make a contribution of their choosing to contact me. As it is said, many hands make light work. For inspiration, King Caillin’s persona is Viking Era Irish, and Her Majesty Queen Danielle is French in the time of Charlemagne. While the focus is the gift exchange, there will be many other opportunities for Our Royalty to bring joy through gift giving. Tokens of inspiration, recognition, and gifts of admiration, all of which are typically surprise moments, are always appreciated. It’s a beautiful thing to be over-prepared.

I  am happy to provide ideas and guidance if you have questions, and support and encouragement if needed. Please remember to provide your name and contact information, either with the item or by sending an email or Facebook message to me. If your item is consumable, when possible list ingredients and expected expiration date if applicable. Documentation is always a welcome addition- this is an appreciative audience, but please don’t fret or let it deter your participation. Ideally, all largess for Gulf Wars that requires transport will be received by Sunday, March 5th, to ensure proper packing and shipping. I will be present at Gulf Wars to coordinate on site as well.

Yours in Service,
Countess Anna Leigh
(Kimberly Gamrod, 2304 Candace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15216)
aeannaleigh@gmail.com

For inspiration, here are some gifts generously donated for the basket Her Majesty took to Birka. Click each image to enlarge it and scroll through them.


Categories: SCA news sites

Rare Han treasures at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum

History Blog - Wed, 2017-02-01 00:59

A new exhibition opening next month at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty will display 160 artifacts discovered in recent archaeological digs of Han dynasty tombs. Very few of these objects have never left China, and this is the show’s only US stop. The exhibition opens on February 17th and runs until May 28th, so don’t dally in making your way there.

The rule of the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) is considered the first Chinese golden age, a period of relative peace and great economic prosperity in which the arts, sciences and trades flourished. Most of what we know of the Han emperors and their courts comes from ancient chroniclers, but they tend to focus on major events — wars, diplomacy, political intrigue — paying little attention to the daily lives even of the rich and royal. Because Han nobles built large tomb complexes with multiple rooms filled with every necessity and luxury to ensure their high standard of living would carry over into the afterlife, objects discovered in tombs lend unique insight into the day-to-day of Han dynasty monarchs, their families, functionaries and courtiers.

Most of the artifacts in the exhibition were unearthed from the mausoleum of Liu Fei in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Liu Fei was the son of Emperor Jing of Han (r. 157–141 B.C.). He ruled the valuable fiefdom Jiangdu from 153 B.C. until his death in 127 B.C. He was interred a vast tomb complex of almost 2.7 MILLION square feet that included the tombs of his wives, concubines and attendants, plus weapons and chariot pits. The tomb was discovered on Dayun Mountain in 2009. Even though it had been looted repeatedly since antiquity, the floors of the outer chambers collapsed early enough in the tomb’s existence to preserve artifacts stored in the chambers below. Archaeologists found more than 10,000 artifacts crammed into storage rooms.

The exhibition is divided into three galleries. The first, Everlasting happiness without end, displays objects that reveal the kinds of entertainment enjoyed in Han dynasty palaces: music, dancing, food, wine. Artifacts include musical instruments, most notably a set of bronze bells and stone chimes that would have been used only on formal court occasions, smoke-eating lamps to keep the party going well into the night and ceramic dancers captured in dynamic movement. Containers used to prepare and eat food held offerings that would nourish the Han ruler in the afterlife had ritual significance in tombs, and elegant dinnerware like jade cups, bronze bowls and tables inlaid with gold and gemstones ensured their heavenly food would be eaten in the high style to which they had become accustomed.

The second, Eternal life without limit, is set in a tomb-like space and features artifacts used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife and to prevent the decay of the flesh. There are medical implements and divination tools, but jade is the star player here. It was used in Chinese burials long before the Han dynasty (or any dynasty at all, for that matter) because it was considered to have the power to prevent the decay of the flesh. The Han took jade funerary artifacts to new heights. They believed that people had two souls, one that went straight to heaven after death, the other that stayed in the body. To keep the latter safe inside an intact body, the dead were covered in jade. Jade plugs were placed in all orifices and jade masks on the face. If the deceased was of high enough rank — emperor, king, important nobles — the body would be put in a suit made from hundreds of jade scales. An exquisite jade suit from the tomb of Queen Lian, Liu Fei’s second and likely favorite wife, is a highlight of this gallery.

The theme of the third gallery is Enduring remembrance without fail. It explores the private, personal spaces of Han palaces, exhibiting objects from people’s bedrooms and bathrooms. Artifacts in this gallery include personal hygiene and grooming tools, a silver bath basin, incense burners, lacquer cosmetics boxes and sex toys. There are gifts from kings to their wives and lovers — silver belt hooks, a bronze mirror, a jade pendant — identifiable as such from inscriptions. There’s even an earthenware model of a toilet from the 2nd century B.C. found in 1995 in the tomb of the King of Chu dug into Jiangsu’s Tuolan Mountain.

