From the Kingdom Rapier Marshal, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede:
The new rapier policies have been published in the Æstel and are available on the Æthelmearc Rapier page. These rules are in effect as of now. Marshals are implored to read these rules as soon as possible.
I’m asking that all authorizations of new forms please include these new rules.
That means, yes, you have to read through the new rules before you can get authorized in a new form. This is especially important with the new two-handed rapier authorization.
Please be patient with those of the community who have not yet had a chance to read through these new policies.
I want to thank my deputies and regional deputies for their efforts in making this possible. If you have any questions, please see your regional marshals or myself. New authorization forms will be forthcoming.
Master Fergus was kind enough to answer some questions from the Gazette for some more in-depth information on the new Rapier Policies:
What has changed in the rules?
There are a few noticeable changes from previous sets of rapier policies.
There is a new authorization for two-handed rapier. This is any consistent use of two hands on a weapon, regardless of design. So this is needed if you want to use two hands on a katana or a European longsword, or simply want to hold your rapier in two hands, if that is your gig.
We have officially prohibited rapier spears. This is a decision I know some people disagree with, but we tried two experiments with these things, we discussed them in group sessions, and the overwhelming opinion at the time was a solid “no.”
We have a new weight restriction for weapons in Æthelmearc rapier: four pounds.
Also, we have aligned our age limits for youths fighting as adults with the Society policy. So, with parental observation and consent, plus the proper paperwork, someone as young as 14 now may join the adult rapier program.
How will the changes affect people who are already authorized vs. new secondary auths?
I think there will be an adjustment period for some rapier fighters with these new policies. For one thing, we have a decent number of people who have been using two-handed swords as their primary form. They will need to get the new authorization now. We’re trying to make that possible as soon as we can.
Additional information from Master Fergus for Rapier Marshals on two-handed sword authorizations:
I’m having a lot of people ask about authorizations for two handed sword. This is good. Here’s the gist of what I want covered in the new authorization: First of all, one of the new rules states that at least one of the authorizing marshals must possess the authorization being tested. I have a group from various parts of the Kingdom who will be or already are grandfathered into the new authorization. These are my regional marshals and deputies (unless they have asked me not to include them), and experienced marshals who use the form safely already. Each has shown that they have some skill in the form, as well as judgement enough to compensate for any specific lack of experience. After a few months, this will not be an issue, but right now anyone interested in the new authorization will have to get one of these folks to be part of the authorization.
For marshals; treat this fundamentally like a first time single rapier authorization. Cover the basics first. Has the student read the updated rules? You do not need to redo the testing on armor requirements, but you will want the student to know about how long, and how heavy a sword can be: “Swords of any kind will not exceed 4 lbs. in total weight, 60 inches in total length, and may have a hilt (including pommel) of no longer than 18 inches.” (KRM Policies. P.4). In addition, they must know what percentage of the overall length a hilt can be (1/3rd of the blade). This cannot be a back door authorization to something that amounts to a spear. Be aware that many commercial two handed swords exceed this measurement, especially in weight.
Once the fighting starts, make sure they are not delivering percussive blows. Make sure they know that two hands on a weapon amounts to increased force. Make the student show multiple attacks, cuts as well as thrusts. Make sure they can do multiple attacks. The one handed thrust is legal, and the student may continue to use both hands after letting go with one hand. That being said, if that is the only attack that a student can make, that student is not skilled enough to pass the authorization. Do test a student’s ability to use the sword in one hand. While the authorization allows any legal sword to be used in two hands, many people will have a special sword for two-handed use. Make sure they are safe with it in one hand as well as in two.
Make sure the student can defend in more than one way. Movement is part of this; parries, avoiding attacks, and binds are good as well. The student does not have to be a Lichtenauer scholar in order to pass, but they have to be able to stop a shot safely. They may use the off hand to block a shot, but they do take damage the same way they normally would with single rapier. You want to close on the student and make sure they can evade, cut, or safely die without striking you with the quillions. Halfswording should be covered, but it should not be a make or break with the new authorization unless the student makes it a major part of their repertoire.
I am going to try to be at the Donnan Party on March 26 in Ballachlagan to do two-hander authorizations and to answer more questions if I can. Thank you for helping with this transition.
Thank you, Master Fergus, for the extra information!
On April 23rd, 2014, researchers from Uppsala University opened a reliquary casket in Uppsala Cathedral to study the bones of King Eric IX of Sweden, the patron saint of Stockholm. The primary goal was to compare medieval remains to modern ones looking for changes in bone density for an interdisciplinary osteoporosis study, but while they were in the neighborhood, the research team examined the skeletal remains in the hopes of answering some questions about his national origins, health, diet and violent death.
The University has now released the first results of the study of Eric’s bones, and so far the osteological evidence is remarkably congruent with the stories told about him at least a century after his death. Since no contemporary writings about him have survived and the later histories are hagiographies that frame him as a saint in life, a martyr in death and a miracle-worker after death, it’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s legend. The study attempted DNA extraction and analysis, performed stable isotope analysis of his teeth, did a forensic examination of the bones looking for ante-mortem and perimortem wounds, radiocarbon dated the bones and enlisted orthopaedists and radiologists to determine his vital statistics and state of health.
There are 24 bones in the casket, 23 of them from the same person, plus one random shinbone. The group of 23 are the bones of a man about 35-40 years old who was 171 centimeters tall (5’7″). CT scans found no medical conditions evident on the bones. He did not have osteoporosis or suffer any kind of bone loss. On the contrary, his bone density was 25% greater than the average young man today. Eric was strong and very physically fit. Radiocarbon dating results are consistent with his having died in 1160.
