Archive - Nov 2011 - Story

November 22nd

Viking sunstone may no longer be the stuff of legend

According to Hrafns Saga in the 13th century, the mighty king used a sunstone to navigate in cloudy weather. This is one of several texts that list such artifacts as among the legendary Norse seafaring abilities. New research suggests that the sunstone may be a real navigational tool.

Fibonacci: How numbers helped shape the development of modern Western Europe

In 1202, life in western Europe was changed by the publication of Liber abbaci, a book by Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, the first general-purpose book of arithmetic in the West, which "explained the 'new' methods in terms understandable to ordinary people."

Crusader inscription found in Arabic

A 13th century inscription written in Arabic has been translated and found to be a proclamation by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The inscription is thought to originally be from a wall in Jaffa, Israel. The inscription is the only known example of its kind.

November 21st

Restoration of Newcastle's Black Gate planned

In the 13th century, Henry III built the Black Gate at Newcastle, England's castle to help beef up the defenses of the City. Now the City Council has been awarded UK£1.4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the site available to the public.

The story of the English language - in 10 funny sessions

Attention linguists! Prepare for your tutorial on the History of the English Language as presented by OpenLearn. The ten one-minute video sessions are narrated by Clive Anderson and illustrated by animated line drawings. Get your pencils - and senses of humor - ready.

Midrealm Fall 2011 Coronation photos online

Tarmach ben Yehuda al-Khazar reports that he has posted several albums of photos from TRM Eikbrandr and Runa which took place October 15, 2011 in the Middle Kingdom. The photos are available on Shutterfly.

Toowoomba meets the Middle Ages

"Ralph Picton loves to dress up, play swords, eat with his hands and learn about the lords and ladies of days gone by," writes Megan Masters in a piece for the Toowoomba Chronicle (Queensland, Australia) about one of the members of the local SCA group. (photos)

November 20th

Nigg Old Trust to receive grant for conservation of Pictish stone

"It seems always to have stood in the churchyard at Nigg," said Liz Budge, of Nigg Old Trust about an intricately carved Pictish stone in Easter Ross, Scotland. The Nigg Old Trust has recently received a funding package of UK£178,000 for conservation and display. (photo)

Knight learns lesson in 14th century ghost story

On the blog Puremedievalry, Sirthopas, a graduate student at Trinity College in Dublin, has posted a 14th century ghost story - in Middle English. Fortunately, he also includes his translation.

Two offered Laurels in AEthelmearc

Maistir Brandubh Donnghaile, Silver Buccle Herald for the Kingdom of AEthelmearc, reports that at Their Court in the Barony of Saint Swithin's Bog, Their Majesties Isenwulf and Rosalinda offered elevation to the Peerage to two of Their subjects.

November 19th

Oswyn and Isabella named Baron and Baroness of Southron Gaard

Their Majesties Cornelius and Elizabeth of the Kingdom of Lochac have announced that Lord Oswyn and Mistress Isabella Marie will be the new Baron and Baroness of Southron Gaard.

Metal detectorist finds Tudor wedding ring

An inscribed woman's wedding ring, believed to date to the Tudor period, has been found by a metal detectorist in Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, England. The inscription on the gold ring is unreadable.

Viking settlement discovered beneath market square in Dublin

Arcaheologists have discovered the remains of a Viking settlement beneath Temple Bar, the cultural area of Dublin. Originally on an island, the settlement is believed to have been destroyed by floods in the 10th or 11th century. (photos)

November 18th

Video features Canton of Montagne du Roi

A two-minute video, produced by Elizeth Labega, chronicles armoured and rapier combat as well as a lady being fitted for garb by a merchant.

Gunnar and Bryndis new Prince and Princess of Trimaris

Bran Buchanan reports that Gunnar and Bryndis are the new Prince and Princess of the Kingdom of Trimaris.

Uther von Ziemer winner of Gleann Abhann Fall 2011 Crown Tournament

Gwynneth wraig Rhys, of the Barony of Three Rivers in Calontir, reports that Sir Uther von Ziemer was the victor of the November 12, 2011 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann.

November 17th

AEthelmearc's Agincourt photos online

Augusto G. reports that he has created an album of photos from Agincourt 2011 which took place recently in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc. The photos are available on PhotoBucket.

Roman medical kit offers insight into Greek influence

Over two thousand years ago, a Roman ship sank off the coast of Italy, near the island of Elba. Among the items on the ship was an ancient medical kit containing a mortar and pestle set, medicine spatulas, and pills and tablets that are surprisingly similar to our modern ones.

The BEST OF Tournaments Illuminated

Nominations are now being accepted for The Best of Tournaments Illuminated, A special 68-page publication planned to be available for purchase in the fall of 2012.

November 16th

60 pairs of Roman shoes found at Scottish supermarket site

One of the largest caches of Roman shoes and sandals ever found in Scotland was discovered recently in Camelon, Scotland when workers at a supermarket construction site unearthed the footwear.

In defense of Greek historical forts

”The identity of modern Greece,” said Minister Pavlos Geroulanos in a recent speech, ”is seen by the way in which it manages its enormous cultural heritage, the way in which it protects it and with which it spreads knowledge of it to every corner of the globe.”

Photos from Great Western War

Fausta reports that she has posted several albums of photos from Great Western War 2011. The photos are available on the Facebook public site.

Sixth Known World Bardic Congress and Cooks Collegium to occur in Kindgom of Outlands

Co-autocrats THL Jethro Stille and Mistress Catrin von Berlin have announced that the 2012 Known World Bardic Congress and Cooks Collegium will be April 20~23 in the Kingdom of the Outlands.

Vindolanda: What I did on my summer vacation

Writer Chris Rowe, winner of a recent Just Back article-writing contest for the travel page of the Telegraph, chronicles a summer-school visit to Vindolanda, the famous Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall in the north of England.

November 15th

Bodleian Library digitizes Mishneh Torah

One of the most important manuscripts in the Bodleian Library's Hebrew collection is the 12th century Mishneh Torah, a guide to Jewish law handwritten and signed by Hebrew scholar Maimonides. The manuscript has now been digitized and is available online.

Renaissance Magazine's newest column: The Renaissance Herbalist

Beginning with issue 81, Renaissance Magazine will offer a new column: The Renaissance Herbalist. The column is authored by SCA member Melandra of the Woods.

Photos from Northshield Fall 2011 Crown Tournament

Northshield Kingdom Chronicler, Viscountess Elashava bas Riva, reports that she has created an album of photos from the Fall 2011 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Northshield. The photos are available on the Northshield Gallery.

Spirits banned at Nevern Castle

Archaeologists excavating at Nevern Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales have uncovered several slates dating to the 12th century scratched with images of stars and other symbols designed to ward off evil spirits. The slates were found in the castle's entranceway.

November 14th

Israeli bus station site of Byzantine houses

More than 70 workers are busy excavating an area beneath the Central Bus Station in Be'er Sheva, Israel. Thus far, the experts have identified the remains of several houses dating to the Byzantine area.

Drachenwald campfire cookbook online

Giano reports that Plain Fare, Drachenwald's Camp Cookery Book, is now available to download on the Kingdom's A&S website. The book is in Adobe Acrobat™ (PDF) format.