I’d like to conclude with a special note of thanks to Zac Rose of the Asian Art Museum for the beautiful photographs and wealth of information he was kind enough to share with me. I’ve written about ancient Chinese tomb discoveries before, and I would have written about more of them had there been any remotely usable pictures. There’s no relief once artifacts are in museums either, since most Chinese museums don’t have detailed pictures of their collection online. Getting such spectacular high resolution shots of recently excavated artifacts from Han tombs is an incredibly rare treat and I’m so grateful.

And now, even more pictures!

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Notes from Birka Curia

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-01-31 15:49

Photograph courtesy of The Honorable Lord Hugh Tauerner

The Gazette is extremely grateful to Lord Andreiko Eferiev and Lady Tomyris of Stonemarche for taking notes and providing an account of the discussions and transactions during the Curia held at A Market Day at Birka, January 29, 2017.

Agenda Item 1. Curia Opening
The King introduced the meeting by stating that many of the changes proposed are the result of the conversations held with the order meetings at Pennsic.

Agenda Item 2. Old Business
There was no old business.

Agenda Item 3. New Business

Agenda Item 3.1 Events: Bid Deadlines (page 4)
Revision to VIII.A.1. to extend the bid period for certain Kingdom Events to 24 months before the event date.
One of the challenges we often face when holding very large events is that the number of sites able to hold ~400 people is a very limited field and we are competing with wedding planners for event venues at that point in time. HE Jeanne de Robin pointed out that Spring Crown 2016 was a bid 3 years in the making, with HdG giving advance notice of their intentions and request for support from the rest of Tir Mara before making the bid.
The goal of this change is to allow us to plan farther in advance than our current bid schedule does by allowing us to schedule events farther in advance.
IKA: The West Kingdom already runs most of their Kingdom-level events this way.
One of the challenges for the Royalty is that the uncertainty present in our bid schedule prevents them from committing to visit small local events due to the possibility that they may end up running against Kingdom Championships.
Spring Crown 2017 Autocrat Galefridus noted that some sites won’t let you bid more than 4 months in advance, so the opposite problem is also true.
This change does not require event bids be done so far in advance, so the goal is to increase our flexibility. It is hoped we do not need to legislate thoughtfulness.
If the site needs a response by X date, the sitting Crown and Heirs on X date will have to choose whether to accept the bid, even if they will not be on the Thrones on the actual event date.
Event Coordinator Deputy THL Mairghread Ghearr (of the Seneschal’s Office) pointed out that we will need to increase our support infrastructure for event bids to help with Kingdom-level follow-through for advance bids and to ensure local groups are continuing their own ramp-up. We would also need to modify our event bid forms to take into account the increased vagaries of advanced bids.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we wish to continue with the current relatively short time-frame scheduling for Kingdom-level events like Coronation and Crown Tournament?
PROPOSAL PASSED UNCHANGED. Agenda Item 3.2 Events: Champions’ Tourneys (pages 4-5)
Revisions to VIII.A.5. through A.11. to create a region-exclusion condition for bids for champions tourneys; to create greater flexibility in the tourney scheduling date ranges; and to create greater consistency in tourney bid and decision deadlines; also section reorganization.
King Brion asked us to increase flexibility in scheduling Championships by having the same deadline for all events in a given Reign and by allowing all Championships in a given Reign to be run any time during that Reign.
Event Bid Officer supported the increased flexibility in Championship timing and the one bid deadline.
HRH Ioannes informed us that the Summer Reign is substantively planned but that the Championships are lagging behind the Crown’s other obligations in setting hard dates. Local  groups have also had difficulty with their events being rendered no longer feasible due to a Championship being scheduled opposite their event.
Concern was raised that the region-exclusion provision may be too restrictive and make things too difficult to schedule events. It is also noted that often local groups are asked by the Crown to re-run a Championship for a second or third year because no bid was received.
Because K&Q A&S is always in the winter, some cooking ingredients are unavailable for use in the competition. There are other activities that sometimes are weather- or seasonally-dependent.
IKA: Atenveldt schedules ALL Kingdom events for the first weekend of the month, leaving the other 40 weeks of the year free to local groups.
IKA: Trimaris holds all Kingdom-level events at the same site.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we as a Kingdom wish to continue deciding our Champions through dedicated events or do we wish to empower the Crown to select their own Champions through their own means? Are these events becoming more of a problem than a pleasure?
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EXCUSE EQUESTRIAN CHAMPS FROM THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION DUE TO THE INCREASED CHALLENGES OF TRANSPORTING HORSES.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW THE CROWN TO GRANT VARIANCE TO THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION IF NECESSARY.
THE AMENDED PROPOSAL PASSED. Agenda Item 3.3 Earl Marshal / Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat (pages 2-3)
Revisions to several sections to create the Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat as a new Lesser Office, and separating the duties of the KMAC from those of the Earl Marshal.