Stable isotope analysis found one reason for his excellent health: he ate a great deal of freshwater fish. Kings had access to a great quantity and variety of animal protein, thanks to plentiful game and freshwater fish available on great estates. Eric ate both land animal protein and fish but emphasized the latter.This conforms to accounts of him in the hagiographies which describe him as fasting often out of religious devotion. Fasting in the Middle Ages didn’t require abstention from all food. It was usually meat that was excised from the diet, sometimes extended to animals products — butter, milk, cheese, eggs — during penitential seasons like Lent. The more extreme strictures were primarily observed by monks or individual ascetics. For lay Christians over most of the liturgical calendar, there were three fast days: Wednesday (the day Judas took 30 pieces of silver to betray Christ), Friday (the day Christ was crucified) and Saturday (the day dedicated to the Virgin Mary). Game birds like swan and peacock that only the aristocracy had access to were exempt from the no-meat rule.
Wounds on his bones also seem to fit the stories about Eric. His cranium had one or two healed wounds, possibly inflicted by sharp weapons. He fought a war, some call it a crusade, against pagan Finland, which would have afforded him plenty of opportunities for this kind of injury. The unhealed wounds inflicted at the time of his death match his story even better.
The saint’s legend says that in the king’s final battle, the enemy swarmed him, and when he fell to the ground they gave him wound after wound until he lay half dead. They then taunted him and finally cut off his head. The remaining bones have at least nine cuts inflicted in connection with death, seven of them on the legs. No wounds have been found on the ribs or the remaining arm bone, which probably means that the king wore a hauberk but had less protected legs. Both shin bones have cuts inflicted from the direction of the feet, indicating that the victim lay on his front.
A neck vertebra has been cut through, which could not have been done without removing the hauberk, i.e. not during battle. This confirms that there was an interlude, as described by the taunting in the legend, between battle and decapitation. At no point do the documented wounds gainsay the account of the fight given by the much later legend.
One thing that contradicts the hagiographies was an isotope analysis finding that suggests he spent the last decade of his life not in Uppsala, but in the southern province of Västergötland. This is only a preliminary finding, however, since stable isotopes have to be compared to previously recorded values in order to determine geographic locations and there’s still a lot of comparing to be done.
DNA analysis is still pending as well. Researchers were able to extract DNA samples successfully, which is a major hurdle to leap when dealing with 900-year-old bones. The DNA analysis is expected to take another year. They have DNA from King Magnus III of Sweden (reigned 1275-1290) who was descended from Eric IX through his mother Ingeborg. They will be compared to confirm the bones are indeed Eric’s.
Starting very soon, you will see new language in event announcements regarding how we refer to money paid to attend events.
This language comes to us from the Society Seneschal. It has already been passed down to the Regional and Local Seneschals, but I wanted to pass this announcement along to the entire Kingdom.
SCA Corporate has changed the terminology we must now use regarding our fee structure to reflect that we are a participant-based organization.
Going forward, please use these or similar terms in event announcements:
Do NOT use these or similar terms in event announcements: “event fees,”
For example, here is an event announcement fee schedule using the
Site fees for the event are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages
Here is the same fee structure using the new terminology:
Adult Event Registration is $15. Adult Member Discount Event Registration is $10. Adult students with a valid ID are $10. Adult students who are SCA members are $5. All youth registration (Ages 5-12) is $5.00, and all children under 5 are free. This includes a sideboard lunch. Please show proof of membership at the door.
Any event announcement submitted after the publication of this notification will be expected to conform to the new wording standards.
I thank all of you for your cooperation in this matter.
If you have any questions, please contact your local seneschals.
If they are unable to provide an answer, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
How does this affect how we charge for youth (Child Registrations), in view of the fact we are no longer making reference to the NMS?
(From Corporate) Yes, we are now using the term “Member Discount”; however, it is not intended that the cost of Child Registrations should go up in view of the “Membership Discount.” The structure of costs for children, where we previously did not charge NMS, should be at least $5 less than the “Adult Event Registration.” We are not assessing $5 for children. If under the old fee structure the site fee was $15 for adults with $5 NMS and $5 for children under 16, then the NEW nomenclature would be as follows:
Adult Event Registration; $20, Adult Member Discount Event Registration $15, Children (specify the age range) Registration (less at least $5 or more than the member price), Youth (specify the age and under) free.
The ranges that constitute adult vs. child will vary from Kingdom and local group as well as by event.
Do I have to change existing or already published event announcements?
No, but please use the new nomenclature going forward.
How do we word it if we’re charging different fees for feast (onboard)?
For events with a feast, there are a couple ways to make this distinction.
One popular way is to add “Feast is an additional $X per person” or similar.
The new nomenclature is different from what we used to do, but it is flexible as well. Feel free to discuss with your local seneschal.
Is the Non-Member Surcharge (NMS) going away?
No, just the terminology is changing. Per event, groups are still required to submit $5 for every paid adult event registrant who doesn’t have proof of membership. As before, this must be paid by individuals to the group for the event (and the group exchequer then forwards to Kingdom); SCA/group funds can’t be used to subsidize. The term “NMS” may still be used internally, as long as it isn’t used in event announcements or at the gate.
What about family caps? Should we base that on the adult registration, or member discount?
The new terminology is flexible, and you should use what works for your event. The most clear way may be to list two family caps, one family cap registration, and one discounted one.