King Brion introduced the topic by discussing the history of the Marshalate and how all of the Combat Arts are under the Earl Marshal’s auspices but that the Earl Marshal retains the additional responsibility of being the chief Marshal of the Heavy List. This sort of change has already been made at the Society Level.
The Heavy List Marshal will be responsible for running Crown Tournament and will be empowered to raise concerns to the Crown through the Earl Marshal.
There was a bit of discussion about the role of the Warlord and whether they were responsible for Pennsic et al. combat in general or rattan combat in foreign wars in specific.
IKA: Aethelmearc’s current Earl Marshal is a combat archer who has done wonderful things for their Kingdom and her successor is a fencer.
Future Discussion Topic: How much of the Marshalate Structure should be specified in Kingdom Law vs. Marshalate Policy?
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EMBRACE THE POWER OF “AND” AND THEN PASSED. Agenda Item 3.4 Official Email (page 6)Revision to X.J. to reflect the transition to EK-server hosting for all official email accounts. Mercedes introduced the topic by stating that we are updating the law to reflect current policy and her reticence of allowing someone to use a wildly inappropriate email address to speak to the public on behalf of the Society in an official capacity (yes, this has happened).
The Webministry pointed out that Kingdom Law should not mandate that we own the server, merely the method of communication.
A lawyer in the room pointed out that the use of “correspondence” had wider legal implications than was perhaps intended.
The applicability of this law change to events has numerous implications. One of these is what happens if the password is lost or needs resetting, potentially losing several weeks of vital event prep time. What remains unclear is which event volunteers will be required by Kingdom Policy to have official emails.
If you are receiving official email to your personal account, you need to forward it to your officer account. We have asked Society for clarification on what must be kept and they keep kicking it back to us. However, for internal discussion, it remains acceptable to compose from your personal email and cc your officer email. It is sometimes extremely difficult to force other people to contact you via your official email.
The existing system is cumbersome and its challenges make using it difficult. The Webministry is working on improving this process. Usefulness of the system does grow with experience. Please continue to try to use it.
Royal guilds have no authority.
We have a webministry helpdesk. Please use it. They will be adding a “Help Me” button to the EK front page.
Discussion Topic: Email is old-school. We should think forward about how future communication tools will affect and be affected by Kingdom Policy and Law.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW THE WEBMINISTRY GREATER FLEXIBILITY.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO REMOVE THE LANGUAGE CONCERNING AUTOCRATS AND THEIR DEPUTIES (which will be handled via Seneschal policy instead).
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ACCOMMODATE MODERN LAW.
THE PROPOSAL WAS PASSED AS AMENDED. Agenda Item 3.5 Awards: Silver Mantle (page 5)New section IX.C.7., establishing an armigerous order to include and provide recognition for martial activities other than rattan, rapier, and target archery. Agenda Item 3.6 Clerical Fixes (pages 2,3,5,6)
Revisions to various sections to add the Golden Mantle polling administrator, and to correct several typos and internal references.
Agenda Items 3.5 and 3.6 were discussed jointly.
King Brion introduced this topic by remind us of the history of our current award structure and the gap created by moving the Order of the Golden Mantle to the Orders of High Merit.
Prince Ionnes asked that we update our entries in the various lists of Awards and Orders of the Known World. Discussion was made of the various places where we store this information and how to improve them.
THE PROPOSALS PASSED. Agenda Item 3.7 Discussion of potential East Kingdom 50-Year celebratory event. The 50th anniversary of thefirst East Kingdom event is June 28, 2018. We’re looking at including everybody and having a great time. We have two bids and they are for different dates and locations. Agenda Item 4. Officer Reports Seneschal – The East Kingdom hasn’t blown up. We are looking at making a Canadian Affiliation like SCANZ. This has been several years in the works and is some time away from completion.
Brigantia – We had no emergencies.
Earl Marshal – Just stepped up and made some changes to Kingdom Law.
Exchequer – We are close to having a Canadian Bank account. We are also close to opening PayPal payments. Our PayPal policies were approved by the BoD at their last meeting. Currently looking for a Deputy who wishes to hold the Kingdom Office. We still have money.
Chronicler
MoAS – Champs is in 2 weeks. Term is up soon. The Crown is considering the new officer.
MoL – Officially retiring in a month. Mylisant is taking over then. Tir Maran residents can scan their authorization paperwork to reduce the losses incurred by the international postal system.
Signet –Natalia is taking over in 13 days. We got this.
Chatelaine – Our Chatelaines are doing an excellent job. We had a meeting here. We’re redesigning the Chatelaine webpage. We’ve identified a need for a Young Adult Liason: How do we keep our 12-17 year olds interested in the SCA?
Chancellor Minor – We have had a steady increase in local Chancellor Minors. We will be spending some time in the coming months reminding local groups of our policies. Seeking to fill Youth Clerk and Youth Combay Deputy offices. Term ends in September.
Rapier Marshal – We have ~530 Authorized Combatants and ~52 Authorized Cut and Thrust combatants. We will now be inspecting masks both while worn and while not worn to inspect for wear.
Webminister – There’s plenty of space for emails, come get your emails. We will be upgrading our email system to a Google backbone for improved usability and reliability. We are also working on an official document repository that can handle spreadsheets. Agenda Item 5. Curia Closure
Filed under: Law and Policy