For example, for an event with a $17 adult registration/$12 adult member registration, kids half price: “Family cap is $46. For families where the adults are members, Family cap is $36.” This is assuming your group normally family caps only families of two adults and minor children. A different way of wording may work better for your group, depending on how you run your family caps.
Do we have to use exactly the terms in your examples?
No, the wording is flexible.
But please refrain from using “site fee,” “NMS,” “non-member surcharge,” or “event fee.” Use instead variations on “event registration.”
Sometimes people have to pay the NMS at the door. How will that work now? Or what if they accidentally send too much money in a pre-reg?
First, to clarify some rumors, there was never a prohibition at the Kingdom or Society level, that said people couldn’t send the extra $5 NMS in with a pre-registration. Some groups at the local level chose to have people pay it at the gate only. It will be difficult to require that people *only* pay the adult registration at the door, while you are taking adult member discount pre-registrations by mail. We don’t recommend this course of action.
For folks that can’t produce proof of membership at the door, but have pre-registered with the discount amount, you would require them to pay $5 at the door. If someone accidentally sends you too much money (they show proof of membership at the door), you would handle the refund exactly as you would have before in this case. (*NEVER give refunds from the cash box!!*). Have them leave their name and address and send them a check.
We know this change may cause confusion for a while, as most changes do. It will take a bit of getting used to. Just be sure that your reservations clerk and gatekeeper are keeping very good records, and any problems can be worked through.
Why is the Society changing the nomenclature?
It’s changed to reflect that we are a participant-based organization, not an organization that charges an entry fee for spectators. There are different tax implications for the different types of groups.
Who do I contact with questions?
Please contact your local seneschal with questions.
If they are unable to provide an answer, you can contact our Kingdom Seneschal, Duke Christopher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina reports on the recent regional martial practice. All photos by Katja.
Strike, stab, shoot, simmer, and stitch! Gentles attending the regional fight practice in the Shire of Sterlynge Vayle on Sunday, March 6 enjoyed rattan fighting and rapier, some combat archery, and a cozy A&S display.
Fifty-one gentles from the shire, Myrkfaelinn, Endless Hills, Thescorre, Heronter, and elsewhere in the kingdom enjoyed the practice at the Greater Binghamton Health Center, according to Barwnes Nest ferch Rys, the shire’s chatelaine and thrown weapons marshal, who served as tollner for the practice. (“Barwnes” is Welsh for “Baroness.”)
Of the attendees, she said, 28 gentles signed up for the heavy fighting and 10 for the fencing, although a few combatants switched from rapier to rattan later in the day. There were also about a dozen gentles who served as marshals or spectators, plus two artisans.Fighting and Combat Archery
Baroness Mariana Maria Pietrosanti, the shire’s knight marshal and archery marshal, acted as autocrat of the practice and also taught a combat archery class in the gymnasium where the heavy fighters began with some personal pickups, then enjoyed several hours of multiple field and bridge melees.
Two combat archers joined in some of the melees, plus Her Excellency began instructing two new marshals-in-training in combat archery, deemed another CA MIT to have completed training, and welcomed five new CA fighters. There were also several heavy and fencing authorizations as well.
“The turnout for this was equal or greater than our traditional schola, actually!” Baroness Nest said with a smile, speaking for her and Baroness Mariana. “ I think I can safely say we were both pleasantly surprised at the high turnout. We really look forward to doing this again — and having even more people come out to play!”
She added that she was thrilled at the number of gentles who came to the practice so soon after they authorized, including one from Heronter.
Although it was a practice and, therefore, free from any site fee charge, Baroness Nest checked membership cards (plus authorization cards) and kept careful tollner/MOL records because the day was listed as an official event on the Æthelmearc webpage.
Why? The Imperatori had scheduled a second Curia to be held at that practice to allow for further discussion, if needed, after Their reign’s first Curia. Since They did not end up having any business that required a second Curia, Imperator Tindal later explained, They canceled the one planned for the regional practice.
I was very happy with the practice overall,” The Imperator noted. “I think everyone displayed a dedication to the continued growth and improvement of the Æthelmearc army and are determined to put a fierce and effect host on the field this summer.
The purpose of the practice was to promote fighting and fencing in the shire, Baroness Mariana said, “it was good of the fighters and fencers to gear up for Pennsic and work together.” She added that the group hoped to continue holding large regional practices at the Center four times a year.
The shire was inspired by Imperator Tindal’s request for such practices in each region quarterly, she said. The Imperator later replied that he didn’t remember specifically encouraging each region to hold regional practices each quarter, but he definitely liked the idea. “More opportunities to train, travel and improve would be a benefit to the Kingdom martial forces,” he agreed.Rapier
Baroness Mariana also thanked Baron Gunnar of the Endless Hills, not only for serving as fencing marshal in charge for the day but also for traveling to the shire weekly from his home group to run its fencing practice; the shire, she explained, doesn’t have its own fencing marshal.
The fencers warmed up with a bearpit tourney in the auditorium, in which Baron Eric Grenier de Labarre narrowly beat Don Po Silvertop to win, then they went outside to play Capture the Flag on the back lawn. Although the day was remarkably sunny and nonwindy for a late-winter day, it was a little too chilly for extended outside combat, so the fencers soon returned indoors to spend the rest of the afternoon chatting and enjoying pickups.
“We wanted to knock off the winter rust and prepare for spring melee season leading into War,” His Excellency Gunnar shared.Arts & Sciences Display
Her Ladyship Christine inghean Grioghair and Lady Elska Fjarfell, both from Myrkfaelinn, displayed some of their recent projects in the hallway near a table of snacks and drinks offered by the Shire.
THL Christine displayed a lovely beaded blackwork embroidered square with gold work, and chatted about embroidery while leafing through a book of stitch designs for ideas for a new sweet bag she wants to make.
Lady Elska showed gentles some hardened tallow/drip lye/salt soap she’d recently made while sporadically stirring the contents of a slow cooker, where soft olive oil/drip lye soap bubbled away.
Visitors to the ladies bathroom found a delightful surprise: a bowl of Lady Elska’s soft tallow soap on a shelf above the sinks, with a note encouraging them to try the silky, pleasant-smelling creation. (It made one’s hands very clean and soft!)
A buckle of Scottish or Irish origin has been discovered in the grave of a Viking woman in Enghøj on central Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. The gilt bronze disc is a small piece of six centimeters (2.4 inches) with a Greek key-like geometric pattern that was made in the 9th century. The woman who took it with her to the grave died in the 10th century, so it was already decades, maybe even a century, old when it was buried in Denmark. She used it to keep her petticoat together.
Archaeologist Ernst Stidsing from the Museum East Jutland realized right away that it was a very unusual piece. He’d never seen anything like it before, so he sent pictures to Emerita Professor Else Roesdahl of Aarhus University. She had never seen anything like it either. Stidsing shared the pictures with English and German colleagues and they agreed that it was made in the British Isles. Having only the ornamentation to go on, the experts disagreed on whether it was of Irish manufacture or from southern Scotland.
They were certain that it didn’t start out as a buckle or brooch. It was a fitting from a shrine of some kind, stripped off a wooden box used to hold sacred objects. It’s therefore not a trade piece. Monasteries and churches weren’t in the practice of prying the decoration off their reliquaries and selling them to Vikings. This was acquired in a raid.
Viking loot from Britain and Ireland is very rare in Denmark, all the more so in a grave. It’s more common, albeit still a rarity, in Norway, where several examples have been discovered. A reliquary and fragment of an English 8th or 9th century crozier were found in the grave of a Viking woman in Romsdal, Norway, in 1961. A direct parallel, a Celtic disc, also originated in Scotland or Ireland as decoration on a shrine or reliquary. The Vikings converted into a brooch and it was buried the grave of a high-status woman in Lilleberge, Norway, in the 9th-10th century. It was unearthed in 1886 but kept in a soil block and only fully excavated and identified a few years ago.
Ernst Stidsing thinks there may have been a Norwegian connection for the Enghøj buckle.
He now hopes that strontium isotope analysis of the woman’s teeth could clear up where she came from.
“I’m pretty excited about the outcome of the analysis,” says Stidsing. “Especially as the Norwegian Vikings were often on expeditions to the north of England. It’s exciting that a woman may have come from Norway and have lived part of her life in Jutland [west Denmark].”
“It will confirm the picture that we were already [living] in a globalised world back then,” he says.
That picture was solidly confirmed most recently when Egtved Girl, the Bronze Age young woman whose exceptionally preserved burial complete with hollowed out tree trunk coffin, clothing, grave goods, textiles and accessories has become a Danish icon since its discovery in 1921, was actually from Southern Germany. Egtved Girl was a very important person even though she was only 16-18 years old when she died, a priestess or a dynastic bride, and it’s known that there were marriages between Danish kings and Slavic princesses starting in the 10th century. The woman who was buried with the buckle had status and wealth, but she wasn’t a princess. If isotope analysis finds that she was from Norway or somewhere else other than Denmark, it will give new insight into how mobile Vikings were at various social levels.
Greetings fencers,Pennsic is going to be fast approaching and it’s time to start assembling the East’s finest blades for the Champ’s teams. I’ll be coordinating and captaining the Melee Champ Team once again this year, and I’m looking for fencers with the skill, comportment and character to represent our kingdom.
If you are interested in being on the Melee Champ’s team this year, please fire me an email at Justin.Aucoin@gmail.com so I can add you to my list of candidates.Important: I want to make it clear that I want to hear from anyone who’s interested in the melee champs team. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Master of Defense, just got your AoA, or just got authorized two minutes ago. What I care about is that you have the passion and will to represent your kingdom. Once I hear from folks I’ll compile the long list of candidates and will get in touch with them on when/where we’ll work together to get ready for the war point. Barring some sort of catastrophe, the Pennsic Melee Champs team will be chosen from this list, so if you want to represent the East, let me know. Also of note: You can throw your hat in the ring for the melee team and also try to fight your way in for the Pennsic single’s champ team. I have zero issue with that and encourage it. Please forward this notice to your local fencing practices. I don’t want anyone who might be interested on making the team miss out. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. YiS, –Don Remy Delamontagne de Gascogne Captain, EK Rapier Melee Champs
EK Rapier Army Executive Officer Captain, King’s Company of Calivers
Filed under: Rapier, Uncategorized Tagged: Pennsic, Rapier
Their Majesties Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri, Barony of the Bridge on 12 March AS L, to attend the occasion of the Black Rose Ball and the Investiture of new Baronial Heads.
King Brennan and Queen Caoilfhionn invited Eloi Abelard, Baron of the Bridge into Their court where he relinquished his Baronial seat and was made a Court Baron. Baron Eloi swore fealty to Their Majesties in his new estate.
Next did Their Majesties invite into their court Ulric Von Der Insel and Clothilde Von Der Insel who were invested as Baron and Baroness of the Bridge respectively. Baron Ulric’s scroll was illuminated by Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell. Baroness Clothilde’s scroll was illuminated by Shadiya Al-Zahra. Both scrolls bore calligraphy by Nest verch Tangwistel and words by Alys Mackyntoich
Next did Their Majesties call into their court Aethelthryth Kenricing, and presented her with the garter of the Order of Gawain, and a scroll by Solskinn of Smoking Rocks with words by Nest verch Tangwistel.
The order was not complete, however. Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri called into their court Ulf the Dragon Slayer who was likewise presented with a garter and a scroll inducting him into the Order of Gawain. His scroll was also made by Solskinn of Smoking Rocks with words by Nest verch Tangwistel.
Her Majesty called forward all those children who had participated in Her Service Initiative. They received tokens for their service.
All of the children present were invited before the court. The toybox was run, and as per usual there was much laughter at the joy of the children.
Their Majesties next called into their court Mahisti of Woodhaven Manor. They made her a Lady of the Court. She was Awarded Arms, and received a scroll by Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille.
Their Majesties then called into their court Yamoto Koreyoshi. They made him a Lord of the Court. He was Awarded Arms, and received a scroll by Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille with words by Caelia Blackwold that were translated by Yayoi Rosenkrantz
Their Majesties invited into court all those attending their first, second or third event. They were thanked for attending, and presented tokens to remember the day by.
Their Majesties invited Fortune St Keyne into their court. They spoke of her artistic skill, presenting her with a medallion, and a scroll illuminated by Melisande of the Gryphon Wood with calligraphy by Jonathan Blaecstan, and thus inducted her into the Order of the Silver Brooch.
The Order not yet complete, Their Majesties called into court Faelin MacLochlainn. His art widely regarded, he was presented with a medallion, and scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel, and thereby inducted into the Order of the Silver Brooch.
Their Majesties invited before them Sorcha Dhocair inghean Uí Ruairc. For her exclellent artistic skill she was made a companion of the Order of the Maunche, presented with a medallion, and a scroll by Michel Almond de Champagne.
Their Majesties then invited the artists and organizers of the Beasts of the East calendar fundraising project.
Each was presented with a token of thanks.
Their Majesties called into court the companions of the Order of the Silver Wheel. Next was Simona bat Leone called before Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri. For her service she was inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel, receiving a medallion and a scroll by Magdalena von Kirschberg.
Next did Their Majesties invite into their court Caelia Blackwolf. Her exemplary service was recognized as she was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent. She was presented with a medallion, and a scroll, and further presented with a scroll by Vettorio Antonello.
Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri next called into their court Vibeka Steensdatter aff Broen. She answered in the affirmative that she would join the Order, and so the Order of the Laurel was called forth. Vibeka was elevated to the order, receiving a medallion, along with other appropriate regalia and a scroll by Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille with Danish text by Thomas Frovin.
There being no further business, the court of Their Majesties was closed. Long live the King and Queen! Long live the Prince and Princess! Long live the Kingdom of the East!
Compiled by Gazette Staff from the Court Report of Malcolm Bowman, Eastern Crown Herald with much gratitude to the Heralds for the court Lady Simona bat Leone, Lady Katherine O’Brien, Madame Perronnelle de Croy
Filed under: Court Tagged: Bridge, court report, royal court
The Æthelmearc Gazette staff received this missive from Lady Arianna dal Vallone and decided to dig a little deeper into her noble cause to resurrect an inactive kingdom guild.Good and Noble Fellow Citizens of Æthelmearc,
I am in the process of starting up a new and refurbished kingdom cooks guild.
Are you interested in period cooking? Do you want to learn more, share our knowledge and help others do the same? Want to do so in a period way with an actual guild structure to help each other?
Then come join us and help us get this off the ground together. An initial organization and ideas meeting will be held at the Annual Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon on Saturday, April 2 from 1 to 2 p.m. (specific room location to be announced later). If you are unable to attend, please feel free to contact me or to join the Æthelmearc Cooks Facebook group for further information.
How long have you been in the Society and what got you interested in cooking for the society?I’ve been the SCA about eight years. Cooking actually came in as sort of a secondary thing. I did it mundanely for years and actually went to a votech high school for culinary arts. It was just easy to get into something I already knew. Cooking is a fun thing for me. Doing it in period was a new challenge.
What do you hope to accomplish at this meeting? My initial ideas for what I hope we can achieve to be discussed at Ice Dragon are:
Basically, we have a lot of people who cook in this kingdom and I think we could accomplish more together and organized than we do now.
Who do you hope will be able to attend the meeting? Join the guild?
Anyone who loves to cook, wants to learn how to cook in period, already cooks in the SCA, or wants to cook in the SCA. I want people of any and all levels regardless of if you just googled “medieval cooking” today or if you have a laurel for cooking in 14th century Norwegian style. This is supposed to be a supportive and inclusive community for those who enjoy and want to grow in consumable and food arts in Æthelemearc.
If those who are interested can’t make it to the meeting, how can they join in the fun?
On Friday, March 19 at Gulf Wars, the Imperatori, Magnus Tindal and Etain, called forth two gentles and gave each of them Writs for elevation to peerage.
Don Anias Fenne received a Writ for the Order of Defense.
THLord Marek Viacheldrago was given a Writ for the Order of Chivalry.
Both of these worthy gentlemen will reportedly sit vigil at the Festival of the Ice Dragon on April 2 in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael, to consider elevation at Court that evening.
In 2003, a salvage excavation in advance of highway construction in the Dordogne region of southwestern France discovered a dense group of prehistoric occupations, 10 sites in an area of less than two square miles. One of them, Cantalouette II, is an open-air site that was used as a flint workshop, as evidenced by the large quantity of flakes and knapping debris. There are seven layers, ranging in date from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. In the Aurignacian layer (35,000 – 31,000 years old), archaeologists found a remarkably naturalistic bird (pdf) engraved on a flint flake. Other engraved flakes were found at the site, but none of them were figurative. In fact, this is the first example of figurative art discovered in an open-air Aurignacian site.
The bird is depicted with its head raised and its wings open, parallel lines representing the feathers. The beak is short, thin and pointed. A single eye is visible with a small line underneath that may represent an undereye feature. A projection on the left side of the bird may be the legs or the tail. It’s a capture of dynamic action, a bird in the moment of drinking, courting or about to take flight. Or express itself it in 140 characters.
Another unique feature of this piece, besides a silhouette so reminiscent of Internet-era iconography, is the style of engraving. Usually artwork from the Upper Paleolithic period is an incised outline. Some of the details may give the impression of relief and in very rare cases actual reliefs have been found, like the friezes of the Roc-de-Sers rock shelter (ca. 17,000 B.C.). The bird of Cantalouette II, however, is the opposite of the Roc-de-Sers animals in that it was made by the removal of the material inside the figure, not by the carving away of material outside of it leaving a high relief behind.
This sunken relief is unique among the Aurignacian artworks. The technique has never been seen before. To better understand the engraving process, researchers recreated it experimentally and found it was completed in six phases. First the outline was incised, then the interior was scraped with stone tool that left a wavy surface. The third step was adding detail to the head and beak with an L-shaped bevel. Another bevel was then engraved to add dimension to the upper left wing area. In phase five, the artist micro-pecked the inside of the head giving it a distinctive rough surface that conveys the different type of feathers birds have on their heads as opposed to their wings. Lastly, the eye and the subciliar line were added.
Also rare is the subject matter. Upper Paleolithic animal figures are more often land-based — horses, bovines, ibex, bison — and while birds have been found before, including the fragment of an outline bird figure at Roc-de-Sers, none of them are so naturalistic and detailed. Roc-de-Sers dates to the Magdalenian period of the Upper Paleolithic, thousands of years after the Cantalouette II bird was carved. Narrowing it down specifically to the Aurignacian period, there are only two other known birds: an ivory water bird from Hohle Fels (ca. 39,000-34,000 years old) and an owl in the Chauvet cave. Neither of them have the same attention to detail as the Cantalouette II bird. Because of those details, experts were able to compare its features to birds found in the fossil record of Upper Paleolithic southwestern France. The likeliest candidates are the passerine, the wryneck or partridge/quail.
After all this trouble, the piece was simply discarded onto the pile of lithic fragments, the detritus of the prehistoric tool-making workshop. It wasn’t meant to be permanent like rock art on walls. It wasn’t even meant to be portable, like something pretty to wear or display. It seems to have been the artistic impulse of a flint knapper who, having completed his oeuvre, threw it away.
This engraving is distinct in the rarity of the animal depicted and the use of innovative techniques. They suggest an absence of rigid artistic traditions and techniques during the Aurignacian. This absence of canons is in fact characteristic of Aurignacian art, despite certain convergences, such as the depiction of dangerous animals in the Swabian Jura, Dordogne, Adèche and northern Italy. At the doline site of Cantalouette II, the artist was thus free to “test” other manners of representing volumes and outlines. The artistic liberty of this artist can be correlated with that of the Aurignacian flint knappers in the Bergeracois region, who surpassed their technical skills by producing unusually large blades. The object itself, discarded in a flint knapping workshop, suggests the existence of an ephemeral form of artistic expression, a behavior previously unknown in the Aurignacian, and which raises questions about the function of the earliest figurative art in Europe.
The East Kingdom Royal cabin turned into an impromptu shelter Thursday night as a severe storm rolled through Gulf Wars XXV.
Reports from those present at the event indicate that the Easterners in attendance at this year’s Gulf Wars are uninjured and in good spirits as the storm continues to bother the event. Many have left site early and those who could not leave have a dry roof over their heads in the Royal cabin.
The Aethelmearc Gazette has shared an excellent article with more details about the storm that left many with waterlogged tents on Thursday night, and caused the war to end early on Friday.
Filed under: Events
The National Library of Wales has ghosts - but not the scary kind. These ghosts are images, seen only by using ultraviolet lighting, in the 750-year-old Black Book of Carmarthen, "the first Welsh text to include medieval figures such as King Arthur and Merlin," and the images are doodles and poetry added throughout the ages. (photos)
Last night, Thursday March 17th, a severe storm ripped through Gulf Wars in Gleann Abhann. Official word from the staff is that there was a severe thunderstorm with straight line winds. A couple announcements:
Æthelmearc folks are well and accounted for, some leaving site for hotels, some remaining. There was some damage in the Kingdom camp, but they fared better than others, and the Kingdom pavilion is still standing, thanks to efforts by all in camp.
Reports from Scadians on site via social media are that the storm arrived Thursday afternoon during a rattan battle, and developed into heavy rains, high winds, and dime-sized hail by early evening. Only one serious injury has been reported so far: a lady from the Midrealm was sent to the hospital with a possible concussion but is reported to be recovering. As always, people banded together to help each other out: royal cabins and merchants with large tents or buildings took in refugees, food vendors and large households offered hot drinks and soup, gentles gave extra blankets, cloaks, and coats to those in need, and numerous people braved the weather to check on their friends. We’re told that Imperator Tindal personally made sure that all of His subjects were safe, as did the Kings of Atlantia and Trimaris. Some people retreated to hotels for the night after their tents went down or were flooded, while others remained on site to try to prevent further damage to tents and pavilions. The rain stopped late Thursday night, but another band of storms is predicted to arrive on Friday night and continue into Saturday.
UPDATE FROM THE AUTOCRATS, ~2:00 PM MARCH 18:
Site is open! We have beautiful skies and neighbors helping neighbors today. We will not be closing until Sunday as normal.
Gulf Wars will remain open. All activities except Known World Party are postponed including classes. More details on Known World Party will follow. Site will close Sunday (3/20/2016) at normal time.
Known World Party will be in the Main Hall at 7:00 PM. Food and beverage donations will be accepted at the party. Come in whatever you have dry (including mundane) to celebrate.
One of the most important private collections of ancient sculpture in the world hasn’t been on display in four decades. In fact, it really hasn’t been on public display since the 19th century. The Torlonia family’s collection of antiquities, 620 world-class Greek, Roman and Etruscan statues and sarcophagi, has been favorably compared without hyperbole to the ancient sculpture collections of the Capitoline and Vatican Museums, and the Italian government has tried for years to craft an agreement with the family that would allow these unique treasures to be seen by the public. On Tuesday, March 15th, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini announced that the long-sought agreement has been reached and about 60-90 of the most important pieces in the Torlonia collection will go on display in 2017. The details haven’t been worked out yet, but the likely venue will be the Palazzo Caffarelli Clementino on the Capitoline Hill.
The Torlonia family are new, by Roman standards. The founder was Marino Torlonia, born Marin Tourlonias in Auvergne, France, in 1725. He moved to Rome and became the manservant of powerful Neopolitan cardinal Troiano Acquaviva d’Aragona, best remembered today for having employed Giacomo Casanova in 1744 only to dismiss him when he was discovered hiding a teenaged runaway in the cardinal’s residence on the Piazza di Spagna. Acquaviva died in 1747, leaving Marino Torlonia an inheritance which he used to set himself up as a textile merchant.
The business was successful and Marino parlayed some of his income into a small lending concern. When he helped Pope Pius VI with some pesky financial matters, he was granted the title of duke. It was his son Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia who took both businesses and ran with them. He made savvy deals with the French occupiers under Napoleon and when the French troops left after the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Giovanni was flush with cash, cash the old noble families distinctly lacked. The Banco Marino Torlonia was delighted to loan them money with their estates and furnishings as collateral.
Pope Pius VII granted Giovanni Raimondo Torlonia a princely title in 1814, the first of many. Just two generations removed from Marin Tourlonias, the Torlonia family was one of the richest in Rome, as ennobled as it could be and, thanks to advantageous marriages, related to some of the greatest noble houses of the city — the Colonna, Orsini and Borghese. When those loans went into default, the Torlonia family accumulated lands and artworks by the cartload, including pieces from the Orisini, Cesarini and Caetani-Ruspoli families and a prized 17th century collection of ancient sculptures from the Giustiniani family.
Not that they needed the loan collateral to make out like bandits. After the upheaval of the Napoleonic period, many noble families were compelled to sell their properties and private collections. The great collection of dedicated antiquarian Cardinal Alessandro Albani was sold along with his Roman palace, Villa Albani, to the Chigi family who in turn sold it to the Torlonia. Giovanni also bought more than a thousands pieces from the estate of sculptor and restorer Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, among which were important sculptures Cavaceppi had acquired from the collections of the Savelli, Cesi and Pio da Carpi families.
Their extensive property holdings proved invaluable sources of ancient statuary as well. Draining swamps and developing lands, the Torlonia unearthed antiquities hand over fist, particularly from the man-made Roman harbour of Portus, the town of Fiumicino where Leonardo da Vinci Airport now stands, and the ancient Etruscan cities of Vulci and Cerveteri
In 1859, Giovanni’s son Alessandro founded a private museum in one of their palaces on the Via della Lungara. The sculptures, including about a hundred Roman portrait busts from the late Republican and Imperial period so prized many scholars consider them superior to the busts in the Capitoline and Vatican Museums, were installed in the 77 rooms of the palace. Already by the 1870s the public was not allowed inside the museum. I can’t confirm whether they ever were, for that matter. Alessandro Torlonia granted access only to his aristocratic friends and occasionally to experts. The collection was catalogued repeatedly in the 1870s and 1880s. Some of the catalogues were illustrated with photographs, among the first in Italy to be printed with pictures instead of drawings. (here’s a text-only example from 1881)
In the 1960s and 1970s, the collection was gradually packed up and stored, perhaps in other Torlonia properties, perhaps in the basement of the old museum. Another Alessandro Torlonia, great-grandson of the museum’s founder, got permission from the government to repair the roof, but those repairs proved to be a smokescreen for an illegal subdivision of the palace into 90 tiny apartments. A 1979 judgement from Italy’s supreme court of appeals found that the sculptures had been stored in “narrow, insufficient, dangerous spaces [...] removed from the museum [...] crammed together in unbelievable fashion, leaned against each other without care for consistency or history.” The court ruled that the private owner should pay a fine to the state equal to the value lost or diminished by this dire, careless treatment of cultural patrimony. That ruling was never enforced.
With tension between the state and the family, the past 40 years have seen many long negotiations go nowhere. Finally the parties have managed to come together, although the vast majority of the Torlonia sculptures will not be on display, at least not right away. I hope this is just a first step. None of these works should be gathering dust in basements.
The history of this collection, how it was amassed from acquisitions, debt collections and excavations on Torlonia properties, may be a central theme of the first exhibition. It’s particularly relevant to the Torlonia collection as opposed to some of the older ones built gradually by noble families over the course of centuries. The way entire collections were absorbed by the Torlonia makes for a unique perspective into the history of antiquities collection in Rome, with built-in organizational divisions, like, for instance, the pieces from the Cavaceppi collection in one section, the pieces from the Giustiniani collection in another. The sculptures unearthed on Torlonia estates could be in another section.
Again, it’s still in the early stages, but the Ministry is hoping to make this a traveling exhibition. After the Roman show, the treasures of the Torlonia collection will go to top museums in Europe and the United States. Eventually a permanent place will be found for it back home in Rome.
A small but mighty contingent of gentles from Æthelmearc have made their way to Gulf Wars in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. We hope to provide occasional updates on the doings there.
Thank you to Mistress Elashava bas Riva of the Kingdom of Northshield for providing these photos of Opening Ceremonies, which were held on Tuesday morning.Click to view slideshow.
“The East Kingdom Server will undergo a planned upgrade in the early morning of 3/21/16.
This is the first in a series of planned updates this year.
We will be migrating from Xen to KVM, which will appear to be seamless to the End User, but has the ability to use our resources in a more streamlined manner and offer a better user experience.
Time Frame 1am-2:30am Eastern Time
This is expected to run for 49 minutes.
During this time frame all East Kingdom services will be unavailable to the populace.
Tools that backbone or pull from the server will also be affected (IE: Email, Help Desk, List Server, etc).”
Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices
Landscape gardener Dennis Fabricius Holm picked up his first metal detector just two and a half months ago. It was his son’s, a Christmas present he’d gotten years before and never used. Holm fished it out of the basement and took it to the empty field next door to his home in the village of Aunslev on the Danish island of Funen to do a few hours of scanning every Friday afternoon. He found some buttons and small coins, nothing to write home about.
Last Friday, March 11th, Holm found something to write history books about. In an area of the field he hadn’t scanned before, his machine alerted him to a metallic object not made of iron. A mere four inches under the surface he found a little gold pendant 3.5 centimeters (1.4 inches) wide and 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) high, weighing 14 grams. The artifact’s fine filigree showed through the caked dirt. Excited about his find, Holm posted pictures of it on a Facebook page for Danish metal detector enthusiasts and was quickly deluged with congratulations.
He contacted Malene Refshauge Beck, an archaeologist and curator at the East Funen Museums, who identified it as a crucifix from the first half of the 10th century. That makes it the oldest figure of Christ ever discovered in Denmark. Before this find, the Christ figure engraved on the largest Jelling Stone, a massive runestone raised by Harald Bluetooth in around 965 A.D., was the oldest known in Denmark. It was a fitting record for a stone whose runic inscription reads: “King Harald bade this monument be made in memory of Gorm his father and Thyra his mother, that Harald who won for himself all Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christians.”
The pendant could be dated with such precision because it is almost identical to a pendant found in Sweden. The first crucifix of this design was unearthed in 1879 from grave 660 in a Viking cemetery at Birka, an 8th century town about 20 miles west of Stockholm. The earliest Christian missionaries who went to Sweden in the 9th century were centered in Birka. The town was destroyed in the 10th century and never rebuilt. Its ruins were rediscovered by an entomologist, Hjalmar Stolpe, who was there to study ancient insects trapped in amber. When he found large quantities of non-native amber on the island, he realized it must have once been an important trading center and so began archaeological excavations that would continue for almost 25 years, from 1871 through 1895.
A fragmentary second crucifix of the Birka type has survived. Their designs are so similar that archaeologists believe they were made by the same craftsman. East Funen Museums archaeologists will now contact their counterparts at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm, where the original Birka crucifix is kept. The two crosses will be compared to determine whether they were made by the same hand.
The Aunslev crucifix is the most precious of the three. The first Birka crucifix is gilded silver with much of the gilding worn off. The fragmentary second one is silver. Holm’s find is solid gold. The goldsmith shaped a thin gold wire in parallel lines and small balls called granulation. It would have been a very expensive piece, likely worn by a woman.
Christianity was introduced to Denmark via the elite so this pendant probably belonged to someone wealthy and influential. Whether that person was Christian is impossible to know since the piece was found in a field, not in a grave like the others. Wearing a crucifix could be advantageous when dealing with the already Christianized peoples south of Denmark, and even if the wearer did espouse Christian beliefs, at this stage the new faith often coexisted with the traditional one of Thor and Odin. Indeed, Christ’s expression on the crucifix is not the one of a suffering man near death, but rather of a fearless warrior akin to the Norse heroes and deities.
The pendant is now at the Viking Museum in Ladby where it will be cleaned and conserved. It will be put on display this summer.
The schedule is now up on the Pent website.
Pre-registration is now closed.
We are still in need of judges – find more information here!
We are looking forward to seeing all the entries!
Tiercelin & Julianna
The Kingdom of Outlands salutes Kolgrimr Olafsson and Danielle, the new Crown Prince and Crown Princess, following the Spring 2016 Crown Tournament.
Archers of Æthelmearc!
Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Thomas Byron of Haverford and Princess
Come and show your pride for your Kingdom and earn your place among the
Yours in service,